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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I recently rode restored 69 Norton and a 1967 Triumph Bonneville. Also, finished a 67 XLCH Sportster for a friend. Point, in the old days these bikes were the super bikes. Before that Indian, Vincent and Harley were all tuned for more speed. Think about this. In this month's Motorcycle Sport and Leisure magazine from England, a columnist noted that a "new Kawasaki ninja 300" would out run any and all of them. And this a starter bike to the industry. A BSA Gold Star 34 HP, Triumph Bonneville 44 HP, Vincent 50 HP, Harley 45 HP (600 pounds) and the only fast Indian, the Scout was not much more. All of this is rear wheel HP, not crank shaft HP. I've seen the dyno runs over the years.

All were heavier than the 300 as well. The old timers thought they had rockets. They were fearsome machine in the old magazines. Machines made for real men. Your 300 will kill any of them. Wonder what they would say if they could ride one today. So, the 300 is no mere starter bike. It equals the past quite well. It gets the job done for most of us on the street.

The new Pinagale and other current supers bike with 185-195 HP and 390-400 pounds would terrify them into fits. On any give day in the world, there are maybe a dozen people who can drive a F1 car on a race track and expect to win a race. Most place. Of that dozen only about three are really the very best of the best and actually win consistently. Same with Moto GP. Rossi and Hayden are in a rarified atmosphere of competence. I think of this when I see a superbike on the street, nice to own, thrill to ride, but I know the rider will never, ever, use the total full capability of this bike. I remember taking a riding course at Laguna Seca. The instructor humiliated all of us on a 250.

The 300 makes a lot of sense in the real world day to day. Ari at Cycle World was right. "Give me a 300 and a good set of tires and I'll rip into most any thing on a tight road". 90% of a motorcycle's capability is on the seat. Owner ego and riding ability are never the same thing.
 

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When I bought my first bike in 1974 it was a Kawasaki 900. Paid $1400 for it with 1400 miles. Two friends who had a Norton and a Triumph raced each other one on their bike and one on the 900. In a 1/4 mile the difference was about 1/3rd of the distance the 900 was ahead of the two Brit bikes.

That 900 would wipe the road with anything, 2 or 4 wheels at the time. Few vehicles were even close. I was 23 and indestructible, never had an accident on the bike while I owned it, but I did learn how to ride defensively.

My Ninja 300 has, as far as I am concerned, the perfect balance of power and economy for me now at 62. I has plenty of power, better acceleration than a 1970 340s Barracuda at 0-60 and I still can get very close to 70 MPG, at least 6 times the fuel mileage of that Cuda.

My only wish would be wider gear spacing with the ability to cruise at 60 @ 5500 RPM, maybe even lower. I think the longer stroke was a stroke of genius.

regards
Mech
 

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The 300 makes a lot of sense in the real world day to day. Ari at Cycle World was right. "Give me a 300 and a good set of tires and I'll rip into most any thing on a tight road". 90% of a motorcycle's capability is on the seat. Owner ego and riding ability are never the same thing.

you summed it up perfectly in this paragraph.

the 300 in the hands of an experienced rider is a formidable street weapon:)
 
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