2013 Kawasaki Ninja 250R: a facelift at 28

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Is this the most significant new bike this year? Kawasaki is replacing the 5th best selling motorcycle in America with a heavily revised new model. The 2013 Kawasaki Ninja 250R just leaked; here’s 62 images.

Update: It’s official, here’s Kawasaki Japan’s mini-site.

Bikerpoint reports that both the crankcase and pistons are new, the cylinders are now die-cast, the frame is new and that ABS is optional. Fuel-injection is included.

It’s also evident that there’s (very nice looking) new wheels and extensive aerodynamic work has been carried out on the fairing. Expect excellent fuel economy and strong performance. The Ninja 250 was already more powerful than the Honda CBR250R, Kawasaki will likely emphasize that performance gap with this new model.

The current model weighs 375lbs (wet), this new one is 379 without ABS. The CBR250 is 357lbs (wet).

Sadly, it appears that, despite the heavily revised frame, motor and fairings, this is yet another facelift to a bike that’s been around largely unaltered since 1985 rather than an all-new model.

Kawasaki Japan states: “Debut full sports fairing with a parallel twin engine, the Ninja 250. Appearance as well as more heavily laid out the individuality of the Ninja, Ninja 250 has undergone a significant evolution in terms of its run.”

“New pistons, cylinders, crank cases, etc., the main part of the engine. Got a new frame motion performance change, new suspension, and wide tires and the body, even surpass the predecessor.”

“In addition, the heat management technology and the newly introduced reduction of vibration, achieve a comfortable ride quality.”

“The attention to design detail extends to the machine, we realized a high quality feel bring joy to own.”

“In model year 2013, as well as adopted the cylinder plating sleeveless incorporating the process die-cast aluminum, and oil pan large piston anodized crank arms and the case a new, enhanced cooling performance In addition, the revamped many of the key components engine was. This compared with the previous model, the torque is increased at low to medium speed rotation region, became a powerful engine and sporty worthy of the name of Ninja.”

“To get the full engine performance was enhanced, diamond frame has evolved further. In addition to changing the shape of the main frame was revised rigidity balance by adopting a (high-tensile steel) high-tensile steel sill. Such as rubber and mount the part of the engine mount, stuck in the quality of driving in order to reduce the vibration. In addition, according to a new frame, change the settings for the front and rear suspension. Sense of stability of the body was firm and when riding sport is intact, that enhance the agile handling and comfortable ride.”

“Equipment to be adopted, such as high performance super sports model to model, the dual throttle valve. By precise control over the air intake, to achieve linear response across the rpm range, natural whole, to contribute to improved performance by increasing combustion efficiency. In addition, also contributes to improved fuel efficiency.”

“New equipment at the bottom of the engine dissipate heat that passes through the radiator, adopt the fan cover. Part of the rider to reduce the temperature rise, such as touch tanks and frame, to minimize the heat rise Standing around the cockpit. When stopping, regardless of when traveling, to achieve excellent exhaust heat effect. In addition, by adopting silencer cover, such as to minimize the opening of the side cowl and efficiently discharge heat to stay in the cowl, the heat damage to the passenger, in situations such as road congestion and summer riding , which greatly enhances the comfort.”

“Equipped with a petal disk is high heat dissipation, be adopted by super sports model. In combination with 2-piston caliper, has achieved a high braking power and control.
In addition, in the 250cc class and the first set the ABS model Kawasaki. That was adopted to enable precise fluid pressure control, the control unit of the world’s smallest latest, have achieved a natural feeling of operation.”

“Adoption feel the high quality of the latest technologies and common to Ninja series, a new instrument panel design asymmetrical. Analog-style tachometer and excellent visibility intuitive, speed, odometer, trip meter, such as digital display on the LCD panel. In addition, be equipped with fuel gauge and clock support, a more economic driving, riding and economical indicators.”

“Adopt a short silencer cross-sectional design of new atypical. The combination of tire and 140mm wide, to produce a classless Riyabyu powerful tail and cowl, a small size.”

