Reminisce with an old flame or a new flame? Back in 2013 when I brought a quite new used 2013 Kawasaki Ninja 250, from Uncle Eddie Chia, of Chia Motor whom just returning back to his shop in Taman SEA after collecting the Ninja 250, apparently the Ninja clocked less than 500km mileage as the previous owner who never knew how to ride a motorcycle sold it to Uncle Eddie. Fortunately enough I was there when Uncle Eddie brought back the Ninja from his other shop in Seapark, so a long story short, I brought it after taking it for a spin!
Had it for almost 2 years, what caught my eye was the 2013 Ninja was very sporty and handling was pretty good for a two fifty. I had a lot of fun with the Ninja as a daily ride, weekend ride and track riding at the go-kart circuit.
Fast forward 5 years and a few weeks ago Kawasaki Malaysia launched the 2018 Ninja 250 at the Art of Speed. And this weekend we got to review the new 39 hp Ninja and the question is “Do we like it?”
The answer is “YES”. The power has increased has made the Ninja feel more complete and stable at speed. Any new riders will have plenty of room to grow without overwhelming themselves and look for a bigger bike once their skill improves. The 249cc liquid-cooled, 4-stroke Parallel Twin, DOHC, 8 valves which give a 39hp @ 12,500 rpm which also allow the more experienced rider, who is looking for a fun bike to ride around with better engine power, brakes, suspension, and handling and that is an awesome advantage for new riders and veterans alike.
The Ninja is as close to the line of “beginner bike” as possible without crossing it but Kawasaki managed to build a bike that is a suitable ride for pretty much anyone plus the aggressive looking Ninja is inspired by the one-litre siblings, the H2 and ZX-10R. Rear lights are almost identical to ZX-10R.
If I can have fun with this Ninja, I’m positively sure, anyone can too! Don’t think about the capacity of the quarter-litre but how good this bike is a motorcycle, whether you’re a new rider or an experienced rider who just wanna burn some rubber on the tracks. This is the bike!
For short and tight corners the Ninja, handling is superb but at high-speed corners, the front 41mm telescopic fork feels light and I got a few wobbles on some bumpy high-speed corner on our Ulu Yam route. But these wobbles can be easily fixed by adding a damper. But serious thinking to Kawasaki engineers they should start equipping the Ninja 250 with upside down front forks. (inverted). At the rear comes with Uni-Trak® monoshock suspension with 5-way preload adjustment
Brakes work superbly too, as I nearly hit an old couple who was riding a moped weaving through traffic and got right in my path when I was riding between cars! The front Nissin single semi-floating 310 mm petal discs provided a superb bite to ensure no drama with the old couple, at the traffic light the old man even gave me the thumb up for braking in time while the old lady had a relive expression on her face when nothing happened! Rear brakes also Nissin single 220 mm petal disc.
Overall the Ninja 250 has a body length of 1,990 mm while the width is 710 mm and reaches 1,120 mm. The weight is only 167 kg, (172kg 2nd Gen) so the acceleration capability is maximised and easier to manoeuvre while the seating height of 785 mm gives a more sporty position and ground clearance of 140 mm, even short riders and ladies will not be tippy toes!
The stock tyres are fitted with Dunlops ArrowMax GT601 110/70-17 and rear 140/60-17 provides better grip than the previous generation which is fitted with IRC RoadWinner.
Price of the 2018 Kawasaki Ninja 250 will remain at RM23,070.10 without road tax and insurance as SST will not affect motorcycle under 250cc