While all eyes are on the BMW G 310 twins, Kawasaki India has silently launched the 2018 Ninja 300 at Rs 2.98 lakh (ex-showroom). This time with dual channel ABS as standard and a brand new blue paint job. The 2018 Ninja 300 gets new graphics and colours. Thanks to increased localisation, the new model is Rs 62,000 cheaper than its predecessor that carried a sticker of Rs 3.6 lakh.
Mechanically Kawasaki has left the bike untouched. Powering the Ninja 300 is the same parallel twin liquid cooled engine that cranks out 39bhp and 27Nm and comes comes mated to a 6-speed gearbox with slipper clutch. The Ninja 300 still does not get traction control and ride modes.
At the launch of the 2018 Ninja 300, Yutaka Yamashita, managing director of India Kawasaki Motors, said “As per Kawasaki’s product portfolio Ninja 300 is entry level sports bike. We have observed that customers start with Ninja 300 and then upgrade to the next class. Therefore, Ninja 300 happens to be our bestselling product in India because of affordable price. We just started localizing for Ninja 300 ABS as a part of our expansion plan. Initiatives like “Make in India” have also been encouraging factors in increasing localisation. The localization gives us a benefit to set a very competitive price, because of which we can offer many new customers an opportunity to enjoy our product and also start experiencing fun of supersports riding.”
In our sub-400cc bike shootout earlier this year, we concluded that the Ninja 300, despite starting the sport touring segment in the country with its brilliant handling and excellent reliability, had failed to keep up with its rivals due to its lack of features and emphasis on safety. With the new pricing, the Ninja 300 ABS has the capacity to upset the sub-400cc segment motorcycles. Its rival motorcycles like the Yamaha YZF R3 and Benelli 302R retail at Rs 3.48 lakh and Rs 3.62 lakh making the Ninja 300 the most affordable twin cylinder motorcycle that you can get your hands now in the market. The TVS Apache RR 310 costs Rs 2.23 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) and is the only bike in this lot which gets a single cylinder mill.