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Old 16th October 2017, 10:21   #1
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Default Double graduation - From a Honda Dio to a Kawasaki Ninja 300

Double graduation - From a Honda Dio to a Kawasaki Ninja 300-1.jpg

Before you read on, kindly note that this review comes from an inexperienced biker, and my views might contrast that of an experienced biker. I purchased a new Kawasaki Ninja 300 recently after a long period of thoughts, after thoughts and confusion. I know that many eyebrows will be and have been raised about why I went in for this bike considering the price and its offering. But this was after almost six months of hunt and frustration, and I should say it was well worth it. I will explain that later, but let me summarize in short based on the review guidelines:

- Alternatives considered:
  • Honda CBR 250R ABS - Discontinued at the same time I started the bike hunt
  • Yamaha R3 - Discontinued since BS4 regulations came up, and no concrete info on facelift. Current price was 30k less than Ninja and the facelift would have come close to it.
  • KTM RC 390 - Too aggressive riding position, hate plasticky fairing and quality was not upto mark
  • KTM Duke 390 - Almost went ahead with booking this one, fantastic equipment list, mouth watering price and hell of an engine. But heard of niggles and long term reliability is a question and did not hear positive stories from people who have owned the previous generation bike. Wanted to keep the bike for a long time hence the Duke didnt win the finals.
  • Used Ninja 300 - Was a stop gap solution until the 2018 Ninja arrived, but failed after a three month long search for used 300s. Couldnt find a pre-worshipped bike and everything had one issue or the other.
- Complete booking & delivery experience with the dealership: In one word - Fantastic. From the day of booking until getting the bike home in a van - All done in a top notch manner, and within a lightning fast time window of three working days after payment and five working days after booking. Everything done professionally and without a single follow up and escalation from my end. All special requests of mine fulfilled: Full payment only after PDI, home delivery, registration number of my choice, delivery at my preferred date and time.

First day after delivery:
Double graduation - From a Honda Dio to a Kawasaki Ninja 300-5.jpg

- On-road price & discounts:
  • On road - 452000
  • Less - 25000 discount
  • Final price - 427000, Free riding Jacket
- The good:
  • Phenomenal engine with superb refinement, free revving and with a sweet exhaust note
  • Well built and parts are of great quality
  • Linear performance and easy to handle at lower speeds
  • Superb acceleration in gear
  • Slipper clutch results in reduced backtorque when throttle is cut. Clutch is light and easy to operate in traffic
  • Smooth and accurate gearshifts
  • Does not heat up in traffic
  • Good feedback from front brakes
  • Wont make a racket when revved
  • Design caught my eye and nothing else came close to it on that aspect
  • KRT edition makes the colours more pleasing to the eye compared to the lime green version earlier
  • Superb paint quality and finish with no rough edges and corners
  • Powerful headlamps and bulbs. Offers very good throw and intensity
- The bad:
  • Horrible equipment levels - No ABS, conventional headlights, conventional everything
  • Rear brakes lack good feedback, but slightly improving after covering some distance. They also tend to lock up pretty early, but manual says 160kms of run in required for tyres to get its grip.
  • Radiator is just in the path of slush and stones launched from the tyres. Personally I feel a radiator guard is a must
  • GC on paper seems less, but havent scraped even after going on some speedbreakers, so thats a bad point only on paper
- Safety & related equipment - Nothing much, except a slipper clutch and some interlocks which prevent the engine from running when side stand is applied, or when the bike has fallen. There seems to be an event data recorder(EDR) fitted on this bike. Not sure what that is. However, for the rider, thats more or less the equipment.

- Number of kms at the time of writing review - 200kms done only.

- Usage pattern - Weekly once or twice to office(25kms one way in free roads one way and medium traffic during return), weekend and occasional rides

- Exterior design: Maybe its my personal liking, but the Ninja family of bikes especially the 300, 650 and 1000 are the best looking of the lot. I was not that much of a fan of the Lime green color earlier but the KRT edition just bowled me over from the day I saw it in person. The panels are sharply cut and the KRT graphics which run along the sides give it a superb side profile. The front is small and compact, with a pair of headlights which too is made with straight lines than curves. The fairing is mounted on its sides with a base on the mirror and the mirrors again speak of superb quality. The mirrors in their current setting offer limited viewing angle, but I will spend time getting the best setting. In my Dio I was easily able to see who is exactly behind in either mirrors, but with the Ninja I am not able to do that and can only see the adjacent lanes. The tank has a nice contour to it, and helps when we turn the handlebar to its extremes. Such is the focus on the design, that when we turn it to the extremes, there is just enough space in between the tank and the handlebar that the hands can fit in without getting smashed or even the tank getting scratched. The contour for the legs is also superb which is the lower part of the tank and the fairing beneath it.

