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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Figured I'd give a real world, daily rider comparison from someone who's road both extensively. tl;dr buy the Kawi.

One of my best friends recently came into the market for a street bike so I sold him my beloved 300R.

I purchased it new a little under a year ago and put 11,000 miles on it. I did all the cosmetic mods and made it "sporty" with clip ons, rear sets, ss stainless lines, aggressive pads and Rosso ii's. I ran a full Yoshi system with EJK controller. I consider this as tricked out of a 300 you'd find short of a dedicated race bike.

The Kawi has proven itself superior in essentially every aspect. In categories;

Power delivery - feels like a sport bike, smooth delivery and really hits in high rpm. 3k rpm more to use than the CBR. Nearly 20mph higher top speed stock.

Tuning/fueling - ecu can be reflashed, no one offers this for the CBR. Tons of canned maps for every modification configuration, lots of people running PC5, the Honda has NONE that I've found. 5-6HP gains vs the less than 2HP gained from my tuned Honda.

Aftermarket parts - Again Kawi has a lot more support. More of everything to pick from, from cosmetics to engine internals.

QC/fitment - As everyone here has experienced the Honda has lots of squeaks, rattles and mystery sounds. Paint is extremely soft and seems to scratch looking at it. Ugly flat black header. Kawi is just put together nicer period, the Honda looks good but the Kawi looks AND feels better. No loose or mismatched bolts, poor panel fitment etc unlike most of the Honda in the recall years.

Comfort - the CBR wins here. Handlebars feel higher and the back seat fits nicely with the front making a very comfortable "rest". Kawi feels more "sport" style and there's a plastic gap between the 2 seats that will poke into you when scooted back. I'm comparing the two in stock form here, CBR was essentially "super sport" positioned after modding.

Features - Hinged gas lid on the Kawi and the baffle is much lower in the tank, I have no idea what Honda was thinking with their gas cap and baffle, horrible design. No more holding the gas pump handle at half way to avoid splash back. Kawi has actual helmet lock and a trunk space not divided by a plastic ridge. Kawi has spots for tie downs, none on the Honda. Instrumentation lighting and layout is brighter and better thought out on the Kawi, as well as placement of horn and signals. Kawi has a passing light feature, Honda doesn't.

Fuel mileage/capacity - Kawi is up an entire gallon of fuel compared to the Honda's 3.4g tank. Difference in mileage is negligible. Ninja also features an "eco" indicator light that, if you abide by, will make up almost all the difference in mileage.

Price/Availability - the last couple of years the Honda has always ran $500-$1000 cheaper than the Kawi. The Ninja 400 has arrived in stores and now every dealer is pushing them out for huge discounts just like the CBR250's went for. I bought my 2016 Ninja 300 for $3,600 out the door, over $400 less than I gave for my 2015 CBR300R.

In summary - I'm not hating on the CBR, loved every single day with it. But if I had it to do it over again I'd have got the Kawi even if it was more expensive. There will be much more room to grow with it. I had test road both bikes as well as an R3 before buying the Honda and a lot of this stuff wasn't apparent at first, even the stark difference in power I think most people would miss because who flogs a new bike hard enough on the test ride to get at the 9k+ rpm "fun zone" on these little bikes? I'll be sticking around though, for technical advice and stuff since I'll still be wrenching on and occasionally riding the Honda.
 

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It sounds to me like you bought the wrong bike the first time round.

I agree with some of your points like the unhinged fuel cap and baffle in the way but not the quality of finish and fitment. Mine was top notch and the CBR250R I had before that too.

The extra fuel capacity of the Ninja is a double edged sword as it makes the bike heavier too, and it makes the wet weight figure of the Ninja 300 look porky. You may have noticed Kawasaki has dropped the fuel tank capacity back to 14 liters for the new 400.

Do you ride the twisties much? Cos the Ninja 300 has a really slow steering rake angle of 27 degrees whereas the CBR turns in really nicely at 25.3. Again, this has been addressed with the 400 model which has been pulled into a super steep 24.7 degrees.

Any thoughts on the brakes?

I appreciate your comparison though and suggest to anyone wanting to snare a Ninja 300 that you do it quick as it is a discontinued model now the 400 is out.
 

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My CBR300 has a passing switch.:) Is this perhaps a European thing? Do you have it in US and Canada? What about our Antipodean riders?
 

