Kawasaki Ninja Review

Kawasaki Ninja Review

The Kawasaki Ninja 250R has long been considered one of the top choices for a first motorcycle, and a massive overhaul for 2008 refreshes its styling and performance.

Boasting plenty of improvements inside and out, the Ninja 250R seeks to combine sportbike styling with the approachability of a beginner motorcycle. Read more to find out how the all-new Ninja fills a unique niche in its segment.

The Ninja 250R is a relatively small bike. Though it resembles its 600cc and 1,000cc stablemates at first glance, its small scale becomes more evident with a rider aboard. The saddle is slightly taller for 2008, but the littlest Ninja is still compact and low enough to feel completely manageable at parking lot speeds. The rider is positioned with a mildly forward pitch (thanks to the sloping seat, the angle of which is visible in this profile shot of the bike.) Rider ergonomics are not so far forward as to be uncomfortable, but the Ninja’s posture is certainly sporty.

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Taller riders will feel their legs touch the outer edges of the fuel tank, though the bike is still narrow enough to not cause any unusual contortions other than a slightly compact leg position. The view over the handlebars reveals a centrally positioned speedometer and a tachometer—which redlines at 13,000 rpm—just off to the left. Mirrors are generously sized and well-positioned, offering good rearward visibility.

Everything falls where you expect it to on the Ninja, and its compact size makes it welcoming to both newbies and more experienced riders—I’m 5’10”, and found that the only ergonomic limitation was seat comfort for long stretches, primarily because of the stiffness of the padding and the forward tilt of the saddle.

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