The Kawasaki Z250 is a nice racy quarter-litre motorcycle that will reward the enthusiast who’s looking out for a combination of grunt, handling, refinement and big bike looks. But is it worth the money?
Story: Aninda Sardar
Photography: Sanjay Raikar
So far as the premium leisure motorcycling scene in India is concerned, there are few motorcycles that are unavailable in India but available overseas. Back in 2009, however, the scene wasn’t nearly as vibrant. Nevertheless, interest in the premium leisure motorcycling genre was on the rise and global bike marques were getting increasingly interested in India as the next big market to head to. In many senses, therefore, the time was ripe for the Kawasaki Ninja 250R, which arrived on the Indian shores then. At the time the fully faired Ninja with its refined 250-cc parallel twin seemed like a good option, though slightly expensive. Six years on the game has changed quite a bit with several players in the fray. Yet, Kawasaki continue to sell the old quarter-litre Ninja in India, albeit in naked guise. Enter the Kawasaki Z250.
From a distance, you could almost pass off the Z250 as a bigger bike than what it really is. After all, its look mimics the styling of much bigger siblings like the Z800 or even the Z1000. Sharp and edgy, the Kawasaki cuts a fine figure and does manage to turn heads wherever it goes. Swing a leg over the motorcycle, though, and you quickly realise that despite its big-bike look, the Z250 is actually very compact. Indeed, a tall rider might even feel mildly cramped. The relation between the smallish seat, the somewhat narrow handlebar and the rear-set foot-rests, however, does end up making for a slightly racy riding position.
Although the Z250 is primarily based on the Ninja 250R, not everything is identical. Most notably, the instrumentation. While on the Ninja, instrumentation comprised three analogue dials – tacho, speedo and temperature gauge (which also housed the low fuel warning lamp) – the instrumentation on the Z250 consists of one large rev counter with a smaller digital speedo that also incorporates a digital fuel-gauge. Things sure do look up-to-date on the new bike as compared to the dated dash of the fully faired motorcycle.