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Yamaha R3 vs KTM RC 390 vs Kawasaki Ninja 300 – Spec Comparo

Yamaha R3 vs KTM RC 390 VS Ninja 300
Three bikes, three flavors

Each of these motorcycles is unique in its appeal and character.

Yamaha R3 is the latest entrant of the flourishing compact sportsbike market in India which is witnessing a steady inflow of new models of all shapes, sizes and types. The eagerly anticipated fully faired Yamaha motorcycle takes the fight towards compatriot Kawasaki Ninja 300, and the highly popular KTM RC 390. Here is an on-paper tech spec comparison of the trio.

Dimensions and weight

If parked together, the dimensional differences between these three bikes would be apparent. Yamaha R3 easily has the most imposing stance. The motorcycle emerges as the longest in its class at 2,090 mm while Ninja 300 measures 2,015 mm in length. RC 390 is just 1,098 mm long.

The KTM is the widest in the segment at 748 mm, followed by the Yamaha which measures 720 mm in width and the Kawasaki whose width stands at 715 mm. R3 is the tallest in its class at 1,135 mm while Ninja 300 and RC 390 measure 1,100 mm and 1,098 mm respectively in height.

Ninja 300 has the longest wheelbase out of the three sportsbikes at 1,405 mm while RC 390 has the shortest at 1,340 mm. R3 stands in the middle with a wheelbase of 1,380 mm.

Ninja 300 tips the scales at 172 kg, making it the heaviest bike it its class but not by a huge margin. R3 is lighter than Ninja by 3 kg and RC 390 is lighter than R3 by 3 kg.

Engines and transmissions

KTM RC 390 has the largest engine displacement at 373.2 cc but settles for a single-cylinder configuration. Yamaha R3 comes in second with its 321 cc parallel-twin mill while Ninja 300’s parallel twin motor displaces 296 cc. All these motors are liquid-cooled, fuel injected and are mated to 6-speed constant mesh transmissions.

RC 390 finds itself on top of the power chart with a peak output of 44 PS at 9,000 rpm. The twin engined R3 and Ninja 300 are capable of 42 PS at 10,750 rpm and 39 PS and 11,000 rpm respectively.

The pecking order remains intact while talking about torque output as well. RC 390 has 35 Nm on tap at 7,000 rpm, R3 produces 29.6 Nm at 9,000 rpm and Ninja 300 is good for 27 Nm at 10,000 rpm.

Tech Spec Comparo

Yamaha R3 vs KTM RC 390 VS Ninja 300 specs 1

Yamaha R3 vs KTM RC 390 vs Kawasaki Ninja 300 – spec comparo

Frames and suspension

The motorcycles employ different frame types and hence one can expect different characters. R3 uses a diamond tubular structure, Ninja 300 adopts a double-cradle type and RC 390 settles for a trellis frame. The frames are all made of steel.

While the two Japanese bikes employ regular telescopic front forks, the Austrian two wheeler stands out with its upside down telescopic fork. All the three motorcyles use monoshock suspension setup at the rear.

Tyres and Brakes

Interestingly, the trio use identical specifications for front rubber – 110/70-R17 – although brands are different. R3 and Ninja opt for 140/70-R17 units at the rear while RC 390 goes for a meatier 150/70-R17 tyre.

All the three motorcycles are retarded by a single disc brake at each wheel but its only KTM RC 390 that benefits from ABS.


Despite being the oldest motorcycle with least engine ouputs, the refined Kawasaki Ninja 300 asks for more of your money than any of the other two bikes at INR 3.6 lakhs. Like its compatriot, Yamaha R3 is also locally assembled but has a more competitive pricing at INR 3.25 lakhs. Given that KTM RC 390 is manufactured in India for global consumption and the fact that it is the only single-cylinder engined motorcycle in this comparo, it beats its rivals fair and square when it comes to pricing. The Austrian is priced at INR 2.10 lakhs. All prices are ex-showroom Delhi.


About the author

Nithyanandh Karuppaswamy

Winner of national level automotive quiz competitions, Nithyanandh aka Nithz jumped into the blogosphere right after gaining a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Love for automobiles and an even greater drive to share his knowledge with the automotive community, Nithz is Deputy Editor at RushLane.

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