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Discussion Starter #1
just wondering how everyone feels about the r3 compared to the ninja 300? if you could choose one which would it be and for what reasons? im buying a bike in the next couple weeks and have always liked ninjas but the r3 looks great. plus the dealer doesn't have any r3s yet obviously
 

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Since I've owned 3 Ninja 300s (2 white 2013s and a white 2014 with decals and ABS) I want to get an R3. I just trade a lot and although there were a couple of issues with the Ninja 300...fairing gaps on all three even though I only had the 2014 gaps fixed, dying when you pulled the clutch in on both 2013s, which was eventually fixed with new ECUs, but after I had already traded both of the 2013s in. The 2014 was a much better bike for me since they had fixed the stalling issues. Compared to the R3, the Ninja has a slightly higher seat, a slightly longer wheel base, a little larger gas tank, a slipper clutch standard and ABS optional, and a tried and true engine and fueling. Kawa is noted for their engines more than their fit and finish. I don't think you can go wrong with a Ninja 300. The R3 should be a little faster, accelerate a little faster too, but I doubt that will be significant unless you are racing. Really, I would look at other things if I had never owned either bike...cost, are there used bikes available that would serve my purpose, is one dealer closer or better than the other, which bike do I think looks better, how important is ABS and a slipper clutch (because the R3 has neither in the US), and do I want the bike very soon or will a month or 2 or 3 still be OK?
 

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The Ninja is a great bike. Has been the standard for many beginners, and even experienced riders in the 300cc class.

The R3 has a great look to me, and I also like that it is a new design for Yamaha in the 300cc class.

If I were you I'd think about which bike you'd be willing to wait for. I'm sure you can pick up the Ninja locally whenever you'd like, however, it looks to be as if you might wait a bit longer for the R3.

Don't let people make you think that the ABS is so great and amazing to have as a beginner. If you have common sense, and understand the capabilities of the bike you should be just fine.

The reviewers only bring up the slipper clutch as a down point because of the Ninja having one. It will only play a marginal role when at the track. If the main use for the bike is commuting and other daily tasks the R3 would be an excellent choice.

Plus, once it has been out a while the aftermarket for it will have all types of parts for it if you're interesting in tracking it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
thanks for the reply.


I am really not willing to wait all that much longer im just too excited. I will probably be getting one of them in the first week of april (which is when my dealer said it would be in). ive been leaning tords the r3 for a lot of reasons but was worried about the lack of a slipper clutch. as for cosmetics i was really upset to find out kawi didn't make the 300 in black other than the special edition one, and i don't really like the white, so i would be stuck with the green which i do like i just really wanted black. and the r3 just looks way cooler plus has more power. i really hope the r3s will be in by the beginning of april.
 

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I have had 2 Ninja 250’s and currently one of my bikes is a 14’ Ninja 300. I haven’t seen an R3 in person, nor had a chance to ride one, but even if I had I’m not sure there is a “better” option across the board since it’s such a personal choice and mostly based on your expectations and usage. In this range of bike that is often considered a beginner bike there are now several options that could fill the void for not only a beginner but also veterans for a lifetime of riding.

If I were in your position today I would try to wait until I could see both bikes in person before making my decision (but we all know sometimes that just isn’t possible, lol), some bikes photograph well, others not, and the same could be said for seeing some in person. In either case I would call around and try to get some solid insurance quotes with exactly the same coverage for both bikes so you know what you are dealing with there. Short story regarding insurance… before the Honda Grom’s came out I was the first one to make deposits at my local dealer, my plan was to buy 2 so my wife and I could ride (she has had other bikes as well) and occasionally lend one to a close friend for a day of riding together, well I call up for insurance quotes but since the bike was new they didn’t have a way to rate it except that it was a Honda “sportbike” and put it into the high rick category which would have resulted in insane premiums… more than my Triumph Thruxton and Honda CRF250L I had at the time. After calling 3 different companies I decided I didn’t want to fight that fight and put that on hold. They have since revaluated all of that and are fairly cheap but I didn’t want to deal with that for months while they figured it all out.