Sharp lines everywhere
Double graduation - From a Honda Dio to a Kawasaki Ninja 300-2.jpg

Double graduation - From a Honda Dio to a Kawasaki Ninja 300-3.jpg

The riders seat is hard and narrow, but I did not find it uncomfortable after riding for a few hours. Maybe for longer distances, it could give a sore bum. The less spoken about the passenger seat the better I had my friend sit behind me for a ride and though she loved the ride, she couldnt sit comfortably and her entire weight was on me and I ended with paining palms after some braking action. The rear of the bike has a conventional brake light and no LEDs here either. The grab handle is an eyesore and I was waiting for the permanent registration to get over so that I could take it off.

Double graduation - From a Honda Dio to a Kawasaki Ninja 300-4.jpg

- Overall build quality, fit & finish, paint quality and panel gaps:
Fantastic build and paint quality is also exceptional. No orange peel and the black is just deeep. Plastic panels have been fit very well and no part of the fairing can flex by hand. All screws have been tightened well. I had a tough time removing the number plate to get the temporary lettering done. The permanent plate will arrive soon from Movell, where I get all my plates from.

Even the footrest is built solid and finished very well.
Double graduation - From a Honda Dio to a Kawasaki Ninja 300-16.jpg

There is also an integrated hook to strap on luggage on the pillion seat.

Excellent paint quality:
Double graduation - From a Honda Dio to a Kawasaki Ninja 300-11.jpg

Double graduation - From a Honda Dio to a Kawasaki Ninja 300-15.jpg

- Wheels & tyres:
Glossy black alloys shod with IRC tyres, which I had not heard of before. I had only seen them on the CBR. I guess its a common thing for Thai bikes since both bikes have their origins from there. However, I dont want to comment on them since I have no experience with bike tyres and I dont want to judge blindly. I have not heard good reviews about them so planning to switch to Michellin Pilot Street if I get a decent buyback for these tyres.

- Driving position, ergonomics, controls & MID:
I am close to 6ft tall, and I find the driving position to be comfortable and neither completely upright not bent forward. My legs fit the contours very well and I like the position compared to the RC. Of course, at high speed leaning forward is possible without any strain on the back or forearms. Hence, I can choose the position depending upon the situation.

- Visibility & size of mirrors: I am yet to get good adjustment for the mirror. That said, the reflective area itself is less so visiblity is limited to 1.5 lanes on either side. I do make it a point to look above the shoulder in order to be on the safer side.

Last edited by audioholic : 26th October 2017 at 23:19.
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Old 18th October 2017, 09:15   #2
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Default Re: Double graduation - From a Honda Dio to a Kawasaki Ninja 300

- Engine performance & driveability in the city: This bike has a linear power delivery and easily driveable inside the city and in between traffic. The engine is sedate until 4000RPM and feels like riding a commuter bike. Compared to the snappiness of the KTMs, this can be handled within the traffic in a graceful manner and doesnt need to be held with a leash. This was helpful for me as a newbie rider since I found the Duke to be trigger happy with a terrific low and mid end with short gearing. With the Ninja, you get ahead of traffic silently, and would have cleared gaps within no time. It is best to keep the engine within 3-5k and then accelerate whenever required. However, since this is the run in period, I havent exceeded 5k RPM except during a few bursts and havent crossed 7k RPM till now.

- Engine performance & driveability on the highway: Once we get an open road, this bike picks up speeds very quickly and there is zero vibrations from the engine or drivetrain. It can cruise effortlessly at the ton, and still will be ready to accelerate like mad. I am yet to really thrash it on the highway so will write about that later. But after 4k RPM, it wakes up and starts begging for acceleration.
The heat from the engine is well managed and I hardly feel it when riding in dense traffic. The heat from the duke almost burnt my thighs whenever I stopped. However, the radiator sits in a very vulnerable position as shown here:

Double graduation - From a Honda Dio to a Kawasaki Ninja 300-6.jpg

Like I said earlier, the radiator guard is a must to prevent stones from damaging the radiator. Given Bengalurus poor reputation for roads, and Kawasaki's notorious reputation for spare part prices, this is definitely a worthy investment.

- Overall opinion on the engine: EVERY PENNY WORTH THE PRICE PAID

- Gearshift & clutch:
Gearshift is smooth and except for a clunk while shifting to first gear, it is smooth and the ratios are pretty closely spaced. Too bad they did not provide a gear position indicator, I end up trying to shift beyond 6th, since I am not revving hard. But after using the bike, I can now easily guess which gear I am in without keeping track of upshifts and downshifts. The clutch is light and effortless to operate. Since the only bike I had ridden without a slipper clutch was the Duke 200 and the backtorque when the accelerator was let go was just too much and add to that the short gearing, it was a pain to decelerate without hitting the clutch. That is not existent in the Ninja and I can decelerate to approach a speed breaker without too much backtorque.

