Akhil has submitted this review in our Ownership Review Contest No 13, ensuring himself an assured prize. The contest also offers a chance to win Riding Jacket, Helmet and more…Here are all the details.
I can see two sharp eyes looking at me and asking “are you writing the love story between us?” 😀 😀 . Throughout the typing of this review, those eyes were looking at me with lot of love in it.
So about me, I am Akhil P Dileep presently doing my mechanical engineering degree in Coimbathore and basically I am from Palakkad, Kerala. First of all let me tell you, it is not a technical review, it may contain lot of imaginary and poetic terms. It is all about the love between man and machine.
Like every boy, I too was interested in bikes from my childhood itself. My main hobby was the collection of bike pics that come in newspapers when others were interested in collecting stamps and coins ;). My dad was a speed freak and like in every individual case of mine, in biking too he became my hero and inspiration. I still remember the speed in which he used to ride his bike making me sit in the tank of the bike.
I learned riding bike by myself at my 6th grade with the help of cycle balance and by observing the way my dad use to shift the gears. I use to steal my dad’s bike and go for a ride whenever possible. But one day one of my mother’s co-worker caught me red-handed and she informed my parents about it. But they didn’t believe it which gave me more confidence. For my bad luck it never last longer as during in one such ride, the petrol was over and all I could do was to call my parents.
They were both surprised as well as angry to see me riding a bike as not even my legs were reaching ground at that time. Though my mom scolded me a lot, my dad supported me and encouraged me by giving bike to small rides like to nearby shops and all that he told was “it’s the problem of blood”:D. No more the speed of my “hero siren” cycle was thrilling to me and as usual in every case bike became mine as dad was having two other cars.
Guess what, all the relatives, started telling that my parents are spoiling me and also the complaints from the riksha drivers and others on road started increasing day by day and my dad was forced to sell the bike. I still remember my first bike, ‘Hero Honda passion plus’, the first bike which showed the biker in me. It was during the last time of my 10th and I was not having much problem in selling it as I knew that I will be leaving to hostel for next two years.
Last 3 months of 12th grade was study leave and I came back to home and home without a bike was so tough for me. I told my parents that I need a bike, and they promised me to buy me a good bike once I get a license. But I was not satisfied and I started forcing them. Last they agreed but next thing was which bike I should go for. It was at that time Fazer was just launched and I told them that I need it since Fazer was the best looking bike at that time for my eyes and no other bike was there to compete with its looks.
Don’t know why, R15 didn’t impress me much and I took a red Fazer and became one of the first owners of Fazer. I was thrilled by the power of Fazer. Than numbers, looks were primary importance to me at those times and for my luck, digits too were not bad for fazer. It is having a 153cc motor which generates 14bhp. The bike is completely smooth and is of good quality and as we all know, fazer is one of the bikes that brought the fortunes of Yamaha back in India.
Again all my relatives got a new topic, all were scolding my parents for buying their son such a powerful bike at this small age, but my parents told that they do have belief in their son and I always tried and still try to keeping it up. Later I joined in college located at Coimbathore which is 60kms away from my home. With 2 months vacation between school and college along with the holidays of college, I managed to hit an oddo of 7000 kms. During my first year itself I told my parents that am not liking the food in hostel and need to come out of hostel though my aim was only to bring my bike to college as they won’t allow taking bike to hostel.
It was during that time I got a chance of driving “karizma ZMR” from my friend and it impressed me lot. I got my license and I told my parents that I need a ZMR to go to college and they agreed. 223cc 17.6 bhp, the big bikes feel especially in its white colour impressed me much with neutral design features.
But the Hero Honda’s service was cheap and within those 6 months I understood that ZMR is not the bike for a guy like me who looks much for perfection. The tight gears, vibrations from fairings, unqualified technicians in hero Honda, everything were irritating me like hell.
It was during at that time I got a chance of seeing a black big bike in my town. I was amazed to see the bike, but for my stupidity I thought, it would be a modified one. After few weeks, I saw the same model “modified” bike in my campus and from my friend I came to understand that bike is not modified and the bike’s name is Ninja from Kawasaki. Till that time I have heard only about Ninja and for the first time I saw that in flesh. I was touching the bike like one use to feel a just born baby. I lost my sleep and I was fully dreaming about me riding a ninja.
Guess the next step, without any hesitation I told my parents that I need a Ninja. They got a mini heart attack when I asked for it since ZMR was bought few months back and a major attack when heard about the on road price of 3.2 lakhs. Somehow I convinced them and took them to the nearest Bajaj showroom. But God was not with me, showroom guys told that ninja is available only in Bajaj Probiking showroom which is 700kms away from my home and they gave me the number of a person from my hometown who owns a ninja, the same guy whom I saw on that day.
