Feb 13, 2011

45 Unforgettable date with the Kawasaki Ninja 250R: Review

A comprehensive review of the Kawasaki Ninja 250R after spending a full day on it..

Ninja 250R and I

Synopsis:

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..!!


Verdict:

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

6-Speed gearbox

Chassis: Tubular steel diamond type

Suspension:

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

Wheelbase: 1400mm

Fuel tank: 17 litres

Seat height: 790mm







The Kawasaki Ninja 250R & I: Photos (1280 x 800) [Photographer: MG_Biker1806]

Kawasaki Ninja 250RKawasaki Ninja 250RKawasaki Ninja 250R
Kawasaki Ninja 250RKawasaki Ninja 250RKawasaki Ninja 250R






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Disclaimer:

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.






45 Comments:

Saurabh said...

Hey bro,
:-)
Nice review and i would like to thank MG_Biker1806 for clicking such awesome photos.
:-) :-)
I have now collected some more (good) points about Ninja.
:-)
But please also do comment on its approx FE.
Just Smiling...
:-) :-)

melville said...

Good work with pictures....I'm still reading the review BTW...

Sajal said...

Dude,

Awesome awesome review!! Very much the same I found it, when I rode it :) A small correction I guess -

"Having said that, the riding stance on the Ninja 250R is as aggressive and cramped as a 600/1000 cc Super Sports motorcycle. The riding stance is sporty yet comfortable enough for long rides."

should have been -

"Having said that, the riding stance on the Ninja 250R is NOT as aggressive and cramped as a 600/1000 cc Super Sports motorcycle. The riding stance is sporty yet comfortable enough for long rides."

The rear fender on the bike looks hideous though :P and the standard rubber literally does not do justice to the handling of the bike. The choice of standard IRCs is one thing I would love NOT TO SEE on this bike.

dhiren pegu said...

payeng da. really enjoyed reading it.

Lightsportz said...

Wow, I really felt the passion you have for biking. Even I got my first bike with the help of my better half. So I hope yours will help you to make your dream come true. Nice photographs too.
BTW "I have ridden a couple of 600/100 cc Japanese Super Sports bikes". I think it should be 600/1000cc.

THE PC GAMER said...

Nice review bro. I wish I get a chance to ride a Ninja. BTW I own a Yamaha R15 and so eagerly want to ride a Ninja but noone here has one :(

Manish Singh
from www.bikerszeal.com

Veerendra Giddaluru said...

awesome review Payeng bhai, feels like buying it right away.. but just like you, i'm also having commitments :) hope they start sourcing parts from India and lower the price so that many more can enjoy this awesome ride.

Amod Indap said...

Made me fall in love with my N250R all over again. Missing the machine as I'm posted elsewhere, for the moment. Great post Payeng.

gopal said...

GOOD REVIEW, FELT LIKE AS IF I WAS RIDING IT MYSELF.
N PICS R AWSOME
AND THIS HAPPENS TO ME ALWAYS.
"ride steady/safe", "ride slow", "please mind the other vehicles on the road" etc. (which honestly gets on my nerves).

gopal said...

hey this happens to me also
"ride steady/safe", "ride slow", "please mind the other vehicles on the road" etc. (which honestly gets on my nerves).

Akash said...

WoW!!! Amazing article. If only I could get a chance to spend a day on the Ninja.

By the way, when you test ride the Honda CBR250R, do take Bhabhi. Lets also hear whats her verdict on that bike. If the Honda is a better lady charmer than the Ninja or not.

Anonymous said...

awesome comment straight from the heart i feel what u felt because i ride one..

S.P - Biker Next Door said...

@Everyone,

thanks for the encouragement.. it means a lot to me

Saurabh said...

Hello,
:-)
I have heard a news about launching of new 2011 model of Ninja 250R in India. It was shown at the EICMA Auto Show 2010.

Dont know whether it is a fake or real ??

But it is clear that if the news is true, this (new) Ninja would ROCK...
:-) :-)

Sajal said...

@Saurabh,
The new Ninja just has the all Lime Green paint scheme and white console. Apart from that nothing much rocking about it.

@Payeng Dude,
I had the same feedback from my wife when we went to see the Ninja :) She was so so drooled about it that while I was checking the bike out and taking photos of it, she actually went to the floor manager to inquire the details of booking the bike. The only thing that made her defer her decision was the fact that there was a waiting period of more than 3 months at that time for the Lime Green and she wanted to have that added to stable latest by a week ;) She has been one of the best pillion that I ever had (of course I enjoyed riding with you!!). She always pushes me first enjoy my riding the bike and then make her enjoy the ride on the bike :)

Till date she plans about having the baby Ninja in

Anonymous said...

superb...

S.P - Biker Next Door said...

@ Sajal,

you lucky dude

Anonymous said...

does ninja have digital console

Anonymous said...

About the economy, you'll get below average on bikes, but being acquainted with cars for so long, I'm happy to hear Hyosungs get 20-25, so Ninja 250 gets around 30?

michael said...

