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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi everyone,

I'm a Motovlogger known as 'Spacep0d' on YouTube and have been testing loads of bikes for years now, along with other DIY vlogs for my Ninja 300. I'm also a super-moderator on the Kawasaki Ninja 300 site.

I just completed a review of the 2015 Yamaha Raven R3, and it got a good review from me. I also compared it to both my memory of the stock 300 and my 300 in it's modded form. I think a lot of you will enjoy this as I experience the R3 for the first time.

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
How you doing Spacepod!!! I remember you from the Kawi300 forum when I had my Ninja. Great to see a review of the R3 from you.
Thanks! Thought I would come and see how you're all doing here. :D I was happy to finally be able to review and compare it to the 300. I still have yet to ride the RC 390 and CBR300R.
 

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Hi everyone,

I'm a Motovlogger known as 'Spacep0d' on YouTube and have been testing loads of bikes for years now, along with other DIY vlogs for my Ninja 300. I'm also a super-moderator on the Kawasaki Ninja 300 site.

I just completed a review of the 2015 Yamaha Raven R3, and it got a good review from me. I also compared it to both my memory of the stock 300 and my 300 in it's modded form. I think a lot of you will enjoy this as I experience the R3 for the first time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DxoxiHreDSw
What part of SoCal do you hail from?
 

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This is great!.. thanks for sharing this awesome review!!
 
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Great review. That is pretty much spot on. I like the way you compared it to your bike and also have a new rider tell the difference. I personally think this is the new hot bed of sport bikes. Cheaper insurance,better mileage, and you can go through the gears without losing your license LOL.
 

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Thanks! Thought I would come and see how you're all doing here. :D I was happy to finally be able to review and compare it to the 300. I still have yet to ride the RC 390 and CBR300R.
I almost bought a RC390, but no one had it in stock at the time here in the Bay Area. Looks like such a fun bike. The salesman at the KTM dealer said they were only receiving 4 for the year and they all had deposits on them already (not sure how accurate that was though). I went straight to the Yamaha dealer and bought the R3 the same day. **** Impulse buys!!! I guess I really wanted a new bike that day. Haha.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Great review. That is pretty much spot on. I like the way you compared it to your bike and also have a new rider tell the difference. I personally think this is the new hot bed of sport bikes. Cheaper insurance,better mileage, and you can go through the gears without losing your license LOL.
Thanks! Yeah it was great to hear his genuine thoughts in comparing his stock R3 to a very-nicely modded 300. I know it's apples to oranges, but the stock R3 holds up well to a modded 300 and vice versa. Of course, one can mod the R3 and improve it in many areas too. Out of the box, I was really impressed with the R3 and I think it's better in many ways than a stock 300 (levers, riding position, gear indicator, etc.).
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I almost bought a RC390, but no one had it in stock at the time here in the Bay Area. Looks like such a fun bike. The salesman at the KTM dealer said they were only receiving 4 for the year and they all had deposits on them already (not sure how accurate that was though). I went straight to the Yamaha dealer and bought the R3 the same day. **** Impulse buys!!! I guess I really wanted a new bike that day. Haha.
Ah, well now you have a great bike with an expansive dealer-network. ;) The rarity of the RC 390 is cool, but it's also a single, has been panned on its fit and finish and vibration and dealers will be much harder to find.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Hey everyone!

I test rode Michael's 2015 Raven R3 again, this time with lots of mods and on a road with a bit more pace to it (Angeles Crest Highway) and it was mostly uncrowded except for some annoyingly slow cagers on the main section. The bike now has a full Yoshimura R-77 exhaust, though it needs a tune to fully unlock the benefits of a full-exhaust. Michael and I weigh roughly the same I think or within 10 lbs. of each other. I basically rode the modded R3 and modded Ninja 300 back-to-back, so you can hear the slight differences in the engine sounds. We also did a little head-to-head comparo of acceleration in a deserted section (closed course in Mexico) just to see if the R3 would fare better against the 300 (near end of vid). I'd like to do some real testing on another closed course with a best three out of five, after the R3 has a proper tune for its full-exhaust. The 300 has a quickshifter so this would give any bike fits (despite a terrible launch).

