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Quickspin -Kawasaki Ninja 300 | Bike Tests | Top Sellers in Australia

Still the go-to bike for LAMS riders seeking sportsbike thrills

Back in the dark ages, when I obtained my motorcycle licence, new riders were restricted to a 250cc capacity. Like most, I did (almost all of) my time on a clapped out, uninspiring old dunga before upgrading straight to a first generation Fireblade – yes, the original learner scheme was well thought out.

Fast forward 20 years and I still enjoy riding, but after taking a look at what today’s learner riders have to chose from, I realise my choice of bike has gone full circle. I discovered an exciting segment filled with bikes that learner riders will find easy to master and experienced riders will enjoy.

The king of the kids in the LAMS market is Kawasaki’s Ninja 300. While we see plenty of young lads getting around on them, I was interested to find out if I would be get a kick out of riding one.

The tested 2016 Special Edition model was decked out in Raw Graystone with blood-red arrows flowing across the bodywork and red wheels, however, being big on comfort I was simply interested in the shape of the seat, which appeared to posses more padding than some of its contemporaries.

I took the Ninja for a spin along an enjoyable loop along winding country roads and freeway. I’ll freely admit the tachometer needle never swept past the straight ahead position all day, yet it delivered all the power I was after, and without the need for excessive dancing on the gearshift. The Ninja 300 delivers an unfussed, normal everyday riding experience, it’s that simple.

The steering is light without being overly sharp and the bike requires little effort for a change of direction.

On the freeway it’s easy to slip into a comfortable position leaning on the bars with your knees tucked in. Despite its racy look, the Ninja 300 is more commuter than superbike, however, that doesn’t mean you can’t have sporty fun on it. Its easy-to-ride nature makes it confidence inspiring for beginners and a hoot for more experienced riders, and with a claimed weight of 174kg and ABS it provides plenty of cover should you feel the need to grab a handful of front brake mid-corner. It’s what this bike is all about: it’s sporty, but with enough in reserve for a learner to have a margin for error.

The suspension is soft but comfortable; it’s no race spec, but you don’t arrive at your destinations exhausted.

Scanning the specifications sheet I discovered Kawasaki has fitted a slipper-clutch, which is probably a little OTT for someone like me, so my winning vote went to the fold-in mirrors which can be quickly pulled back and forth for easy lane filtering.

After riding the Ninja 300 I have a better appreciation of why it’s such a hit with the younger male generation. Now that I’m noticing them, I’ll be expecting to see more females out and about on one.

For $6399 it’s a neat little package that is known to hold its resale value.

PROS

+sweet gearbox

+ABS brakes

+fun at many levels

CONS

-average low beam

Colours

  • Passion Red ABS and Non ABS
  • Metallic Flat Raw Graystone/ Ebony – ABS Special Edition only
  • Lime Green / Ebony KRT Edition ABS and non ABS

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