Hi Payeng,

I do still miss my stolen Apache RTR 160 but I intend to go for the Ninja 250 when I am back from Australia in 2 years time (unless you give a better review of another bike within that time period)!

Keep biking... keep writing!

Cheers,

Michael

Sajal said...

@Anonymous :
The Ninja 250R has full analog console !!

Anonymous said...

I have read many of your posts and reviews.. It seems to me that u, i n some ways, hate R15.. It's natural though; as u own P220.. U keep comparing R15 with every other bike.. And somehow the other bike is better.. Between Ninja250 and R15, its obvious that the Ninja will be better.. It has every advantage.. Bigger engine, fatter tyres.. Hence the 3 lac price tag.. In 1lac price tag nothing beats the R15 in terms of overall performance even though it is a 150cc machine..

Anonymous said...

@above
totally agree with u....
how come u r comparing the r15 with the ninja, nd seems to me like you were overshadowed by the ninja (which is natural) but in no ways the r15s handling is bad or maybe braking is bad even when compared to the ninja. it is the best bike that money can buy for rs 1 lakh...
Ninja is ultimate but u r a p220 owner who hates r15 nd i know the reason why..............
p.s. no hard feelings

S.P - Biker Next Door said...

@the two Anons above (why does I feel that both of you are the same guy? Probably someone whom I might know..)

Among the current Indian bikes, the only bike that comes close to be even considered to be compared with the Ninja 250R is the Yamaha R15.

Isn't that falttering enough for the R15..??


P.S: It's a matter of your perpective of how you want to see the Glass- "Half Empty or Half Full".

Gunawan MS said...

LOL, we got a naked, down powered version of Yamaha R15 here in Indonesia, but the chassis, suspension, etc are the same. The bike called Yamaha Vixion, and i can assure you, it's nothing special up to the level being tooted by some Indian posters/readers in this blog.

Some said that the price is more than twice so it should be better, well, we have a bike from Kawasaki also here, called Kawasaki Ninja 150 L (2 stroke engine), the price is around the same with that Yamaha Vixion, it's also a naked, monoshock sport bike with 150 cc 2 stroke engine using Kawasaki Super KIPS. Yamaha Vixion isn't any better compared to this bike in terms of handling, ride quality, and braking.

S.P - Biker Next Door said...

@Gunawan MS,

The Ninja 150 being a 2 stroke bike should be simply a WILD motorcycle. Its a pity that we can't enjoy 2 stroke motorcycles anymore due to the pollution norms.


But the Yamaha R15 sold in India has a sightly tweaked engine which gives a little bit of more power than the Vixion. But yes, compared to the Ninja 150, it will be no where in comparison.

Gunawan MS said...

@Payeng, yeah bro, i'm just saying, Yamaha R15 isn't a truly special bike, and i totally agree with your article comment that said Ninja 250 is really a level above R15 overall as a sportbike.

Regarding that Ninja 150 L bike, it's really one special 2 stroke engine by Kawasaki, if the rider is patient and ride economically, it can give mileage up to 30 KM/L, which is quite economical for a 2 stroke engine motorbike that outputs around 26 PS in its peak. But ofcourse, riding a 2 stroke sportbike in economical, calm down manner is quite an oxymoron in itself, isn't it ? hehehe

Anonymous said...

No I think we can't compare Yamaha R15 to Ninja in any way, though its ergos comes nearing the Ninja. Yamaha R15 is a 150cc bike, Also, it is not a V-twin. Yamaha has provided those people a boon for Indian Motorcyclists that Kawasaki can't provide for 1 lakh Rs. Ninja is a product for those who can shed Rs 3L easily, while yamaha R15 is a product for average to middle or upper middle class people can dream of buying.
Also, I disagree with the view of yours that

"Among the current Indian bikes, the only bike that comes close to be even considered to be compared with the Ninja 250R is the Yamaha R15."

Although R15 is a 4 valver, but still it is a 150 cc, while Pulsar 220 is still 220 CC and top speed and pickup figures close to Ninja and CC capacity close to Ninja. So, I think you should first compare Ninja with Pulsar 220 and Not r15. R15's turn comes later. Bieng a 150 cc it is still competing with such lords of 250 ccs is the thing that will charm most Indian Bikers.

It is very obvious that a 250cc will be more Powerful, feel like god than the smaller bikes, but, wait for 250 cc segment to be flourished in India that I can see time is nearing and Compare it with the Honda CBRs and R25s (if launched by Yamaha or the Pulsar 250cc that is the most awaited bike) with better everything with great stability and handling and is a 250cc with Half the price. That will be a fare comparison.

Anonymous said...

its seat height is 780mm or less
but not 790mm
please kindly check that

Abhirupa said...

am spellbound..... i jst ♥ it..... ninja rockz.......

Anonymous said...

Hey Satadal,
This was a very good review of the Ninja 250.You have a good command of the English language.Gourab Das (MG_Biker1806 from xBhp.Com),has done a brilliant job with the photographs,great quality,must be an SLR.May I ask,which one?