All in all it was a fun test and once I got comfortable on the R3 I started really enjoying it, especially as the pace went up a bit.

This ride was fun because we had THREE R3 riders and one Ninja 300 (ZX-3R) rider. Great little lightweight sportbike wolfpack having fun in the twisties.

Hope ye enjoy!

 

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I sold my 2009 Ninja250 after getting the R3 and have ridden the Ninja300 many times over several years at the excellent family owned dealer and at festival demos. There are a few things I like better about the R3. The first thing I notice is that the balance shaft engine is really smooth. Much less buzz than the Ninja. Less tingle than an I4 actually, compared to the FZ6R or the CB650F.
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The second thing I like better about the R3 is the ride quality. The R3 is much smoother over wash board or rough roads than the post gen Ninja250 which tends to buck by comparison. The R3 has an uncanny long wheel base feel even though it isn't any longer and is just as quick to turn in. Being smoother makes the R3 the better sport touring bike for all day rides. It is a bit soft for the track though where rough changes to body position are more noticeable.
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And the engine makes way more power on the bottom end which makes it a better commuter. Cranking the throttle on the Ninja250 at 4,000 is kind of like, not cranking the throttle. Don't even get me started about the carbs on the catalyst Ninjas which never run right in temps below 45F. The R3 is also surprisingly better on gas even though it can make more power. The O2 sensor that the 49 state Ninja300's lack and large cat run really clean. You can warm the bike in the garage while checking the tires with no fumes. Don't pollute.
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The R3 seat is a bit soft but there is way more room around the tank for longer legs. I didn't notice the bars as being narrow. The plastic tank covers mean I need a new tank bag with straps.
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The headlights on the R3 are killer! The best pattern of any bike I've ever seen. Drop in an HID and there is still a perfectly sharp vertical cut off so no oncoming drivers can whine about glare even though you now have plenty of brilliant white light. The flash to pass button is trick as is the dash on a bike of this price including a gear indicator, programmable shift light and trip meter with fuel economy. They put a lot in there.
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I'm not a Ninja hater. The sticker on the back of my daughter's car still says Ninja Girl. But the Yamaha ticks more boxes for me than the Ninja300 and I was dissappointed to see Kawasaki drop the extensive demo program at the same time Yamaha and Honda are increasing theirs. So I am very happy to support the new bike in town and put my money where my mouth is on these light weight world bikes. And buy the R3.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I sold my 2009 Ninja250 after getting the R3 and have ridden the Ninja300 many times over several years at the excellent family owned dealer and at festival demos. There are a few things I like better about the R3. The first thing I notice is that the balance shaft engine is really smooth. Much less buzz than the Ninja. Less tingle than an I4 actually, compared to the FZ6R or the CB650F.
.

The second thing I like better about the R3 is the ride quality. The R3 is much smoother over wash board or rough roads than the post gen Ninja250 which tends to buck by comparison. The R3 has an uncanny long wheel base feel even though it isn't any longer and is just as quick to turn in. Being smoother makes the R3 the better sport touring bike for all day rides. It is a bit soft for the track though where rough changes to body position are more noticeable.
.

And the engine makes way more power on the bottom end which makes it a better commuter. Cranking the throttle on the Ninja250 at 4,000 is kind of like, not cranking the throttle. Don't even get me started about the carbs on the catalyst Ninjas which never run right in temps below 45F. The R3 is also surprisingly better on gas even though it can make more power. The O2 sensor that the 49 state Ninja300's lack and large cat run really clean. You can warm the bike in the garage while checking the tires with no fumes. Don't pollute.
.

The R3 seat is a bit soft but there is way more room around the tank for longer legs. I didn't notice the bars as being narrow. The plastic tank covers mean I need a new tank bag with straps.
.

The headlights on the R3 are killer! The best pattern of any bike I've ever seen. Drop in an HID and there is still a perfectly sharp vertical cut off so no oncoming drivers can whine about glare even though you now have plenty of brilliant white light. The flash to pass button is trick as is the dash on a bike of this price including a gear indicator, programmable shift light and trip meter with fuel economy. They put a lot in there.
.

