Kawasaki to build a Ninja 300

We’re betting the Ninja 300 will look very similar to the fuel-injected Ninja 250R that the rest of the world is getting.

According to EPA documents, Kawasaki is working away on a Ninja 300, and the 2013 ZX-6 will boast a 636 cc motor.

 

Remember – Kawasaki had a 305 cc motorcycle in their GPZ lineup (the forerunner of the Ninja series) for years. This is a 1983 model.

Hell for Leather and Asphalt and Rubber are both reporting on an EPA document showing emissions data for 2013 models (click here to see it). The government document reveals several interesting tidbits, including the facts that Kawasaki’s middleweight supersport will be a 636, not a 600, and they are also working on a 300 cc Ninja with fuel injection.

Sounds cool, right? There’s a catch, as always – the same document also indicates the Ninja 250 that’s coming to the U.S. (and in theory, Canada) in 2013 will be carbureted, instead of the tasty fuel-injected version we saw at the start of the month. That’s not entirely unexpected – Kawasaki has already been peddling a baby Ninja with carbs in North America for years, while selling a fuel-injected version around the rest of the world.

If the Ninja 300 really makes it to the U.S. and Canada, it’ll be an interesting entry into a class of bikes that’s been empty for years. All the manufacturers used to make bikes in the 300 cc range once upon a time, including Kawasaki’s own GPZ 305, a close relative to the modern Ninja 250.

The move to a 636 cc middleweight supersport is also a familiar Kawasaki play – they had a 636 cc Ninja from 2003 to 2007.

In recent years, though, except for a few 350 cc dual sports, the 300 class has been largely ignored – and even those bikes have fallen out of style. Now that KTM’s coming out with the 350 cc Freeride and Kawasaki is tinkering with a Ninja 300, maybe we’ll see some interest in this class again.

We don’t have any photos of the Ninja 300, but if we were guessing, we’d bet it looks very similar to a bored-out version of the fuel-injected 250 the rest of the world is getting …

And what about that 636 cc Ninja? Well, this isn’t the first time Kawasaki has gone down this road. They built a 636 cc supersport from 2003 until 2007, when they went back to a 599 cc model. The people most affected by this move will be racers in the supersport classes. Maybe Kawasaki will have some solution in mind for them, or maybe they’re moving away from the track? We’ll have to wait and see.

4 thoughts on “Kawasaki to build a Ninja 300”

    1. I’m not 100% familiar with how EPA testing works, or how it’s reflected in this document, but I’d guess that if there’s no 2013 Ninja 250 listed, we’re going to be stuck with the 2012 model next year – unless it’s entirely replaced by the 300. What we can say for sure is that the document says nothing about a fuel-injected 250, and it does list the 300, and we also know that carbureted 250s are already in the country.

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