WSBK Look At Entry Level Small Capacity Race Class

In more exciting news for entry level machines, Dorna Sports, the company and governing body behind both MotoGP and the World Superbike Championship has announced the formation of working group to examine a new entry level class for the sport. In a statement from Dorna, it was said that:

The Superbike Commission approved assembly of a working group comprising of any interested machine manufacturers to develop a class structure for an entry level category. The category would be based on the burgeoning Supersport 300 class machinery and would aim to include varied capacities and engine configurations, with the aim to provide a low cost platform to develop new talent.

That burgeoning Supersport category no doubt relates to the Nina 300 and the soon to be released Yamaha R3. Given that statement is rather vague and uses the phrase “varied capacities and engine configurations’, it’s likely that the new KTM RC390 would also be a possibility.

Based on the specifications of the three machines, that would create some parity issues which will no doubt be part of the working group’s focus.  Regardless of what machines may or may not be included in a possible future series, it is fantastic news for young riders around the world where their country’s respective racing associations adopt the WSBK rules and regulations.

It would also be a huge boost for racing in Asia and the subcontinent where smaller capacity bikes are sold in far greater numbers than in the western world. Thailand, Malaysia, India and Indonesia all have a burgeoning sportsbike culture, but due to rules, regulations and pricing, large capacity bikes are either sold in minuscule numbers or not at all.

Should such a series eventuate, young riders would have an achievable international goal to aim for. Here’s hoping it happens and soon. The full regulations for the 2015 year will be available at the FIM website soon.

WSBK Look At Entry Level Small Capacity Race Class

Yamaha R3 vs Kawasaki Ninja 300 vs Honda CBR300R Specification Comparison

Yesterday, the Yamaha R3 was officially launched, meaning there is now three serious learner bikes available which previously included the Kawasaki Ninja 300R and Honda CBR300R. In the neat future, the KTM RC390 will be widely available but in the interim, if you’re in a country that has stricter learner restrictions, these three bikes are what’s available if you want a beginner sportsbike.

Previously, we’ve test ridden both the Honda CBR300R and Kawasaki Ninja 300, with the green Ninja being our pick. While Honda may market the CBR300R as a small capacity sportsbike, in comparison to the Ninja it is definitely more of an all rounder. And despite it’s recent capacity increase, it’s still well down on the power figures of Kawasaki’s machine.

The Yamaha R3 therefore seems to be aimed squarely at the Ninja. It’s capacity of 321cc is 26cc more than the Ninja 300 and 35cc more than the CBR300R. And that translates to figures of 42hp for the R3, around 39hp for the Ninja and 31hp for Honda’s bike. Those figures are even more in the Yamaha’s favor when weight is taken into account. The lightest of the three bikes is the CBR300R at 364lb (wet), but the R3 weighs only 4lb  more with the Ninja at 383lb (that said, the Ninja 300 does have the largest fuel tank).

Obviously we haven’t ridden the Yamaha R3 yet, so it remains to be seen whether it can match the Ninja’s handling. However, reviews of the Yamaha R25 (the Asian version of this bike which has been available for some time which has a 250cc capacity) have been very favorable. And with the Yamaha R3 coming in slightly below the Ninja 300 in price and only $100 more than the CBR300R, Yamaha may soon reign supreme in the entry level market.

For now, check out the comparative specifications for each bike below.

Honda CBR300RKawasaki Ninja 300Yamaha R3
Engine Type286cc 4 stroke, single-cylinder296cc 4 stroke, parallel twin321cc 4 stroke, parallel twin
Bore And Stroke76mm x 63mm62mm x 49 mm68 x 44 mm
InductionPGM-Fi, 38mm throttle body32 mm x 2 keihin with dual throttle valveTCI: Transistor Controlled Ignition
Compression Ratio10.7:110.6:111.2:1
Valve TrainDOHC; four valves per cylinderDOHC, 8 valvesDOHC, 8 Valves
Horsepower30.50 hp @ 8,500 rpm38.89 hp @ 11,000 rpm42 hp @ 10,750 rpm
Torque20 lb ft @ 7,500 rpm19.91 lb ft @ 10,000 rpm21.18 lb ft @ 9,000
Drive Train
Chassis / Suspension / Brakes
Front Suspension37mm fork; 4.65 inches travel37 mm telescopic fork41mm KYB telescopic fork
Rear SuspensionPro-Link single shock 4.07 inches travelUni Trak with gas charged shock and 5-way preloadKYB single shock
Front BrakeSingle 296 mmSingle 290 mmSingle 298 mm
Rear BrakeSingle 220 mmType Single 220 mm petal discSingle 220 mm
Front Tire110/70-17 radial110/70-17 M/C 54S110/70-17M/C 54H
Rear Tire140/70-17 radial140/70-17 M/C 66S140/70-17M/C 66H
Rake25.30 degrees27 degrees25 degrees
Trail98mm (3.9 inches)93mm (3.66 inches)94mm (3.7 inches)
Wheelbase54.3 inches55.31 inches54.3 inches
Seat Height30.7 inches30.9 inches30.7 inches
Wet Weight364 lb383 lb368 lb
Fuel Capacity3.4 gallons4.5 gallons3.7 gallons