I'd love to hear how you think the R3 compares to the CBR if you get a chance.
Right, here goes.
The riding position is very similar to the CBR250R but try to imagine cutting a centimetre or two out of the seat padding. That makes it feel a little more like you're sitting in the bike rather than perched on top. The seat slopes from rear to front more than the Honda which is something I may get modified in the future.
The upper fairing is more protective than on the CBR250R. On cold days on the Honda I could feel cold air flowing across the ends of my fingers where they curl under the grips and blowing over the tops of my thighs. On the R3 that doesn't happen but I do seem to get more wind on my lower legs.
The R3's steering feels a little slower than the CBR250R, biased more towards stability and taking a little more effort to initiate turns. It would be wrong to call it ponderous but the difference is definitely there.
The R3 obviously has more power and being a twin more revs to play with, both at the top and the bottom of the scale. On the Honda I'd always change down in the higher gears to keep the revs above 4000, the R3 will drop to 3000 quite happily and up at motorway speeds it's as smooth as any 4 cylinder bike I've ridden. If you Google dyno charts for both bikes you'll see that the CBR is relatively peaky with a bulge in the torque curve between 5000 and 7500 revs and the R3 has a very flat curve. And that's how it feels to ride. The R3 motor doesn't spin up as quickly with the clutch disengaged as the CBR and so requires a larger throttle opening to rev match on downshifts. I'll get used to that. The extra power and fairing combine to allow a potential cruising speed 10-15 mph above the CBR.
And finally, that great big rev counter dominating the display really is a thing of beauty, enough to be a significant factor in choosing the R3 over alternatives.
And to answer Radha21. The Ninja 300 is a heavier bike with a peakier motor according to all the information I could find.