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Discussion Starter #1
So I'm in the process of purchasing my first new bike, I've owned a couple used bikes from the 80's, currently I'm on a Ninja 250. I'm looking to step into the modern age with a modern bike, I enjoy the 250 currently but it would be nice to have some modern rider comforts out there. I'm not much of a track rider, just a commuter who likes to have fun. Nothing worse than sitting bumper to bumper in a Corolla...

Today I wanted to look at how the three bikes I'm considering stack up against one another: the CBR300R, the KTM Duke 390 and the Ninja 300R...

CBR300R



$4,500 (estimate from CBR250R)
30-35 hp
18.4 lb-ft
330 lbs (wet)
11-9.5 lbs/HP

  • Essentially a user friendly softcore introduction to sports biking
  • Diamond Frame with struss structure
  • Engine from CBR250R bored out to 300cc
  • low end grunt makes it sensible for city commutes
  • ABS available option
  • Styled like CBR500R
KTM Duke 390



$6,495
44 hp
26 lb-ft
320 lbs (wet)
7.27 lbs/HP

  • Nimble, highly adept at slicing through traffic
  • Handling keeps you engaged constantly, even after you get bored of the power
  • Upside down forks, trellis frame
  • Top P/W
  • Nakeds aren't always fun on track
  • Small range from 11 L tank
  • ABS Standard
Ninja 300R



$4,999
35 hp
21.38 lb-ft
385 lbs (wet)
11.09 lbs/HP

  • Bike that birthed the segment with friendly power band and easy dynamics
  • Torque shows up at 3K and pulls happily until the fun starts at 8K
  • Conventional telescopic forks, twin spar frame
  • Great city bike, fairing air flow dissipates heat even in stop and go traffic
  • Kawasaki jet fighter scream sounds best of the three

All great options, the Ninjette is basically the pinnacle of cheap Japanese performance for 20 years, the KTM brings something intangible to the table. It may not be the best commuter bike, the cheapest or the best looking but it brings quirks and it brings fun. Just like the girl in high school you let get away to go chasing the bombshell blonde Ducati that you could never handle anyways. Plus its naked, who doesn't like to party naked? But the CBR300R is also an excellent choice, slightly under powered vs the KTM especially but it fairs well against the Ninja for cheaper. It depends on what you are looking for, the CBR is frugal and fun, the Ninja likewise, the KTM looks to be the most fun but you are going to pay an extra ~$1500 for that fun....


I don't have my mind anywhere near made up but would love any input from the community :D
 

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I think the closest comparison would be to the Ninja 300.

i was just about to buy a Ninja 300 before I saw the CbR300 announcement and photos. It'll be very interesting to see how they compare. I'm going to wait around and see before I decide/
 

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Discussion Starter #3
UPDATE

Specs on the CBR300R just showed up, price still unknown.

30.4 hp
19.9 ft-lbs
362 pounds
11.9 lbs/HP
 

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Hmm a tad more power to weight ratio compared to the Ninja 300... But the Ninja does have more power...

It comes down to which one is more fun to handle.
 

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I'm basing my answer on the fact that what I have read makes it sound as if the CBR300 will be a CBR250 with a stroker engine with a more hp and torque, new exhaust and updated bodywork, but everything else will be essentially unchanged.

It sounds as if you are looking primarily for a commuter bike with some updated technology over the used bikes you have ridden. Most of what I have read has given the CBR250 high marks for comfort and ergonomics for commuters. The CBR250's power-band also seems geared towards relaxed commuter riding. The CBR300's extra oomph should only make that better. It will depend on your actual commute and what you think is comfortable, but the CBR250/300 seems like a good choice for you.

Some other considerations. There are new 2012 non-ABS CBR250Rs available in my area (Washington, DC Metro Area) for $3,300. This is a lower powered option than the three you listed, but that is certainly an attractive price and may go down even more over the next few months as the CBR300R comes to market.

