The 2008 Kawasaki 250R has been redesigned and it looks good. The 250R makes a great entry level ride and it doesn’t lack for performance either, plus it’s the only 250cc sportbike for sale over here in the states. You get a 249cc DOHC parallel twin with a six speed transmission, great handling, high mileage and all for $3500. The little Ninja now looks a lot more like its current big brothers, the ZX-6R and ZX-10R, with bigger 17 inch wheels, single exhaust and a lot of other upgrades to make it an even better value than before, a nice bike to start with and for some, it may be all the bike they need.
From Kawasaki press release:
One look at the new Ninja 250R tells everyone that this bike is the genuine article. With a new full-fairing similar to the Ninja ZX-6R and -10R supersport bikes, a single kicked-up muffler, UNI-TRAK rear suspension, high-performance petal disc brakes and a dual seat, this is the most stylish performer in its category.
Compact size, exceptional personality and a low price tag highlight Kawasaki’s new Ninja 250R quarter-liter performer. Considering how much fun it is to ride and the fact that it’s the only 250cc sportbike sold in the U.S., it’s no wonder the Ninja 250R has been a strong seller for over a decade. Its successful blend of a rider-friendly engine, easy-to-operate chassis and supersport styling worthy of its Ninja moniker, this model was developed to offer real world performance to riders of all skill levels and goes to show that good things do come in small packages.
At the core of the lightweight Ninja 250R is an engine that thrives on high-rpm excitement. The gutsy 249cc parallel twin has been retuned to spice up its smooth and predictable power delivery. It now offers more low- and mid-range torque thanks to revisions to its dual overhead camshafts and a new 2-into-1 exhaust system. A silky smooth six-speed transmission tops off the sportbike equipment list, enabling the 250R to exploit a powerband that’s sure to please riders with its beginner friendly low-end grunt and a lively top-end rush that’ll keep seasoned veterans satisfied. The coup de’ grace, is its ability to deliver excellent fuel economy.
The 250R’s new fairing and windscreen not only look great, they deliver improved wind protection for a wide range of riding situations. This lightweight sportbike is loaded with even more rider-friendly features such as an easy-to-read instrument panel and positive neutral finder.
A natural riding position and comfortable ergonomics combined with its lightweight handling, easy controllability and improved throttle response make the 250R a pleasure to ride on city streets. Also new for 2008 are larger 17-inch wheels that offer great handling and improved stability. A larger 290mm front brake rotor is gripped by a powerful 2-piston caliper to provide a healthy dose of stopping power with a responsive feel at the lever. Like Kawasaki’s other sport models, the Ninja 250R is fitted with petal discs for efficient heat dissipation.
The simple formula of providing easy-handling agility, lightweight responsiveness, and low ownership costs make the Ninja 250R a force to be reckoned with in the entry-level sportbike category.
DOHC 249cc Parallel Twin-cylinder Engine
– Compact parallel-twin design offers good mass centralization for superior handling
– Tuned to deliver smooth, step-free power with an emphasis on low- and mid-range power for rider-friendly response
– Pistons feature reinforced heads and strengthening in the pin boss area for increased durability
– Thick piston (longitudinally) rings help minimize oil consumption
– Combustion chamber design optimized to maximize combustion efficiency and reduce emissions
– Ample high-rpm performance will please riders using the full range of the engine
– Refined intake and exhaust ports contribute to good off-idle response and smooth power delivery
– Valve timing and lift were designed for strong low- and mid-range torque
– Direct valve actuation ensures reliable high-rpm operability
– Valves with thin heads and stems reduce reciprocating weight
– Twin Keihin CVK30 carburetors fine-tuned for good power feel and low fuel consumption
– 2-into-1 system contributes to the Ninja 250R’s low- and mid-range torque and smooth, step-free power curve
– Slightly upswept silencer extensively tested to determine chamber size, connecting pipe length and diameter to achieve least noise and most power
– Meets strict emissions with dual catalyzers; one in the collector pipe and the other in the silencer
– Using two catalyzers minimizes the power loss
– Positioning the first catalyzer as close to the exhaust ports maximizes its efficiency as well
Reduced mechanical noise
– Cam chain tensioner with an automatic adjuster, like that on the KX450F motocrosser, eliminates mechanical noise caused by a loose cam chain and reduces power-robbing friction loss
– Silencing mechanical noise allows the use of a freer flowing exhaust for a better sound quality
– Complex construction with reinforcing ribs helps eliminate airbox reverberation and reduce intake noise
– Air filter accessible from the side, for easy replacement
– Latest generation Denso radiator offers superior cooling with minimal space and weight
– Ring-fan uses a quiet-running motor that also saves space
– Fins on the lower side of the crankcase further helps cool the engine
Six-speed Transmission / Clutch
– Involute splines reduce friction and backlash between gears and shafts for easier gear meshing and smooth shifting under power
– Spring-type clutch damper reduces jerkiness at very low speeds and minimizes shocks when rolling on and off the throttle for a smoother clutch feel
– Paper-base friction plates help increase clutch durability
– New 37mm telescopic front fork with firm settings contribute to the Ninja 250R’s smooth, stable handling and enhanced ride control
– Rear shock features 5-way adjustable preload, enabling ride height to be maintained whether riding solo or with a passenger
Wheels / Tires
– Features 17” wheels like its larger supersport brothers
– Low-profile sportbike tires on wide rims contribute to its easy, neutral handling at low speeds
– Large-diameter, 290mm front petal disc and a balanced action two-piston caliper offers excellent braking performance and a natural, direct feeling at the lever
– Two-piston caliper grips the rear 220mm petal disc
– Styling matches its larger-displacement Ninja supersport siblings
– Fit and finish of striking full-fairing bodywork on par with that of top-class Ninja supersports
– Aggressive dual-lamp headlight design, slim tail cowl and separate seats further enhance the supersport look
– Front cowling and windscreen offer the rider a substantial amount of wind protection
– Two helmet holders conveniently located under the rear seat
– Under-seat storage can hold a U-lock or similar device
– Two hooks under the tail and the rear passenger pegs provide anchor points for securing items to the rear of the bike