It's official, this new Kawasaki Ninja 300 looks just like the new Ninja 250, but has one huge change under its newly-faired skin: an increase in stroke from 41.2 to 49mm ups engine capacity to 296cc. That means power grows from 31 to 39bhp and torque from 16 to 20lb/ft. There's also ABS and even a slipper clutch, so not only will this new bike be faster, but it'll be safer and easier to ride too.
Looking at the power and torque curves of the 250 and 300 together, you can see very similar characteristics, just more of everything, everywhere.
The slipper clutch may sound less exciting and possibly a bizarre inclusion on such a small, basic motorcycle, but it should be a safety aid too, particularly given that many Ninja 250s find themselves being used on city streets and in a variety of weather conditions. Like other similar devices fitted to many high-performance motorcycles, the Ninja 300's spreads the clutch plates if back-torque is causing the rear wheel to lock or skid while downshifting. Imagine the benefits for ham-fisted new riders trying to gain confidence while riding in less than ideal conditions. That clutch also gains an assist function, dropping clutch effort by 25 percent, again a boon for new and urban riders.
Other than that stroked motor and new clutch, the Ninja 300 is largely identical to the 2013 Kawasaki Ninja 250, which is to say it's a re-skin of the old 250, itself around since 1985. Embedded above is a PDF with full details of things like new piston webbing, if such takes your interest.
US availability and pricing haven't been announced yet, but Kawasaki is planning something it calls "The Ninja Times Square Takeover" on September 13, so it seems logical this new 300 and possibly the facelifted 636 will be premiered there.