Kawasaki says new Z300 is first of its size in “supernaked” class

Kawasaki has launched a new naked bike based on the Ninja 300, and says the machine is the first 300 cc bike in the supernaked class.

Kawasaki’s Ninja 300 debuted back in 2012 and changed the learner category from a collection of docile quarter-litre machines to something more edgy. The machine doesn’t have arm-wrenching torque, but read Costa’s review here – it is truly a real sportbike.

Now, Kawasaki claims the Z300 will offer that same sort of fun. It’s based around that same 296 cc motor (39 hp, 20 ft-lb of torque) and even includes the slipper clutch. Bodywork has been pared back, but like all Kawasaki naked bikes, there’s still a lot of plastic on the machine, with styling inspired by the bigger bikes in the Z series. Clip-ons have been replaced by a wide tubular handlebar.

Kawasaki also announced they'd be selling the Ninja 250SL in western markets.
Kawasaki also announced they’d be selling the Ninja 250SL in western markets.

Curb weight for the Z300 is 168 kg; optional ABS bumps that to 170 kg. There’s plain-Jane 37 mm forks up front, and a 290 mm brake disc.

As well as the new 300, Kawasaki also showed their single-cylinder Ninja 250SL and Z250SL at EICMA. These single-cylinder quarter-litre machines have been on the Asian market for a while now, as an option for riders who can’t afford the Ninja 300 and its unfaired counterpart.

This is the first real indication the 250s are coming to western markets, but there’s no word on whether they’ll make it to Canada; there’s also no word on whether the Z300 will come to Canada, but with Honda’s CB300 coming soon, it’s a good guess that they’ll be here next year.

The Z250SL is a stripped-down version of the Ninja 250SL, powered by a single-cylinder motor.
The Z250SL is a stripped-down version of the Ninja 250SL, powered by a single-cylinder motor.

We don’t have a host of details on the 250s, but we do know ABS is optional. The Ninja 250SL weighs 151 kg without ABS. The stripped-down Z250SL weighs 148 kg without ABS. Whether those numbers represent curb weight or not, we don’t know.

The DOHC 249 cc motor used in both machines is liquid-cooled and fuel-injected, and supposedly makes around 28 hp. It has a four-valve head and is mated to a six-speed transmission.

The Ninja 250SL and Z250SL have a 290 mm brake disc up front and 220 mm disc in rear, and skinny 100/80 17M/C 52S and 130/70 17M/C 62S tires. Seating position is designed to be street-friendly, with upright posture and a 785 mm seat height.


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