I bought a new Kawasaki Ninja 250r in April 2008. I have had it one year now and think it’s a great bike.
Description: Liquid-cooled four-stroke twin cylinder, 249cc. The 2008 models come in red, green or black (the US also got blue). Six-speed transmission, chain drive, cast wheels with bias-ply tires, and a single disc brake on both the front wheel and the back.
The seat is about 30 inches high, with a large 15 liter, maybe 28 HP, 16 ft-lbs of torque, and seems to get decent mileage - about 55 mpg. Although the top speed is about 150 KPH, that's really pushing the little engine. It feels much more at ease at about 100 KPH or so. It makes for a nice little backroad cruiser, although I don’t know if I’d want to ride it all day on a busy American Interstate.
Inexpensive: In April 2008 I bought mine new with zero mileage for $4249 CND - about $4000 US at that time. I used to ride a Kawasaki EX-500 (Ninja) sportbike. The 500 was a pretty good bike, and this 250 reminds me a lot of that Kawasaki. The little Ninja looks nice if you like sportbikes. I like the solid red color, and I also like the lack of goofy racer-boy graphics.
It's fairly light (about 355 pounds with a full tank of gas) and easy to steer. The handling feels very similar to my old Kawasaki 500. The brakes are very good, and stop the bike very smoothly without any drama. It starts easily with the choke on. After just a few seconds the choke can be eased off and the bike will run fine. The clutch is very nice; it has a wide gradient of 'grab' and is great. The transmission is typical for a Kawasaki, it feels a bit notchy but is easy to flick through the gears..
It's not startling fast, but I can race away from a stop faster than most cars. I find that in 6th gear the engine is running about 7000 RPM at 100 KPH. The redline starts at 13500 RPM.
The mirrors are typical for a sportbike; they have a narrow angle of view, so you get a really good look at your shoulders…
So far I've only rode the bike for about four or five hours in one sitting, but the front seat is okay. The passenger seat is small and I suspect isn't as comfortable. At 5' 8" I find the seating position, foot pegs, and handlebars to be well-placed for me.