With the release of the Honda CBR250R and Cleveland CycleWerks Misfit, we suddenly have a surprisingly robust 250cc class here in the land of bigger-is-better. No less than six 250s will be widely available in America in 2011, offering beginners, tightwads, short people and fans of riding slow bikes fast an unprecedented level of choice. Which one is right for you? Maybe crunching their numbers will help you decide.

Update: Hyosung GT250 added (d'oh) and the Misfit got a new weight so some of it's numbers changed.

If it’s all about saving money, then the CCW Misfit is the bike for you. It offers competitive performance figures for $800 less than the next least-expensive competitor, the Suzuki TU250X.

Performance more important to you? The Yamaha WR250X has a clear advantage in both power-to-weight and torque-to-weight, but you’ll pay for that advantage. It’s $1,590 more than the next most-expensive competitor, the Honda CRF230L.

How’s the tried-and-tested Kawasaki Ninja 250 stack up? Being in production largely unchanged since 1986 helps keep its price low despite a reasonably (for the class) high specification. 25 years later, it still has a performance advantage over the Honda CBR250R.

You’ll find a larger version of the spreadsheet and images of each bike in this gallery.

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