Just how far will one tank get you on Kawasaki's J300?

Long-term review part three

LAST week I travelled over 200 miles in one day on the J300 to get to the launch of Avon’s new tyre in Wiltshire.

The launch was roughly 110 miles away from London, but more importantly, provided a perfect opportunity to test what kind of mileage the big scoot gets from a tank when freed from the restrictions of London traffic.

With the odometer showing 910 miles I pulled into a petrol station and brimmed the tank - full of fuel the J300 shows four healthy bars. After exactly 75 miles on the motorway travelling at a true 70mph the fuel gauge dropped to three bars. Another 85 miles later through similar conditions and we’re down to two. Only 19 miles later and the J300 is flashing its last bar, and 11 miles after that the amber ‘low fuel’ indicator comes on.

I brim the tank again and do some roadside mathematics. It takes me far longer to work out than it ought but I eventually get a number that sounds about right - 76.5mpg over 190 miles. Blimey, these single-cylinder thingies are good. I had the 300cc engine held between 7,000 and 8,000rpm for almost the entire way and it still managed over 70mpg.

I learnt a few more things about the big scoot during my motorway stint, the first being that it would benefit from a taller screen. Let’s make it clear that the J300 by no means suffers badly from wind buffeting, but given the fact that maxi scooter designs are unlikely to ever melt hearts, you may as well fully commit to the practical side of things and fit a screen where you get no buffeting at all. Kawasaki lists a tinted Givi screen on its site for a smidgen under £116 which stands 17cm taller than the standard screen, 9cm wider on both sides, and sports some slightly controversial ‘ears’ which poke out.

Secondly, the J300 is a very comfortable machine to rack up the miles on. And finally - despite making ‘only’ 28hp - it simply does not need any more power. It's proven it’ll do long motorway stints, tight filtering, B road hooning, and genuinely not once have I craved more power. The CVT gearbox is quick off the mark and gives you a perfect launch every time, and at motorway speeds there’s still enough grunt in reserve for overtakes.

It's practical too. Pulling into Box Hill with my girlfriend Charlotte on the back we parked up alongside a well-used R1150 GS. The pillion on the BMW said ‘you could fit your entire wardrobe in there!’ unfortunately before setting off Charlotte had noted that too, and indeed made a good attempt at it.

If I had to change one thing on the J300 it would be the seat latch. There’ve been a number of times where I’ve had to physically punch the seat in for it to click into place. It always opens or closes eventually, but I’d prefer a bike that didn’t instigate the need for a passer-by to come over and ask me if I needed help with my latch, which has happened on two occasions now. “No thanks, that’s kind of you though” as I revert to the male philosophy of bashing things to fix them.

My little Wiltshire trip has given me even more confidence in the J300 and further increased my temptation to take it on a mini International adventure.

Till next time!

Model tested: Kawasaki J300

Price: £4,049

Power: 28hp

Fuel economy (tested): 76.5mpg

Kerb weight: 191kg

Seat height: 775mm

Availability: Now

Colours: black, silver, black/green

Read part four of our Kawasaki J300 long-term review

Read Visordown's first-ride review of the Kawasaki J300