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I’m a big fan of Kawasaki’s entry-level sport bikes. They’re attractive, reliable, punchy, get great gas mileage, and they hold their value quite well. Often, people who ride a Kawasaki Ninja 250R or 500R will hold on to that bike for their spouse or children, as it provides such a stable and reliable way to enter the sport bike world with minimal investment and maximum enjoyment.
If you’ve never ridden a Kawasaki Ninja 250R before I recommend that, immediately after reading this review, you get out there with your helmet in your hand and find one to ride! You’ll find it to be a stable, windable little pocket-rocket that is just as happy being flicked through corners as it is cruising at 60 or 70 mph on the freeway.
The Kawasaki Ninja 250R’s Greatest Shortcoming….
Rather than rant and rave about how great this bike is for most of the article (and then dump on it at the end), I’ve decided to point out it’s most obvious and debilitating flaws right away. If they don’t bother you so much and you keep reading I know you’ll love what you hear.
The 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.
But I Still Love the Ninja 250R!
Popping wheelies, hitting 200mph, and going from 0 to 60 in three seconds are all things that will get you killed in a hurry. Fortunately, the Ninja 250R will not allow you to do any of those things. In fact, this little Kawasaki is limited in its velocity-related capabilities for good reason. Twist the throttle too hard and the rider won’t find themselves eating an asphalt sandwich; apply a bit too much gas during a turn and the rider won’t find themselves performing an aerial 360. This bike, by virtue of what it was designed to do, forgives you when you make small mistakes.
And, for a new rider (or a rider who doesn’t want to deal with twitchy power bands), those are the very qualities you want in a bike. Smooth, linear acceleration (0 to 60 in just under 5 seconds is still very fast), with the ability to forgive you when you do it wrong. If only all relationships were so understanding.
The “Starter Bike” That Isn’t a Starter 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 Motorbikes, the Ninja 250R looks just as aggressive and as mean as any other. For those who are into Motorbikes, 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.
If you are still unsure if the Ninja is the Motorbike for you, take one out for a spin! They are inexpensive to purchase and maintain, but (and much more importantly), they will provide you with a grin-inducing ride each and every time you take it out. Fun is the number one reason people ride, and this Ninja is an absolute blast.
For more information about the Kawasaki Ninja 250R, read Beginner Motorbike Review’s Kawasaki Ninja 250R review. While you’re there, don’t forget to check out their learning how to ride sportbikes page. It’s packed full of great information for any new rider!
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