2006 Kawasaki Ninja 250

Summary:

If you can check your ego at the door, this is the perfect bike

Faults:

No problems to report.

General Comments:

A quick preface to this review: I am 6'1" (185 cm) and 220 lbs (100 kg) without riding gear. This is my 8th motorcycle, and previous bikes ranged from 650cc to 1100cc, BMWs, Kawasakis, Moto Guzzi, Honda. I have been riding since 1999, every day from 2003 to 2006.

The Ninja 250 has ended up being essentially my perfect bike. I had to make a few changes to accommodate my comparatively heavy weight: I replaced the fork springs, added a Gold Valve Emulator, and replaced the front brake line with a stainless steel braided line. I replaced the rear shock with a Hagon unit, with a spring correctly sized for my weight. I replaced the tires with Bridgestone BT45s (although this modification should be done by everyone -- the stock Dunlops are terrible).

The bike does everything I want it to. I can ride on the freeway (getting up to about 80 mph before I have to worry about whether I have enough power available), on long trips, through the canyons, and around town. I get between 48 and 70 MPG. I can out-accelerate any traffic I need to. I took it on the track and spanked a couple of SV650 riders, who later commented that, as previous Ninja 250 owners, they'd had no idea it was capable of such performance.

This bike, however, is definitely not for everyone. It doesn't have the kind of mind-blowing power a CBR or SV will give you. It doesn't do well with a passenger. It will not get appreciative catcalls from hot women (unless they just like the fact that you're on two wheels).

What it does do is deliver enough speed and acceleration to get you a speeding ticket in any jurisdiction, while cornering precisely and easily (it only weighs 304 lbs dry, after all), and returning fantastic gas mileage. It doesn't require excessive maintenance, although it's not as maintenance free as some bikes. It uses cheap tires, and doesn't tear through them. With a few inexpensive modifications to suspension and brakes, it becomes a perfect motorcycle.

And it does all this at a new price of US$2999. Used models in this year should be available in a safe, rideable state from $1700 to $2500 depending on condition (as of 2009). My current insurance cost is $17/month for very good coverage.

I recommend this bike to anyone who wants a motorcycle that can do it all on the pavement, and who doesn't have something to prove.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th February, 2009

14th Oct 2013, 16:01

I have a 2012 Ninja 250R, and think the above review was brilliantly written, and true. I have also ridden and owned 2-wheelers, from 50 cc and 2.5 bhp, up to a ZX-11 D1 (Kawasaki 1100). I still own a couple of other, larger, bikes. The preferred, and most fun to ride, is definitely the 250R.

1994 Kawasaki Ninja 250

Summary:

Great buy

Faults:

I bought the 1994 Ninja used from a young man and it has had no problems.

I replaced the clutch, but I think that was my fault for adjusting cable wrong.

General Comments:

I recommend this bike for anyone who wants a starter bike. It is cheaper than the new ones, and has the same engine and quality. You can't go wrong.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th January, 2009

2004 Kawasaki Ninja 250

Summary:

Can't go wrong with this one

General Comments:

I bought this bike for $575.00 and I absolutely love it. It had been wrecked, and after installing a new handlebar and straightening the headlight mount, I started riding it.

I ride it mainly to work and school. The trip to school is 30 miles one way, and this bike handles the interstate much better than I had thought it would. It was a bit unnerving to see the engine turning 8000 rpm at about 70-75 mph, but it seems to really like that speed.

I weigh 250lbs, and this bike will run nearly 100 mph with me on it with no fairings, and had no problem cruising with a Ducati 749 at freeway speeds.

At 6'1" tall, it is actually pretty comfortable, although the seat could use a little more padding. I am undecided as to whether or not I'm going to try to find another upper fairing for it, or just stick with the street fighter look.

Overall I am very impressed with this bike. In all situations.

I am going to upgrade from the stock tires and switch to heavier fork springs and a EX500 rear shock, as well as run full synthetic oil, but other than that, I really don't think you can go wrong with this bike.

I have had faster bikes than this (1986 Ninja 900) but I really can't remember it being any more fun to ride than this.

I plan to eventually get a 600 or larger, but will more than likely keep this as my commuter.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th July, 2008