Kawasaki ZZ-R250

The Kawasaki ZZ-R250 is a sports touring  learner or commuter class motorcycle. The model is a twin of the EX250 or GPX250 with different fairings and been on sale as far back as 1989 and only stopped production in 2008 when both where replaced with the Ninja 250R.   

 I ridden a number of  ZZR250 and GPX250 over the years and for the same reason – to help my new riding friends pick them up or test ride to see if it is a good one.  They are great first motorcycles with safe and suitably soft suspension for commuting and highway rides. Sure it does run out of the power after hitting 100kph or (108kph indicated on the speedo as the all under read) so but it will keep going  if you’ve got the road to spare and no sympathy for the engine. There’s plenty of power from mid revs on so its best to keep the engine there but it does sound like a an old school sewing machine (SINGER). 

There’s heaps to like about the ZZR250, especially when cruising around town as it does look a proper sports-touring bike. We love the twin exhausts and relative modern and large instruments. It is a pity that the instruments on this version did not carry over to the latest 2012 Ninja 205R. The engine response is good and there’s some power to spare, seating position is comfortable so all you need to concentrate on the traffic and developing or using your riding skills. Just remember to turn the choke off and keep the throttle on.

The internet says that engine power is 29KW but we’ve have the original paper specification and it says 26.4Kw (at most) maybe it was updated over the 20 odd years but unlikely. It’s certainly fast enough to start with although you will need to keep the engine in the right zone with the gears to get the most power.

There are plenty of new and used ZZR250’s to choose from as they’ve been making them for 20 years. Sure the details look old compared to the latest models but its done well and a great overall package. I think the main selling point is the looks, size and street cred and that’s why it sells. It was showing age by 2008 and replaced by the Ninja 205R but I couldn’t tell the difference unless ridden back to back.  Great choice just remember not to pay too much for one as there are new motorcycles that are just as good or better.

Honda CBR250RR Key Specifications
Engine:   IL2 cylinder 4-stroke 4 valve DOHC (Carbs) 
Capacity:  249cc
Power/Torque:  26.4Kw @ 12,500 RPM 21.5Nm @ 9,000 RPM (Japan)
Gearbox:   6 speed
Kerb Weight:  Dry 143Kg
Performance:  0-100kph 9 seconds Approx
Max Speed 160Kph Approx 
Fuel Economy:   13 litre fuel tank
Approx 4.9 litres per 100km
Seat height:  735mm
 Recommended Retail Price:   $7500