Kawasaki is interested in many things, such as making ships, trains, planes, robots, and motorbikes. They also know how to make bikes well. What about the Kawasaki J300? Doesn’t it look like a Kymco? Kymco makes the J300’s frame and drive train, but that’s about all they have in common with other Kymco products. Kawasaki Europe’s R&D department is in charge of development, styling, and final product engineering.
The 299c, 4-stroker J300 stands out because it has Kawasaki’s signature Ninja design. It also has some nice features, such as flush-mounted turn signals, high-quality instruments, a sculpted handlebar, a seat that is controlled by hydraulics, a lot of storage space, and a handy 12V socket. Yes, those petal-shaped stop rotors do make it look like the real thing
It looks like a Kymco, doesn’t it
Yes and no. The Japanese company Kawasaki says that Kymco provided the main drive train and some extra chassis parts. Their European R&D department was solely responsible for development, styling, and the final engineering method for the product.
It’s really a Kymco Downtown 300i, which was cheaper than the J300. It’s a good little bike that has been fixed up by Kawasaki. For more mid-range power, the J300 gets a new rear suspension, a more comfortable seat, different brake calipers, a remade screen, better lights, footboards, and heel pads, and a makeover on the outside. The J300 is mostly a Kymco, but it has a lot of Kawasaki in it.
1. The ride and the brakes
Like a scooter should, the ride is smooth but not too smooth, and at 191 kg, it’s not too heavy to throw around mini-roundabouts and between cars. It’s fun and easy to ride on the open road, which is a surprise. The seat is very soft, and I was still comfortable after a long day of riding.
2. The engine
The J300’s 299cc single-cylinder engine has a lot of power, even though it “only” makes 27bhp. At 70mph, it’s easy to pass going uphill, and it won’t mind sitting at 80mph. The engine has enough power to easily weave between cars and escape the lights in town.
3. Dependability and quality of build
The J300 is a lot like the Taiwanese Kymco Downtown 300 scooter. But the fact that Kawasaki is ready to work with Kymco and put their name on it shows that they’re sure of the quality. There is a good feel to the scooter.
People who own Kawasaki J300s have said that their bikes are mostly happy, but some have had problems with durability and corrosion. One reader said that his bike’s brakes could be better.
4. Value compared to competitor
The ABS version will only be available in a few units and will cost £4,499. This is a pretty good deal for a mid-range scooter. There are cheaper bikes with the same amount of space, but not many of them have ABS. For those who don’t need ABS, the SE model costs £4,149 and the regular model costs £4,049.
How the Kawasaki J300, Piaggio X10 Executive,
and Honda Forza compare
Kawasaki’s new J300 may be the last of the “Big Four” to offer a small-wheeler (by a long shot), but the company thinks that its new offering makes up for it by adding something new to the mix. The company says that its 300cc scooter “blends sport, control, comfort, and convenience” and that it will appeal to riders who like sports and want to have fun on their daily commute.
So maybe the new mid-sized twist-and-go will make the genre a little more exciting. Up until now, 300-class scoots were mostly useful and efficient vehicles that made a lot of sense for people who lived outside of cities and needed to get to work. They’re cheap, easy to use, quick, and come with bags for keeping. Each is a good reason to have one. The only bad thing about them is that they can get boring after a while, so it’s not easy to find one that has just the right amount of function, style, and fun. So, the J300 is meant to fill that role, which is why it’s an important machine for “Team Green.”
The J300 will be good for work and getting things done if what Kawasaki says is true. So, to see if it really does that, we put it up against two competitors at opposite ends of the spectrum: the practical Honda NSS300A Forza and the flash Piaggio X10 Executive. The tests were meant to look at commuting, utility, and fun factor. This is how things went.
Group test of the Kawasaki J300, Honda Forza 300, and Piaggio X10. The J300 is a good machine, even though it came late to a market that was already very competitive. Kawasaki got some help from the Taiwanese company Kymco, but the scoot that was rebuilt and changed looks and feels like a new option. The shape makes it look sporty and cool. It has some nice features, like a seat that is moved by hydraulics, indicators that are built in, adjustable handles, and a fair amount of wind protection. The 299cc engine has a lot of speed and a lot of power. It’s a shame that you can’t fit two lids under the seat like the Honda and Piaggio, and the cheap suspension lets it down.
The Forza is more useful than the Piaggio because it can carry the same amount of stuff for £1000 less. It gets better gas mileage but moves less quickly.
This is our favorite bike: the Piaggio. It’s stylish, comfy, and roomy, and it has the speed of a Kawasaki and the handling of a Honda. Even though it costs £1500 more than the J300, it still wins. This is a very nice and well-made scoot. The J300 shouldn’t feel down, though. It could use more storage room, but Kawasaki did a great job with it.
Things Used in it
The equipment is pretty simple, but it does what a scooter should do. There is space under the seat for an A4-sized suitcase and a full-face helmet. There is a motorized arm that holds up the seat and an internal light that turns on when it senses light. It’s a nice touch, but it might not work well at night because it needs light to work. There is a secure glovebox under the left handlebar that can hold a wallet and phone and has a 12V plug inside.
There are two color choices for the 2019 Kawasaki J300 that match the Kawasaki J125. The black and green color is still available from the first range, and Khaki and Metallic Moon dust have been added.