- Suspension & ride quality:
The bike comes with regular front forks and a five step adjustable rear suspension. The rear suspension is in its 2nd softest position. Though I have not put the bike to rough patches at high speeds, it absorbs them pretty well at low speeds and at the handlebar not much is felt. Same is the case with the rear, though it is slightly stiff, it is pretty comfortable. However, things get better as speeds increase. It floats on undulations at high speeds and just nothing is felt by me. It was very settled going on expansion joints and surface elevations and depressions at 100+ and the bike was still floating over them.

- Braking:
The brakes were initially spongy and especially at the rear, the feedback was nil. It was stepping on a dummy pedal upto some extent, after which the effect would be felt but soon after, the rear wheels would lock up. After taking it on a high speed run, things became vastly better and now both the front and rear brakes have a predictable action, and are pretty decent in slowing down from high speeds. I was worried about the lack of ABS on the bike and read a few articles where they stressed upon progressive braking. Took the bike out in the night and practiced this and it surely helps. I was able to stop pretty quickly without any drama or loss of control.

- Ground clearance: Ground clearance on paper seems quite less. I was more worried about this when I saw a used ninja with a leaking oil sump. In my route to office and back there are a few really bad patches and two stupid humps where most cars end up scraping their bellies. However, I took the bike at a slow speed over them and did not have any scrapes. Maybe it is a problem when I have a pillion with me, which is a very rare case

The lowest point for the ground clearance calculation here is the tip of the front fairing at the bottom. The exhaust Cat-con, oil sump all are located higher. This picture shows the side view:
Double graduation - From a Honda Dio to a Kawasaki Ninja 300-8.jpg

Double graduation - From a Honda Dio to a Kawasaki Ninja 300-9.jpg

Lets finally come to the point of why I went ahead with this bike:
Sometime early this year, I experimented taking my Dio to office just to see how much of a difference it would make to the commute time. Since my commute is completely across the city to the other side and spans 25kms one way, I had done all sorts of experiments with routes, timings and mode of transport. The dio was one of the last experiments.

It was actually fun. I took the same time to reach office as I would in the car in the morning because my Dio couldnt comfortably maintain speeds that my car would. In the morning, my commute is on empty roads and the initial acceleration is impressive due to the CVT, but after a certain point, the acceleration just dies and so does the speed stay at that place. Typical CVT behaviour. In the evening, I reached home in 60% of the time taken by car, which was a huge benefit. I could get ahead of traffic easily, and in city speeds the acceleration was impressive, given that I had fed it premium petrol and synthetic oil. So was the refinement. I could hardly feel the engine running even at top speed. The only disappointments with the Dio was the poor front suspension and the brakes.

Thats when came the need for more power and better dynamics. I wanted something that is really fun, and since I was not someone who will change vehicles too soon, I was willing to go a little higher in terms of an upgrade. Apart from having ridden a few random bikes during college, there was no bike in my home, or immediate family. Hence I was partly nervous about going for a big bike.

Enter the Honda CBR 250:

I had heard and read enough about this bike. It suited my needs perfectly. The BS3 fiasco had happened when I enquired about the CBR and I was told that the production of the BS4 CBR had not started. My brother was one of the first customers of the BS4 Dio and during that purchase, I saw a CBR250 ABS on display. I came to know that the dealer had registered the last remaining CBRs(12) in his name and was willing to sell it. But they offered a discount of 25k only, whereas during the sale before the BS3 ban the bikes were being sold with a better discount. To add to this, I would be the second owner. I made a straight offer for a 40k discount and I offered to buy the bike straightaway if they were going to bring the price down. They didnt do so immediately and when they did after a few days, it was on a non-ABS Repsol edition, which I was not a fan of. Hence, the CBR went off my radar, with no news of any BS4 version in the pipeline.

I did consider a used CBR too, so that I could buy a bigger bike later, but I did not find good examples. So I started looking for other options. What do we get when we look higher than the CBR? The 2-3L bracket is where the KTMs rule. By offering as well as popularity. Then comes the brands like Benelli, Hyosung with their 250-300cc offerings.

So what else did I have in store?
The Ninja had my heart from a long time. I used to drool over the Ninja threads on our forum by IronH4WK and his Ninja 650, Aviorp's white 300 and not to miss, Aditya's green 250 which was once upon a time my favourite here. I liked the looks of the Ninja especially the 300, 2017 650 and the Versys. Those lines looked like they were sliced with a sword. But given my fraction of an experience with bikes, I never thought I could actually ride one off the showroom to my house. Heck, I was scared I would wreck the bike on day one of ownership. But I decided that one fine day, I will own a big machine and enjoy the experience.