If you are seriously considering the KTM at $6,500 you might also want to consider the CBR500R with ABS for the same price. Like the CBR250R, it has gotten good reviews as a commuter bike for its ergos and gas mileage. It even has a few more horsepower than the KTM.
 

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I highly agree. Considering how expensive the KTM is you could really start looking at the CBR500R as well. And that thing is a blast and still a great commuter.

The CBR300 is what the Ninja 300 is to the Ninja 250

They are just moving up to 300 from 250. Its still the same TYPE of motorcycle.
 

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Basically this is just Honda trying to keep up with the industry and possible shut Kawi out of the 300 game, I feel eventually the amount of CBR300's will 'overpower' the Ninja 300.
 

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So I'm in the process of purchasing my first new bike, I've owned a couple used bikes from the 80's, currently I'm on a Ninja 250. I'm looking to step into the modern age with a modern bike, I enjoy the 250 currently but it would be nice to have some modern rider comforts out there. I'm not much of a track rider, just a commuter who likes to have fun. Nothing worse than sitting bumper to bumper in a Corolla...

... I don't have my mind anywhere near made up but would love any input from the community :D
Based on what you're saying, I'd recommend giving some thought to what BeltwayBandit said about looking at a new, non-current CBR250R... not only will it fit the bill for the type of riding you're describing, you can save quite a bit of money right now on a 2012. And I have little doubt that the selling prices for 2013 CBR250R's will also drop by next spring when the 300R's finally make it onto the dealers showroom floors, if you are not ready to buy until then. New, non-current motorcycles come with the same factory warranty as well. The $1500 to $2000 you'd save on a new 2012 would also go a long way towards setting yourself up with some new, high quality riding gear.
 

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Based on what you're saying, I'd recommend giving some thought to what BeltwayBandit said about looking at a new, non-current CBR250R... not only will it fit the bill for the type of riding you're describing, you can save quite a bit of money right now on a 2012. And I have little doubt that the selling prices for 2013 CBR250R's will also drop by next spring when the 300R's finally make it onto the dealers showroom floors, if you are not ready to buy until then. New, non-current motorcycles come with the same factory warranty as well. The $1500 to $2000 you'd save on a new 2012 would also go a long way towards setting yourself up with some new, high quality riding gear.
Good point, $1500 - 2000 can get you a lot of nice stuff, just one of the perks with getting a 2012 model.

What would you get for that $1500-2000 saved?
 

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Based on what you're saying, I'd recommend giving some thought to what BeltwayBandit said about looking at a new, non-current CBR250R... not only will it fit the bill for the type of riding you're describing, you can save quite a bit of money right now on a 2012. And I have little doubt that the selling prices for 2013 CBR250R's will also drop by next spring when the 300R's finally make it onto the dealers showroom floors, if you are not ready to buy until then. New, non-current motorcycles come with the same factory warranty as well. The $1500 to $2000 you'd save on a new 2012 would also go a long way towards setting yourself up with some new, high quality riding gear.
agreed. the 2012 250s and evententually 2013 250s will get cleared out for a good price.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
thanks for all the input guys, I have looked at a couple of CBR250s, If i do pull the trigger on one of those it would be after the CBR300 hits the showrooms to take advantage of even greater cost reductions ;)

The only reason I'm really into the Duke is because a) its naked and sooo sexy, and b) it just seems to be a little more flickable than the Ninjette or CBR. The other thing about the KTM when looking at the CBR500R is that yes CBR has a few more ponies but its still a bathtub compared to the Duke. 390 wet weight clocks in at 385 lbs while CBR500 tips it at 425 lbs...

Still up in the air and likely will be up until I get a chance to have a sit on them...

In the meantime anything else in this range we could compare?
 

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I'd say thats about it really.

At least around this price range.
If you are willing to go up in price a little bit there are a few more options.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'd say thats about it really.

At least around this price range.
If you are willing to go up in price a little bit there are a few more options.
I'm willing to go up to $8K, thats what I figure OTD price on the Duke 390 will be. Now I'm also not itching to spend all $8K, I'm also very willing to explore CBR300/250 and spending some extra cake on minor mods...