A personal item for myself is to never buy the first model of anything… relating to motorcycles they usually iron out any kinks in the first year and if you are like me and into modifications they are usually slim pickings and slow to market at first as well… again waiting for stuff to become available. Specific to the Ninja 300… my 2014 model has not had any fueling or “fairing pop” issues that were most common with the 2013’s (first year model). I like the slipper clutch but it wasn’t a show stopper for me, I also opted for the ABS on my bikes when available (my 300 and Victory but wasn’t available on my FZ09), again not a show stopper but I figure nice to have still. Whichever one you do decide on don’t do any shopping around after you already have one, unless you are like AJ Nin and I and like to buy new bikes often, LOL. I can talk myself into new bikes pretty quickly and often have 3-4 and buy 2 a year, it’s a fun hobby… but expensive.

With all that said I think the R3 is a sweet bike, sure to be a hit and I would consider it against the Ninja 300 for sure. It’s all calculated decisions and with the latest offerings of smaller sport bikes I love the fact that we now have choices from several different manufactures.

A question for you, is this your first bike? Maybe a used 300 would suit you well for a year or two before buying a new 300 or R3? I have taught several friends how to ride and it hurts to see someone slip and drop their brand new bike in the driveway or forget to put the kickstand down at the gas station and drop it. Last note… if you are a new rider budget for quality gear and I always recommend a safety riders course too.
 

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I have had 2 Ninja 250’s and currently one of my bikes is a 14’ Ninja 300. I haven’t seen an R3 in person, nor had a chance to ride one, but even if I had I’m not sure there is a “better” option across the board since it’s such a personal choice and mostly based on your expectations and usage. In this range of bike that is often considered a beginner bike there are now several options that could fill the void for not only a beginner but also veterans for a lifetime of riding.

If I were in your position today I would try to wait until I could see both bikes in person before making my decision (but we all know sometimes that just isn’t possible, lol), some bikes photograph well, others not, and the same could be said for seeing some in person. In either case I would call around and try to get some solid insurance quotes with exactly the same coverage for both bikes so you know what you are dealing with there. Short story regarding insurance… before the Honda Grom’s came out I was the first one to make deposits at my local dealer, my plan was to buy 2 so my wife and I could ride (she has had other bikes as well) and occasionally lend one to a close friend for a day of riding together, well I call up for insurance quotes but since the bike was new they didn’t have a way to rate it except that it was a Honda “sportbike” and put it into the high rick category which would have resulted in insane premiums… more than my Triumph Thruxton and Honda CRF250L I had at the time. After calling 3 different companies I decided I didn’t want to fight that fight and put that on hold. They have since revaluated all of that and are fairly cheap but I didn’t want to deal with that for months while they figured it all out.

A personal item for myself is to never buy the first model of anything… relating to motorcycles they usually iron out any kinks in the first year and if you are like me and into modifications they are usually slim pickings and slow to market at first as well… again waiting for stuff to become available. Specific to the Ninja 300… my 2014 model has not had any fueling or “fairing pop” issues that were most common with the 2013’s (first year model). I like the slipper clutch but it wasn’t a show stopper for me, I also opted for the ABS on my bikes when available (my 300 and Victory but wasn’t available on my FZ09), again not a show stopper but I figure nice to have still. Whichever one you do decide on don’t do any shopping around after you already have one, unless you are like AJ Nin and I and like to buy new bikes often, LOL. I can talk myself into new bikes pretty quickly and often have 3-4 and buy 2 a year, it’s a fun hobby… but expensive.

With all that said I think the R3 is a sweet bike, sure to be a hit and I would consider it against the Ninja 300 for sure. It’s all calculated decisions and with the latest offerings of smaller sport bikes I love the fact that we now have choices from several different manufactures.

A question for you, is this your first bike? Maybe a used 300 would suit you well for a year or two before buying a new 300 or R3? I have taught several friends how to ride and it hurts to see someone slip and drop their brand new bike in the driveway or forget to put the kickstand down at the gas station and drop it. Last note… if you are a new rider budget for quality gear and I always recommend a safety riders course too.

