A comprehensive review of the Kawasaki Ninja 250R after spending a full day on it..
1. Duration over which I had the bike with me: 24 Hrs
2. Kms travelled: 160 Kms
3. Ridden in: City Traffic/Open highway, Daylight/Night, Single/with Pillion
4. Lasting impression: Without any doubt, "The Best Motorcycle (till 250 cc) that I have ever ridden"
5. Pleasant surprise: The Ninja 250R is the first motorcycle which has impressed my wife..!!
Twice better than the Yamaha R15 in every aspect
Hoped it was priced twice the Yamaha R15 as well..
How did it all start: I had ridden the Kawasaki Ninja 250R just a couple of months after it was launched in India. But since I did not have any photographs of that ride, I never posted about it on my blog (I make it a point to support whatever I ride with photographs).
A couple of days back, me and my wife paid a visit to a friend who lived in Pune and also owned a Ninja 250R. I persuaded him to give his year old Ninja 250R to me for a full day. Accordingly I also got in touch with another biker friend of mine Gourab Das (MG_Biker1806 from xBhp.Com) who also has an interest in photography.
The photographs posted have been clicked by him. The location of the photo shoot is around the hills of Lonavala (near Pune).
Looks: Drop dead gorgeous..!!
Sexy..!! That's how I would like to rate the looks of the Kawasaki Ninja 250R. The Kawasaki Ninja 250R looks like a genuine and honest slightly scaled down replica of the 600 cc Kawasaki Super Sports, the Ninja ZX-6R. Unlike the Yamaha R15 the Ninja 250R doesn't look small or out of proportion in parts.
The lines of the baby Ninja is sinuous, seductive and a treat for sore eyes. The stance of the bike is aggressive and like a big cat about to pounce on its hapless victim. My wife was in fact quite amused with the kind of attention the bike generated wherever we went.
And yes, "Lime Green" is the color for me on the baby Ninja..!!
Riding stance, ergonomics: "A boon from heaven for short guys + roomy enough for tall guys..!!"
The twin bulb, 55 watt headlight dazzles the darkest of nights
The low beam remains permanently "ON" (mandatory by law in foreign markets)
Strangers on the road remind you that the headlight is "ON" (irritating)
A high beam flasher is NOT provided..!!
My friend to whom the Ninja 250R belongs is a 6 ft tall guy and finds the Ninja roomy enough to ride. At first glance the Ninja 250R looks big and a bit intimidating for a 5 ft 5 inch guy like me. But swinging a leg over the baby Ninja will put a huge grin on the faces of vertically challenged guys..!!
The Ninja 250R has been designed keeping in mind the beginners (in developed nations like the USA) to the world of motorcycling which also includes ladies. The result is a low seat height with a seat which narrows towards the front. This means that short guys and petite ladies can easily put both their feet firmly on the ground.
The photographs show how comfortable I was on the baby Ninja with both feet flat on the ground.
The riding stance is on the sporty side for an Indian bike. The rider is invited to reach for the clip on handlebars and coupled with the rear set footpegs, the riding stance definitely mimics its bigger Super Sports siblings. Having said that, the riding stance on the Ninja 250R is as NOT as aggressive and cramped as a 600/1000 cc Super Sports motorcycle. The riding stance is sporty yet comfortable enough for everyday riding and also for long rides.
Handling, Stability: "Awesome..!! Simply the best handling motorcycle in India"
When the Yamaha R15 was launched in India in 2008, it set new standards in terms of handling among Indian motorcycles. Armed with India's first perimeter frame and link type monoshock suspension, the R15 showed how a race/track bike should handle.
The Ninja 250R does not employ any exotic chassis/frame like a trellis or perimeter frame. Its chassis is made of tubular steel. In spite of its simple chassis, the Ninja 250R is so well balanced and stable that it feels a notch above the R15 in terms of handling..!!.
I have ridden a couple of 600/1000 cc Japanese Super Sports bikes before. And the Ninja 250R gives you that feeling of riding a big bike. The handling of the bike is so stable and forgiving around corners that any Tom-Dick-Harry will feel like Valentino Rossi. I tried upsetting the balance of the bike while cornering, but the bike remains rock steady and holds its line without any fuss.
The disc brakes on the front and rear on the Ninja 250R do a very good job of stopping the bike from triple digit speeds without any nervous moments.
The Ninja 250R is so forgiving in terms of handing that at a point one could almost get bored..!!
Engine Performance: "At 140 Kmph, you'll be lulled into thinking that you are doing 90-100 Kmph..!!"
The twin cylinder 250 cc engine of the Ninja 250R feels like a regular 150 cc Indian bike till about 70 Kmph.. till that point there is not appreciable surge in acceleration. But the real fun actually starts at 70 Kmph and goes on effortlessly till 140 Kmph. If you do not look at the speedometer you might be fooled into thinking that the bike is doing around 90-100 Kmph when actually its doing 140 Kmph..!!
