Kawasaki Ninja 250R Review
One of the Best Bikes in IndiaWednesday, October 23, 2013
Design and Style
Almost three years ago, India got its first 250cc sports bike, Kawasaki Ninja250R. This bike created a very less known segment of bikes in India. Ever since its launch, the bike had monopoly in the market. The bike had no competition with anyone. But now, Honda has launched its CBR250R to take on this bike. Will Ninja be able to survive? Let’s check out.
Design and Style
The first thing which gets your attention straight away is its headlight. Its dual lamp headlight design is very sharp and unique. Unlike Yamaha bikes, the dual headlights are not separated and that’s the beauty of it. Its front visor and rear view mirrors on cowl also looks distinctive. Full size body fairing with integrated indicators adds maturity and bulk to this size. There are no graphics on it yet the aerodynamic design of it makes it looks sporty. Side extensions of the front mudguard cover its telescopic forks. Side panels, silencer and alloy wheels are black in colour and look best with green colour on this bike. Ninja 250R features uplifted tank and split seats. Grab rails are missing on this bike to give it a naked look at the back. It has a slim tail cowl which adds appeal to it. Its tail light, tiny indicators and V shaped long rear fender along with broad rear tyre enhance the visual appearance of this bike.
The instrument console of this bike is a let-down. Everything is analogue in this panel. It features analogue speedometer, trip meter, fuel gauge and odometer. It also has some warning lamps. The new generation of this bike will feature digital speedometer and fuel gauge. Till then you will have to compromise with its out-dated and boring instrument panel.
Engine and Gearbox
This bike is powered by a liquid cooled, 4-stroke parallel twin 250cc engine. This 8 valve DOHC engine generates a maximum power output of 32.5 bhp at 11000 rpm. The utmost torque output of this engine is 22 Nm which is accessible at 8200 rpm. This engine works with a six-speed manual gearbox with one gear down and four gears up-shift pattern.
Acceleration and Performance
It’s a very powerful engine which generates good 8bhp more than its recently launched rival, CBR250R. It has always been a very responsive and enthusiastic engine. You can rev this bike as hard as possible because it pleases you with its high end performance and refinement. This DOHC engine is very smooth and shows no signs of vibrations and harshness. Its dual throttle valves work effectively and that helps this bike to move quickly through city traffic. The bike does 0-60km/hr within 3 seconds and in less than 8 seconds, this bike reaches a speed of 100km/hr from standstill. This bike remains the fastest 250cc bike in India. To get the maximum output from this engine, you will have to rev it hard which makes it best for highway cruising. Yes, if you are in city then you might have to shift down the gear to get the best out of it. Its heavy weight and less torque are evident in city traffic where this bike finds it hard to move in bigger gears at slow speed. Gear ratios are a bit taller as most of the power game starts after 6000rpm. The bike can easily reach the top speed of 150km/hr without making much noise.
The bike may give you a fuel efficiency of around 25-27km/ltr in city conditions while you can expect these figures to increase by 2-3km/ltr on highways.
Comfort While Driving
Kawasaki claims Ninja250R to be a very comfortable bike but after getting on it, you may not agree. The split seat is not as comfortable as CBR250R and you have to bend too much to reach its handlebar. Yes, the clips on handle bar are upraised but still you will have to make an effort to reach them. The rear set foot pegs are sporty but your thighs don’t stick properly around its fuel tank. It’s hard to be on this bike for long time. Things get worse with a pillion rider.
Storage Space and Safety Features
There is no storage space on this bike but its halogen light confirms you clear view of roads at night.
Suspension and Brakes
The bike is supported with a capable suspension system to give you comfortable rides. Telescopic forks of 37mm are at its front while the rear suspension features pre-load 5-step adjustable mono shock absorber which also maintains the ride height of this bike. To stop this heavy machine accurately, Kawasaki has equipped this bike with a disc brake of 290mm at its front while at the back it features a disc brake of 220mm.
Ride and Handling
The ride and handling of this bike is commendable. The suspension system takes most of the bumps and it also settles well on uneven conditions. Its heavyweight, good suspension and ground clearance of 135mm keeps this bike grounded on high speeds. It may not feel as light as CBR250R in city traffic but it still manages to impress you with its handling. Its large wheelbase (1400mm) and wider tyres holds this bike well around sharp corners. The bike remains under control and sticks firmly on road.
Ninja 250R was available in 2 shades - Lime Green and Ebony Black. Though it is also available in red, white and blue in other global markets but Bajaj has launched it here in only two shades. It looks best in Lime Green shade for which all Kawasaki bikes are known for like we have yellow for a Lamborghini, red for a Ferrari & blue for a Yamaha.
Isn't it too pricey? This bike is even costlier than some of the entry level cars in India. That’s the biggest reason why it’s hard to spot Ninja250R on our Indian roads and due to arrival of its much cheaper rival, CBR250R; it will be even harder to find this bike. The next generation of this bike will be launched in 2013 which will sport new looks and features. That bike is expected to be priced more competitively. So better wait for few months as this bike is not value for money and it’s not worth to pay this much for exclusivity.