I'm not a Ninja hater. The sticker on the back of my daughter's car still says Ninja Girl. But the Yamaha ticks more boxes for me than the Ninja300 and I was dissappointed to see Kawasaki drop the extensive demo program at the same time Yamaha and Honda are increasing theirs. So I am very happy to support the new bike in town and put my money where my mouth is on these light weight world bikes. And buy the R3.
To be fair, the Ninja 250 shouldn't even make an appearance in this comparison, as the 300 is a totally different animal. ;) I used to own a 99 Ninja 250 but man, the bikes are so different that I don't even talk about the 250 anymore. I mean, the 300 is fuel-injected, has bigger tires, a whole new chassis and instrumentation, slipper clutch, etc.

There's a lot to like about the R3. I think Michael's bike would have done much better (in our little acceleration test) if his bike had a full-tine and quickshifter.

The clips on the R3 felt narrow compared to my Woodcraft clip-ons, and maybe the R3 has adjustable clip-ons. Maybe not. It would be nice to adjust them and anyone can put aftermarket clip-ons on the R3 too.

The R3 looks and feels great. The tank is a little smaller (3.7 gallons) compared to the Ninja's 4.5 gallons but these bikes get at least 50mpg and as your own measurements indicate, are capable of 70 MPH+. You might need a break before your bike does but it's nice to have the choice to keep going on longer trips.

That Ninja 300 slipper-clutch is really nice. I noticed when I didn't have it, and most supersports and literbikes have slipper clutches. So, if you're used to it, the Ninja 300 doesn't disappoint. Otherwise, it's a good opportunity to practice rev-matching and clean downshifts.

All in all, I am super happy to see Yamaha, Honda, Kawasaki, BMW (naked 300 class), KTM and even Hyosung all in the 300 game. I think BMW will probably make a 'sportbike' variant of their naked G310R as well. It would be crazy not to. ;)

All of this is good for us rider, regardless of whether we're just starting-out or experience riders who happen to love a small sportbike we can build-on.
 

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To be fair, the Ninja 250 shouldn't even make an appearance in this comparison, as the 300 is a totally different animal. ;) I used to own a 99 Ninja 250 but man, the bikes are so different that I don't even talk about the 250 anymore.
To be fair, a 99 Ninja250 shouldn't make an appearance in the discussion of a 2009 Ninja250. The chassis are totally different. The Chassis of the 2009 that I was comparing my R3 to, and 2013 Ninja300 are the same. And I have ridden the Ninja300 on six different occasions over two years. Was going to buy one. Until the R3 came out. These are nit picks but true just the same. The Ninja300 engine is a bit buzzier and has less roll on power from 4-7k rpm than the R3 and uses a bit more gas. And the ride quality for commuting and touring is way smoother on the R3 even if it's a little soft for the track. Don't know about the Ninja300 headlight but the 2009 pattern wasn't very good. The R3 has the most perfect low beam pattern of any vehicle I have ever seen. Identical to high end Mercedes bi zenon projectors. I do like the windscreen scheme on the Ninja300 and newer Ninja650 better though. Adjustable and easy to upgrade with four screws.
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The Ninja300 is a great bike. The R3 is a great bike. The CBR300 is a great bike and very dialed in and great on gas. But lacks a little power for larger riders. The CBR500R is a great sport touring/ commuter bike and big enough to ride two. Very smooth engine. It's hard to tell if it is running when you start it. And the low redline means it is also great on gas and you don't have to ride around in third gear. To bad they ditched the ultra useful grab bars.
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Great times for World bike selection.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
To be fair, a 99 Ninja250 shouldn't make an appearance in the discussion of a 2009 Ninja250. The chassis are totally different. The Chassis of the 2009 that I was comparing my R3 to, and 2013 Ninja300 are the same. And I have ridden the Ninja300 on six different occasions over two years. Was going to buy one. Until the R3 came out. These are nit picks but true just the same. The Ninja300 engine is a bit buzzier and has less roll on power from 4-7k rpm than the R3 and uses a bit more gas. And the ride quality for commuting and touring is way smoother on the R3 even if it's a little soft for the track. Don't know about the Ninja300 headlight but the 2009 pattern wasn't very good. The R3 has the most perfect low beam pattern of any vehicle I have ever seen. Identical to high end Mercedes bi zenon projectors. I do like the windscreen scheme on the Ninja300 and newer Ninja650 better though. Adjustable and easy to upgrade with four screws.
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The Ninja300 is a great bike. The R3 is a great bike. The CBR300 is a great bike and very dialed in and great on gas. But lacks a little power for larger riders. The CBR500R is a great sport touring/ commuter bike and big enough to ride two. Very smooth engine. It's hard to tell if it is running when you start it. And the low redline means it is also great on gas and you don't have to ride around in third gear. To bad they ditched the ultra useful grab bars.
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Great times for World bike selection.
I bought my Ninja 300 in 2013 when Kawasaki released the first small-bore 300cc class bike (in response to Honda's single-cylinder 250R), and I've been smitten since—but there were not other 300 class sporties at the time. I don't know what I'd do if I had to choose between the R3 and 300 today. In stock form, there's a lot to like about the R3 beyond the 300...and that includes the gear indicator, modern instrument cluster, stock clip-ons and extra 20cc. The Ninja 300 has the slipper clutch like supersports and literbikes do and available ABS. Both bikes get insanely good gas mileage, even with the R3's smaller tank (3.7 gallon compared to the Ninja's 4.5 gallons). I think both bikes look great, and I think the R3 takes the day for way better-looking graphics where graphics are present. The Kawi design dept. can't seem to do graphics without overdoing it...and I say this as a professional artist. Yam keeps their designs ultra-clean and awesome-looking.