On a random visit to the Kawasaki Showroom in late June, I enquired about the pricing of the 300 and 650. While the 300 was something I could buy without having to worry much about finances, the 650 would have been only possible with finance. And for the price I paid for the Ninja 300, the equipment levels were pathetic. No ABS, basic front suspension, bare bone MID and cluster, no LED headlamps, high cost of maintenance and at that time the Bajaj-Kawasaki split was in its infant stages. Bikes like the Dominar, Duke 390 would run around circles showing off their equipment and features.

I then started considering the Yamaha R3, which was very similar in terms of specs to the Ninja 300, but around 30k rupees lesser and with easy on the pocket maintenance. Unfortunately, I learnt that the R3 too had been taken off production, and a facelift was expected without any guarantee on the timelines. My expectation was that it would be refreshed with ABS, LED lights and some other bits here and there and I thought of buying it immediately at launch.

I also started interacting with a lot of Bhpians from whom I got a lot of tips and advise. The other plan I had in mind was to buy a used bike in the 200-300cc category, get my skills honed up and then buy the 2018 Ninja 300/400 when launched. However, my search for a used bike never got me any good results. My work in the morning would start with a search on the TBHP classifieds and on OLX, and I would repeat this every four hours. Doing that, I had track of almost every Ninja on sale on OLX and classifieds.

Most of these bikes had two owners on them, some with too many kms on the odo. The very few I shortlisted had a suspicious owner, one with a swapped instrument cluster and body panels. There was one bike near my house which I missed during the beginning of my hunt. It was a two owner bike with just 9000kms on the odo, but had its share of rusting and slight scratches. Both could have been fixed, but my expectations were high at that time. Hence I passed it on.

The last bike I saw was located in the opposite side of town. The owner was a nice man and the sole owner. He claimed to have used it sparingly and carefully. He even admitted that the bike was scratched a bit due to a brush with his house wall. Hence, I spent a saturday driving all the way across town and in my mind had almost sealed the deal thinking it would be a clean one. Paragsachania agreed to accompany since it was close to where he stayed. We both went to see the bike, and began inspecting it. There were some scratches due to wear and tear which I thought I would buff it to shine. But to my disappointment, the bike had its oil seeping down from the sump and possibly an underbody hit. It was kept poorly without insurance from a year and was barely washed. Its radiator was covered with muck and the fins were not even visible in the center.

After travelling 25kms and wasting not only mine, but Parag's time too, I was disappointed as hell. Thanks a ton for coming along Parag. I reached home after battling another 25kms of traffic and my folks were not happy about it either. The owner told me he would get the bike inspected and get back to me, but he never did. I had a hunch it could be a loose drain bolt which didn't seem to be the case.

After closing my hunt for a used Ninja, I decided to buy a new bike. Thats when I suddenly considered buying the Duke 390. More than a lakh rupees cheaper than the Ninja 300, the bike had everything on offer. You speak about it and the bike has it. However, I honestly did not like the color options and the naked form factor. Also, the bike was too common and the image people have with a KTM rider is that they are rash. For no mistake of the rider in many occasions I have seen the rider being blamed.

I took a short test ride of the Duke 390 and due to its light weight and small dimensions, I did not find it difficult to handle. The power output was what scared me. Though the ride by wire was damping the initial throttle inputs, the bike was a scud missile in 2nd and 3rd gear. However, I was disappointed with NVH, as well as the heat from the engine in traffic. Hence, I decided to let go of the Duke, buy the Ninja. Though this bike is no doubt fun, I think it is too much fun to remain in control.

Coming to this, a common question - How did your family agree for the bike?

Well, to keep it simple, they understood the need, and my dad was impressed with the CBR while my mum was apprehensive to some extent(even now) but since she knows my interest for vehicles, she was ok with me buying a big bike. Though the funding is from my end, I did have to justify why I was spending so much on a two wheeler. However, my parents were not ok with my idea of buying a used bike. My dad insisted I buy a new one. Since he was not aware of what the competition offered compared to Kawasaki and hence I was spared from the talk of looking at alternatives. That said, he fell in love with the Ninja as soon as he saw it in the dealership. And on the day of delivery, while I was sending the dealership guys off, my dad already laid his hands on the bike. He took quite a few rounds in the basement and I was running behind him freaking out. Firstly, the last time he had rode a bike was around a decade ago and was a cousins bullet, and second, it was raining and he was wearing really slippery floaters that he wears inside the house. I was scared he would lose grip and screw my bike as well as his legs. Fortunately, he was able to manage and I was able to remind him that I myself had not yet taken it out anywhere. Two days later, my dad decided he should go on a ride and took out the bike, but this time with his shoes and my helmet. Again, I was scared and tagged along behind him in my Dio, and since he did not push the engine beyond 5k RPM I was able to catch up and in a few turns I made way ahead of him. After a 4km ride, he was in love with the engine and exhaust note. This is one feeling which totally bowled me over and I didnt expect him to like it so much. It was a priceless moment seeing the old biker in him coming back to life and probably he would be sneaking out with the bike when I am out of country. The case of my mum is different. She has not yet made up courage and confidence to sit on the bike

A picture that I completely loved:
Double graduation - From a Honda Dio to a Kawasaki Ninja 300-10.jpg

Some similarity?
Double graduation - From a Honda Dio to a Kawasaki Ninja 300-14.jpg

Thanks for reading. Due to a busy schedule, I really couldnt compile it in one shot hence there could be misses and repeats. Questions are welcome, except for one - Why this bike since I believe I have explained it in detail.

