At first glance, Kawasaki's littlest Ninja is hard to distinguish from its ZX-6R sibling. The 300's sporting intentions are evident in its angular bodywork, and the theme carries over to the ergonomics, which find riders reaching forward to low clip-on bars and hooking their heels on high-set, grippy footpegs. The fuel-injected, 296cc parallel twin fires up without any of the fuss of its predecessor, and the old off-idle lag is gone. In its place is smooth, steady power that builds rapidly beyond 7,500 rpm. You don't have to wring the Ninja's neck to make forward progress, but when you do, it rewards with an exciting top-end rush. The Ninja is the only bike here able to attain triple-digit speeds. Our testbike put down 35.7 hp at 10,900 rpm, more than 10 hp up on the Honda and Suzuki and 2.5 hp stronger than the last Ninja 300 we tested. Out on the road, those extra ponies pay big dividends. The Ninja cruises at 70 mph without breaking a sweat, and unlike the 250s, the 300 still has ample power on tap for passing.