08+ Ninja 250 Review
Seeing how there are lots of questions about the latest ninja 250, it would be a good idea to just start a 250 thread where riders can post their reviews.
Rider: 5'11, 165 lbs
Model: 09 ninja 250 carburettor
Ownership: original owner since May 2009
Mileage: ~30,000 km (without any service lol, still going strong)
Purpose: Year round commute, spirited rides
Mods: Yoshi SS slip on exhaust (not going to state my irrelevant mods)
Fuel Economy (from F to E, from what I understand the gauge range varies, could be 16L, could be 14L) Tank size 18L, no reserve.
As a commuter this bike is great. Using 87 gasoline, a mix of hills/highway/city/occasional passing, it gets close to 400km/tank. Last time I really pushed it, I got 450km, good shifting, minimal stops, smooth acceleration, no highway.
Highway is slightly different with the 250, seeing how it's in the high rpm range, I found going traffic speed on highway left lanes burn more fuel/distance than smooth city riding.
For spirited rides, fuel economy is a whole different story. Shifting every gear in red line, constant high rpm range, hard braking; worst mileage I've got was bit over 200km.
Power (13k red line).
Commuting, staying below the 10k rpm range, there is plenty of power to overtake vehicles, either moving or from stop. However, 6th gear is very weak on all bands, down shifting is required.
Highways isn't exactly friendly for the 250. Sure, it's capable of 160km/h, but overtaking someone is difficult. Often times it requires down shift, accelerate for a short stretch, then pass the vehicle; it doesn't have the power to just twist & pass. Power also dies out after 10k, 11k rpm.
Depending on the terrain, the 250 is good for most group rides. Backroads, twisties, city, it can keep up with a big bike. But straights & highways..... no. Power dies after 10k rpm, which in 6th gear is roughly 120km/h, that's first gear for liter superbikes.
Light, easy turn in, flickable, are the first words that come to mind. With a raised handle bar, the rider's arms are easily perpendicular to the throttle, therefore input directly translates to steering, while allowing a more upright, comfortable, and confident-inspiring seating position.
Stock brakes are pretty lame, but if you squeeze hard enough, it's possible to do a stoppie.
Can't really comment on the front suspension. Hopefully someone else can fill this in. All I know is that the stock rear shock is too soft, for me 165lbs it needs to be stiffened.
My bike hasn't gotten any service through the dealer hahaha... Changed oil and filter at 100km (MotoTune break in), 500 km, 1000 km, 2000 km, then I lost track and switched to full synthetic, changing oil/filter whenever I feel like.
Stock chain is brushed using a toothbrush with Kerosene, let dry, then lubed with DuPont Teflon spray. Tightened it twice, need to tighten it again rather soon. It's somewhat rusted (winter road salt without wash) but is still going strong.
Besides that, I've never done anything. The plan is to ride it to the ground and rebuild it myself.
Cannot comment on this as the bike has never been serviced at dealer.
Perhaps having regular service would've prevented these problems; I don't know.
The shift lever bolt came out.... and none of the dealers locally had the genuine Kawasaki replacement part. I ordered two sets well over two months ago and have yet to hear any news. Replacement part is a M8 screw, slightly longer than 1.5", and two washers.
Bike also backfires when it's been sitting for a few days.
After market seat cowl looks pretty cool, but isn't nearly as secure as the stock seat due to the way it's mounted. There is enough room under the rider seat to fit two alarms. Stock wiring is beefy enough for an after market horn. Two helmets can be hung under the rear seat.
Using the stock seat, it's possible to install a full set of rear seat luggage. See pictures here.
Last edited by thrilla; 04-26-2010 at 02:33 PM.
I'm not gonna throw in a full review... but here's a few comments:
-Wow, i don't remember the last time i got 200k out of my tank... but then I'm almost always in the red rpm range...
-I topped my 250 out at 180km/h... but it does take a while to get there... and ducking in behind the tiny windshield to reduce wind resistance, but i definitely wouldn't go as far as saying that it's not highway-friendly, and i only ever have problems passing cars that are doing 150 or faster...
-Biggest problem of this bike for me, is the single brake disc in the front which doesn't allow for insanely hard braking, so you often find yourself using the back as well and locking up the back wheel - i've almost hi-sided a bunch of times due to this
but overall, love the bike, just wish it had slightly more power