Wednesday, August 18, 2010



The Kawasaki Ninja 250R is limited by virtue of what it was built to be. At 249cc, it isn't exactly packing a whole ton of power. For those seeking mind-boggling acceleration and near-flight top speeds, the Ninja 250R isn't your bike (neither is the Ninja 500R or even 650R, either). For those seeking a bike that can pop wheelies at will, the Ninja 250R is definitely not your bike.

The size of the Ninja 250R is also limiting, as someone who is larger (in either height or girth) may find themselves looking more like a shriner than a rider. It also can be somewhat uncomfortable for those with long legs, as you have to really hug the bike.

The Kawasaki Ninja 250R was given a facelift a few years ago, providing it with more aggressive fairing and a more modern appearance. This is the learner bike for those who don't want the world to know it's a learner bike. For those who aren't into motorcycles, the Ninja 250R looks just as aggressive and as mean as any other. For those who are into motorcycles, the chances are good that they'll acknowledge the Kawasaki 250R for what it is: a capable bike that is perfect to hone your skills on.

The Ninja 250R’s aerodynamic bodywork and styling looks remarkably similar to the ZX-6R and ZX-10R, and that is purely not coincidental. There’s no “250” emblem on this big little 250, and that’s no mistake either.

But before we start talking about the Ninja’s sporting capability, let’s be clear about its mission. It is an entry-level sportbike, to be sure, but its upright handlebars and low 30.5-inch seat height make it a user-friendly all-rounder, not unlike Kawasaki’s larger parallel-Twin Ninjas.

As such, this bike is quite suitable for commuting, and we saw upwards of 50 mpg sipped from its comparatively large 4.8-gallon fuel tank, even while testing redline on a regular basis.

Its fairing and windshield offer suitable protection from wind buffeting, and if we can be utterly biased for a moment, we think commuters also looking for a bit of weekend fun might be more satisfied with this 250 over, say, a comparable displacement scooter.