“Correspond to the performance of the engine up, over a wide rear tires. 140mm and 130mm by from traditional, straight-line stability is improved. High quality to suit the wider adoption of the tire, the image of a Ninja ZX-14R, a 10-spoke wheels of the new design variants.”

“Adopted Tsuriaga~tsu large, multi-reflector headlight left and right two-lamp. Impression will be more aggressive than the previous model, has become more strongly inherited Ninja identity design.

“The windscreen has adopted a floating mount a similar type and Ninja ZX-10R. By tightening and together with the mirror mount, as well as to contribute to the weight reduction by reducing the number of parts, to contribute to the image of light around the front.”

“As Ninja ZX-6R Ninja ZX-10R and the Super Sport model, which adopted the fuel tank was allowed to form an upper surface with a forward tilt to the left and right inflection in the overhang. By providing the contact surface to the inside of the arm and the tank and has been easy to feel run in aid of such circuit, the chassis feedback.”

  • http://www.ninja250blog.com R.Sallee (Ninja 250)

    Whoa, they didn’t wait 17 years to refresh.

    Chances it’s fuel injected?

    • http://www.ninja250blog.com R.Sallee (Ninja 250)

      Frame looks the same, lots of reused parts so it’s definitely more of a cosmetic overhaul. Surprisingly deep cosmetic changes considering how little the core bike is changed. Wheels look hot.

    • JTB

      “Dual Throttle Valves” on the cut out pic showing an injector also. So unless they do something really crazy it looks like it will be injected.

      • http://www.ninja250blog.com R.Sallee (Ninja 250)

        At least in Japan and EU. Which it is currently. They just sell a carb version in the US.

        • Wolfgang Romero

          After reading your Blog Mark a Ninja 250R sounds like a great deal to me as a first bike. Perhaps you could weigh in more about the reliability issues discussed bellow

          • http://www.ninja250blog.com R.Sallee (Ninja 250)

            Thanks for reading. I responded below. In short, my 250 has been rock solid over 40k miles and four years.

            • http://hivelosangeles.com Sean Smith

              Another thing to consider: I bought mine with 660 miles on it, not nearly long enough for the bike to prove itself as reliable, but easily long enough for abuse to hurt the motor. Buying a newer one with a few more miles is a good; that’s a sign it’s been out on the road as someone’s reliable transportation.

  • http://worldof2.com/ jpenney

    “Shut up and take my money!” sure applies here! That looks amazing. If it really does come with FI and ABS I am in!

    • http://worldof2.com/ jpenney

      “Digital Fuel Injection (some markets)”

      They’d better not continue to fuck this part up.

      • noone1569

        This. for sure. Without FI at least, this bike is dead to the world.

  • smoke4ndmears

    Looks perfect. Too bad it’s so damn heavy.

    • Aienan

      It’s only about 15 pounds heavier than the Honda CBR250R (366 wet, /w ABS), which would be the comparison I would make.

      What are you thinking of?

      • smoke4ndmears

        Duke 690 for a start.

        • http://www.BrewSmith.com.au dux [87 CBR600, 95 XR600R]

          That’s hardly a fair comparison!

          • smoke4ndmears


  • http://www.cdavisdesigns.com Chris Davis

    Competition does wonders. Looks good, with the exception of every one with graphics. Leave the stickers, take the wasabi.

  • http://hivelosangeles.com Sean Smith

    You’re still doing it wrong Kawasaki.

    Why is it so heavy? Why is it yet another revision of basically the same bike that’s been around since 85? Why call it a ninja and continue to dilute the name of the storied racing models? Why sell a steel-framed, overweight, ill-handling, full-fairing pseudo-sportsbike to new riders, who will promptly drop it and be stuck with a huge bill to replace broken bodywork they didn’t need in the first place?


    Lose the bodywork (or at least offer a naked variant).

    Lose 150lbs.

    Redesign the frame for-real and incorporate a separate subframe for the tail (like every other modern bike that’s worth a shit).

    The frame is probably designed as one piece so that when the subframe design is tweaked marketing can say “all-new frame.” For serious.

    • JMcMahon

      Factory frame sliding farkles batman! See picture 55.

