Yamaha R3 Vs Kawasaki Ninja 300 Vs KTM RC 390: Crouch, Set, Go!

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The entry level performance motorcycle segment has received huge attention in India in recent times and is becoming a very important one.

The first performance oriented motorcycle in this segment was the Kawasaki Ninja, which did not do as expected, pricing being one of the key concerns.

Later, the KTM RC series were launched that took the market by storm. It was priced right and performed way better than expected.

The latest entry into this segment is the Yamaha R3. The Yamaha takes credit for bringing the performance motorcycling scene into the Indian market with the R15, but soon lost charm to other competitors.

Now, the 300 to 400cc is the most competitive performance segment since the motorcycles have to deliver a good balance between performance and everyday practicality.

So how does the new R3 fare against the Ninja 300 and the segment leader, the RC 390? Let's take a look:


  • Yamaha R3 - INR 3,25,000
  • Kawasaki Ninja 300 - INR 3,60,916
  • KTM RC 390 - INR 2,10,561

Note: All prices are ex-showroom Mumbai.


Yamaha R3:
The Yamaha R3 is a fully faired motorcycle, inspiring its design from the company's larger super sport models. It has a twin headlamp unit with an air intake up front and a pointed rear end. It has a lightweight diamond-type semi-trellis steel frame and offers the rider a rather relaxed riding position, although it looks aggressive.

Kawasaki Ninja 300:
The Ninja 300 has had quite a bit of styling updates compared to the 250R. It has been styled drawing inspiration from the ZX-10R. The Ninja too has a relaxed riding position, although it is a fully faired motorcycle that is designed to look aggressive.

KTM RC 390:
The RC 390 is designed to be aggressive and that is exactly what it is. Angular faring is inspired by the RC8. It is built around a steel trellis frame borrowed from the Duke, but has repositioned pegs and slightly modified chassis to deliver what the motorcycle was meant for. It has a forward leaning riding position, designed purely as a track day tool.


Yamaha R3:
The R3 comes with a part analogue meter that has a shift indicator light, fuel consumption indicator, fuel-injector diagnostics, gear position indicator and engine temperature indicator. It features disc brakes for the front and rear, but ABS is not available even as an option.

Kawasaki Ninja 300:
The Ninja 300 gets an analog digital meter too, that features a fuel gauge and pass-light switch which was missing in the Ninja 250R. ABS is not on offer and the front and rear braking is taken care of by disc brakes.

KTM RC 390:
The RC 390 has a full digital meter console. It features ABS as standard, which is absent on its competitors. It can also be turned off. It is equipped with a side stand warning and also cuts off the engine when the sidestand is down and the vehicle is in gear. The KTM wins hand down when it comes to features.

Engine And Specifications:

Yamaha R3:
The Yamaha is powered by a 321cc, liquid cooled, twin cylinder engine that produces 41.4 bhp and 29.6 Nm of peak torque. It is mated to a 6 speed transmission. The R3 weighs 169 Kg and has telescopic forks up front a monoshock at the rear. It has a fuel tank capacity of 14 litres.

Kawasaki Ninja 300:
The Ninja gets its power from a 296cc, liquid cooled twin cylinder engine that produces 39 bhp and 27 Nm of peak torque. The Ninja is mated to a 6 speed transmission as well and weighs 172 kg. The ride is taken care of by telescopic forks up front and a monoshock at the rear. It has a fuel tank capacity of 17 litres.

KTM RC 390:
The RC 390's power house is a 373cc, liquid cooled single cylinder engine that churns out 43 bhp and 35 Nm of torque. This too is mated to a 6 speed transmission. The RC 390 is the lightest of the lot weighing just 159 kg and gets inverted forks up front while a monoshock does the job at the rear. The KTM also has the lowest fuel tank capacity of 10 litres.


All three motorcycles are practically neck and neck but the KTM gets the upper hand since it offers a great deal for the price. It is powerful, well equipped, priced right and the tyres offered make the motorcycle an enthusiast's weapon. The Yamaha R3 is a good bet as well if you don't mind paying a little extra.

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Story first published: Wednesday, August 19, 2015, 15:28 [IST]
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