Kawasaki Ninja 250R vs 300R: What does the extra 50cc buy you?
The Kawasaki Ninja 250R, no matter how you slice is now an old motorcycle. What that means is that the most significant difference between the 250R and the new Kawasaki Ninja 300 is the fact that the latter was launched only a few months ago and the former, on the other hand, was first launched in 2008. And this isn't just about age either. Kawasaki has been reluctant to mess with success and the 250 has done exceedingly well as a beginner product in various market and model updates to this particular motorcycles have been few and far between. Which means the third generation Kawasaki Ninja 250R (the motorcycle we bought in India before today's Kawasaki Ninja 300 launch) shares more than a few bits with the older 250.
This is not, on its own, a problem but if you are a serious sportsbike enthusiast on a budget the equipment you have is important.
What the new Ninja 300 brings to the party is more than new plastic on the exterior or the extra power or the extra displacement. What new designs do is clean up the performance. The handling usually becomes sharper, more direct and in almost every case, the motorcycle's ability to function close to the limit is improved. Which has a direct effect on how effortless it feels at street and highway speeds. As in forget the spec, a ground-up new model motorcycle is usually upgrade worthy and we do not think the Ninja 300 is a exception to that rule. And this should apply not just to track demons or highway heroes but street riders might also find enough of a difference.
But just to balance this out, please remember that high parts costs have ensured that the Kawasaki Ninja 250R does not enjoy as good a resale residual value as you might imagine so while the upgrade makes sense, it may not work out financially. Even if you go to the Bajaj's ProBiking dealer for a trade-in, be prepared for a low offer, relatively speaking, for your lightly used, extremely well-kept Ninja 250R.
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