Fast forward 20 years and Iím swinging my leg over a bright red (just like my hair) 2008 Ninja 250R ready for a road test. There are so many new aspects to the 2008; itís hard to know where to start. First and foremost, this little screamer doesnít even look like a 250. The new sleek and contemporary body styling more closely mirrors that of the 600 model. Kawasaki wisely left off the 250 sticker, so only a true bike-ofile would know the difference. Thereís a new windscreen, new 2-into-1 exhaust with single canister and a new two-piece seat with optional rear seat cowl ($99.95) to finish off the sporty look. .
At 5-foot-1, the new 30.5-inch seat height had me on my tippy-toes, but the bike is so light (reported 333 lbs. dry, up nearly 30 lbs) this was hardly a concern. The narrow seat certainly helps those of us who belong to the inseam-challenged group Viagra Online
or the new rider who feels most comfortable with both feet down. Kawasaki research indicates that 62% of Ninja 250 owners are new riders, and 33% of that group is women. Being able to plant both feet firmly on the ground is one of the most cited concerns for all beginning riders who are purchasing their first bike.
Once in the saddle, the seating position is a tad sportier and more forward sloping than before, but still quite upright with an easy, comfortable reach to the high and wide bars. This makes a trip through city traffic much easier than one might be if reaching for low-slung clip-ons. Reach from seat to footpegs was so comfortable I had to make myself take note. Levers are easy to command and the feel is quick and responsive. The clutch engaged rather far out, but even with my 2.5-percentile hand, I had no problems.
New for 2008 is a large speedo right in the center, with a tach to the left and new gas gauge to the right. Apparently a gas gauge is important to Ninja 250 owners, so now they have a big juicy one. At first I thought I would miss the center tach, as my last experience with the previous model was thumb-wrestling riders at a Kawasaki-sponsored trackday to see who would get to ride the screamin' little 250s. Keeping an eye on revs is crucial when trying to ride as fast as you can on the track, not so for street riding, which is the most common use of the 250. Big speedo, good. Gas gauge, better.