Kawasaki Ninja 250
The Kawasaki Ninja 250 has dominated the entry-level sportbike market in the US for decades. The little Ninja 250, in fact, has long-been Kawasaki’s best-selling Ninja sportbike. Ever since its 1983 debut, the Ninja 250 has been a favorite for beginners and many experienced riders have fond memories of the little Ninja upon which they learned to ride.
Besides new styling and some internal engine tweaks in 2008, the Kawasaki Ninja 250R has featured the same basic architecture since its inception in 1983.
The Ninja 250 is powered by a high-revving Parallel Twin, with modest power numbers but very capable performance on highways and the freeway. The chassis features non-adjustable fork with pre-load adjustable shock. The high fuel efficiency of the Ninja 250 (most estimates putting MPG in the mid-60s) make it an ideal commuting bike.
For 25 years the Kawasaki Ninja 250 was relatively unchanged, but the 2008 model featured a host of revisions. A revamp of the Twin reputedly yields more torque and the new 17-inch wheels deliver better handling and more tire options. Perhaps most noticeable change, however, is the new bodywork and styling upgrade, which makes the Ninja 250 look more like its elder Ninja siblings (the graphics are absent of the 250 moniker).
The Ninja 250’s status as a beginner mount makes it a popular used bike, as many rider’s develop their skills aboard the Ninja 250 and move on to a more challenging ride. As a result, the Ninja 250 holds its resale price quite well. Speaking of price, the pre-2008 Ninja 250 retailed for $2999, easily the best deal on two wheels. The upgraded 2008 Ninja 250 R jumped up to $3499, but still delivers an incredible bang for the buck.