The Kawasaki Z300 is the naked-bike version of the Kawasaki Ninja 300. The Kawasaki Ninja 300 used to be a 250cc, but grew into the current 300cc version a few years ago. Don't confuse the Kawasaki Z300 with the Kawasaki Z250 or the single-cylinder Kawasaki Z250SL. The Kawasaki Ninja 300 and Z300 are not only a 50cc engine upgrade.
The Kawasaki Z300 is a beginner friendly motorcycle, offering a good value for money motorcycle below the more powerful and more expensive motorcycles like some 500cc's from competitor Honda or the parallel-twin 650cc's from Kawasaki themselves. Like the Kawasaki Ninja 250SL and Z250SL, the Kawasaki Z300 comes in sporty-styled Kawasaki Z800/Z1000 streetfighter naked-bike based design.
Other differences between the Kawasaki Z250SL and the Kawasaki Z300, aside from the extra cylinder in the engine, concern an increase in chassis dimensions, better brakes and suspension, a bigger fuel tank, and an unfortunate increase in (172,000 THB) price too. The upshot is a motorcycle that's engaging, fun and big enough for a full-grown foreigner adult. Riding it back-to-back with both the Kawasaki Z250SL ABS (120,000 THB) and the aging Kawasaki Z250 (152,000 THB), the Kawasaki Z300 is more comfortable and less strained. Its cruising speed is about 16 km/h higher than on the Kawasaki Z250SL – a big difference when you're doing 120 km/h rather than 105 km/h. Suspension has much better damping too. And of course the twin-cylinder Kawasaki Z250 is sold in Thailand without ABS.
The 300cc parallel twin engine can feel a little awkward and juddery at town speeds, but get it up above 8,000rpm – in search of peak power at 11,000rpm – and it all comes together nicely. It responds well, changes gear slickly and even sounds good.
The Kawasaki Z300 is an excellent naked-bike or busy city traffic and less perfect for out of town touring, mainly because wind pounding on the helmet can be very uncomfortable after a few hours riding. Probably a aftermarket windscreen will fix that.