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Kawasaki Motorcycles
Updated :  24 September 2012

Kawasaki like the other Japanese brands have been around for years! However unlike these others Kawasaki didn't get into car building. In terms of motorcycles they've made some landmark models like the original 'Z' bikes. However the subsequent ZX or ZZ-R and Ninja series haven't been all that great - they were by no means bad but they just weren't up to their competitors from Yamaha, Honda or Suzuki. Thankfully there have been exceptions like the famous ZZR1100 or ZX-11.

Kawasaki essentially owns the this class, they have at least 4 models to choose from! Unfortunately these models have been around with very little change for many years, in the GPX's case since 1986. That said it speaks highly of model in question!

For the 2007 Tokyo motorshow Kawasaki released the Ninja 250R!  The first substantial update to a 'sports' class 250cc motorcycle I've heard of in at least a decade.  Their commitment to the task should be rewarded.

Ninja 250R

Click for a Larger image.

Specifications in Brief

Engine: IL2 cylinder 4-stroke
4 valve DOHC
Capacity:248cc
CDI Carbed liquid cooled
Weight: Approx 152Kg
18 litre fuel tank
Seat height 775mm
0-100kph about 8 seconds.
Max Speed 160Kph Approx
26Kw horsepower Approx
Introduced 2008

Comment

Firstly this is not a completely new motorcycle! Sure lots of it is new but the engine is a carry over albeit and updated one. The frame isn't alloy but steel as per the old version but the new fairing is brilliant isn't it! Expect lower performance since it is heavier despite the loss of the dual exhaust pipes and sportier fairing.

Don't expect it to match the inherent sportiness of the CBR 250RR but expect it to be a slightly sportier than it's predecessors.  For Australian riders note that it apparently replaces both the ZZR 250 and GPX 250.

Lovely looking and up to date bike well worth a look - nothing else available new is close in terms of style.

Introductory pricing is $8500 but well worth asking for a better deal since the introduction the LAMS licensing system. The strong dollar makes deals under $6000 worth the effort.
 

GPX250R

Specifications in Brief

Engine: IL2 cylinder 4-stroke
4 valve DOHC
Capacity:248cc
CDI Carbed liquid cooled
Weight: Approx 138Kg
16 litre fuel tank
Seat height 745mm
0-100kph about 8 seconds.
Max Speed 160Kph Approx
26Kw horsepower Approx
Introduced 1986?

Comment

I've actually ridden a couple over the years!  I can report that it is a step up from say the CBF.  Still looks OK after all these years - back in the 80's I remember it was the bike to get.  But the flame decals and other details make it look like a try hard - don't pull up next to the Hyosung or a CBR250RR unless you wan to see how its aged.

Performance and handling as I remember is OK - it rides well to the detriment of ultimate handling.  It was a bit too soft when trying to push it.  Otherwise it has a ton of stuff which will make it a suitable long term ownership easy like center stand and lots of parts - not that you'd need them.

Compared to the Across?  The Across had notably more bottom end zing and firmer suspension and definitely had a better handling balance at higher speeds.

But that was back then and today Kawasaki rates the GPX above the ZZR!  Whether it is really any better? only you can tell.  Either bike is a great choice.

Price ($Aust) 2007

How much does the GPX250 cost ?

$5,990 Approx RRP

Like the ZZR ask for a proper deal.  These bikes have made their ROI many times over do don't feel guilty. 

ZZR250

Specifications in Brief

Engine: IL2 cylinder 4-stroke
4 valve DOHC
Capacity:248cc
CDI Carbed liquid cooled
Weight: Approx 146Kg
18 litre fuel tank
Seat height 760mm
0-100kph about 8 seconds.
Max Speed 160Kph Approx
26Kw horsepower Approx
Introduced 1990?

Comment

I've actually ridden one many years ago.  In fact it was the first 'real' motorcycle I rode.  This model was supposed to replace the GPX in 1990 but as you can see it never happened! 

It's styling was based on the then new ZZR or ZX styling theme and back in then it was a bit of good looker.  Today it still holds its own but details like glass headlamps give away its age.

It's engine is the same as the GPX although its body is clearly much different.  The ZZ-R has 'alloy' frame while the GPX has paint steel hidden by a fairing.  The ZZR feels and looks bigger than the GPX.  It's a personal thing to decide between the two bikes.

As for handling personally I couldn't tell the difference back then and as history shows that's probably why I got the Across.  Furthermore I never liked the 'putt putt' noise made by comparatively low revving  twins. The Across had 4 cylinders and that's what I liked.

(2007 Post Script:  I had the opportunity to ride one recently! and it reaffirmed my comments and like to add that the handling is indeed pretty good just soft)

Price ($Aust) 2007

How much does the ZZ-R250
cost ?

$7000 - 8000 Approx RRP

However you will get a good deal so ask for extras of a lower price that includes on roads.

 

KLX250R

Specifications in Brief

Engine: 1 cylinder 4-stroke
4 valve DOHC
Capacity:249cc
CDI Carbed liquid cooled
Weight: Approx 119Kg
8 litre fuel tank
Seat height 885mm
0-100kph about 9 seconds.
Max Speed 120Kph Approx
20Kw horsepower Approx
Introduced 1990?

Comment

I haven't ridden this particular bike despite being on the market for years.  It certainly hasn't changed much either.  Still it can be registered for the road but with those tyres your asking for trouble. I'm sure you can probably change the rims and tyres...  Early versions didn't have an electric start but the latest ones do.  Besides it can only do 120km safely without running out of petrol.

This bike is really for those who live in the bush and need something that can take them to town and home again reliably or those who like to venture off road or racing on the weekends.  For town dwellers you can probably take it to the shops and probably have a hoot getting to work on it.  Being a single its got a ton of low rev power for traffic light take offs but it does not have the handling stability or top speed you're looking for.

All up its a great looking bike in Kawasaki green it appears to go well.  If you have long enough legs go for it because it's something different.

Price ($Aust) 2007

How much does the KLX250R
cost ?

$6500 Approx RRP

 

Eliminator EL250

Specifications in Brief

Engine: V2 cylinder 4-stroke
4 valve DOHC
Capacity:249cc
CDI Carbed liquid cooled
Weight: Approx 171Kg
14 litre fuel tank
Seat height 690mm
0-100kph about 10 seconds.
Max Speed 120Kph Approx
20Kw horsepower Approx
Introduced 1990?

Comment

I haven't ridden this particular bike despite being on the market for years.  It hasn't changed much except for the alloy rims as opposed to the spoked ones on the original release.  The new blacked alloys are in my opinion a step backwards in terms of looks. Furthermore the conical mufflers here don't help either, the original cylindrical ones looked much better.

As you can tell I don't like the look of this bike.  I wish I could say that its worth getting because of its performance and handling...but the only thing I can say is that its a heavy bike and it won't be all that fast.  10 years ago they claimed 20Kw but now they claim 26Kw without any change in hardware.

Loyal Eliminator owners will probably hate me but there are other better looking and performing Harley-ish type bikes.   If you really like it then go for it but make sure you get a good deal.  If you look closely at the mechanical specs you'll find a lot of similarities to the ZZR and GPX.  I think some stampings may have been reused for this model!

Price ($Aust) 2007

How much does the Eliminator EL250 cost ?

$7000 - 8000 Approx RRP
 

 

 


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 Kawasaki Ninja 250R Review

 Honda CBR250R Vs Kawasaki Ninja 250R




 


 

 

 


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