+1 What Slolane said. Definitely, if your a new rider invest in safety course and gears before spending it all on your starter bike. You really can't go wrong with either, but if I was gonna buy a new starter bike this year I would go with the Ninja 300. You will get a pretty good price for one that is 2014 and barely ridden with a lot of option on the market to mod the bike if you wanted too. Most people don't stay to long on 300cc so spending less on your starter bike will give you more money on gears and money for your next bike. Pros on the Ninja is that it has ABS option and a slipper clutch. Veteran will say it's not really necessary but for new rider it's better for them to be safe than sorry. The R3 is awesome but I wouldn't buy the first year model because they usually 99% has some kind of recall or issue. Not only that I think they rushed the R3 production. If you noticed how they introduced the R25 and then KTM hit them with the RC390. They kind of push back on the R25 and introduced the R3 as a competition. So to me I think I would wait for the 2nd gen before trying the R3. As I said earlier you can't go wrong with either just depends on what your long term goal is. GL!
 

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just wondering how everyone feels about the r3 compared to the ninja 300? if you could choose one which would it be and for what reasons? im buying a bike in the next couple weeks and have always liked ninjas but the r3 looks great. plus the dealer doesn't have any r3s yet obviously

my local dealership just dropped the price on all 2014 ninja 300s by a thousand dollars... MSRP of 4299

thats $700 less than the R3 and it features the slipper clutch... R3's only real disadvantage...

the choice isnt getting any easier for me...

you should call around and check prices on the ninja... im a fan of the R3 but not a fanatic... $700 less with a slipper clutch vs a 1st gen bike is reason enough for me to jump ship

if the price has dropped at your local dealership.. you can use this information to your advantage and offer less to used 2013 and 2014 on craigslist or cycle trader or what not...

good luck.. im gonna need it cause this isnt getting any easier actually its a really tough choice right now...
 

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my local dealership just dropped the price on all 2014 ninja 300s by a thousand dollars... MSRP of 4299

thats $700 less than the R3 and it features the slipper clutch... R3's only real disadvantage...

the choice isnt getting any easier for me...

you should call around and check prices on the ninja... im a fan of the R3 but not a fanatic... $700 less with a slipper clutch vs a 1st gen bike is reason enough for me to jump ship

if the price has dropped at your local dealership.. you can use this information to your advantage and offer less to used 2013 and 2014 on craigslist or cycle trader or what not...

good luck.. im gonna need it cause this isnt getting any easier actually its a really tough choice right now...


Wow, $1k off of the Ninja... my position would be to pounce on that!


As note, in my experience... when dealerships (or manufactures) slash the price of a model for a short period it rarely trickles down to the used market for very long or at all.


See you on the Ninja 300 forums! ;)
 

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Wow, $1k off of the Ninja... my position would be to pounce on that!

See you on the Ninja 300 forums! ;)
my only reservation is because of my dui last year.. im looking at $2300/yr in insurance....

it would only be $500/yr for a zuma 125... but i cant do what a ninja does on a little 125cc

??
 

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Dang, for that much insurance I would go with a scooter for a while until I saved up and bought a sport bike for cash.
 

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Dang, for that much insurance I would go with a scooter for a while until I saved up and bought a sport bike for cash.
i have the cash for it.... i could buy it out right and put just liability on bike... but i would still want comprehension insurance because it covers theft and vandalism in case the bike gets pushed over or stolen...

we all know how easy it is to steal a bike...

my problem is im super indecisive...

a new zuma 125 $3000 OTD insurance 500yr
a new ninja 300 $4000 OTD insuace 2,000yr
a new R3... lets say $5800 OTD insurance ??? maybe same as ninja unitl we know how it will be classified..
 

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i have the cash for it.... i could buy it out right and put just liability on bike... but i would still want comprehension insurance because it covers theft and vandalism in case the bike gets pushed over or stolen...

we all know how easy it is to steal a bike...

my problem is im super indecisive...

a new zuma 125 $3000 OTD insurance 500yr
a new ninja 300 $4000 OTD insuace 2,000yr
a new R3... lets say $5800 OTD insurance ??? maybe same as ninja unitl we know how it will be classified..