I called him at the spot itself and I got totally bad opinion from him about the bike. Lack of servicing and parcelling the bike for service to probiking showroom made the bike totally damaged and he advised me not to take a ninja. And for that he advised me to go with CBR250R which was launched by Honda recently with a price tag nearly half of ninja and he told CBR is the competitor for Ninja in international market. I was happy with that.
I visited the Honda showroom and booked the bike after a good test-drive. Here again, I became one among the first owners of CBR250R since the bike was just launched. I was totally excited, reaching three digits speed was not at all a difficult job in CBR250 which made me so happy since the previous bikes were not loving to push beyond a speed of 90kmph. Vibrations were too less in the bike though it was a single cylinder.
Combined with that, a power of 25bhp and superb handling made CBR more loved though few plastic parts like the silver portion in the fairing were of cheap quality. It was not so cheap quality but compared to other parts, it was a step back. Since all others parts were of high quality, especially like the bullet proof engine, it was more than enough to leave a small plastic piece issue behind
But that happiness never lasted longer. I gave bike to one of my friend after his long request though normally I never use to give my bike to anyone. I was sitting behind him as he was not having much experience in riding such a bike. This guy was not able to control the power which resulted in a serious accident.
Both I as well as the bike was seriously affected. The right side was fully damaged and back brake assembly as well as handle was replaced. After the replacement the back brake lost its braking power completely and it was like a dummy brake. The handle lost its alignment completely. I took the bike to many showrooms but not even the “fireblade mechanics” were able to solve the problem though everyone accepted the problems. The tip amount to the mechanics was more than that of maintenance cost of the bike.
It was during that time my roommate; my friend took his green ninja. It was our ninja rather than his ninja. Gradually I started forgetting the issues of CBR as Ninja was there for me and it was during that same time, a KTM showroom was newly opened in Coimbathore, so service was no more an issue.
Few months after his purchase, Ninja 300 was launched and we both were eagerly waiting to see the bike in flesh. Normally I used to join with him to Ninja showrooms and as usual we went to the showroom to see the 300 as they informed him that ninja 300 reached the showroom.
It was nearly 4 days before the launch of Ninja 300 in Coimbathore. We rushed eagerly to the showroom even without changing our normal home dress. We reached showroom and the sales man told that the bike is there in the storeroom.
I ran to the store room but suddenly the sales man told only my friend alone is allowed to see the bike and I shouldn’t see the bike. When I asked the reason, in a cheap way he answered that I don’t look like a guy who can own a ninja and everyone was laughing at me including a girl who came with his brother or boyfriend to take the delivery of his duke 200. Guess how much I would have been insulted.
Here starts the real review of my bike
I told my parents and brother whatever happened. I started feeling that my friend’s ninja is no more my ninja too and I told my parents that I want a ninja. But my parents were not interested in buying me a new bike since it was last year of my college life. I sold the CBR which I kept for nearly 1.5 years covering 17k kms. I somehow convinced my parents and they gave me Rs 4 lakhs to buy the ninja and I booked the bike.
The next atom bomb came; my dad told that I should not register the bike in my home town due to some personal issues but the showroom guys told that it is not an issue as I can register the bike in notary address of Coimbatore though it will be 15k bucks more in Coimbatore compared to Kerala and also told that there will be few legal formalities which will take max of 2 days. So the bike reached the showroom but they couldn’t deliver the bike for next 25 days since the legal issues were not solved.
Throughout these 25 days I use to go to showroom without fail to see my bike which was 20kms from the home where I stayed. Those were the worst days, It was like a newly married couple who was not even allowed to even touch each other ;). I lost my sleep and for those 24*25 hours, only ninja was there in my mind, no fb, no what apps, no late night talks, nothing except my white beauty.
Finally the waiting was over, I got a call from showroom on 2nd August telling that the bike is ready and I can take delivery on next day. I took 2 day advance leave from college and after a long waiting period, I got the bike on 3rd august 2013 Saturday. I knew Saturday is not a good day to have a new bike, but I was at the peak and I didn’t take it as an issue.
So why not a duke 390?
During the time of washing and polishing the bike, they offered me the keys of Duke 390. I liked its power but hated the exhaust note and also the vibrations in the handle. The parts were of cheap quality, especially the plastics. I think KTM has compromised much in quality to reduce the price tag of the bike. So why not a duke 390? Yes, the bike is having more acceleration than Ninja 300 that too at half price. But I always prefer a faired bike over a naked one, simple.
I really wished to have the bike keys from the salesman who insulted me, but for my bad luck he left the showroom before that.
