EPA document reveals 2013 Kawasaki Ninja 300, 636cc ZX-6R

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An EPA document listing motorcycle emission data for 2013 has revealed details of the new, American market-oriented Kawasaki Ninja 300 and a return to 636cc capacity for the 2013 Kawasaki ZX-6R.

That new Ninja is powered by a 296cc parallel twin developing 39bhp at 11,000rpm, a marked improvement from the current model’s 31bhp figure and significantly more than the bike’s closest rival, the 26bhp Honda CBR250R. The 300 does appear to be fuel-injected, also a welcome upgrade from the carb’d 250 that’s been sold in the US.

The new, 636cc ZX-6R will make 129bhp, which should make it the most powerful “600″ on sale next year.

We’ve previously seen spy shots of the 2013 Kawasaki ZX-6R (it looks like a facelift of the current model) and the 2013 Kawasaki Ninja 250 was just officially unveiled. It’s likely the 300 will ape that model’s styling, because there’s no tiered-licensing laws in the US, Kawasaki is free to punch the engine out for a little more power. Recently, the CBR250R has captured more than half the Ninja’s market share; it was previously the 5th best selling motorcycle of any type in the US.

The Ninja 400 (a sleeved 650 that somehow makes insurance sense in Canadia, meh) has been listed on this document in previous years, but hasn’t been brought to the US.

There’s also mention of the Versys 1000, but it’s also unclear if this means that model will make it to these shores.

You can download the full spreadsheet here. See anything else of interest?

  • http://www.ninja250blog.com R.Sallee (Ninja 250)

    Ninja 300, you say…

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      If they’ve just bored and stroked it (or some combination thereof), meaning more power and torque without more weight and complication, then this thing should be killer. Still easy for beginners, a little more oomph for highways and fun road riding.

      • aristurtle

        There’s really not a lot of headroom in the EX250′s design, though; the valvetrain and crankshaft and such are all built for an engine generating about 32 bhp, the single-spine frame is not built to take very much more torque, and the cheap suspension components can’t handle much more weight. (Besides, they aren’t allowed to exceed their current horsepower and power/weight figures if they want to keep selling to European restricted licenses).

        I’m curious to see what they’re doing here, but I’m certainly a bit confused.

        • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

          The power/weight restriction is only for Euro learner licenses. Don’t know about you, but the last time I checked, the US wasn’t a part of the EU.

          • aristurtle

            Yeah, and the market in the US for low-displacement sportsbikes is just booming, with nice thick profit margins aided by the unexpectedly strong USD, right?

            Designing a new engine takes money, and there’s not a lot of money in small sportbikes in the US. Thus it seems likely that they just turdpolished the existing Ninja 250. (I say “turdpolished” as a proud Ninja 250 owner, by the way). But the 250 was very much designed towards its current limitations and so I’m not sure they can get much more out of it, even with an extra 50cc of displacement, while spending the $almost_zero on development that Kawasaki wants to spend on the project and maintaining the (very low) price point that American customers expect from the bike.

            So, we’ll see. I have a sneaking suspicion that real-world performance improvement is negligible and they did this so that they could put a larger number in the bike’s name.

            • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

              But embiggening an existing motor to compete in a market where they’re selling thousands of these bikes is worthwhile, apparently.

              • Lama glama

                Kawasaki did this once before. They released an EX305 in 1983, a bored out version of the original EX250. Neat bike, didn’t last very long in their lineup.

              • JMcMahon

                “A noble spirit embiggens the smallest Ninja”

          • Dani Peral

            EU tiered licensing will change from 34hp to 47hp next year, and all the brands are preparing for it. Thats why the ninja gets more power.

            And, thats why:
            BMW G650GS –> 47hp
            Yamaha TMAX –> 47hp
            honda NC700X / S –> 47hp

            • james slinger

              But I am fairly sure the restricted EU licence is ALSO limited to 400cc, Admittedly this 300 might be perfect for the new law, but the other bikes you listed wont.

              Although I haven’t done a lot of research into this as I got my licence last year and avoided all of this bullshit,

              EDIT: So I did the research, it seems they have scrapped the 400cc idea.
              From the Directgov website:
              Category A2 covers medium sized bikes, with or without a sidecar, which have:
              an engine power output not more than 35 kW
              a power to weight ratio not more than 0.2 kW per kg – the bike must also not be derived from a vehicle of more than double its power

      • http://www.ninja250blog.com R.Sallee (Ninja 250)

        Would be nice if the extra price of a 300 would also make room for EFI.

        • http://hivelosangeles.com Sean Smith

          Read the doc again, you can haz EFI.

  • *

    Ninja 400R, you say…

    • http://hivelosangeles.com Sean Smith

      It’s just a 650 with its balls cut off, you’re not missing anything.

      • Aaron


    • http://www.postpixel.com.au mugget

      I wish they never gave the Ninja name to bikes other than their sportbikes.

      • Mr.Paynter

        Agreed, I am quite happy on my ER-6N, and here the “Ninja 650″ is an ER-6F…

        Makes more sense to me!

        • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate Ben W

          Blame America. The Ninja name is linked to sportbikes and the vast majority of people believe they want either a cruiser or sportbike. I guarantee applying the Ninja name to the Ninja 650 versus “ER6-F” and the Ninja 1000 increased sales here.

  • Coreyvwc

    How exactly is kawa going to get those extra 36cc’s homologated for racing use here and abroad? Obviously they’ve done it before (before my time), restrictions of some sort?

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Previously, and somebody correct me if I’m wrong here, they’ve sold a 599cc homologation bike in some markets to make them eligible for supersport and whatnot.

      • rohorn


      • Coreyvwc

        Hmm guess there won’t be any amateurs riding zx-6r’s then… Bored out zx-14, bored out zx-6r, bored out 250r? Clearly Kawasaki has a huge penis and they want everyone to know about it!

  • rohorn

    The Ninja 650 doesn’t have the “R” at the end like the “400R” – that has my attention.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      No change here.

  • rohorn

    No CBR600?

    Didn’t see anything EBR related, either.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      This isn’t a comprehensive list of new products, the EPA isn’t a news outlet.

      • rohorn

        Was wondering about that – thanks.

        Noticed the big BMW scooters…

  • Bruce Steever

    Anyone notice the Versys 1000?

    • http://www.ninja250blog.com R.Sallee (Ninja 250)

      That’s already available in the UK.

      • Aaron

        And Canada

  • Roman

    Ninja 300 sounds like a great bike, though I can’t help but wonder why they’ve let the Ninja 500 whither and die over the years. Nice bike by all accounts and they’ve been tracked with some success. Seems like a better option for the displacement hungry US market.

    • http://hivelosangeles.com Sean Smith

      They just made it bigger. Today it’s called a ninja 650.

      • Roman

        I realize the the Ninja 650 is relatively mild, but is there room in the market for something between the 250 (300?) and the 650?

        • http://hivelosangeles.com Sean Smith

          I really want a bike with the manners of a CBR250R, ABS, 8-level MotoGP TC, an ultra-smooth 50hp 500cc single, aerodynamic and minimalist styling, two seats, a luggage rack a wind screen that works.

          If it weighed 350 pounds, cost ~$10,000, and was of an extremely high quality, I bet people would buy it.

    • rohorn

      The 650 is a vastly better bike than the 500. They don’t share any parts at all, which is a good thing.

      • http://rider49er.blogspot.com Mark D [EX500]

        Its true, the only thing good about the EX500 is the fact that its basically free to keep them on the road.

  • Mike in NYC

    So the 300 will be fuel injected? Is the US 250 still carbureted?

    • http://twitter.com/tacotv69 Taco

      If this Ninja 300 isn’t fuel injected then this is all a ruse to trick the people who look at displacement and horsepower numbers to buy it over the modern and much better Honda 250. Kawasaki is not fooling me.

      • http://www.ninja250blog.com R.Sallee (Ninja 250)

        No doubt, EFI is a welcome improvement, but every comparison I’ve read of the CBR250 vs. Ninja 250 has favored the Ninja 250.

        • Dani Peral

          Yeah the ninja has won in the “sporty” category over the cbr250 on every comparison i have read .

    • aristurtle

      The list says “SFI”, so I’m guessing that it’s finally cheaper for Kawasaki to just eliminate the carburetor from their supply chain.

      Next stop: the KLR650.

  • Dylan

    Hell yeah another 636! I loved my 06 zx6r. Full Yoshi system, power commander, and the jumper mod. That thing screamed.

    • Brian

      Ah yes, the infamous Kawasaki Induction Noise. I owned a 636 last year, had to get rid of it due to restricted income, and recently got a new job and immediately bought another 636. The Noise is what keeps me there.

  • RT Moto

    Maybe that’ll get Honda to up the ante a bit and increase the power in the 250. Not a fan of Kawasaki so a Honda counterpart with similar power and performance may sway me to get at one.

  • Jeremy

    Does anyone remember the Bandit 400, Honda CB-1, or GSXR 400? Does anyone remember how laugh-in-helmet fun they were (are)? They didn’t sell well back then, but I bet they’d sell now. In my opinion we need 60-70hp 400cc bikes to sustain the motorcycle industry in this country. When I was 18 (1999) I bought the first SV650 in Orlando for $5,399. Now, young motorcyclists are asked to spend $10k + for a 100hp+, 600cc ‘entry-bike’ with skyhigh insurance rates. Kawasaki should grow a pair and be the industry trend-setter.

    • Brian

      I’m looking forward to the upcoming 300-400cc race. I kept my 1st gen SV650 for this very reason. 600 SS’s are fun in their own rights, but nowhere as fun as a lighter, more streetable bike.

      • Gene

        Shoot, I put 66,000 miles on my SV before upgrading to a “pointy” with FI & ABS, and now it’s even better. So Suzuki stopped importing it. Fuckers.