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manual [australia] p26; 'passing light control switch - flashes high beam headlights'.. as for cbr250r, a handy riding tool especially for alerting driver ahead of intention to overtake..

handy at night for quick check of road surface conditions, such as after rain etc,, also to get their attention, without using the horn..

handy for signalling riders 'highway patrol ahead'..
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The CBR certainly shines in tight switchbacks, ninja is pretty bad in the parking lots too and the 30 pounds does make a big difference in "flickability" on the street.

Brakes were about the same as the CBR, that is to say poor. A little less "squish" in the stock levers pull on the ninja. Suspension was also equally as soft as the CBR, both bikes need modified. It's worth noting the Kawi is easier to service with a spin on oil filter and simpler fairing removal. US market CBR300's also came only with a single allen key and helmet lock cord in the tool kit. Ninja actually comes with a 12 piece tool set that even includes a spanner for the shock.
 

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My CBR300 has a passing switch.:) Is this perhaps a European thing? Do you have it in US and Canada? What about our Antipodean riders?
Yep, got one of those.
And a rear spring preload adjusting spanner. :devil:

Spin on oil filter is a nice feature to have though, looking forward to that on my new 400. If I ever get it...
 

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Nearly 20mph higher top speed stock.
More like 15kph.
177(CBR) vs 191(N300).

ecu can be reflashed, no one offers this for the CBR. Tons of canned maps for every modification configuration, lots of people running PC5, the Honda has NONE that I've found
Didn't even take me more than a minute to find them:
1) https://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/bazzaz-z-fi-fuel-controller-honda-cbr300r-cb300f-2015-2016

2) https://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/dynojet-pcfc-fuel-controller-honda-cbr250-cbr300r-cb300f

Aftermarket parts - Again Kawi has a lot more support. More of everything to pick from, from cosmetics to engine internals.
Debatable. There are a lot of CBR250R accessories that go straight onto the 300R. There are led taillights, headlights, turn signals, led mirrors, tail tidy kits, rearsets, body integrated turnsignals, seat cowls, big bore kits on sale for the 300R.

QC/fitment - As everyone here has experienced the Honda has lots of squeaks, rattles and mystery sounds. Paint is extremely soft and seems to scratch looking at it. Ugly flat black header. Kawi is just put together nicer period, the Honda looks good but the Kawi looks AND feels better. No loose or mismatched bolts, poor panel fitment etc unlike most of the Honda in the recall years.
Good joke brother:
1) Fairing fit issues - Kawasaki Ninja 300 Forum
2) Fairing paint issues!! - Kawasaki Ninja 300 Forum
3) Fairings popping out - Kawasaki Ninja 300 Forum
4) http://www.kawasakininja300.com/forum/8-ninja-300-general-discussion/392-another-fairing-issue.html
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Top speed of the CBR300R stock is 101mph, top speed of the Ninja is 118mph. I've redlined both in 6th going down hill.

Those are labeled "fuel controllers" for a reason, not true engine management. Honda has the stock ECU locked up tight and you simply won't get the same kind of gains from an injector piggy back.

YMMV based on dealer as far as quality of work, the 2015's and 2016's where all tore down for the crank recall. My dealer did a poor job reassembling it and other members have shared similar experiences. Mine left out several cush drive dampeners, broke a lower fairing clip, even failed to torque the cam chain tensioner resulting in it flying out. When they "fixed it" they reinstalled with mismatched bolts and left out the right side wheel spacer on the rear. Knock on wood but I've never had any cosmetic issues with the Kawi, I think it was limited to the early bikes.
 

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... YMMV based on dealer as far as quality of work, the 2015's and 2016's where all tore down for the crank recall. My dealer did a poor job reassembling it and other members have shared similar experiences. Mine left out several cush drive dampeners, broke a lower fairing clip, even failed to torque the cam chain tensioner resulting in it flying out. When they "fixed it" they reinstalled with mismatched bolts and left out the right side wheel spacer on the rear. Knock on wood but I've never had any cosmetic issues with the Kawi, I think it was limited to the early bikes.
Key word there being "dealer". It's not accurate to say that these bikes were produced by Honda Thailand with poor fit & finish issues... they were not. While I do not own a CBR300R, I can attest to the fact that my 2012 CBR250R (which came out of the very same Thai factory as did the CBR300R), had no mismatched or loose hardware, or poorly fitting body work.

Clearly what you're actually referring to is poor quality workmanship on the part of a few dealership service departments when performing the crankshaft recall.
 

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No complaints about the quality of my CBR300RA. Many of the problems with parts not fitting properly is down to 'dealer servicing'. I wouldn't let a dealer loose on mine. If you want a job doing properly, do it yourself. Good motto.
 
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