    • Michael

      Fifth best selling bike, a perennial favorite for decades, loved by tons of riders, a blast to ride if you don’t expect race level performance, a bike that holds it’s value in the secondary market incredibly well – I’ve been looking for a smaller bike so I’ve been watching how pricey they usually are – and they’ve been doing it wrong?

      The thing makes them money and sells great year in and year out. Why would they mess with it too much? It’s probably a profit machine without needing expensive redesigns all the time, so more power to ‘em. I don’t begrudge them making some money churning out a decent product at a fair point, a product that makes a lot of people pretty happy.

      It might be heavy, but I’m going to guess that it moves well enough for just about everyone in it’s intended market, and a solid feel isn’t a bad thing for a beginner. They don’t need a super-light GP bike or something.

      Lots of beginners want a sporty faired bike, drop damage or not. See Patrick’s comment below. Agreed, however, on a naked version. That would be cool.

      I don’t know shit about bikes compared to most here, so I’m probably wrong, but I just don’t see a problem with a popular if slightly behind the curve decently made bike. I still would like to find a used one for cheap to bomb around on, but they are just too popular e.g expensive, for a cheap bastard like me.

      I’d be curious to see the whole top ten or top twenty best selling list. Is there anything close to the Ninja 250 in yearly terms and all time terms, in it’s size class?

      • http://hivelosangeles.com Sean Smith

        Look, the problem I see is that Kawasaki is only able to move the units they do by selling exclusively to people that don’t know any better.

        People like you.

        I owned and rode an 03 Ninja 250. I put 9,000 miles on it over the course of a year, during which time the motor blew up, the shifter and kick stand vibrated off on the freeway, the passenger peg/exhaust mounts cracked off of the frame, and I only got 49mpg to boot.

        They’re not slightly behind the curve, they’re WAY behind the curve. Instead of working to correct it, they’ve opted to reskin the bike (yet again) and hope the press behaves (the print mags will).

        The best advice I can give to a new rider is to not buy any new motorcycle for your first bike, and especially not a disposable “beginner” bike. $4,200 is too much money for something like that.

        Why do beginners want a fully faired sportsbike? Because thats what marketing has been telling american riders they want for nearly three decades.

        And they really should just stop calling it a Ninja. Ferrari doesn’t sell red FWD econoboxs with big FERRARI branding in hopes that those customers will grow up to one day buy real Ferraris; they’re smart enough to understand that a Ferrari is something special that shouldn’t be diluted. A lot like the 193hp Ninja ZX10R that has to share it’s name with a cheesy steel framed 32hp impostor.

        Yes, I spent a significant amount of time onboard a ninja 250 that constantly broke down and vibrated off anything that wasn’t loctited down. Beware.

        • NewOldSchool

          1) Sounds like you are angry because of a negative personal experience.

          2)You are not the bike’s intended target

          3)To most people buying this bike they don’t know or care what’s underneath, it looks to them just like any other sportbike, so they now “belong.”

          Their criteria is more like this:

          “Does it look like the sport bike or “crotch rocket” I always wanted.” CHECK

          “Does it feel awesome to bomb around on my new motorcycle that I could actually afford” CHECK

          “Can I handle this motorcycle without scaring the shit out of myself while wearing my new helmet and back protector.” CHECK

          • http://hivelosangeles.com Sean Smith

            I’m not angry, far from it. I’ve just seen this all before and knowing that the bike will be a dud just like last time, I’m calling it as I see it.

            My aim here is only to educate the buyers that need it most.

            • Pete

              That would be a case of the blind leading the blind, then.

              On your 250 you “blew up the motor”, had parts vibrate off, and cracked the passenger pegs off in 1 yr/9,000 miles? I’ll go out on a limb and say either:

              1. The bike was previously abused
              2. You abused/didn’t maintain it
              3. You’re the victim of an incredible statistical anomaly, to the point that you need to go play the lotto RIGHT NOW


              4. You’re lying

              Sorry bud, they’re going to sell a ton of these.