        If I didn’t have that thing, I wouldn’t have the motivation to commute to work.

    • http://twitter.com/metabomber Jesse

      Friend of mine has a Bandit 400. Your hands will never be as numb as they are from the vibration coming up through the bars, but you will also not notice the wind noise in your helmet through the laughter. It is a good compromise.

      • Dani Peral

        Tell him to put some proper counterweights in the bar-ends, it improves a lot. From a katana or GS500, those things are like 500g of lead and will absorb like 70% of the vibration :D

  • The Blue Rider

    “Ninja 300″ will be available with ABS, too. Hmmm.

    I wonder how different it will be from the 250R. Upgrade or clean-sheet new bike?

    Most of the 250′s performance shortcomings* can be remedied by relatively cheap aftermarket tweaking, with the exception of the suspension. Me being crazy, I spent a bit more $$ to have some fun wrenching and getting the most out of mine that I could… I’ve somehow managed to put together a race bike with some touring mods.

    It would be nice if they came up with something lighter, less bulky, and a bit more powerful, that had better components in just a couple of key areas.

    *shortcomings for a bike of its class, of course.

  • Gene

    Speaking of emissions testing, according to RRW, Norton is doing it too: http://www.roadracingworld.com/news/article/?article=49492

    Alrighty then. I guess all they need is one bike tuned until it’s golden?

  • Trev

    Cool, I hope that does well for them. This is probably going to suck if someone was looking to race in any 250cc-restricted race class.

    Also, the KLX250 has been fuel-injected in other markets, for quite some time; why are we not getting that right now? With Honda having an EFI 250 DS and Yamaha have a 250 DS for sale in North America, it would be semi-logical for Kawasaki to bring over the EFI D-tracker/KLX250 over here (and yes, I know it is not as easy as just bringing it over; demand for it needs to happen, certifications need to be established, and a reasonable msrp for the North American market needs to be toiled over).

    I also like how Yamaha kind of snuck under the radar of some news outlets and have an EFI XT250 in their line-up.

  • John

    That’s good news as a general announcement.

    250cc is just too small for highway speeds in general. Street going motorcycles really need to be more like 350-400cc as a minimum.

    And there’s been a silly gulf between 250cc and 650cc with a major league paucity of motorcycles. 450cc cylinders are considered by many to be the perfect size for bang/buck/weight. So why are there so many 250s and 650s?

    Granted, the Kawi is a twin so it can rev higher and produce more peak HP right where you’ll need it to go fast, but how much more does a 450 cost than a 250 to build? You need the same number of parts, they ust need to be slightly bigger, so only the cost of the materials is maybe 20-30% higher, but not parts and certainly not the labor to build it.

    IOW, small engines getting bigger is good because the right sized engines have gotten to be too freaking big.

    • aristurtle

      Like I said earlier, if the engine gets significantly heavier or more powerful, you’d need a twin-spar frame instead of the single-spine frame. (Compare, e.g., the Ninja 250′s frame to the frame from the now-defunct Ninja 500). And you’d need a wider rear wheel and tire. And two front discs instead of one. And all this extra weight would require beefier suspension components. Before you know it you’ve got a whole other bike, with less than 25% parts commonality.

      (And anecdotally, I haven’t had any problems with my 250 on the highway since I changed the gearing to be a little taller).

      edit: this is why the (Canada-only) Ninja 400 is a Ninja 650 with a lower-displacement motor, rather than a Ninja 250 with a higher-displacement motor.

  • Ryan

    Here in Saskatchewan, motorcycle insurance goes up by 1300 dollars(ish) for bikes that are 401cc and up, 400cc and under is only about 500 dollars annually, you can see the attraction.

    • Ceolwulf

      The divide next door in Manitoba is at 500cc.

      I wish the big four would all make 500cc supersport twins. Engine designs are basically done, they could share a bunch of parts and design with litre fours.

      • http://hivelosangeles.com Sean Smith

        That makes WAY too much sense. Manufacturers will never do it.

  • John

    As I recall, the 400R is just the 650 gutted. It weighs a whopping 450lbs wet, compared to a Honda Hawk GT from 20 years ago that weighed 412 lbs wet, including stupidly heavy wheels and muffler and a normally heavier V-twin.

    Motorcycles seemed to go on a huge weight loss program about 10 years or so ago, then they’ve all porked back up.

    • http://rider49er.blogspot.com Mark D [EX500]

      Its all about building to a price point. Light is expensive, so its hard to compare a race replica, with an aluminium frame and fancy carbon components, with a budget commuters with a steel frame and cheap steel components. An old XS650 weighs around 450 dry, and that’s air-cooled.

    • Scott-jay

      Stouter chassis for stouter populations?
      : )
      Motorcycle with design driven by low-weight increases its risk of failure from error or misuse.

  • Dan

    Looks like revised engines for the zx-10 and triumph 675 family.

  • doublet

    Aren’t you the guys who were just telling us how the “new” ninja was going to be the same as it was before with maligned opinions?

    • RagdollOp