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BMW G 310 R vs 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 300 - Same Price, Different Deals!


Let’s pit the two similarly priced motorcycles from a buyer’s perspective to see which is a better proposition

BMW G 310 R vs Kawasaki Ninja 300

Just two days after BMW Motorrad launched its most affordable offering, the G 310 R, Kawasaki retaliated with the launch of a heavily localised 2019 Ninja 300. While the BMW G 310 R is priced at Rs 2.99 lakh, the Ninja 300 will set you back by Rs 2.98 lakh, ex-showroom pan-India. With just a difference of Rs 1000, the two motorcycles offer completely different experiences. Let’s see which one makes for a better deal. 

Looks & Instrumentation:

BMW G 310 R left

The BMW G 310 R is essentially a street naked motorcycle. Drawing design inspiration from the manic S 1000 R, the motorcycle features nicely chiselled lines with a fine balance of sportiness and elegance. The Kawasaki Ninja 300 on the other hand is a fully faired motorcycle with the ergonomics of a sports tourer. This makes it manageable both in city and on the highway, comfort-wise. Its design has remained more or less the same when compared to the earlier generation model. The engine and the chassis comes from Thailand but the body panels, wheels and tyres are all localised.

Kawasaki Ninja 300 instrumentation

Coming to the instrumentation, the G 310 R gets a fully digital unit with average and current fuel consumption and range readout apart from the regular trove of information. Though the Kawasaki comes with a better-looking (in our opinion) analogue-digital combo cluster, the information is just what every other motorcycle in its class offers: speedo, tacho, fuel level, dual trip readouts, odo, gear position, time and tell-tale lights. There’s an eco indicator which lights up when ridden with a sensitive throttle. However, there is no range indicator and so you’ll have to rely on the fuel gauge. Fortunately, the Ninja has a generous 17-litre fuel tank whereas the G 310 R gets a smaller 11-litre unit. 

Powertrain:

BMW G 310 R right side

The BMW G 310 R employs a 313cc single-cylinder DOHC engine with liquid cooling and fuel injection. Though Kawasaki has a comparatively smaller-capacity 296cc motor, there’s one extra cylinder. The parallel twin setup helps the motorcycle rev freely, be more refined and also have a linear power delivery. Moreover, at 39PS, the Ninja 300 makes 5PS more than the G 310 R. Peak power for the Ninja sits at a much higher rev band of 11,000rpm, which requires the rider to be at the far end of the rev range to extract maximum performance from the motorcycle. The twin-cylinder setup also helps in providing better overall refinement over its 1-pot counterpart.

2019 Kawasaki Ninja 300 front

When it comes to torque figures, the Ninja makes 27Nm, losing out by 1 Nm to the German motorcycle’s 28Nm. Being a single-cylinder motor, G 310 R’s torque comes in much earlier at 7500rpm compared to the Ninja’s peak torque at 10,000rpm. Peak power for the Ninja comes at a much higher rev band, at 11,000rpm, which encourages the rider to stay in the far end of the rev band.

Though the two motorcycles feature 6-speed transmissions, the Ninja 300 enjoys the benefit of a slipper clutch, which prevents the rear wheel from locking up during hard downshifts - perfect for a free-revving motorcycle. 

Mechanical Underpinnings:

BMW G 310 R underpinnings

The BMW G 310 R gets relatively higher-spec suspension with a 41mm inverted front fork setup and a rear monoshock with preload adjustability. The Ninja 300 employs less expensive, less complex 37mm traditional telescopic front forks and a bottom-link Uni-Trak monoshock with 5-step preload adjustability. Unlike telescopic forks, inverted ones reduce unsprung mass of the wheel, thereby offering superior performance. However, due to their inherent complexity, they are more expensive to replace compared to traditional ones.

2019 Kawasaki Ninja 300 cornering

The Ninja 300 features a 10mm smaller disc than the G 310 R’s 300m unit, and the rear is also 20mm smaller compared to the G 310 R’s 240mm disc. Both the bikes get dual-channel ABS as standard, though. The Bavarian bike rides on much more premium Michelin Pilot Street radial tyres against the Ninja’s MRF Nylogrip Zappers (Zapper FY up front and Zapper S at the rear, both non-radial). 

Verdict:

2019 Kawasaki Ninja 300 cornering 2

After the heavy localisation, the Ninja has become the most affordable twin-cylinder faired motorcycle available in the country, retailing for a massive Rs 62,000 less than the previous-gen bike. For one grand less than the G 310 R, the Ninja not only offers you one extra cylinder but also slightly more power, apart from the added refinement that comes with a two-pot mill. BMW seem to have priced their motorcycle at a substantial premium, for its sheer badge value. Curiously, the Beemer is relatively cheaper than its closest competitor in the overseas market despite being manufactured locally!

Both the brands offer a three-year, unlimited mileage warranty, but Kawasaki’s relatively wider spread with 30 dealerships definitely trumps BMW Motorrad’s seven. Kawasaki’s maintenance is at a premium but the BMW G 310 R is also likely to be pricey because of the brand positioning. It does make sense to pick up the Ninja over the G 310 R, especially considering the features it offers at a value-laden price.

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