              • http://hivelosangeles.com Sean Smith

                1. Maybe, it’s hard to tell.
                2. Definitely not, as my only form of transportation, and as a motorcycle mechanic, I did everything I could for it. Then again, I did ride it on LA freeways pinned in sixth for five days a week. It felt and sounded like I was abusing the motor, but I didn’t have a lot of options.
                3. Definitely. Yet, I’ve come across many others that had similar problems, just not all at once.
                4. Nope, my Ninja really was a steaming pile of trash.

                The kicker? The blown motor was a result of a broken head bolt, which I assume broke because the metal was not of a sufficiently high quality. I still keep it in my toolbox.

                • http://www.TroyRank.com Troy R

                  There are however, documented cases of ninja 250s with over 100k mi. Losing 150lb from a 250 is blasphemy. The cbr250r is better, but I can’t see how it’s really not worth bashing the ninja that much. Some much needed improvements on a cheap standard.

        • Michael

          “People like me?” Hey, screw you, too. You don’t know me. At least I didn’t go ad hominem on you in a stupid discussion about goddamn motorcycles. Seriously, what’s your problem?

          And I know better than to use something in a way it was never designed to and then blame the tool.

          I do know better – I know better than to put my big ass on a tiny bike and pin a tiny 250 in sixth through LA traffic for hour after hour.

          Seriously, how many beginner riders will even approach that level of riding? Very few, probably close enough to zero to effectively say none.

          For those people who want to push the limits on a small bike I might say look for something like a used RS250 – there’s one on ebay right now for 4-5K. Hell, I never had one, but a older well kept VTR250 might fit that bill better than a Ninja 250, and can be had for much less. Neither are likely to be as reliable as the Ninja 250 is for most people.

          Try thinking like a businessman selling a good (and fun) product at a fair price, or like an actual beginner rider for a minute and not an experienced rider/mechanic/racer or whatever you consider yourself. For those people it’s a perfect bike. Or maybe you just know better than the thousands and thousands of people who’ve been buying them and enjoying the hell out of them for almost three decades?

        • http://www.ninja250blog.com R.Sallee (Ninja 250)

          I’ve only ever owned one Ninja 250, so mathematically my experience is only as relevant as yours. Anecdotally, I’ve heard of more experiences that match mine.

          I’ve owned my 2008 Ninja 250 for over four years, got about 40,000 miles on it. The only abnormal issue it’s had is a trip odometer that didn’t work right from the factory (replaced years ago, fine since).

          I commute daily in San Francisco, have ridden to Malibu and Seattle, do back roads hard on the weekend and generally rev the ever loving shit out of the thing. It’s not had an easy 40,000 miles but it’s never skipped a beat.

          • jp182

            My experience with 250′s was similar to yours. I owned a new 04 250 and put 3000 miles on it in 2 months with no problems.

            A few years later, my girlfriend bought an 02 that had 18000 miles on it and the only issues were due to poor maintenance which included a worn down clutch and the carbs needed to be rebuilt. Once that was done, it ran with no issues.

    • Pete

      “Why is it so heavy?” – because light is expensive.

      “Why is it yet another….” – because redesigns are expensive.

      “Why sell a…full fairing…” – because that’s what the American entry level sportbike customer WANTS. Are you under the illusion that the previous model didn’t sell well?

      Simple fact is that these customers care a hell of a lot more about $4,199 than they do about almost everything else. And there are a shit load of them.

      If you want to understand this you need to stop thinking like a mechanic, and start thinking like a businessman. Until then, you’re the fool.

      • Gene

        I do have to say it’s got a fairing because I remember when the EX500 got a “marketing upgrade” to the “Ninja 500″ mainly by putting a fairing and some stickers on it.

        Suddenly they were a dime a dozen around here, so I guess the marketing upgrade worked, as much as I laughed at it.

    • Glenngineer

      You say lose 150lbs like that doesn’t constitute a massive amount of NRE for a budget bike. What does Joe 18 year old first bike want to pay for 150 pounds of weight reduction? Basically nothing. The Ninja 250 is a raging, runaway sales machine, it doesn’t ‘need’ to lose weight.

      You also say lose 150lbs like someone that has never actually been remotely responsible for how much something weighs. It’s hard to be light.

    • http://www.ninja250blog.com R.Sallee (Ninja 250)

      “You’re not developing a bike at a price that no market will support, fools.” Sorry.