Either way, you can't go wrong and both marques enjoy a wide dealer network. I'm glad this 300 market is so hot (as most of us knew it would be if given half a chance), because the 250 market was popular but virtually ignored forever. I am just glad Kawi held the torch for all those years. Now, we have an embarrassment of riches and more to come.

I'm still curious to try the CBR286R (hehe) and BMW's new 300 class naked bike. I'm hoping Triumph releases a 375R triple...an idea I've already sent to them. ;0 We'll see. It would be amazing if they made a small-bore triple with available top-shelf components. I would trade-in for that in a heartbeat. :D
 

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I haven't heard anything about Triumph getting into this market but the new Honda RR might be pretty interesting albeit at a higher price point. Hopefully it won't be based on a 250 Asian market limit and they will take it right up to the Euro A2 power to weight limit of 40-44 hp and beat the rest of the 300 class bikes by 20-30 pounds depending on how much they spend on it.
 

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I'm hoping Triumph releases a 375R triple...an idea I've already sent to them. We'll see. It would be amazing if they made a small-bore triple with available top-shelf components. I would trade-in for that in a heartbeat.
That would be one sick bike. But it would also be very expensive. Anything with the "Triumph" name on it is expensive. I would expect a Triumph 375R Triple to be around $8,000. Especially if it had decent suspension and brakes.

I love doing hypothetical parts-bin engineering.
I designed in my head, a YAMAHA R7. You take a modified R3 chassis, put R6 suspension and brakes on it, and use the engine from the FZ-07! That would be my dream bike.
:nerd:
 

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That would be one sick bike. But it would also be very expensive. Anything with the "Triumph" name on it is expensive. I would expect a Triumph 375R Triple to be around $8,000. Especially if it had decent suspension and brakes.

I love doing hypothetical parts-bin engineering.
I designed in my head, a YAMAHA R7. You take a modified R3 chassis, put R6 suspension and brakes on it, and use the engine from the FZ-07! That would be my dream bike.
:nerd:
I hate how they make the smaller bikes nowadays with cheaper components. I understand they havea pricepoint to meet usually with smaller bikes. They should make 2 specs like the 675 and 675R, except in 375cc. I would be alright with paying a premium for better brakes, suspension and the "R" sticker. Stickered bikes get +hp anyways.

EDIT: Your engineering is missing the old school 250/400 Inline-4 engine.
 
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