Motoring

Ace your race with the Kawasaki Ninja 300

The Ninja 300 is now an old motorcycle and India is one of the last few markets it was sold in; a BS6 version of the bike has just been revealed. In its time though, the baby Ninja was a rather versatile specimen even right out of a showroom. But in its stock form, it wasn’t ideal for the racetrack. The team at Rajini Academy of Competitive Racing (RACR) has done an impressive job in turning it into an exciting on-track machine.

This race-spec Ninja is a quick little thing, certainly quicker than the stock bike. Firstly, there is a notable chunk of weight that has been shaved off. Anything that is not required on a racetrack — the lights, pillion seat and that large, eye-sore of a grab rail from the stock bike — has been stripped away. As a result, the bike feels extremely easy to tip into a corner.

Ace your race with the Kawasaki Ninja 300

The added agility is also due to a recalibrated suspension set-up. The bike retains essentially the same suspension hardware, but a higher-viscosity oil and altered internals in the telescopic fork allows for a stiffer, more track-oriented ride. The handlebar remains in its stock position, but the addition of rearset foot pegs has gone a long way in aiding the bike’s ergonomics on track. It still does not put one in a very aggressive riding position, but it is enough to establish a firm connection with the motorcycle and what is happening under you.

Further aiding its handling is the choice of rubber — Dunlop Sportmax Alpha-13 SPs at either end — a notable step up from the MRF Nylogrip Zappers on the stock bike.

Built for the track

Ace your race with the Kawasaki Ninja 300

This particular bike was developed solely for use at RACR’s track days and training sessions, so the modifications are not restricted by the regulations of the FMSCI. Despite this, the team has kept modifications to the high-revving engine fairly straightforward, and limited to a reflashed ECU, an aftermarket exhaust from AHM and a front sprocket that is smaller by one tooth.

These changes result in stronger acceleration at the compromise of top speed, and a quick-throttle system makes it much easier to get going even with the slightest twist of the wrist.

Despite the smaller front sprocket, this Ninja still climbs quickly past 140kph, however, it is at the end where another aspect of its modifications become apparent — the brakes. The stock brake pads have given way to performance units from EBC and the system also uses steel-braided lines for better and more consistent braking. This combination results in extremely sharp braking, probably why the team behind the bike’s development decided against upgrading the master cylinder as well.

Lastly, there are some cosmetic changes too. The front and side fairings have been replaced by the ones on the Ninja 400. The team opted to do so because they felt it had a better aerodynamic profile and it looks stunning.

In conclusion, a decently powerful motorcycle and some rather inexpensive modifications are all you need if you are looking to spend some quality time on a racetrack. It is not a scary amount of power to get started on, but there is also enough performance in there for you to have a smashing good time.

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Printable version | Apr 11, 2021 11:15:28 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/motoring/ace-your-race-with-the-kawasaki-ninja-300/article33976890.ece

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