With the arrival of the new Yamaha YZF-R3 on our shores, Indian motorcycling aficionados are spoilt with choices from which they can pick up their dream machine. While the Kawasaki Ninja 300 and the Yamaha YZF-R3 would appeal to customers with low or no budget constraints, the KTM RC390 would appeal to the masses who desire performance but at an affordable price tag. The Honda CBR250R, on the other hand, missed on the much required updates for the Indian market as the Japanese two-wheeler maker announced that it will continue to sell the same, single headlight CBR250R, although with refreshed graphics for the sub-continent.
To save you the effort of browsing through a number of tabs, we have compiled the technical specifications of Kawasaki Ninja 300, Yamaha YZF-R3, KTM RC390 and Honda CBR250R in the handy table below to help you compare the numbers easily. Here is the spec-sheet.
|Specifications||Kawasaki Ninja 300||KTM RC390||Honda CBR250R||Yamaha YZF-R3|
|Type||Parallel twin, liquid-cooled, 4-stroke||Single-cylinder, 4-stroke, liquid-cooled||Single-cylinder liquid-cooled, 4-Stroke, SI Engine||Two-cylinder, liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, DOHC, 4-valves|
|Maximum Torque||27Nm||35Nm||22.9Nm||29.6 Nm|
|Transmission||6-speed with slipper clutch||6-speed||6-speed||6-speed|
|Frame||Tube Diamond, Steel||Tubular space frame made from steel tubes, powder-coated||Twin Spar||Diamond|
|Wheelbase (mm)||1,405||1,340 +/-15mm||1,367||1,380|
|Seat Height (mm)||785||830||790||780|
|Ground Clearance (mm)||125||157||145||160|
|Kerb Weight||172kg||159kg||163kg||169kg (wet weight)|
|Fuel Tank Capacity||17-litres||9.5-litres||13-litres||14-litre|
|Front||Telescopic Fork||WP Suspension Up Side Down||Telescopic||Telescopic fork|
|Rear||Bottom-Link Uni-Trak with Gas-Charged Shock and 5-Way Adjustable Preload||WP Suspension Monoshock||Spring Loaded Hydraulic Type Monoshock||Swingarm Mono Suspension|
|Front||Single 290 mm Petals Disc||300 mm disc with four-piston radial fixed calliper||296mm Disc||298 mm Hydraulic single disc|
|Rear||Single 220 mm Petals Disc||230 mm disc with single-piston floating calliper||220mm Disc||220 mm Hydraulic single disc|
|ABS||No||Standard – Bosch 9MB two-channel ABS||Optional – Combined ABS||No|
|Price (Ex-Showroom Delhi)||Rs 3.65 lakh||Rs 2.12 lakh||Rs 1.68 lakh (Standard)Rs 1.88 lakh (ABS)||Rs 3.25 lakh|
The Japanese duo of Kawasaki Ninja 300 and Yamaha YZF-R3 sit at the top of the pyramid when it comes to build quality in the 250-300cc segment. The Kawasaki Ninja 300 can easily be looked upon as the benchmark for build quality in its segment while the Yamaha impresses mighty in terms of the fit and finish and we could not hear enough from our colleague who rode the motorcycle at the Buddh International Circuit. In fact, our man Dhairya Gupta was so impressed with the build quality of the new YZF-R3 that he wouldn’t mind paying the premium to pick up the Yamaha and personally recommends the motorcycle for a buy.
Yes, both – the Kawasaki Ninja 300 and the Yamaha YZF-R3 – come at a steep price. While the Kawasaki Ninja 300 is the most expensive motorcycle in this comparison with a quoted ex-showroom Delhi price of Rs 3.65 lakh, the Yamaha YZF-R3 slightly undercuts the mean green machine with ex-showrrom Delhi price of Rs 3.25 lakh. But despite such steep prices, both motorcycles are not equipped with ABS which definitely is a drawback. The primary reason for the premium pricing of the Ninja 300 and YZF-R3 is because both the motorcycles are imported to India via the CKD route.
Both motorcycles deliver quite healthy power outputs too. The Kawasaki Ninja 300 puts up 39PS of power and 27Nm of torque while the Yamaha YZF-R3 delivers a slightly higher 42PS of power and 29.6Nm of torque. But when it comes to power, nothing can challenge the Indo-Austrian gem, the RC390.
The KTM RC390 is completely manufactured in India at Bajaj’s Chakan plant in Pune which has enabled the Austrian manufacturer to price the product very competitively. The KTM, despite being feature packed and equipped with projector headlights, LED blinkers and tail-light, mirror integrated front turn indicators, upside down front suspension from industry-leading manufacturer WP, super sticky Metzeler tyres and Bosch ABS as standard, costs a mere 2.12 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) – more than Rs 1 lakh cheaper than the Yamaha or the Kawasaki.
Talking about aggressive pricing, the Honda CBR250R is the most affordable motorcycle in this comparison. The new Honda CBR250R has a relatively smaller displacement and lower power output than its rivals in this tech spec comparison. The 249cc single cylinder motor delivers 26PS of power and 22.9Nm of torque. But that’s not something that would bother the buyers as much as the fact that Honda has yet again decided to keep the updated CBR250R (or, now that everyone is moving up the displacement stakes, the CBR300R) away from the Indian market for another year. The Honda CBR250R made its debut in the Indian market back in 2011 and since then has not received any major updates. The absence of the updated CBR series at the recently concluded RevFest was a disappointment for Indian motorcycling aficionados and more importantly, for Honda fans and this has created a disrupt in the hearts of many prospective buyers.
To conclude this comparison, we would say that the KTM RC390 makes a really strong case for itself with a long list of features and a super competitive price tag. The RC390, at Rs 2.12 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) is a no brainer for anyone who is looking for an sporty motorcycle. The ergonomics, however, may keep certain buyers away from the RC390. KTM meant serious business when it introduced the RC390 and announced at the launch event that the motorcycle has been developed for a one particular reason – aggressive track riding. For anyone looking for the same menacing power but comfortable ergonomics, there is the Duke 390. But the statutory warning from KTM did not keep the motorcycling enthusiasts away from the Austrian pocket rocket and you can easily spot an RC390 at almost every major biker hangout.
The Kawasaki Ninja 300 and the Yamaha YZF-R3, on the contrary, may come at a premium but both the motorcycles scream quality and receive quite user friendly motors that are happy to rev at any RPM, as oppose to the high revving KTM mill. The lack of ABS and premium features also set the Japanese motorcycles behind the KTM RC390 but the exclusivity factor and big-bike persona grab the attention of people with less or no budget constraints.
The Honda CBR250R might not have the high power or premium features compared to its rivals in this tech spec comparison but over the last half a decade, the motorcycle has proved itself touring-worthy. Besides, even with the ABS, the Honda CBR250R undercuts the KTM, Kawasaki and Yamaha in terms of pricing. The motorcycle, although old, can still clock more miles without taxing the rider in city as well as on highways, is a silhouette of the much larger VFR1200F and most importantly, is the most affordable motorcycle in the segment and that, ladies and gentlemen, is one more thing that makes the CBR250 equally appealing.
That’s our take on the products. We really hope that this comparison was helpful and would love to hear your feedback. Share your views, opinions and any additions to this comparison through the comments section below or on our social networking pages.