Some companies also offer adding theft and/or vandalism without full comprehensive. Just a thought you may want to explore.

I would anticipate the R3 insurance to be much more than the Ninja 300 until they discover the proper category for it then once they educate themselves I would expect it to be about the same as the Ninja 300... all guesses.
 

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Thank you all for such a great thread! My decision would be between a 2004 Ninja 300 within a couple of months or a 2016 R3.
 

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That's what I would do too. Although nobody has reported bugs with the R3, it is common for the first year to have fueling issues even though there were not major changes from the parent model. This happened to the Ninja 300 when they went from 250r to 300. You could argue that the fuel injection was new, but it really wasn't because other markets had fuel injected 250r's for years, but the 2013 Ninja 300 (first year for the bike) had stalling issues that required a recall to replace all the ECUs. There was also a recall for the ABS system. These problems were corrected by the time the 2014s came out. Almost certainly, ABS will be an option in 2016. The problem with new bikes is often that it takes a long time before the company deals with issues you may notice from day one. My 2013 Ninja 300 stalled twice when I was riding around the dealers lot, so I knew there was an issue immediately. Kawasaki never even acknowledged there was an issue for many months even though the Forums were buzzing with stalling problems. They only fixed the issue after someone was rear-ended due to the stall. So if you do have an issue, you are likely to have to live with it a long time. The other issue of course is that this is April already, and many 2015 models have been out since October 2014. I picked up my 2015 FZ-07 in August, 2014, and my 2015 CB300F in Sept, 2014, and these were both new bikes for this year, and yes, I have had new-model issues with both of these bikes, including some stalling with the FZ-07 and detonation with the CB300F, although nothing as bad as with the first Ninja 300s.
 

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I am also hesitating between the ninja 300 and the r3. The CBR300 was also on the list but after seeing it in person it felt too small (I am 6'1).

As it stands I will wait later in the year before buying a motorcycle (August/September) so by then we will see if the first gen of R3's have any problems and if they do we will see if yamaha fixes them. Will also try to get some discounts too as it will be the end of the year and the r3 becomes more available.

Also my SO is really into the Ninja 300 and shes probably going for the ABS version which means I might get a bit of both motorcycles :D
 

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I would anticipate the R3 insurance to be much more than the Ninja 300 until they discover the proper category for it then once they educate themselves I would expect it to be about the same as the Ninja 300... all guesses.
I checked the CBR300R, CBR500R, and R3 for myself (37, no tickets, proper schoolin', on GEICO) and the rates were identical. I didn't check the Ninja 300, but I bet it is the same too. I've got full coverage because I'm paranoid, but it still isn't that bad. Collision is the expensive bit, at about $730 ($1000 deductible).

Back on topic, I didn't really care for the looks of the Ninja 300 vs. the other 300/500 bikes, but they are very well reviewed. I went with the R3 simply because I thought it was more bang for my dollar (and I could be the first kid on my block with one). That and the asking price for a used 250/300 in my area are so close to new, I figured I'd go with something with a warranty.
 

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I checked the CBR300R, CBR500R, and R3 for myself (37, no tickets, proper schoolin', on GEICO) and the rates were identical. I didn't check the Ninja 300, but I bet it is the same too. I've got full coverage because I'm paranoid, but it still isn't that bad. Collision is the expensive bit, at about $730 ($1000 deductible).

Back on topic, I didn't really care for the looks of the Ninja 300 vs. the other 300/500 bikes, but they are very well reviewed. I went with the R3 simply because I thought it was more bang for my dollar (and I could be the first kid on my block with one). That and the asking price for a used 250/300 in my area are so close to new, I figured I'd go with something with a warranty.




I'm sure you're going to love the R3, looks like a terrific bike.


I know zip code has a lot to do with it but I would shop around a bit more for insurance. (I'm 40, no tickets, school, homeowner, Progressive)...
My 2014 Ninja 300 with full coverage and $500 ded = $170/year.
My 2014 FZ09 with the same = $400/year.
I'm not running the states bare minimums, the coverage is elevated a bit too.
 
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