Last edited by Rudra Sen : 27th October 2017 at 11:01. Reason: Extra smiley removed
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Old 22nd October 2017, 09:49   #3
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Default Re: Double graduation - From a Honda Dio to a Kawasaki Ninja 300

A note on the dealership experience:

So it was set, I was buying the Ninja, new. But when? I pass by the showroom everyday on my way home. There is a traffic signal right at the junction where the showroom is located. I get stuck in this signal everyday, drool at the bikes parked inside on two levels. One day, I suddenly see that the showroom is lit up with festive lights. I felt this could be because of the launch of the new shades on some bikes. However, keeping the festive spirits, I felt they could be running some offers.

Friday(6/10)
I casually called up Rideventur, the dealer for Kawasaki in Bengaluru. The call was received by Dennis, who informed me that they were offering a free riding jacket with the Ninja 300 and third year extended warranty. I thought that the riding jacket would be for namesake and they would hand over some cheap jacket. Dennis immediately sent me some content on Whatsapp which included the picture of the jackets on offer. They were official accessories from Kawasaki itself, and then I got confidence on the quality. Considering the price of the jacket and a free extended warranty, I took the plunge and told him that I would book the bike the same day.

I dropped into the showroom and Dennis was not there, but there was his colleague Ms. Nandini who greeted me and took me around to show the bike, the jacket and so on. I paid the booking amount and was given a lead time of two weeks. I was not needing the bike any sooner since Bengaluru was full of rain, slush, potholes and not to mention traffic and I did not want to put the bike through all this right from start. I had also requested them to arrange for delivery to my house. This showroom is in a very busy junction of two consecutive signals and just to exit from the showroom would be a difficult thing during peak hours. And me being a noob at riding, trying to dodge a new bike in between all this was something I was not ready to do. She checked with the others and agreed to arrange for home delivery.

From then, starts the fast forward in time and this thread.

Saturday(7/10)
In my family it is a practice to consult someone to decide on an auspicious day to take delivery. The next day (7/10/2017) me and my mother visited a temple and casually asked the priest when it would be a good day to take delivery of the bike. At first glance, he suggested I take delivery on Thursday, 12th of October. I almost burst out laughing, saying that I have not even paid for the bike in full and you expect me to take delivery in three days. He told Thursday would be ideal, followed by Friday. If not, then he suggested to take after Deepavali festival. While the former seemed impossible, waiting till festival to get over was something I could not do. I was banking on Deepavali holidays to get the bike prepped up for the road.

Monday(9/10)

I called the dealership and checked with them if they could deliver the bike on Thursday. While they said they had stock of the bike and they could process it, they still had to get the payment cleared and only after which they could invoice the bike and get it registered. In between this, I told them that I would like to have a number of my choice, and the current series of number was not of my liking. Hence, the plan was to get a temporary registration done. I handed over the cheque for the rest of the amount but with a 50k due on Monday evening. They told me that it would take three days for the cheque to get cleared.

Wednesday(11/10)

The bike arrived in the showroom on Wednesday morning. I had taken a day off to get used to bike riding(had rented a duke 200 for this). Hence, I visited the showroom with my dad to complete a simple PDI and there I realised that there was a cash discount of 25k on offer for the 300. This, I saw in the display board next to the bike and I was actually furious that they had not informed me earlier. I got to know that the offer was just rolled out a few hours earlier but they had taken back the extended warranty. I was given an option to choose between the two. I chose the cash discount since I felt that the warranty was overkill for the equipment the bike offered. Not much to go wrong with it. Since it was the first day of the offer, they were still not sure with the billing changes.

Since I had a balance of 50k, after the discount I had to pay only 25k which I immediately wired. The bike was fresh, with all covers on and not a single swirl on the paint. My dad saw the bike in flesh the first time, except for a few glances on the road. He loved the bike and spent quite some time sitting on it and was blown away by the quality(he is a specialist in spacecraft structures) and appreciated how nicely the bike is built. After that they gave me a choice of three styles of the riding jacket. I chose the minimalist black jacket and finalised the size. The guys took some effort to help me put all the jackets on, in various sizes. It was a real pleasant experience and I got the same attention that the buyer of a big bike would.

