Kawasaki did a really good job with the larger extra engine power against its competitors. That extra 50cc just provides the mid range with a little more punch and allows you to really go places on this little bike. With the wind behind us and down hill on a closed course we did see 111mph on the speedo. With the Ninja 300 being an entry level sportbike the riding position is designed to get you use to leaning forward. It is not too aggressive but it does provide the feeling of what it would be like if you were riding a Ninja 636. Riders can imagine themselves getting onto the larger big brother once able to handle everything that the baby Ninja offers. We tested the bike on the street within normal country road surroundings. We include an interstate where it sat at 80mph very easily, we took it up steep hill’s where you did have to change gear quite a bit, and we took it to the New York Safety Track www.nysafetytrack.com in upstate New York. This track is brand new it only opened in May so the road surface was very fresh, clean and relatively bump free. The Ninja 300 swallowed up the twisty tight portions of the track. It is very capable of keeping with the larger midrange bikes with the right pilot on board with it’s 34hp parallel twin engine. It even wheelied ever the wheelie hill turn 7 ever so slightly, if you had a good drive out of turn 6 and yanked on the bars a little. The suspension was a little soft but what do you expect with absolutely no changes to the stock bike. I did find myself grinding mid corner on the first few laps, when I got back to the pits we realized we still had the Hero blobs on, they had to go. Then there was the tires. This is the only part of the stock bike from Kawasaki I didn’t like. They should have put better rubber on straight from the factory as they sell them. The stock tire is an IRC RX 01-F Road Winner. I understand this is an entry level bike, but what is wrong with sticky rubber for any type of riding?? It provides the rider with confidence, they know the tires are there to help keep the bike solid mid corner, these things were all over the place. They are probably great in the rain, but who cares, it’s a sportbike, we need stability and grip with our dinky little contact patch. So just budget for new tires when you buy this bike.
Most people when they buy a bike really don’t think about whether it will be truly capable on and off road. BMW have built their Dual Sport heritage specifically for the road rider that would love and could take their bike onto the dirt. This middle of the road sportier model in the GS family is as capable at commuting to a downtown city as it is on a fire road or mountain pass. The mid range power of the engine allows the bike to go anywhere you want it to with no concerns of getting bogged down or running out of power. The acceleration of the motorcycle allows you to take full advantage while overtaking groups of slower vehicles or making it up a steep off road incline. Just drop the gearbox open the throttle and the bike will quickly but not overwhelmingly take you to the next level. In typical BMW GS Style this bike has all of the bells and whistles you could ask for. It comes with ABS as standard. BMW’s Electronic Suspension Adjustment (ESA) as standard, which allows you to chose your comfort level and suspension set up on the fly. As an added extra you can buy the Traction Control (ASC) that has become synonymous with BMW Motorcycles over the years. The brakes are top notch too. With a Brembo braking system the front dual disc, floating arrangement with double-piston allows you to single finger brake both on and off road. They bite straight away with just enough force to inspire confidence but not too much to over-power the front end and drop the nose too aggressively. The back brakes are single-piston floating calipers with ABS on all models. F 800 GS adapting to everyone’s height requirements Motorcycle ride height has always been an issue for anyone that has a short inside leg measurement, especially if they want to own any bike in the GS line. However, the available seats on the F 800 GS allow for shorter riders to be able to ride this bike but you do lose a few valuable features if you install the lower seat. See the other road testers description of what has to change to fit the lower seat (add link to Marks piece here)The standard seat height is 34.6 inches. But with the variable seat options you can now take it down as low as 32.3 inches. Obviously, it is not a cruiser but it does adapt to one of the lower configurations within this category. The seats also come in a couple of different shapes for comfort and off road needs. There is the High seat which is the standard seat, the Low which is easier for riders to get their feet on the ground, the Rally seat which is much harder for off-road riding and the comfort seat with a wider broader surface with more padding for comfort which was the one on our bike. General Thoughts The suspension allows for any type of road surface. Our test included backcountry roads that were tight and undulating, interstate riding and city commuting type terrain. The F 800 GS riding position provided clear concise visibility all around, even mid corner or looked over you shoulder to overtake, visibility was never an issue especially with the upright handle bar position and clear visible mirrors. On the interstate sitting at 90 miles an hour was easy for this machine. Wind protection was adequate but I can imagine the larger screen would be a little more enjoyable on the highway. We were able to roll the throttle on in sixth gear with a clean crisp throttle response from the electronic fuel injection that never lacked excitement or power keeping a constant pace and never running out of breath. Off road all of the above still applies. We did some fire roads and ideally knobby tires would have been our preference but you still got the idea what this bike is very capable in an off road environment.
This product really works. Everytime a police car came towards us with the radar detector on it went off, and with loads of time to spare.
If you want a fully blown tourer motorcycle this is not your machine. If you want a bike that will allow you to ride the twisties and feel every curve while dropping the gear box and maybe even blipping the clutch as you enter the corner, and at the same time having somewhere to put your partner on the back and all the luggage, this is the bike for you. The sporty design and forward leaning position lends this bike to a sporty tourer than a tourer-tourer. You will have no issue covering a lot of miles on this bike and it’s very comfortable but the weight is still on your wrists as against your seat. We rode over 1,100 miles in three days with no ache’s or pains and a great smile on our faces whenever we got the keys to this bike. The engine is situated high on the chassis so the bike does feel quite heavy and with a seat height of 815mm (32.1) if you have a short inside leg measurement like I have be careful when maneuvering on gravel or a downward slope. The power delivery through the Multipoint sequential electronic fuel injection system is clean and crisp and the acceleration is adequate enough to keep up with other sportbike riders, but you do have to work the gear box. Sixth gear is high, so unless you are over 75 miles an hour the bike feels sluggish in high gears to respond. Drop it down to fourth and crack the throttle and you can feel power.
Very comfortable and very waterproof. Wish they had belt hoops though.
This jacket keeps you very cool in the heat with the perforated holes on the front, back and arms. Don't get caught in a rain storm it's not waterproof obviously due to the holes. Very comfortable and stylish when matched with a suitable pair of textiles pants.
The helmet was comfortable, and I still had the wind in my face while riding in States that I had to have a helmet in. The strap just sat comfortably under my chin and I really couldn't feel it was on my head. Cheap too at $110.00 for faster speeds I did need some goggles.
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