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
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  • Keith E. Sterling

    This is going to be a great bike! personaly I can’t wait. I have an older model FZ6 (2007). As crazy as it sounds , it will be gone the minute this R3 hits the floor. with the kind of riding my wife and I do these days, this will be perfect. we’ll each have one.. she won the coin toss and gets the raven… I’m still deciding between the red or blue.. Hmmm

    • Daniel

      get an FZ07 instead. way better bike for the money

  • Christine Tran

    Looking around for a brand new start bike – and I find that this one has the best look as well as comfort at the Long Beach Motorcycle Convention. Can’t wait to get it soon!

    • I agree that it’s the best looking out of the three. Another one to keep an eye on, Christine, is the KTM RC390 – http://therideadvice.com/yamaha-r3-vs-ktm-rc390-vs-kawasaki-ninja-300-road-test-preview/

      A little more hardcore than the R3, but perhaps a longer term option as you’d have further to grow into it as a rider.

    • Carlos Fernandez

      The Honda CB500F and CBR500R are also fantastic starter bikes that you won’t outgrow either. I got the CB500F 2 years ago as my starter (1st) bike and still ride it today. I can easily go 85 MPH (if needed) and fuel mileage is awesome. I’m averaging 60+ MPG but you can definitely get over 50 MPG even if you ride it hard.

  • Chris Whelan

    I’ve drove the RC390 and its going to blow these away. Great handling, and very fast bike. Same with the Duke 390. Even for a bigger guy like me.

    • Michael Melugin
      • Yeah, the results have been interesting. Some have gone RC390 as best, most seem to put the Yamaha R3 on top, but then SportsRider put the Ninja on top in their latest issue.

        After having ridden them all, I’d probably go R3, RC390, Ninja, CBR…

        • Ayush Chaturvedi

          lol…..KTM is nothig but nt even penis infornt of YAMAHA,SUZUKI and KAWASAKI…..u r just a sucker nd povert…..u dun hav any status. :p

        • Benjamin Reynolds

          I feel like someone needs to compare the four bikes from the perspective of an experienced rider, rather than catering the results to new riders. It would be an interesting write up I think.

    • KLRJUNE .

      I’ve never seen anything but a few 2smokes and minis on the KTM dealer’s showroom floor. I wonder if he even knows KTM makes other models.

  • Austin Schroff

    I’m planning on getting my first motorcycle in the very near future, and I was leaning towards a 250cc or less dualsport. But now, I am really leaning towards the Yamaha r3. All the people I’ve talked to that ride, or used to ride Yamahas, never had anything bad to say about them. And blue happens to be my favorite color, but I plan on test riding all the 300’s before I buy one anyway.

  • Kiko .bellizzi

    1000 vezes uma bandit 650