Honda CBR500R vs. Kawasaki Ninja 300 | Batting 500

Honda’s new CBR500R takes a swing at the Ninja 300. Did it whiff?

By Marc Cook, Photography by Kevin Wing

Ergos

In most of our ergonomic measurements, the Honda and Kawasaki are close. But look at the seat-to-peg distances. The Honda offers a more “open” riding position than most sportbikes, especially those in the CBR’s size class. Honda clearly wanted the 500 to feel grown up. Other influences include the CBR’s vastly better seat and greater wind protection from a slightly larger fairing. Think of the Honda as a standard-style bike with a full fairing rather than a downsized supersport. The Ninja feels compact and racy, but not overly aggressive.

Tech Spec

Honda CBR500R | Price: $5999 ($6499 w/ABS)

Engine type: l-c parallel-twin

Valve train: DOHC, 8v

Displacement: 471cc

Bore x stroke: 67.0 x 66.8mm

Compression: 10.7:1

Fuel system: EFI

Clutch: Wet, multi-plate

Transmission: 6-speed

Measured horsepower: 44.5 bhp @ 8700 rpm

Measured torque: 28.9 lb.-ft. @ 7000 rpm

Corrected 1⁄4-mile: 13.63 sec. @ 93.80 mph

Top-gear roll-on, 60-80 mph: 8.26 sec.

Frame: Steel semi-double-cradle

Front suspension: Showa 41mm fork

Rear suspension: Showa shock with adjustable spring preload

Front brake: Nissin two-piston caliper, 320mm disc, optional ABS

Rear brake: Nissin one-piston caliper, 240mm disc, optional ABS

Front tire: 120/70ZR-17 Dunlop D222F

Rear tire: 160/60ZR-17 Dunlop D222

Rake/trail: 25.5°/4.1 in.

Seat height: 30.9 in.

Wheelbase: 55.5 in.

Fuel capacity: 4.1 gal.

Weight (tank full/empty): 430/405 lbs. (ABS model)

Fuel mileage (hi/low/avg.): 61/43/53 mpg

Colors: Black, Pearl White/Blue/Red, Red

Available: Now

Warranty : 12 mo., unlimited mi.

Contact: American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
P.O. Box 2200
Torrance, CA 90509
866.784.1870
www.powersports.honda.com


Kawasaki Ninja 300 | Price: $4799 ($5499 w/ABS)

Engine type: l-c parallel-twin

Valve train: DOHC, 8v

Displacement: 296cc

Bore x stroke: 62.0 x 49.0mm

Compression: 10.6:1

Fuel system: EFI

Clutch: Wet, multi-plate slipper

Transmission: 6-speed

Measured horsepower: 33.0 bhp @ 11,000 rpm

Measured torque: 16.9 lb.-ft. @ 9800 rpm

Corrected 1⁄4-mile: 14.23 sec. @ 89.85 mph

Top-gear roll-on, 60-80 mph: 9.36 sec.

Frame: Steel double-cradle

Front suspension: KYB 37mm fork

Rear suspension: KYB shock with adjustable spring preload

Front brake: Tokico two-piston caliper, 290mm disc, optional ABS

Rear brake: Tokico two-piston caliper, 220mm disc, optional ABS

Front tire: 110/70-17 IRC Road Winner

Rear tire: 140/70-17 IRC Road Winner

Rake/trail: 27.0°/3.7 in.

Seat height: 30.9 in.

Wheelbase: 55.3 in.

Fuel capacity: 4.5 gal.

Weight (tank full/empty): 386/359 lbs. (ABS model)

Fuel mileage (hi/low/avg.): 60/48/53 mpg

Colors: Ebony, Lime Green/Ebony, Pearl Stardust White

Available: Now

Warranty : 24 mo., unlimited mi.

Contact: Kawasaki Motors Corp. USA
9950 Jeronimo Rd.
Irvine, CA 92718
949.770.0400
www.kawasaki.com

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