Road Test

Kawasaki J300: The farewell tour

Visordown waves goodbye to its maxi-scooter long-termer

OVER the past 12 months we’ve established our long-term J300 test bike can carry coma-inducing amounts of lager for a stag do, is capable of burning off an eager GSX-R600 at the lights, and that - despite manufacturer warning labels - it won’t actually ignite your neighbour’s overgrown hedge.

It’s been a productive year and we've grown rather fond of it.

But how does it handle important things, like winter?

Rather well actually. Especially if you fit a pair of Tucano Urbano neoprene handlebar muffs and a large Givi screen. People keep bleating on about how it’s gotten much colder recently - I wouldn’t know.

I don’t think the J300 has noticed either. It’s been completely reliable during our 4,000-mile test and shows no evidence of rust anywhere, despite receiving minimal TLC. It’s quiet too, so you’re unlikely to be hated by your street for waking them up at the crack of dawn. Generally a good thing.

I’d be lying if I said it was all perfect. The seat latch still occasionally refuses to click open and a small squeaking noise has developed somewhere near the rear of the scooter. It tends to disappear after a few miles, so it’s probably nothing serious, but for anybody with a bit of mechanical sympathy it’s an unwelcome sound.

Assuming you don’t ride like an oik the J300 will return roughly 75mpg. That translates to a range of around 200-230 miles from the 13-litre tank. At 191kg wet - 30kg lighter than a Suzuki Burgman 400 - it’s a light bike made to feel even lighter by the low centre of gravity.

Service intervals are at 600 miles, 3,000 miles and then every 3,000 miles after that and cost £99, £224 and £290 respectively. If those relatively short intervals make you wince and you’re handy with a spanner, then it’s worth learning how to change the engine oil, filter, and gearbox oil online, assuming you don't know how to already. It’s not difficult, though it will void your warranty with Kawasaki, who requires that you have the big scoot serviced at an authorised dealer.

We’ll be sad to see it go back to Kawasaki. It’s been a year of practicality-infused frugal fun and I’ll certainly miss having warm knees, underseat storage and a usable tank range.

A year of riding has only further reinforced our first impressions of the mighty J300: at £4,049, the J300 does nearly everything a full-size maxi-scooter will do... for half the price. 

More J300 goodness:

First ride: Kawasaki J300 review

Can a Kawasaki J300 beat a GSX-R600 off the lights?

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

Kawasaki J300: the wedding planner

Kawasaki J300 fails to ignite neighbour's hedge

Kawasaki J300 vs Kymco Xciting 400i

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