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Kawasaki Ninja - The Legendary Stealth Japanese Warrior Strikes Again!

If you close your eyes and think of what a moto GP looks like, the first thing you would see is the Kawasaki Ninja shape.  This legendary bike has played a major role in the world of high-end racing/sports bikes. A motorbike like the Kawasaki ninja was responsible for raising the bar for competitors more than once. Moreover, it gained its place in history with style, power, and reliability. So, we are going to go through the entire line and shall tell you the best and worst about every model. Read on and find out which of these motorcycles is for you. Also, you will learn about a couple of accessories I found in the way and are absolutely amazing.

Kawasaki Ninja 125

Introduced as the most affordable Kawasaki ninja 2018, this is the smallest incarnation you can find of the legendary motorcycle. To point out, it is an excellent motorcycle with an aim to the younger and more inexperienced riders out there. Above all, its 4-stroke, single-cylinder engine has gained a reputation for being light, small and powerful. Did you ever think you were going to ride a Kawasaki ninja to commute to work? Well, this is the Japanese giant’s response to your question, and it’s “yes”.

Kawasaki Ninja

Moreover, if you are looking for a bike that can do it all plus not break your budget, this might be a perfect choice. Also, it is a great way to enter the world of small sports bikes and work your way to the Kawasaki Ninja H2R. The Kawasaki Ninja 125 is small and light but has enough power to get you through most situations. So, if you are looking for a little more than a small commuter, this is your best choice.

Kawasaki Ninja 250 SL

To point out, for those who want a little more from their motorcycles, Kawasaki has two versions of a 250 bike to offer. The first one, also known as Kawasaki ninja 250 SL, is a single-cylinder machine. It is an addition to the Kawasaki catalogue only since 2014. However, the 249cc cylinder works with a 6-speed transmission that is constant mesh and was the first model of Kawasaki ninja ever to have a four-stroke, single-cylinder engine. Moreover, it is a cheap, powerful and reliable ride for the streets and also small commutes or weekend miles. So, if you are looking for a technologic, robust and dependable motorcycle that consumes little gas, this is a great choice.

Kawasaki Ninja 250 R

This model of Kawasaki ninja is similar to the 250 SL, but the engine is a two-cylinder structure. This small difference proves to be huge in terms of power and especially fuel consumption. Going back in time, the Kawasaki ninja 250 R first met the eyes of the world as far back as 1986. Back then it was the descendant of the EX250-C created and sold by Kawasaki since 1983. Although the motorcycle went through numerous revamps, the spirit of “the accessible ninja” carried on.

Finally, the first major revamp came in 1988. The motorcycle got a new look and also some mechanical adjustments. Moreover, the 1988 Kawasaki ninja 250 R was not only a stronger bike; it was a faster bike too. The top speed, as well as the middle-power, got a severe increase and critics and fans loved it.

Kawasaki Ninja 250

However, the 1988 incarnation remained mostly unchanged for twenty years until the 2008 Kawasaki ninja 250 R came along. Kawasaki made the most profound changes the model ever had in that year. To point out, the first and most recognisable change is the outside esthetics brought into the late 2000s and far from the 1990s. This new version of the model got a mid and low-range boost making it easier to ride at low speeds in cities. Engine, suspension, bodywork, and equipment all got revamped, and critics loved it.

The final version of the bike is from 2018 onwards although it went by another remake in 2013 that added the ABS version. In the Tokyo Motor Show, Kawasaki presented a Kawasaki ninja 250 that will retail worldwide.

Kawasaki Ninja 250R Specs

  • Displacement – 249 cc
  • Cylinders – Two
  • Maximum Power – 32bhp @11,000rpm
  • Maximum Torque – 22Nm @8,200rpm
  • Valves Per Cylinder – Eight
  • Fuel Delivery System – Digital Fuel Injection
  • Ignition – TCBI
  • Cooling System – Liquid Cooling
  • Gearbox – Six-speed
  • Transmission Type – Chain Drive
  • Clutch – Wet, Multiple-disc
  • Rear Brake – Disc, 220 mm Dual Caliper
  • Front Brake – Disc, 290 mm Dual Caliper
  • Wheel Size – 17 inches
  • Rear Tire – 110/70-17 M/C (54S)
  • Front Tire – 110/70-17 M/C (54H)
  • Wheel Type – Alloy
  • Rear Suspension – Bottom-Link Uni-Trak with gas-charged shock
  • Front Suspension – 37 mm Telescopic fork
  • Speedometer – Analogue
  • Tachometer – Analogue
  • Start Type – Electric Start
  • Antilock Braking System – No
  • Headlight Type – Dual Lamp with Day time Running Lamps(DRL)

Kawasaki Ninja 300

Kawasaki Ninja 300 is relatively a young design by Kawasaki; it got its official presentation in 2013. It aims directly to those who want to have a sports bike and are not yet ready to get a bigger one. As media considered it at the moment and is still regarded as now: an entry-level sports bike. I was lucky enough to put my gloves and boots on it; read on to see what I thought of it.

