The twin-pot 296cc mill that powers the Ninja 300 churns out 38.5bhp of power at 11000rpm and 27 Nm of torque at 10000rpm. It might not have the best numbers to boast in its segment, but it certainly can compete for the most refined motor. It comfortably potters around 3500-4000rpm in sixth gear and if you are lazing to downshift, it will slowly spool up after you open the throttle.
The twin-cylinder putter transforms into a muted scream as you go past 7000rpm and when you hit the power band, it becomes vocal, almost sounding like a big four-cylinder. A mild buzz is felt on the handlebars and the foot-pegs as it nears the red-line but that is not really a grouse. The rate of acceleration also matches the note and the motorcycle feels lively from 10000rpm and reacts to every little throttle input. It races to 60kmph from standstill in 3.21 seconds on its way to the 100kmph mark in 6.84 seconds. It has a top whack of over 160kmph and accelerates from 30 to 60kmph in third gear in 3.32 seconds, 40-80kmph in fourth in 5.23 seconds and 80-100kmph in fifth in 3.23 seconds.
Shifts on the six-speed gearbox feel positive even when you don’t bother to pull the clutch for upshifts. And the slipper clutch comes handy when one is looking to cut down speed fast by downshifting and dumping the clutch while holding on to the brakes, not allowing the rear to bob around unnecessarily.
Coming to the brakes, the front doesn’t bite hard but is quite progressive and does provide feedback. The 290mm disc in the front cuts down speed quick enough and with ABS now handy, one can grab the lever without thinking twice.
Supersport purists might not like the way the front dives on the brake, but since it is predictable, it possible to get to working around it. The suspension does rock back and forth on and off the throttle, but that allows riders to play with the motorcycle better around a corner. The lack of outright stiffness allows the Ninja to soak mid-corner bumps well inspiring confidence, especially on unknown surfaces.
The steering is quick and the Ninja changes directions like the famed Japanese warrior. The slightly wider handlebars allow the rider to weigh as well as hang on to them while leaning into corners. The front goes a little light on full gas, just like all superbikes!