2022 KTM RC 390 Vs. Kawasaki Ninja 300 – Battle Of 300cc Supersports (Part-2)

New KTM RC 390 takes on the most popular 300 cc supersport of India – Ninja 300… Can the RC stand its ground in front of the cult leader???

Today, we are putting the newly launched 2022 RC 390 against the most popular twin-cylinder supersport – Ninja 300 – against each other to see which is better, obviously on paper. 

Let’s see how they stack-up in this rivalry:

  1. Engine – 

There is a major mechanical difference between the engines of the RC 390 and Ninja 300. The Ninja uses the staple parallel-twin engine since ages, while the Austrian is using the high-compression single-cylinder unit which has gone through numerous iterations which has brought slight improvements each time.  

But, the numbers force us to think that the Ninja has started to show its age now. The RC 390 is making 4 HP & nearly 11 Nm more at a lesser RPM than the Ninja 300. Granted, the Japanese engine will be more refined and linear, but in the game of numbers, the Ninja is lagging behind. 

Only saving grace here is the fuel capacity, which the Ninja 300 has 3.3 L more. 

CriteriaRC 390Ninja 300
TypeSingle-cylinder, 4-stroke, liquid-cooledParallel-twin, 4-stroke, DOHC, 8-valve, Liquid-cooled
Displacement373 cc296 cc
Maximum Power43.5 PS @ 9,000 rpm39 HP @ 11,000 RPM
Maximum Torque37 Nm @ 7,000 RPM26.1 Nm @ 10,000 RPM
ClutchWet, multi-plateWet, multi-plate
Fuel Capacity13.7 L17 L
  1. The Chassis and Suspension Set-up – 

The frame material is the same in both the bikes, but the design is totally different. 

The KTM is sporting its premium WP Apex USD suspension in the front while the Ninja is using conventional telescopic forks. Mark – RC 390. 

Furthermore, the RC is riding 18 mm higher than the Ninja and is sporting premium WP Apex suspension in the rear compared to Ninja’s gas-charged shocks.

CriteriaRC 390Ninja 300
Frame TypeSteel TrellisSteel Tube Diamond
Front Suspension43 mm WP Apex USD37 mm Telescopic
Front Sus. Travel120 mm120 mm
Rear SuspensionWP Apex MonoshockBottom-link Uni-trak with Gas-charged monoshock
Rear Sus. Travel 150 mm 132 mm
Ground Clearance 158 mm140 mm

Also read: How is Honda CB200X Doing After 8 Months of Launch?

  1. The Dimensions – 

KTM have not shared the wheelbase figures of their new RC 390, so it is difficult to understand how it measures against the Ninja 300. 

The Ninja 300 is more accessible thanks to its 44 mm lower seat height, but is 19 kg heavier than the RC 390. 

CriteriaRC 390Ninja 300
Wheelbase1405 mm 
Seat Height 824 mm780 mm
Kerb Weight160 kg179 kg
  1. The Brakes and Tyres – 

The braking criteria is a complete win for RC 390. Both the front and rear rotors are bigger in th RC which will provide better control and feedback to the rider when he/she decides to push the bike – or in case of emergency, aided by dual-channel & lean-sensitive ABS. 

CriteriaRC 390Ninja 300
Front Brake320 mm Single-Disc290 mm Single-disc
Rear Brake230 mm Single-Disc220 mm Single-disc
Front Tyre17” – 110/70
Rear Tyre17” – 140/70

Also read: 2022 Keeway Vieste 300 & Sixties 300i Prices Revealed

  1. The Miscellaneous – 

Here, more prominently, the Ninja 300 shows its age. 

If we use two words to best describe the new RC 390, we will use ‘Modern Technology’. 

The new RC 390 is among the most tech-loaded bikes in the 300 cc – 500 cc segment. It comes standard with Switchable & lean-sensitive ABS, Traction control, Quickshifter, 5” TFT screen, Slip & Assist clutch, Ride-by-wire throttle, Bluetooth connectivity etc. 

While the list ends abruptly for Ninja 300 at twin-cylinder engine, LED lighting and Assist & Slip clutch. 

CriteriaRC 390Ninja 300
Instrumentation 5” Full-colour TFTDigital + Analogue
Mobile ConnectivityThrough KTM MyRideNo
GPS NavigationYesNo
MiscellaneousTraction Control & Cornering ABSAssist & Slipper Clutch
StarterElectricElectric start
Final DriveChainChain
  1. The Price – 
CriteriaRC 390Ninja 300
PriceRs. 3.11 (ex-sh.)Rs. 3.37 Lakh (ex-sh.)

From the above comparison, it is absolutely clear which bike is better on paper. 

The 2022 RC 390 makes more power, has more torque, gets Metzeler tyres as standard, is loaded with tech & features to the brim, traction control & cornering ABS and better ground clearance. 

Points in favour of the Ninja 300 are the Japanese designed parallel-twin engines which is a standard in itself, the Ninja legacy and a bigger fuel tank. 

At Rs. 26,000/- cheaper than the Japanese supersport, the new KTM RC 390 is the clear winner giving more performance & thrill and better overall package than the ageing Japanese supersport. 

But, these are just some numbers on the paper. To really understand and specify which of these two is actually better, we have to get our hands on these machines and ride them back-to-back. 

Stay Tuned…