    • Lama glama

      It is so heavy because they can’t sell it to learners on a restricted license if it is any lighter. As most know, there is a tiered licensing scheme in most European countries, where learners are restricted to 33 HP bikes for some years after getting their license. What is not as commonly known is that the same law specifies a maximum power to weight ratio for learner bikes. The current model EX250 is already close to that limit. It would make no sense for Kawasaki to cut off the very people that are the core market for this bike by making it too light.

      • http://hivelosangeles.com Sean Smith

        Holy crap. Points for research, I had no idea. (stupid American…)

        Now I completely understand why this bike is the way it is.

      • http://www.BrewSmith.com.au dux [87 CBR600, 95 XR600R]

        Luckily Aussie rules are looser! My XR600 qualifies for “LAMS” learner approved motorcycle status – and it has a bit more than 33hp.

      • Campisi

        Part of me wishes they’d design it to be far lighter, but then bolt on heavy “frame reinforcements” that just happen to come off pretty easily after purchase. Gotta make sure the newbies have a stiff frame, for safety and all that…

  • http://www.TroyRank.com Troy R

    My ideal 250: CBR250R, with the styling of the new ninja.

  • Roman

    Fuel injection, upgraded suspension (?), new pistons, cylinders, and crank cases. Revised frame. Great looking fairings/wheels. I know everyone wants a clean sheet design that weighs 300 pounds, but this is pretty good stuff, considering the bike sat unchanged for something like 17 years. Can’t wait for some reviews.

  • Patrick from Astoria

    As a – coming out of the closet here – brand-new rider who will likely be in the market around summer next year (job market for math teachers pending), with a girlfriend who occasionally betrays an interest in riding as well, this has all of a sudden become my #1. As appealing as the CBR250R is, that extra little bit of raciness implied in the Kawasaki’s lineage is a huge turn-on.

    Wish it was a 400, but que sera, sera. I’ll take one in Passion Red.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Get the CBR250R, it’s a far more complete product and a much more enjoyable ride. Also, get the version with ABS.

      • Tony

        I don’t see ABS as a benefit to beginner riders. They need to learn how the bike behaves in different kinds of situations, and what the limit of traction feels like. ABS is an impediment to learning, not help.

        • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

          They need to not crash and die. ABS helps with that.

          • Ax

            Most — if not all — of us here learned to ride without ABS. I think we’re still alive.

            While ABS is very nice to have, I worry that ABS will prevent new riders from learning about traction limits and how to brake effectively. Squeezing the lever as hard as you can is not a skilled braking technique.

            • http://hivelosangeles.com Sean Smith

              Not the one’s that died ;)

              Squeezing the lever as hard as you can, feeling the massive braking forces, and stopping short of disaster may not take skill, but it is effective, and it does give you an idea of what your tires are capable of.

              • BMW11GS

                ABS should always be recommended. How better to learn the limits of tire adhesion with those ABS chirps letting you know (safely!!!) that you’ve reached the limit.

                • http://worldof2.com/ jpenney

                  I wish more people took this view. ABS doesn’t take away from the learning experience it just helps you not crash when you have learn it.

                • Ax

                  How many people actually learn something about the limits of tire adhesion and how many simply rely on ABS to “do its thing”? Cars have had ABS for quite a while. Has it made the typical cager better at braking or do they just “mash on the brakes” in a panic situation?

                  Yes, ABS is great and I’m all for it. But it doesn’t necessarily teach anyone how to brake.

                • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate Ben W

                  Ax – the typical cager has always mashed their brakes. So, to answer your question, ABS has absolutely made the typical cager better at braking.

          • Kyle


      • Patrick from Astoria

        As someone who was once violently accused of being on Honda’s payroll because of something I wrote: damn, Wes, brand loyalty much?

        Hey: I know, I understand. Between the reviews and the more lyrical impression pieces, I know what a special piece the CBR250R is and what it also sort of represents in a world that needs more of this. I can seriously see one outside the building here in the near future, and my fondness for the marque (meaning real Hondas like that one, not the sad latter-day focus-grouped dilutions of a proud legacy, but that’s still mostly on the car side) is as well-established as it should be for any proper gearhead in my age bracket. If I was legally required to get something tomorrow, that would be it.