Also just saw Suzuki is coming out with the GW250 which is more of a naked. MSRP $4K

 

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If you're willing to go up to $8k the FZ-09 by Yamaha is a great bike for the money, it's just not as sporty looking as the CBR300
 

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some writing I found comparing the CBR300 and the Ninja 300

2014 CBR 300R vs Ninja 300R:

Going by these figures, the new CBR300R are will fall behind the Kawasaki Ninja 300R which has a 296 cc engine under its belt. The Ninja eases out peak power of 39 bhp and 27.1 Nm of peak torque. So, the Ninja easily betters the CBR300R with its peak power and torque figures which are 39 bhp and 27.1 Nm respectively.

Being a direct competitor to the Ninja 300R, the CBR300R manages to impress the buyers with the overall lesser kerb weight it has come with. The new CBR 300R comes with a kerb weight of 164 kgs which is 3 kilos lighter than the C-ABS fitted CBR250R. However the kerb weight comparison gets much more impressive when the CBR300R stands against the Ninja.

Kawasaki Ninja weighs 174 kgs when it is fully loaded which is almost 10 kgs higher than the CBR 300R. This decrease in weight can be attributed to the adaptation of Fireblade’s design philosophy for the CBR300R. The lighter panels and sportier design aesthetics of the Fireblade has helped in shedding much weight.

Coming to the brakes and tyres, the CBR 300R will get much bigger brakes both in the front and the rear C-ABS will be available as an option in this upcoming model. 110/70-17 and 140/70-17 will be the size of the tire doing duties in the new CBR300R in the front and the rear respectively.
 

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some writing I found comparing the CBR300 and the Ninja 300

2014 CBR 300R vs Ninja 300R:

Going by these figures, the new CBR300R are will fall behind the Kawasaki Ninja 300R which has a 296 cc engine under its belt. The Ninja eases out peak power of 39 bhp and 27.1 Nm of peak torque. So, the Ninja easily betters the CBR300R with its peak power and torque figures which are 39 bhp and 27.1 Nm respectively.

Being a direct competitor to the Ninja 300R, the CBR300R manages to impress the buyers with the overall lesser kerb weight it has come with. The new CBR 300R comes with a kerb weight of 164 kgs which is 3 kilos lighter than the C-ABS fitted CBR250R. However the kerb weight comparison gets much more impressive when the CBR300R stands against the Ninja.

Kawasaki Ninja weighs 174 kgs when it is fully loaded which is almost 10 kgs higher than the CBR 300R. This decrease in weight can be attributed to the adaptation of Fireblade’s design philosophy for the CBR300R. The lighter panels and sportier design aesthetics of the Fireblade has helped in shedding much weight.

Coming to the brakes and tyres, the CBR 300R will get much bigger brakes both in the front and the rear C-ABS will be available as an option in this upcoming model. 110/70-17 and 140/70-17 will be the size of the tire doing duties in the new CBR300R in the front and the rear respectively.
I'm curious, who is the source of this write up?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
If you're willing to go up to $8k the FZ-09 by Yamaha is a great bike for the money, it's just not as sporty looking as the CBR300
I've seen the FZ, it is a pretty sexy bike and the tripple sounds meann... But for what I'm after it would be a waste to let a pretty bike like that only shuffle back and forth to the office in traffic...

Plus as i get older and have more money to play with I can look and transitioning the CBR into a track only bike and then purchase something bigger for enjoying...

but yea right now, commuting...
 

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I'm willing to go up to $8K, thats what I figure OTD price on the Duke 390 will be. Now I'm also not itching to spend all $8K, I'm also very willing to explore CBR300/250 and spending some extra cake on minor mods...

Also just saw Suzuki is coming out with the GW250 which is more of a naked. MSRP $4K

Not my cup of tea when it comes to looks for the gw250. I'll stick with the CBR300R If I really had to, well at least out of these three.
 
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