The 250 Ninja will always have a place in my heart. I first started to learn how to ride on the street on my 2003 Ninja 250. I did this video for a friend and in exchange he let me ride his new 2011 Ninja 250R so definitly a fair trade! The music is from an old collection of football music i have and again i used my GoPro Hero and used only the suction up mount.
I have to admit at first glance the revamped 2008+ Ninja 250’s are a bit more pleasing to the eye, but the old Ninja definitely has charm... Even if that charm is similar to a pug. The first thing you’d notice if you ever rode the old Ninja is it was slightly more comfortable then the new one, but that’s not to say the new one isn’t, in the broad scale of sport bikes the 2008+ Ninja is quite comfy. If you’re a rider anywhere between 5’5” to 6’2” & under 220lbs this bike will accommodate you just fine. Any heavier and you might want to look at something like a SV650/Ninja650/FZ6 etc.
So how bout the Powa?! It won’t overwhelm you, but if you’re worried about getting on the freeway this bike has no problem. For a beginner rider this bike has enough power, the Ninja250 can run the ¼ mile in 14.5 seconds so it’s no slouch and it will do 80+ mph topping out at around 110mph (depending on your weight and if you have a back wind) For a more advanced rider this bike can be an absolute blast to ride, it makes you start thinking of riding more like a chess game. Keep your speed up through corners, master late braking (or no braking at all), plan out your passes by cars, and be wary of rolling off the throttle to quickly. One aspect i thought was exceptional was the stock brakes on the Ninja, they felt very good, a lot of feel and very easy to scrub speed off before turning.
Worthy Upgrades for the Ninja would be a jet kit and some good rubber. After that you’ll have yourself a affordable and very capable motorcycle to ride, that is also very approachable. I think a lot of riders allow their Ego to get in the way of the real reason they should be riding, to have fun! You don’t need a 1000cc fire breathing beast to enjoy riding. Chances are most the time you’d leave the 180 horse power in the garage and take the Ninja for a spin when riding around town or for some leisurely riding.
Suspect suspension? After riding a motorcycle that has a fully adjustable suspension the Ninja 250’s parts can feel a little budget. But really that’s the bike in a nutshell isn’t it? Something greater then the sum of it’s parts? The Ninja might not soak up bumps as well as other more expensive bikes but it’s defiantly capable of anything you throw at it for everyday riding.
Gas Saver? Not really, to take advantage of the Ninja you’ll be twisting that throttle regularly (which is part of the fun) and i typically saw around 45mpg with spirited riding. Because you’ll be revving this engine up to 12 grand most the time, you won’t see 65+ mpg often.
If you’re looking to master the skills of riding a motorcycle fast then get a Ninja 250r or CBR250r, there is no better platform to fine tune your skills while going faster safer. Furthermore you can’t put a price on the satisfaction of leaving a bigger cc behind while you flick the Ninja side to side through some twisties.
As a disclaimer i want to say i'm not a professional racer/stunter/reviewer. Just an average guy who's been riding street bikes for the last 4 years and have developed a passion for it.