        But…we’ll see about this one. I like having interesting options, and this looks like one at this point.

        Still longing for something legitimate in that 350-450 range, tho.

        • Roman

          Hi well spoken new guy. Keep us updated to your eventual bike choice. A new rider perspective is always welcome.

        • Mike in NYC

          Just be prepared to hunt for one. When I was bike shopping last summer I couldn’t find a single NYC dealership that had a Ninja 250R or CBR250R. A place out on Long Island had a single Ninja but gave me a pricey quote on it.

          • Matt

            That was my experience too. If you want it now now now, be prepared to pay for the privilege. I was willing to wait for my red CBR250R ABS, and NY Honda Yamaha in Queens was a pleasure to deal with.

          • Kyle

            Probably the one out in hicksville, I almost considered the ninjette from there as well. I’m reserving my judgement…until others much more qualified than me judge it

        • John2

          Vento 400GT triple, maybe? At 348 lbs claimed it may be as light as the Honda…

          • Patrick from Astoria

            Interesting, but not a real option for us Yankees. If I’m going to go through the trouble of bringing a bike in via the gray market, it’s not going to be for one of those.

            • John2

              Durn…they said they were bringing it to the US, or at least that’s what they told Cathcart, per Motorcyclist, March 2010:
              “It should be a bargain, too: Vento hopes to sell the 35-horsepower 400GT in the USA for $3750 or less, a number that compares very favorably to the $4299 list price of the smaller-displacement Kawasaki Ninja 250R.”


        • http://www.cdavisdesigns.com Chris Davis

          You’re going to drop it at some point. You know that, right? Get a used one that’s already got the 5mph parking lot rash. Ride it like you don’t care. Spend your money on better gear, not set-up fees. Move up to a bigger bike when you’re ready, whenever that may be. Buy the next used bike in the fall, sell your 250 in the spring and break even on it. Repeat as necessary.

          • ike6116


            Answer Above.

            • http://www.cdavisdesigns.com Chris Davis

              There are plenty of great bikes in the U.S. I don’t buy new cars either and I don’t see that holding back Ferrari. It’s supply and demand. Incremental changes aren’t enough to get me to buy new. If being a rational consumer is bringing down the industry, the industry’s got some serious problems.

          • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate Ben W

            There’s nothing wrong with a new bike as a first one, particularly in a situation where there’s not a huge financial gain to be realized.

      • joshua

        I agree with Mr. Siler. Especially the ABS bit. One of my best friends is having his hip pieced back together right now because he didn’t listen and got a 05 Triumph Daytona, which is a awesome bike, but not a good starter. The lack of abs and his inexperience combined to result in locking up the rear brake, then letting off it and violently high-siding. I do have to congratulate you for going with a 250. Most people are either too confident or too insecure to get a 250 first.

        • Patrick from Astoria

          I was assigned a 125 Eliminator during my just-completed MSF course at Trama’s here in NYC (highly recommended) and that was still more fun – and work! – than just about anything I’ve experienced involving personal motion. Having a 250 or something close to that as a first ride is a small-to-nonexistent hit on ego and a major play for a proper progression to something seriously fast, given plenty of miles and maybe a few track days and such. Besides, I like the idea that something small is that much more fun in the real world.

          Yes, I still get a sort of narrowed-eyelids/evil-smile look on my face when dwelling on Supersports, but I’ve had to wait too long in the first place; I can still deal with a learning curve of sorts.

        • Tony

          to joshua: Sorry about your friend, hope he recovers and keeps on riding! But he shouldn’t have started on a Daytona, ABS or not. If not the brakes, the throttle could have gotten him into even more trouble.

      • sargent

        How can you make that statement about the Honda being better w/out having ridden, let alone laid eyes (in person) on the new Ninja-lite? Now compared to the current 250 Ninja I could see that, but this looks to be a fairly updated version that might warrant a bit of a wait and see before tossing that out there.

        • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

          It’s a facelift. It’ll be a little better than the current bike, but I don’t see much here to warrant a huge change in how it rides. The styling is the big difference, it does look nice.

          • jp182

            even with ABS and changes to the motor?

            • http://hivelosangeles.com Sean Smith

              It’s just a facelift. Same motor and frame architecture, same shitty forks and shock, a few plug in upgrades. Europe and Japan got the FI back in 08 while the US was left with some 1985 carburator bs.

  • http://www.muthalovin.com the_doctor

    The Ninja name sells these bikes. I like this facelift quite a bit, but I would rather have a CBR250R for functionality of form.

  • Tom

    What, no comments on the incomprehensible translated text?! I almost wet myself from laughing so hard.

    • http://twitter.com/tacotv69 Taco

      I noticed. I thought I went dyslexic for a while.

      • http://www.BrewSmith.com.au dux [87 CBR600, 95 XR600R]

        Surely, it’s Babelfish-ed…

    • Dan

      I was wondering how much it cost them to have Yoda write the copy.

  • Steve

    250 Ninja’s are cheap fun. I’m in the process of turning my wifes 2010 Ninjette into a racey bike. Clip-ons, rear sets, full exhaust, and some body work all stuck on a new-ish bike is setting me back less than $6k, including the cost of the bike when new. The suspension will wait for now.

    At 6′ 4″ I look a little silly on the thing, but it puts a big grin on my face.

    I compare it to racing a spec Miata. Good cheap fun.

  • longtravel

    “It’s also evident that there’s (very nice looking) new wheels and extensive aerodynamic work has been carried out on the fairing.”

    Where’s the aero work at? All I see is a revised set of squid-bait fairings on the old bike so that it can make a closer connection to big brother. I like it. It looks cool, but it’s effectively the same thing, just with sweet new ninja t-shirt on.

    Props to them for putting ABS and EFI on it, but most of the other changes are probably component cost-down or local-sourcing in action. Want to know the one downside to the minor engine case changes you see before you? They will be here for a long time. Probably the next 5-7 years. How do I know this? Because tooling is expensive. As in, really expensive. Unless you’re talking about the ultra-competitive world of 600′s and 1000′s you just can’t justify somewhere between a few and several million dollars for tooling every year or three and even those bikes are stretching engine platforms longer than ever.

    It’s a step in the right direction and will probably minimize whatever gap existed between team green and big red but there are no real advancements made in the 250 class with this bike.

  • rndholesqpeg

    So why so much love for the cbr250r compared to the ninja? I thought the Honda was down on power and the ninja would pass it with ease, and thats why nobody is racing them in the E class.

    • longtravel

      The Kawi has the power and is more popular for a racer because of it but the Honda isn’t far behind and is superior in quality and overall riding experience on the street.

      • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

        The Ninja has been around for ever and has a great aftermarket. That’s the only reason it’s a more popular racing choice.

        • Devin

          Plenty have been crashed over time as well, so they can pick up rashed bikes to race or for parts.

        • http://www.faster-faster.com fasterfaster

          To be fair, the twin makes a better race engine. That CBR (which I agree is a vastly better street bike) doesn’t have the top end to run side by side with the Ninja on a full size track.

          • http://hivelosangeles.com Sean Smith

            Yup, and fixing the power deficit would require mods that fall outside of the rules.

          • http://www.BrewSmith.com.au dux [87 CBR600, 95 XR600R]


            • http://hivelosangeles.com Sean Smith
  • rohorn

    The copy sounds like it is missing something, like: “All the new pieces are made from the new tooling in China, where we don’t send our best development work, yet”.

  • Coreyvwc

    Easily the best looking 250 on the Market (until KTM throws down) but anyone can still buy a MUCH better used bike for the same amount of money. Basically a sheep in wolves clothing. I just do not understand why anyone would buy this brand new…

    • Kyle

      the KTM is really the game changer. If they make anything with 350cc that looks remotely like its racing counterpart it’ll be gold

      • http://twitter.com/tacotv69 Taco

        KTM will hopefully blow this out of the water but it’s going to cost you.

