2006 Kawasaki Ninja 250 from United States of America


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


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.

28th Mar 2015, 02:35

I agree, I find it a lot more fun to ride a slow bike fast than a fast bike slow!

1994 Kawasaki Ninja 250 from United States of America


Great buy


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

2008 Kawasaki Ninja 250 from Canada


Excellent bike for the money


There was a squeaking noise at low speed coming from the front wheel. It wasn't the braking system, so I suspected it was the speedometer cable. Not a big deal.

After the break in period of 1000km, the oil was replaced with 4 stroke 10W-40 motorbike oil. The filter was also changed.

At around 4000km's the transmission would go into neutral on down shift from 6th gear at 100km /hr @ 7500rpm. Then I would have to obviously get back into gear, to which would cause the transmission to grind into 5th (using the clutch of course). I always use the clutch up/down shifting, and have been riding bikes for 5 years. This only happened three or four times. Enough to be a concern at highway speeds.

I suspected that the oil was crud, it was full and dark brown. I put some Motul 10W 50 in and the problem was gone. My bike LOVED it!! I will put this in every bike I own from now on.

General Comments:

I bought this bike because you could get a new bike for half the cost of a larger new one. This was my first street bike. I didn't want a second hand sport style bike that was wheelied everywhere it was ridden. I wanted new, but did not want to take a loan out, or break my wallet. The bike is 4300 bucks Canadian. 5300 bucks out the door. I really enjoyed riding it.

This bike is absolutely awesome for the money. It has a good upright riding position (the handle bars are a good 2" above the triple tree). It's light and nimble, perfect for back road twisties. The bike also accelerates up to 100 km/hr with confidence. Hills are no problem for this bike either. The clutch and transmission are super smooth.

However, after about 110km/hr, forget about accelerating any more. You can go faster (if the wind is at your back) but you can't do it quickly (to get out of trouble). Example: When you're beside a semi, and the double lane is about to turn into a single lane. Do you accelerate at 100 km/hr past the semi or break hard for the driver tailgating you? I guess I could have been in the slow lane in the first place behind the semi, while it spits crap up at me. My point? It's a great bike for around town or a quick trip on the highway. But I commuted with it, and I was starting to run into these sorts of problems.

I now own a 2006 Honda CBR 600 F4I. I got it new, it was sitting in the show room for 2 years, and best of all I got it cheap. Still upright riding position, comfortable, and the power to get out of trouble (and twice the stopping power is a bonus too). I traded in my 250 Ninja and got the price I paid for it (before taxes of course).

The 2008 Ninja 250R is a great bike for the price and you will not be disappointed. It is arguably the best beginner bike you can buy. And best of all, you can't beat that price for a new bike. Tons of bike for the money! I got 200km's on 14 bucks @ $1.40 / L. My CBR is around 17 bucks / 200 kms.

Just don't commute with it on the highway. It's fine at first, gets up to the speed limit just fine, but not having that extra power with out wrenching the guts out of it (constant 10,000 RPM in top gear to pass) gets really old quick. I felt I was beating the crap out of the engine (and I didn't do it often). I also didn't like knowing I couldn't get out of trouble if the situation rose. I do not regret buying this bike at all, it held its value, and was easy/fun to ride. A perfect first street bike.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th August, 2008

12th May 2009, 23:52

You can run that liquid-cooled engine at 10000 RPM all day long - these bikes were designed to be rode like they were stolen!