Kawasaki produced and sold the Ninja250R for 20 years before considering an upgrade and getting at work to develop a brand new model, the one that was launched a couple of yeast ago and which started a complete frenzy especially among beginning riders. Soon turning into Kawi’s best selling sport bike, the Ninja 250R carries on as a 2010 model year with virtually nothing changed on it, so the only rightful question related to it is: “Will it be the same 20 years from now?”
Apparently, the facts indicate that the smallest Ninja has big chances to do so although we reckon that Kawasaki will keep redesigning it according to the future tendencies of bigger supersports models of
32-hp carbureted parallel twin engine
the green manufacturer. First thing first, the 249cc, four-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, parallel twin is built to rev high, sound powerful and, most importantly, last for decades. Fed through two Keihin CVK30 carburetors and mated to a six-speed gearbox currently sounds as the solution to remaining a strong player on the market, but smaller and smaller engines start to get fuel injection and that’s also a thing likely to happen in the case of this Kawi. So history has less and less chances to repeat itself as stricter and stricter emission regulations will determine Kawasaki to upgrade the 250cc Ninja.
The chassis remains the same for 2010 and it will most likely do so on future model years too. Although made out of steel, the frame isn’t that heavy and offers proper resistance, so it meets the conditions to remain the metal structure of the Kawasaki Ninja 250R. The suspensions have been inspired by 250R’s bigger siblings, so we’re dealing with a 37mm inverted fork offering 4.7 inches of travel and a preload adjustable Uni-Trak rear shock offering 5.1 inches of travel.
2010 Kawasaki Ninja 250R
With petal-style disc brakes (a single 290mm front and a single 220mm rear one, both working with twin piston calipers), the 2010 Kawasaki Ninja 250R is as well and complete overall equipped as the name says. But another advantage that doesn’t come with the name is the standard riding position ensuring that both beginners and experienced riders will easily find their place on the bike and stay there for a pretty long time.
Lately, the entry-level sport bike market is being populated not only by user-friendly motorcycles with provisory roles in a rider’s evolution, but by motorcycles that blink an eye to their riders long after experience has been gained and that’s where the Ninja 250R proved best at when first introduced.
Ever since 1986 when the first Ninja 250R was launched, Kawasaki proved to have the right recipe and the bike was happy showing it each time it reached the top speed of 110 mph relying only on 25 horsepower and that six-speed tranny. But, it looked old and that is why the all-new 2008 model year didn’t feature any single exterior piece that was taken over from the previous generation model.
Finally, the small Ninja had conformed to the modern requirements of the class and the only prize that Kawi was able to give it was a plant in Thailand.
2010 Kawasaki Ninja 250R
Still, it didn’t lose any of its fans simply because it was related to a consecrated name and reflected that each time a rider would have looked at it. For 2010, things haven’t changed, so riders get the same sharp looking Ninja with color schemes to match the aggressive design and line the bike up to bigger models such as the ZX-10R and ZX-6R. Available in Metallic Island Blue, Passion Red, Lime Green/Pearl Stardust White and Ebony/Candy Persimmon Red, it sure won’t pass unnoticed wherever you ride, but the Special Edition Lime Green and Metallic Diablo Black color scheme will increase the chances for this bike to end up being confused with one of its bigger siblings.
Pretty long, low and sleek, the Ninja 250R is built for speed and yet accommodates the rider in a fairly relaxed riding position, although not as relaxed as on the previous generation model. The handlebars are mounted higher than on regular sports models and the seat positioned at only 30.5 inches from the ground, prepping up the quarter-liter bike for riders who are just starting out.
You get the same aggressive nose and headlight, the same six-spoke wheels and exhaust. It would have been nice to see that silencer mounted under the engine both for a lower center of gravity and a more compact look, but, apparently, they go for the classic, but matte black sport bike exhaust most likely because the full fairing didn’t allowed that.
It seems that Kawasaki managed to achieve their goal of updating the bike and the visual aspect is the first thing that strikes you and even harder now with the new color schemes.
“If you plan on using your Ninja 250R primarily as a city commuter bike, or a weekend toy to bomb around town, the 250R is a great choice. It has no problem keeping up with traffic, and it can outrun most cars to 40mph.” – beginnermotorcyclereviews
"The 249 cc twin-cylinder engine boasts double overhead cams, liquid-cooling, a six-speed transmission and a rarity on motorcycles these days: twin carburetors.”– wheels
“Something that makes this motorcycle really fun is its 14,000 rpm redline; it’s a real screamer when you take it on the highway! The ninja really loves being wound up to 9,000 rpms, and at around 10,000 you can really feel it start to grip the asphalt.” – bestbeginnermotorcycles
"Read all of the statistics you want, the new Ninja 250R is just a flat-out blast to ride. Wind it up and let it go, it screams and howls like a factory racer. It’s sleek, sporty, and has a big bike feel without the struggle or the price tag." – motorcycle
Although lacking a direct competitor, the 2010 Kawasaki Ninja 250R features a $4,299 base MSRP. And by achieving a fuel consumption of 55 to 75 miles per gallon and being cheap to maintain, the small Ninja will get most of that money and even more back to you depending on how much you prefer to ride it so it isn’t just fun, but budget-friendly too.
2010 Kawasaki Ninja 250R
In our humble opinion, the Kawasaki Ninja 250R has followed a natural evolution and it will continue doing so years from now as long as there are enough riders willing to buy it. Most likely, it will feature upgrades, but none as significant as the previous generation model did.