The power of the bike was not a problem for me as I was used to it from ninja250 and cbr. It was fully under control unlike for the new users of such a powerful bike. It is a signal little distance after the showroom; everyone was looking at my bike and was asking about the bike. Yes no more I am normal rider, but a celebrate on road and the feeling was making me go crazy.
The first drive was to my home town which is 60km from coimbathore. On road everyone was looking at the bike especially because I was in my full driving suit which is not a normal sight in such roads and also the DTRL was taking lot of attention towards the bike. It was raining softly and I was feeling like showers were from heaven for the newly married couple
Technically speaking, the bike is a 300cc parallel twin engine with two in one exhaust which generates 39 bhp of power. The engine is rubber mounted and is occupied with a slipper clutch. Over the 50cc addition, it’s the slipper clutch and rubber mounting that separates 300 from 250 other than styling and instrument cluster. 300 is totally different from 250, and is not simply 50cc extra bored engine.
Even the engine components like piston and other parts are totally made of other compound. Since the engine is rubber mounted, the vibration from the engine will be very less and the vibration reaching to the handles will be minimum. The main advantage of the slipper clutch is that, one can down shift the gears without the fear of back wheel locking up. I don’t wish to speak much technically since it can confuse and makes the reader boring.
You can take a Closer Look At Slipper Clutch of Kawasaki Ninja 300 here
Simply speaking it is so easy to take corner without applying brakes; Instead we can downshift which reduces speed and also increases the control over the bike. Downshifting is also good idea in hard situations to reduce the speed though it is not so good for engine
Sure, Ninja is one of the best looking bikes in India. Ninja got its design inspired from its elder siblings. Every parts like its sharp looking twin head lights, fairing design, the exhaust, the sharp body panels etc. The bike is eye catching and is even more in its green color. The bike looks superb in every angle and if you disagree with me, it means you are disagreeing with everyone on the road ;).
The pillion seat may be small for a big ass like me, but am least bothered about it since rarely I use to sit in it and also the main person to sit in those seats are not that so fatty, so no worries with that. Ninja got and integrated under grab rails which serve the purpose and also won’t affect the look of the bike.
Speaking about the comfort level, the bike is having a sporty posture. It may make a new ride feel difficult, but since I was used up with cbr and ninja, it was not at all a problem for me. But the hard seats were hurting me for the initial days. The fairing of the bike is designed such a way that it radiated all the heat generated away from rider to the road unlike in cbr which will flow directly to rider’s legs and is a great problem especially during city drives.
One will never feel the speed in ninja and 3 digits will be reaching within seconds. Till 6k rpm, the bike is like a small cat, underpowered and is very useful during city drive which reduces the need of lot of gear shift unlike in a cbr. The torque of ninja is very high that one can easily push a ninja from 40 to 191kmph in top gear without the fear of knocking.
Once you cross the 6k mark in rpm, the bike will push you back with a change in exhaust note and one can clearly feel the power. Unlike the cbr which is having irritating row power, the ninja got a smooth power. The cbr may impress first, but once we get used up with the smooth power of ninja and how to use it properly, ninja will score much more than the cbr. The bike got good cornering capacity and the bike is more towards a track tool.
The tyres serve the purpose properly on road as well as track with good road grip. The tyres are made of sulphur mixed rubber and will takes few kms to get to its actual potential after getting heated properly though the wet road stability is bit low. Beating ninja in highways is totally difficult task that only higher capacity bikes and luxury cars can do. So most of the time, ninja will be first on road since those luxury bikes and cars are not found all the time. Bike can be easily cruised till a speed of 140 in fully stability on highways and after which the high winds will strike hard which makes us bend to the tank and thereby increasing the aerodynamics of the bike. The shock absorbers of ninja is perfect and is slightly modified for Indian roads, so can’t find any issues with it.
Maintenance and mileage
As prescribed, I maintained 4k rpm till 800km and 6k rpm till 1600 rpm. But after clocking 1600kms, the bike never gone below 5k rpm each time I starts the engine. The ‘maintenance free’ tag really suites ninja. I rarely use to take the bike to service center since there won’t be much issues with the bike other than periodic services, chain lube and brake pad replacement unlike the cbr which takes me to ASC most of the days and thereby made mechanics my best friends :p.
The maintenance cost of the bike is comparatively high. A single service costs nearly 4k, the chain lube costs about 120 and brake pads cost about 1.7k which lasts for about 7k kms. The first service was done at 957kms and second was done at 5900kms. In both services, oil and filters were replaced and were using Motul oils and lubes as recommended by Kawasaki. It requires a periodic lubing of chain at every 500kms.
The bike is having an average mileage of 23 kmpl in town, about 33 in highways and an overall mileage of 27kmpl. The bike is having an eco mode. The eco mode logo displays from 45kmph to 116kmph and disappears when you ride rash. The eco mode is very useful in maintaining good mileage and also it tells that we are riding bike in a good way.