    • http://www.ninja250blog.com R.Sallee (Ninja 250)

      The same argument could be said of any new motorcycle/vehicle. “Why buy a new Honda Civic when you could get a used Mustang for cheaper?” ‘Cause it’s new.

      • Coreyvwc

        I’m a huge advocate of buying used, but I’d much rather have the civic hahaha.

    • http://www.lgdm.fr stempere

      New riders with no mechanical skills like a bike with a waranty.

  • http://respectthetrade.tumblr.com/ KR Tong

    Just looks like old tech repackaged. Motorcycle equivalent of a Gillette “Mach 3 Turbo.”

    • jojojoj

      lol good one. well said

  • ike6116

    Someone being anti ABS is basically my litmus test as to whether or not I want to talk motorcycles with them.

    If you’re anti-abs you’re kidding yourself. You aren’t that good a rider I promise you and if you are you completely understand that 99% of people aren’t like you.

    • http://www.ninja250blog.com R.Sallee (Ninja 250)

      Is there a difference between being anti-ABS and being anti-paying-$500-extra-for-ABS?

      • ike6116


      • protomech


        Anti-ABS folks protest the spread of ABS in street bikes and also protest legislation making it a requirement.

        Anti-paying-$500-for-ABS folks vote with their wallets, and that’s okay. Most of them would be well-served by standard ABS, which would drastically drive down (but not eliminate) its added cost.

        • Devin

          You wish – If ABS was made standard tomorrow on all new bikes every manufacturer would just add $500 to each bike for ABS and call it a day. No way economies of scale on that item, even if they existed, would be passed on to the customer.

          The unfortunate thing for ABS is that it seems to be the same price on all bikes, which makes it a very steep upgrade to a beginner motorcycle.

          • Pete

            Devin, why is it that you seem to think OEMs are such devils? The truth is, due to price wars among them, Japanese OEMs have squeezed margins so thin that on some models they aren’t making money at all. They’re not trying to screw you. Honestly, with the amount of tech, performance, and reliability that one gets at today’s bike prices, we should all be rejoicing. It’s a golden age, baby!

          • ike6116

            If it were the cell phone carrier oligarchy in the US, yes. However here in the US, bike manufactures, some anyways, do compete based on price and are not in cahoots.

            The minute a company figured out how to do it cheaper they would.

            Take this same argument and use it for not requiring cars to have seat belts 1970s

  • http://www.ClevelandCycleWerks.com scottydigital

    All I want to know is does this bike make my dick look bigger?

    • http://www.faster-faster.com fasterfaster

      Considering the well established inverse relationship between aggressive bodywork and dick size (i.e. Vespa = horse, S1000RR = baby thumb) I’d say the update in fact makes your dick look smaller than the previous Ninja 250.

      (cue humorless superbike owners…. now.)

      • Patrick from Astoria

        Aw, man. Does that mean I’m stuck with Enfields for the rest of my life?

      • Glenngineer

        I’ve got a well worn Strom, which means I should have an average size dick that looks like a half eaten turket leg.

        So far, the theory holds.

        • Gene

          Man, is it #TMIThursday ALREADY?? Jeez…

  • Campisi

    I seriously considered the Ninja 250 before buying my CBR 250, but the higher weight, inexcusable (in my mind) lack of fuel injection, and higher price from crummier dealers helped me choose the Honda. I had to wait about a month for the dealer to track one down for me (this was back when the first units were hitting the docks), but it was worth it.

  • *

    Kawasaki, when are you going to ditch that tired old parallel twin and make this an inline four? Better yet, offer it in 250 and 400cc inline four flavors and watch them fly off the showroom floor like hotcakes.

    • Glenngineer

      What the fuck would you do with an inline four at 250cc that you can’t do with the twin? These things are already torque challenged enough, spinning cylinders with displacements barely bigger than shot glasses does not a tremendously rideable engine make. Honda and Kawasaki have done it before, but I don’t know if they were ever sold in the US.

      • jojojoj

        well said. an inline 4 250cc would have no torque and need to be revved so high ALL THE TIME to do anything or go anywhere. would turn this bike into a nightmare to ride. I love how people are so convinced they know they’re talking about yet have no idea.