Me and Dad on my bike. Dad was curious to know how it feels up in the first floor

Double graduation - From a Honda Dio to a Kawasaki Ninja 300-17.jpg

We left the showroom as it rained heavily but there was still no confirmation on the delivery. I had not kept any expectations since I did not want them to get spoilt later and in my mind I had a Friday delivery plan.

Thursday will have to be split hour-wise:
Noon is when the dealership gets its accounts statements from where they can get to know the payments made. The cheque is realised and my transfer too is credited to their account. But problem is that their invoicing system is not yet updated for the changed price. The people who are in charge of it is absent. Hence, Dennis calls up to tell that the delivery is mostly not happening today. I was not confident taking home the bike on Friday since they had too many deliveries that day and could not deliver the bike to my house. So he tells that he will try.
1430 - they are still not able to update the system but I get an assurance they are working on it.
1500 - I get a message that the insurance policy has been made through Reliance General. However, I know its too late and continue with office work.
1645 - I am on my way home from office and I get a call from Dennis that the invoice is done and they are sending the papers of the bike for TR. The bike itself is not required. He also assures that the bike will be delivered the same day.
1730 - I reach the showroom and I see that the bike is already loaded onto their service van. Securing the bike with straps took nearly 15 minutes and it was all super-professional. Not a single corner cut.
1800 - The TR number arrives and finally we can leave the dealership. Since their driver was absent, Dennis himself agreed to drive it to my house
1845 - We reach my house and in the middle it starts pouring. Their van could not enter my parking lot due to height restrictions and they park it on the road. It is a widebody elongated Force Traveler. It took quite some space and attention on the road. Since it was raining, unloading the bike almost drenched me, Dennis and his colleague but the bike arrived safely into my house.

Their service van in which the bike was delivered. Unfortunately, I could not click pictures when the bike was being unloaded since it was pouring and I was helping those guys.
Double graduation - From a Honda Dio to a Kawasaki Ninja 300-18.jpg

A brief of all the operations was given and along with a few goodies - A mug, T Shirt and the Jacket. I took my first ride in the Ninja inside my parking lot and after riding the Duke for a day, this was easy to start off with and I did not face any difficulty.

Dennis left with a smile, and even after the entire day of troubling him and making him do what not, he was still cheerful at the end of the day and I cant appreciate him any better. He was more enthusiastic than me since I did not even have that excitement of getting the bike since it was a last moment thing and everything happened in a flash. Appreciate the entire team for facilitating the whole process and treating me no less than their top of the line bike customer. In contrast, Honda did not even bother to talk to me when I enquired about the CBR. Same case with the Yamaha when I enquired about the R3. Guess they are content with their commuter bikes.

Last edited by audioholic : 26th October 2017 at 23:15.
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Old 26th October 2017, 19:09   #4
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Default Re: Double graduation - From a Honda Dio to a Kawasaki Ninja 300

Accessories brought/fitted:
  • Paddock from JC road. Costed 3k and is of decent quality. They had provided two separate main rib of two widths. I used the one with the narrower width. In addition to this, three types of mounts were provided - One for swingarm, One spool and another which I did not understand. The downside to this was that the paddock was not stable at the point where the main rib met the supporting arms. I went to my welder and got it welded and now it is perfect. Anyway I wont be dismantling it.
  • 3M scotchcal PPF. I applied it in a few key places where the legs would brush with the body. Initially I had applied it to the entire tank but it ruined the glossy wet look of the paint and hence tore it out. Somehow did not please my eyes at all.
  • Radiator guard from Evotech Performance, UK. It was shipped to my place through Royal Mail and delivered to my house in ten days.
Radiator guard from Evotech - A quick note and installation details:

I had initially considered getting the guard from Aliexpress. However, the cost of the guard in aliexpress was somewhat 60% of that of EP. Though I am a regular customer of Ali, I had read mixed reviews of radiator guards purchased from there. Mainly because it depends upon seller. The highest priced ones from Ali was matching the price of EP. Hence, I ordered from EP and by no doubt, the quality of their guard is top notch. I am not sure of the material, but it is both lightweight and very strong. I could not flex the guard with my hands. This is how it arrived:

Double graduation - From a Honda Dio to a Kawasaki Ninja 300-g0.jpg

My friends in India post did not take much care of the box, but friends in EP had packed it really well:
Double graduation - From a Honda Dio to a Kawasaki Ninja 300-g1.jpg

The guard came with foam tape, a new bracket to mount the horn.
Double graduation - From a Honda Dio to a Kawasaki Ninja 300-g1.5.jpg

Needless to say, the quality of the guard matches the quality of the Ninja. And it has got the right curvature to suit the edges of the radiator.
Double graduation - From a Honda Dio to a Kawasaki Ninja 300-g2.jpg

