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2009 Kawasaki Ninja 250R Review (video)


by Pascal Bastien ,

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At a time when bigger, more powerful machines always seem more attractive to consumers, Kawasaki is introducing a smaller, entry-level model displaying a friendly character while offering the true feel of a sportbike.

This little Ninja boasts plenty of style in spite of its modest proportions.

Changing habits
Small-displacement motorcycles could soon regain their popularity in Canada due to an evolution in consumer needs and habits, mainly caused by rising fuel, registration and insurance prices. Small displacement usually is synonymous with efficiency and agility in the city. While the Kawasaki Ninja 250R boasts these two attributes, it's a radical departure from the traditional perception of a small bike. With a full fairing, supersport styling and raised handlebars, this Japanese pocket rocket proves to be a surprisingly feisty performer. You can take my word for it.

A real deal
With the Ninja 250R, you don't need to look far to find affiliation with its larger siblings. Designers did a great job of endowing this model with all the tools and weapons of a true sport star: a superbike-style, two-tier seat, high-mounted footpegs allowing generous cornering clearance, effective protection for the rider's legs, a sky-pointing tail as well as an aggressive, sloping nose. What's more, the Z1000-derived headlight adds to the Ninja's intimidating look.

Notwithstanding the analog dash and its entry-level cachet, the 250R is beyond reproach with regard to build quality and material fit and finish. Priced under $5,000, this little Kawasaki represents an extremely attractive deal given the quality of components, particularly the beautiful wheels borrowed from the Ninja 650R, allowing you to fit a wider, high-performance tire in the back if you so choose. Meanwhile, the chrome-clad, stainless steel muffler emphasizes its big bike looks.

Except for the analog dash, the 250R is beyond reproach.
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