Trips and top speed
According to a video in YouTube, one can see that stock Ninja 300 can reach a top speed of 191kmph though I could reach only 173kmph. Within 4 months I completed about 6500kms which includes few trips too. In all my trips, my friend (roommate as well as trip mate) with his ninja250 has been joining me.
The following are the trips:
1) Coimbatore to ooty and nearby areas (180kms total). my friend with his R15 were there with we both Ninjas.
2) Coimbatore-goodalore-mysore-sathyamangalam-coimbatore (400kms total). The trip was good and was through forest. We were able to see lot of wild animals, even wild elephants on road.
3) coimbathore-aanakati-silent valley-palakkad-coimbathore:
This trip was nearly 170kms in total and I was accompanied with the Ninja 250
This trip was about 160kms in total and again it was Ninja 250 and Ninja 300 alone.
5) coimbathore-ooty-koothagiri and nearby places-coimbathore (total of 200 kms). In that trip, R15, Duke 200, DS and CBR150 joined us. It was one of the best trip in which the roads were superb like a race track with lot of corners.
The trip was total fun with full discipline with all wearing jackets, gloves, helmets. We were never in over speeds but enjoyed it to the core. We stopped in many spots for taking pics and visited lot of places.
6) The next trip was a sudden planned trip starting from coimbathore to karur and back to coimbathore. It was nearly 380 kms and since it was not a planned trip, we were not interested in taking pics other than to ride. Again ninja250 was there with me in this trip too.
Throughout this 6500kms, not even a single time ninja made me regret for spending 4 lakh rupees for it. With ninja I got lot of contacts including many super bikers with lot of knowledge in biking. I studied lot about biking and ninja taught me a lot which can never be expressed in words.
The attention that I get on roads, it is all that is because of ninja. Again I do have a special attachment towards ninja. One lakh out of 4lakh for the bike was put by my elder brother who just joined his profession hardly a year before that time, and it was the first savings of my brother. He was saving it to buy an RE for himself which I did not know at that time.
Later when I came to know all these from my mom, I asked my brother about it and told him that he should not have done it. But he just told that riding a RE can never give the happiness of my smiling face that he can see while I ride my ninja. Throughout that one year I was irritating him for not buying me a big gift even after getting a job like other siblings use to do for their younger ones.
Tears were dropping through my eyes and all I could do was to hug him tight. But on that day onwards I started giving more care to my bike because it is the sweat of my loving brother and even now am giving the same care to it. The bike is still scratch free and is shining just like a brand new bike. I am very well sure that only the odo reading of the bike can tell someone that the bike is a used one. I regularly use to wash and polish the bike which makes the bike look brand new and it is very good for the bike as the color of the bike will never fade.
No bike is perfect. Every machine is having its own advantage and disadvantages.
- good design with aerodynamic nature
- rubber mounted engine which reduces the vibrations reaching to the rider
- power and refinement of the bike which makes it as the king in its segment like all other Kawasaki models
- customer service provided by Kawasaki, at least in my case
- the fairing design which radiates heat generated away from rider
- slipper clutch
- the day time running lights which seeks the attention to the bike
- the exhaust note, one of the best sound in the segment
- the quality of parts that Kawasaki offers
- big bike feel
The list will be going on and the review won’t end once I start with the advantage 😉
- It seeks attention of many and parking in public places is totally difficult though paying extra to the watchman can solve the problem.
- The low ground clearance of the bike tends to hit the ground especially while taking xxxl sized speed breakers of India.
- The day time running lights, many don’t know the purpose and will be showing signals to us. Even cops will be catching and guess what there starts the story of fine amount and charging for riding a “modified “bike.
- Rusting issues, mainly the silencer tip. It is not a serious issue as the ASC mechanics repaint the rusted part periodically.
- Irritating questions about the price and “modification”. Common advice “you could have gone for a car than spending 4lakhs on a bike” :p
- Lastly, the usual complaint, “you love your bike more than me” ;). I can do nothing with that :p :p
So here I conclude my review. Guys always wear a helmet and if possible, have all the protective wears. At least wear a good quality helmet, not only it saves our heads, but also we can enjoy the beauty of chicks on road without the fear of being caught. 😉 😉
Sorry for the grammatical mistakes and spelling errors if any as it is already late and I haven’t got much time in editing, again this is my first review. Thanks to every one for reading the review. God bless everyone and wishing everyone a long and safe journey. Lastly thanks to BikeAdvice team and all those who wrote their bike reviews which was the primary inspiration for me in writing this review. Comments and opinions are most welcomed.
Akhil P Dileep