Before installation, just a look at how much dirt gets thrown up at the radiator and surrounds:
Double graduation - From a Honda Dio to a Kawasaki Ninja 300-g3.jpg

The only additional work is to remove the inner fairing below the headlights extending to the sides. This is one single part and can be removed easily by removing a few rivet style plastic clips. After that, the sides of the radiator are exposed which are not earlier. After that, the foam strip should be pasted on the edges like this:
Double graduation - From a Honda Dio to a Kawasaki Ninja 300-g4.jpg

The new horn mount comes without the bush and fasteners. Hence, it should be transplanted from the old one. Attention to detail is amazing. The horn mount on my dio was nowhere close to this in construction and the mounting parts.
Double graduation - From a Honda Dio to a Kawasaki Ninja 300-g5.jpg

Once the transplant is done, the new horn mount is ready to be fitted. After this, the fitting of the radiator guard itself is very straight forward. The lower mount bolts of the radiator is removed. The guard has a continuous hook on top which hangs onto the radiator upper lip. Once this is done the lower bolts can be fastened which secures the guard. The guard fits perfectly. Also, EP have given good installation instructions along with the order which is straight enough for anyone to do it.

After the installation and fitting of the inner fairing back to its place
Double graduation - From a Honda Dio to a Kawasaki Ninja 300-g6.jpg

Edge to edge coverage, and a distance of around 8mm is maintained from the radiator. This can accomodate any hits which can bend the guard, which itself is highly unlikely.

Double graduation - From a Honda Dio to a Kawasaki Ninja 300-g7.jpg

Double graduation - From a Honda Dio to a Kawasaki Ninja 300-g8.jpg

Last edited by audioholic : 26th October 2017 at 21:51.
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Old 27th October 2017, 09:33   #5
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Default Re: Double graduation - From a Honda Dio to a Kawasaki Ninja 300

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Motorcycle Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 27th October 2017, 10:28   #6
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Default Re: Double graduation - From a Honda Dio to a Kawasaki Ninja 300

Let me be the first to congratulate you on Tbhp!

The finish and quality of components on this bike is no less than million rupee superbikes, as per my assessment too.
And lastly, the refinement of that parallel twin has to experienced first hand to believe, it's really that refined!

Enjoy your steed, responsibly!
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Old 27th October 2017, 10:41   #7
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Default Re: Double graduation - From a Honda Dio to a Kawasaki Ninja 300

Kawasakis are available only in Green?

Quote:
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Me and Dad on my bike. Dad was curious to know how it feels up in the first floor
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Old 27th October 2017, 10:55   #8
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Default Re: Double graduation - From a Honda Dio to a Kawasaki Ninja 300

Congrats on the purchase (once again) audioholic.

I fell in love with the Ninja 300 when I saw the KRT edition for the first time. The black and lime green really stands out. I was really tempted to put the cash on the table but felt the need to upgrade to a bigger bike would come too soon if I bought this. Took a test ride of the z650 in a test ride organized by RideVenture recently and now am very confident of my abilities to handle the same.

Please invest in good riding gear. I know you got the jacket but get shoes, knee protectors etc. I fell off a D390 while coming back from the test ride and now cant ride for 3 months because of a fractured knee cap.

Safe riding once again. Hope to catch up with you sometime.
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Old 27th October 2017, 11:16   #9
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Default Re: Double graduation - From a Honda Dio to a Kawasaki Ninja 300

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Originally Posted by abhishek46 View Post
The finish and quality of components on this bike is no less than million rupee superbikes, as per my assessment too.
And lastly, the refinement of that parallel twin has to experienced first hand to believe, it's really that refined!
Thanks. I see that some of the parts are shared with the big bikes in the stable, like the footpegs, headlights, controls and so. No doubt the parts might be expensive, but the moment you touch them and feel the finishing, you will feel its worth the price paid.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
Kawasakis are available only in Green?
If thats a serious question, in principle they were. Even today, the majority of the Indian portfolio comes in shades of Black and Green. The 650 has an all black option, while the Z series have a blue option IIRC. So does the Ninja 1000 with an all black option. But the overall Kawasaki theme is in Green and Black. Heck, even the dealership is painted black and when it stands next to the KTM dealership with orange thrown all around, one does not even recognize the Kawa dealership at first glance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Avinash_R View Post
Congrats on the purchase (once again) audioholic.

Please invest in good riding gear. I know you got the jacket but get shoes, knee protectors etc. I fell off a D390 while coming back from the test ride and now cant ride for 3 months because of a fractured knee cap.

Safe riding once again. Hope to catch up with you sometime.
Thanks for all the wishes Avinash. I should be investing in a good set of knee protectors and gloves soon. But shoes I am unsure of since its difficult for me to carry an extra pair of shoes to office everytime I take the bike. Apart from riding to office, I am not having plans of doing any long distance touring as such.