Duck into the windscreen on an open stretch of around 1.5-2.0 Kms, and one can easily see a speedo indicated top speed of around 160 Kmph.
The power & Torque has been spread thinly and evenly like precious metal over its 6-Gears and 13,000 rpm redline. The engine remains quite smooth right to it's 13,000 rpm redline with only a very slight buzz on the left foot that comes in after 10,000 rpm.
The very liner power delivery of the smooth twin cylinder engine, coupled with a ultra stable chassis makes the Ninja 250R a beginners delight The power delivery and handling of the bike is so predictable that this motorcycle has been rightly considered as the "Best beginner Sport Bike of the world..!!"
But this in no way means that experienced riders can't have fun on it.
Ninja 250R: The Lady Charmer..!!
I have always hated taking my wife as a pillion on a motorcycle. She is always at her seat's edge whenever she rides pillion on a motorcycle and has never enjoyed/felt secure. She invariably keeps nagging me from behind: "ride steady/safe", "ride slow", "please mind the other vehicles on the road" etc. (which honestly gets on my nerves).
But I was pleasantly surprised when for the first time in my life, there wasn't a single complaint when my wife rode pillion on the Ninja 250R. It was as if she was enjoying the experience. Which she later confirmed that she actually did enjoy riding pillion on the Ninja 250R..!!
At the end of the day my wife even asked me how much the Ninja 250R was priced at..!! When I said it's over 3 lakh Gandhiji's (Rs. 300,000) on road, she said that had it been priced even at Rs. 2 lakh, we could have thought about the possibility of getting one. But the current price makes it difficult for someone like me, especially when I still have some family commitments to fulfill first.
And I thought that my wife could never enjoy biking..!!
On asking what did she like so much on the Ninja 250R, this is what my wife pointed out:
1. Stability: The Ninja 250R feels rock steady, she never felt nervous during the ride
2. Linear build up of speed: My wife doesn't like the sudden surge of acceleration of my Pulsar 220, she liked the linear power delivery of the Ninja 250R
3. High pillion seat: My wife liked the raised pillion seat and the commanding view of the road which it provided
4. The attention that the bike got on the road..!! Yep, my wife was quite amused and enjoyed the attention that the baby Ninja generated whenever it went
Verdict: "Desirable, Stellar Handing & Stability, Smooth Performance: But a bit costly"
The horn on the Ninja 250R sounds like it has been lifted from a scooty..!!
Retrofitting a powerful horn is a must on our Indian roads
After spending a day with the Ninja 250R, I found it twice better than the 150 cc Yamaha R15 in nearly every department.
Looks/Desirability/Stability/Handling/Performance.. in every aspect I have enjoyed the Ninja 250R at least twice more than the R15. By that yardstick, I would have been happy if the Kawasaki Ninja 250R was priced twice than the Yamaha R15. i.e. around Rs. 2,20,000 (surprising even my wife had quoted the same price tag without any knowledge of the R15..!!).
But at Rs. 1,00,000 more than twice the price tag of the Yamaha R15, the Ninja 250R remains still a couple of years away from me. But those who can afford it the Ninja 250R, it is simplly the best twin cylinder 250 cc motorcycle in India/World that money can buy.
After I handled over the Ninja 250R to my friend, I realized that I did not check its Fuel Efficiency..!! But what the heck.. who cares..??
Kawasaki Ninja 250R Specifications:
Engine: 249cc, Parallel Twin, Fuel Injected Liquid Cooled, 8-valve, DOHC
Max. Power: 33 Ps @ 11,000 rpm
Max. Torque: 22Nm @ 8,200 rpm
Chassis: Tubular steel diamond type
Front: 37 mm dia. telescopic fork
Rear: Bottom-Link Uni-Trak™ with gas-charged shock and 5-way adjustable
Tyres: 110/70R17 (Fr), 130/70R17 (R)
Brakes: 290mm Disc (Fr), 220 mm Disc (R)
Kerb Weight: 172 kg
Fuel tank: 17 litres
Seat height: 790mm
The Kawasaki Ninja 250R & I: Photos (1280 x 800) [Photographer: MG_Biker1806]
- Honda CBR250R Vs. Kawasaki Ninja 250R [by Motorcycle USA]
- Kawasaki formally re-enters India as "India Kawasaki Motors" [Apr 2010]
- 30 BHP, 250 cc, Twin Cylinder Bikes are for Ladies..!! [Oct 2007]
- I’d rather ride a 250-400 cc slowly through a pothole, than “Day Dream” of riding the R1 on the Golden Quadrilateral..!![Oct 2007]
This is to remind that the Views or Opinions in the blog are entirely mine unless explicitly stated. The Views and Opinions published in this blog should in no way be related to any other person or organization associated -- directly or indirectly -- with me.