Kawasaki Ninja 250R 0-60 in 7 seconds.
Kawasaki’s entry level sportbike has been around in various guises since as far back as 1986 and known in many markets as the GPX/GPZ 250. All incarnations have always been a hugely popular motorcycles everywhere that they have been sold.
The most recent and familiar version to those reading came to market in 08 and ran to 2012 and then was revised in 2013 where it took its styling cues from the big and faster and equally popular Ninja 300 which was Kawasaki’s response to changing learner laws as well as new and faster competitors.
Today we still have a 248 cc Parallel twin engine making 31 hp at the crank depending on the market and only 4 hp down on the Ninja 300.
The original was more powerful and considerably lighter than the most recent version.
Today, the Little Ninja 250R isn’t the lightest 250 and is only 4 kg lighter than its bigger 300 sister but comes in at 11 kg lighter than one of its most recent rivals the Suzuki GSX250R. It seems that all motorcycles are getting porkier these days.
The relevance of 250 cc bikes is not like it used to be as many learner laws have changed over the last few years in many markets and as a result 250s often must compete with motorcycles up to 650 cc (albeit restricted) as well as new bigger engine competitors from the same brand.
250s though due to their great value are still very relevant in-particular in Asian countries.
Kawasaki’s little Ninja 250 has a considerable amount of competition so how does it stack up against some of the other similar engine sized models we have already tested as well as the many larger engine’d competitors?
Kawasaki Ninja 250R Dyno | Power and TorqueKawasaki NInja 250R Dyno
There is only so much power that can be had from a budget liquid cooled 249 cc parallel twin engine with the Ninja 250R making a respectable 26 hp at just under 10,000 rpm.
Toque is a weedy 15 ft/lb at 7000 rpm though is a figure that is in-line with most other 250 cc bikes in the category. There are some single cylinder equivalents such as the Honda CBR250R or the CBR300R that have a little more peak torque and deliver more throughout the rpm range.
By 250 standards you do not have to work the engine as hard as some but like all small capacity engines to really move you do have to work the engine. In the case of the Ninja 250R you have to keep the analogue tachometer needle above the 7000 rpm mark though in most instances and in-gear at same speed it is a more flexible engine than the Suzuki GSX250R and surprisingly similar to the Ninja 300 in lower speed in-gear shove despite being 45 cc down.
The Ninja 250R does have plenty of overrun as despite making its peak power just under 10,000 rpm it still makes power all the way to 13,000 rpm if you chose to scream the little 250.
Though if you take it that far power does tail off to around 22 hp. Making a respectable amount power around 3000 rpm after its peak of 26 hp allows the rider to hold onto a gear a little longer if riding on track or your favourite twisty back road.
Kawasaki Ninja 250R Acceleration and Top Speed ReviewKawasaki Ninja 250R top speed and acceleration
|Kawasaki Ninja 250R Acceleration|
|SS/QM||15.86 @ 83.7 mph|
|SS/KM||30.60 @ 94 mph|
|SS/Mile||44.71 @ 97.5mph|
|Top Speed||97.56 mph|
You won’t break any records with the Kawasaki Ninja 250R, as after all it is only a 250 cc motorcycle that could be lighter than its 170 kg curb weight and it could make a little more power too. But if you feed the little screamer gears it accelerates respectively well.
If you are young and this is your first motorcycle, you’re probably keen to know how the Ninja 250R compares to other bikes as well as perhaps to some cars that your mate might have.
The Kawasaki Ninja 250R can accelerate from 0-60 mph in 7 seconds flat and 0-100 km/h in 7.52 for our Euro, Canadian and Australian friends.
Like all smaller engine motorcycles with low gearing and buzzing engines it needs two gear changes and 3rd gear to reach 60 mph. The two gear changes do hurt its time a little as larger motorcycle can often easily hit 60 mph with just one gear and no time elapsed time hurting changes.
With a quick shifter you could easily dip the Kawasaki Ninja 250R to under 7 seconds from 0-60 mph as you’d save some time when shifting though the clutch and gearbox are good and shifts can be executed relatively fast.
The Ninja 250R is not too fussy at what rpm you shift for best results as anywhere between 10,000 and 13,000 rpm will by and large yield remarkably similar results against the clock.
You do need a heap of brutal clutch-slip for the best launch and times and should not let the rpm drop below 7000 rpm.
The Ninja 250R achieves quarter mile time in 15.86 seconds at a respectable 83.7 mph. Your times may vary based on your size, weight and weather conditions.
These are times that would be considered decent for a sporty hatchback 10-15 years ago but now many entry level Eco box cars can match the Ninja to 60 mph and pull away from it thereafter.
My Girlfriends Volkswagen Tiguan can pip a Ninja 250R over the quarter mile sprint and certainly easily exceed the Ninja 250R’s top speed of 97.56 mph which is achieved in around 50 seconds from a stop.
The most realistic top speed for most if screaming the Ninja 250R through the gears in real-world conditions would be 90 mph unless you want to put your chin on the tank and contort your body so that you are as small as possible, and then for that bit extra pull your mirrors in.
While doing the former, the Ninja 250 might show 110 mph plus on the speedo but almost all motorcycles lie and over read by as much as 10-15%.
The fact that your average tin box with wheels might match or beat you and your Ninja 250R at the traffic light GP does not mean that you should be disappointed. 0-60 mph in 7 seconds was considered ‘quick’ a few years back and nothing has changed, especially if the Ninja 250R is all you must compare to.
Sure if you jump off of an YZF-R1 or out of a 911 Turbo the Ninja 250R will feel slow but that would be unfair to compare.
If we compare the Ninja 250R to some of its closest rivals such as the Suzuki GSXR250R the Ninja walks it convincingly.
In the real world though, and at the traffic light GP the Ninja 250R does what it is supposed to do. You can blast off the lights, win some and lose some while you scream the little 249 cc engine to 13,000 rpm and with a huge smile on your face.
On slow twisty country roads, the 26 hp is more than enough to have fun while you work that engine hard.
The 250R only shows its engine weakness on big fast roads or on the highway, and especially if you want to keep-up with or overtake faster moving traffic as there is not much go above 80 mph.
But this weakness is there with all 250 cc motorcycles and the Ninja is certainly far from the weakest and is up there in the top at which point further tests of other 250 cc motorcycles will no doubt show.
The Ninja 250 responds very well to tuning and as they are raced in many places there are a ton of tuning parts and skilled tuners that can get the Ninja making 35 hp at the wheels easily and thus making it a heap faster than it is.
A tuned Ninja 250R could no doubt achieve low 6s or even high 5s from 0-60 mph if put to test.