Since I travel to Germany often, I am planning to hunt for some gear. My next trip is coming up in November hence I will look out for some then. Until then, I am not buying gear. I wish you a speedy recovery and lets catch up for a ride soon after you get your bike. If you want to visit Rideventur sometime, I would love to tag along.
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Old 27th October 2017, 11:28   #10
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Default Re: Double graduation - From a Honda Dio to a Kawasaki Ninja 300

Congratulations mate, wishing you lots of happy years of riding.

I almost booked the N650 and now N400 is launched, i will wait for N400 to come to india and then decide between one of the two. The wait continues.
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Old 27th October 2017, 11:29   #11
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Default Re: Double graduation - From a Honda Dio to a Kawasaki Ninja 300

Congratulations on the bike. The 300 is such a beautiful machine to ride- we have the first one delivered in white from when she was launched. The IRC tires are absolute crap so get rid of them as and when you can. The only changes we have made is put a Akrapovic slip on and the double bubble screen.

Pics below!

Double graduation - From a Honda Dio to a Kawasaki Ninja 300-img_9240.jpg

Double graduation - From a Honda Dio to a Kawasaki Ninja 300-img_9243.jpg

Happy and safe riding!

Last edited by Rehaan : 27th October 2017 at 13:11. Reason: Rotating pics :)
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Old 27th October 2017, 11:44   #12
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Default Re: Double graduation - From a Honda Dio to a Kawasaki Ninja 300

First congratulations on a superb buy, she looks beautiful in that KRT scheme.


Excellent paint quality:
Attachment 1688509

Curious to know what is that extended frame like(not sure what to call it), I'm guessing you meant it is the integrated strap to hook luggage. It is an accessory from the showroom or you bought?
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Old 27th October 2017, 11:52   #13
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Default Re: Double graduation - From a Honda Dio to a Kawasaki Ninja 300

Double graduation - From a Honda Dio to a Kawasaki Ninja 300-img_20171001_072513.jpg

Recently got a chance to ride along with the Kawasaki Ninja 300 and I have to say, it is a brilliant motorcycle, and I say this not because of the build quality or candy colors.

Being a sedate rider I had under geared my P220 to suit my riding style as with the stock 36T she'd knock like crazy when pulling away with load from any speeds below 80 kmph, so when I got to know that the Ninja pulls clean from 45 kmph in final gear I was dumbfounded.

I did expect a multi cylinder motor to outshine a single cylinder in terms of acceleration and top end performance, but had no clue that the low resistance to displacement per cylinder would also have an impact on the low end performance.

And regarding your bike, I'm a fan of the grab rail. Expecting more pics and long rides.
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Old 27th October 2017, 12:02   #14
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Default Re: Double graduation - From a Honda Dio to a Kawasaki Ninja 300

Quote:
Originally Posted by RohanDheman View Post
The IRC tires are absolute crap so get rid of them as and when you can. The only changes we have made is put a Akrapovic slip on and the double bubble screen.

Pics below!
Tyres are on their way out. The only problem is I am not aware of a trusted place to get the whole setup removed for changing the tyres. If only it were as simple as a car, I would have bid goodbye to the IRC. They are also up for sale on classifieds. Hoping to find a shop soon and get them swapped. Pointers would be welcome.

If given a choice between the Michellin Pilot street and Pirelli Diablos, which one would be a better choice? I see that the price difference between them is meager. Hence want feedback from people here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cartik5477 View Post

Curious to know what is that extended frame like(not sure what to call it), I'm guessing you meant it is the integrated strap to hook luggage. It is an accessory from the showroom or you bought?
Quote:
Originally Posted by ashwinprakas View Post
Attachment 1689623

Recently got a chance to ride along with the Kawasaki Ninja 300 and I have to say, it is a brilliant motorcycle, and I say this not because of the build quality or candy colors.

And regarding your bike, I'm a fan of the grab rail. Expecting more pics and long rides.
I hope you are kidding The Grab rails are some mandatory feature like the saree guard which gets fitted for India specific bikes. I had already removed the saree guard. But this one is still pending. I will remove it this weekend if time permits.

Regarding driveability, it is fantastic. Yes, it can pull in 6th gear from 40-45kmph and except for the fact that pickup is poor, there is still no complaints or vibrations. I find myself in higher gears sooner but the need to downshift is hardly present unless sudden acceleration is required.
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Old 27th October 2017, 12:08   #15
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Default Re: Double graduation - From a Honda Dio to a Kawasaki Ninja 300

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Originally Posted by audioholic View Post
I hope you are kidding The Grab rails are some mandatory feature like the saree guard which gets fitted for India specific bikes.
My bad, I have never seen that on any N300 so didn't realize
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