The location of this photo shoot,around the hills of Lonavala (near Pune)looks beautiful and has great roads as I understand from the photographs.Your Daijya Helmet looks good too.Should provide good visibility.

Happy that finally Motorcyclists get fruition of all the patience they've had to observe,though the prices are too damn high.The Ninja should have been priced,at maximum Rs 2.20 lakhs.

Off topic,the Yamaha R15 was and will never be worth the amount of Rs 1.12 lakh,which My friend paid, much to my annoyance.
About 2 months ago he had a 'small' accident,at just 45kmph(I was on my own Motorcycle about 4 cars behind),which cost him 6.5 thousand rupees!,mostly for the fairing and the lights.The front neck and fork assembly is slightly biased! to the right and requires repair or replacement(7.5 thousand!)What a ripoff.Bloody ridiculous I tell you!

KTM will come and kill the market with their quality Motorcycles if they price them correctly.Paris Dakar experience counts.
Unfortunately few will be able to pay the premium that quality commands.

Nowadays in the guise of better technology,they sell the gullible public,plastic and fibre-laden computer controlled machines.
Technology spoils and takes the fun out of riding and driving.
I'm all for Classic Cars and Motorcycles.

Nice job on your blog though.Glad I came across it.
Anticipation, an exercise I love doing,even when I'm not the one riding.
Take care.
Clayton

S.P - Biker Next Door said...

@Clayton

thanks for sharing your views

Anonymous said...

This is one bike that is sexy.
They could have done a bit more with body graphics (but hey plain green is still cool kawasaki)

2.96 Lakh is kinda fortune for it though :) .. bought a car :(

Would have loved to own it at 2 lakh!

Anonymous said...

hellow sir i said sir bcoz i dont know ur name and u r elder than me actually i m a big fan of ninja 250 r.i want to buy baby ninja but before this i want to know ONE THING about it. can it easily work in rural areas of our countery ,on the poor roads of our towns and villeages as it has a LOW GROUND CLEARANCE, ONLY 135 MM? will it be enough for our BIG speed brakers which are situed in towns and our poor roads which are not in good conditions? i m curious to know this about baby ninja actually i m from up and i belongs to the area where roads are not good so i want to know that can i enjoy baby ninja on our roads without facing any problem for its low ground clearance.(HIGH PRICE AND LOW FUEL ECONOMY DOES NOT MATTER 4 ME) i will wait 4 ur answer on the same site. PLS PLS GIVE ME THE ANSWER AS SOON AS POSSIBLE I M WAITING 4 UR ANSWER TAKE CARE AND GOOD BYE.

Anonymous said...

i appreciate all ur writing efforts abt bikes...
i have read almost all reviews u have written.
but i don't like the way u mix ur wife's feelings with this technical review of a good sports bike, please dont mix girls thinking with bikes... write unbiased reviews exclusively for men/boyz without getting disturbed by female thoughts... my comments Not to offend u,ur wife, but i dont like mixups...

kaustav said...

i want to buy a 250cc bike..
can u seggest which is better cbr150 or ninja250.

S.P - Biker Next Door said...

Kaustav

The CBR150R has a 150 cc engine and not a 250cc one. The CBR250R has a 250cc engine.

If you can afford it then go for the Ninja 250R, it is definitely one of the best motorcycles in the world one can buy.

Between the CBR250R and the Ninja 250R, the Ninja rides and feels like a motorcycle which is a segment higher than the CBR250R.. and I am not just taking about the 0-100 kmph timings, top speed etc. here.

kaustav said...

sorry i have been mistaken while typing..
cbr250 comes with an abs,nd radial tyres along with digital meter..
but ninja comes without digital meter..
ninja is my first choice and i want to order it between this month,bt sm drawbacks such as the analog meter,shakes me with my decision..
does ninja250r has sm modification in 2012..or is there any hope for such modifications??
plzz suggest..
thank you.

S.P - Biker Next Door said...

I found the Ninja 250R as the best handling among all bike till the price tag of 3 lalk odd rupees in India.

The bike is a gem which has been refined over 2 decades of being in production.. and it shows in the way the bike feels to ride.

Well don't know whether any digital dispaly is being thought of but if you don't buy the bike just for the analog display.. then let me tell you that you will be missing out on the opportunity to ride/own one of the best bikes in the world

Saugot Chowdhury said...

Love the way you elaborate things. best of luck

GhostRider said...

Awesome review bro.While reading the review i went into imaginations that how it would be when i ride the bike...Really superb review for Ninja..You have a very good imagination...

Anonymous said...

i really liked ur review, bt still ninja is unaffordable to many... if u have to choose betn cbr150r n r15, which one u would? u still didn't review cbr150r

postscrwan said...

Great amazing... A bike made for adventure...

Xmeridian said...

Any idea when the 2013 model is going to be launched??

Kannan said...

A review should be like this awsome dude

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