By the way this is EXACTLY the kind of thing I predicted a few years ago, around 2007 or so, when you just started to see some new small-bore motorcycles being introduced again. I said that the more small bikes there were, the more there WOULD be (sort of an exponential grwoth in the years following my prediction), and that the competition would grow and make the small bikes even better. Sure enough, exactly as I said. I love it! Now I'm waiting for a 2014 or '15 GSXR 300 four cylinder or something like that lol! This is a really hot market sector right now and I can definitely see fiercer competition in it, in the coming few years. Here's a link to the Ninja 300 page:
Oh yes and below is a little statement from Kawasaki about the 300, taking a bit of a jab at the CBR 250. Although I did/do like the small CBR, I can't really say that I disagree with Kawasaki on this one:
"After years of unchallenged domination, the best-selling NinjaÂ® 250R sportbike had finally begun to see competition from other manufacturers. Make no mistake, it still outperformed the challengers by a significant margin on the open road [here I make a small point of contention - notice how they cleverly say "on the open road", as opposed to perhaps, say, a twisty mountain road; the CBR is as good or better on a curvy road, but can't quite keep up under sheer straight-line acceleration], but why simply outperform them, when you can totally dominate? The new 2013 Ninja 300 thoroughly dominates its lightweight sportbike competition on the performance front, and it also significantly ups the ante for refinement, ease of use and overall practicality. Thanks to a new digital fuel injection system, and a new F.C.C. clutch with assist and slipper functions, this new 300 is the best lightweight sportbike, by far, when it comes to overall performance and sporting capability."
A slipper clutch on a 300 "entry level" - that's awesome too!