Kawasaki Ninja 300

Kawasaki Ninja 300 Review

The Kawasaki ninja 300 is a great machine that can give you countless hours of fun. It’s a true Kawasaki ninja in a small package. I took it through the madness of the city centre in rush hour, and it handled it as nothing. In addition to that, the manoeuvrability is superb; the Kawasaki ninja 300 can take corners! Perhaps what is not so cool about it at street speed is the initial bite of the ABS by Endurance. And, in city streets, the first reaction of the bike is always the most important one.

Smart Brake Module (SBM)

I also took the liberty of getting this bike on the open road and the Kawasaki ninja top speed is impressive. So, you can take this motorcycle up to 180km/h, which is one of the main reasons for its name – a real ninja. Moreover, I was expecting that this bike, because of its price tag would have adjustable levers, but sadly it doesn’t. What my testing model had installed is a fantastic small gadget called Smart Brake Module. It engages your braking light when you slow down. And, this happened to me a lot, especially on the open road and with a six-gear motorcycle.

Smart Brake Module

Loosing up the throttle, or lowering gears is a beautiful way of making transitions smoother. The only drawback of doing it is that you can’t tell other vehicles of your manoeuvre. Hence, with this small addition to your bike, you will always alert others and traffic becomes a safer place for all of us. I added it to my bikes when I got back home.

To conclude, the only complaint being the initial bite of the brakes and the non-adjustable levers, this is a great bike. Kawasaki did an excellent job fitting the ninja legend into an entry-level vehicle.

Kawasaki Ninja 300 Specs

  • Engine – 4-stroke, liquid-cooled, 2-cylinder, DOHC
  • Displacement – 296cc
  • Ignition – TCBI with digital advance
  • Fuel System – DFI® with 32mm throttle bodies (2)
  • Transmission – 6-speed, return shift
  • Electronic Rider Aids – ABS
  • Final Drive – Sealed Chain
  • Rear Suspension – Uni-Trak® with 5-way adjustable preload
  • Front Suspension – 37mm hydraulic telescopic fork
  • Rear Tire – 140/70×17
  • Front Tire – 110/70×17
  • Rear Brakes – Single 220mm petal-type disc with a 2-piston hydraulic calliper, ABS
  • Front Brakes – Single 290mm petal-type disc with a 2-piston hydraulic calliper, ABS
  • Frame Type – High-tensile steel, Semi-double cradle
  • Overall Height – 43.7 in
  • Curb Weight – 383.7lb
  • Seat Height – 30.9 in
  • Fuel Capacity – 4.5 gal
  • Colour Choices – Candy Plasma Blue, Pearl Blizzard White

Kawasaki Ninja 400

The Kawasaki ninja 400 is not just a little bigger than the 300; it is a very different bike. It has the amount of push that you would expect from other motorcycles with bigger engines. Besides, it sports the highest horsepower in its class and the highest maximum speed in its class. It feels like a mid-level sports motorcycle with only a 400cc engine. As fortunate as I was trying the Kawasaki ninja 300, I was to try the 400 too. Read on as I give you my experience riding this beautiful machine.

Kawasaki Ninja 400

Kawasaki Ninja 400 Review

The main difference between the Kawasaki ninja 300 and 400 is that this last one feels “more alive”. The response in the city is impressive. Whereas the 300 is silk to drive with an almost silent engine, the 400 is more of a power horse. So, you feel you’re being pushed forward and don’t worry about because handling is magnificent. However, the same issue with the brakes is present, and the ABS lacks a little bit in the early stages. Coupled with the more significant power, it is potentially an issue.

Smart Turn System (STS)

This testing unit came with another accessory by the same brand than the SBM –  the Smart Turn System. It will turn your turning lights off automatically when you finish a curve. Yes, much like a car does when it senses you have completed your turn, this easy-to-install accessory does the same. Moreover, it was a blast to use because, as a car driver, I leave them on all the time. That can cause some serious accidents, so I felt safer with the device installed.

Smart Turn System

If you would also like to try these two gadgets, which improve safety on the road, you can easily check if they are compatible with your motorcycle. Just fill in the form and find out.

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Kawasaki Ninja 400 Specs

When we took on the open road, I have to say that this bike is not a Kawasaki Ninja H2. It is a 400cc motorcycle with superb manoeuvrability and a fantastic torque. Those who have been on a Kawasaki ninja 1000 know very well what this bike’s bigger sister can do. Furthermore, if you were one of the lucky ones in driving a track-only Kawasaki ninja H2R, you know what real power is.

Above all, the Kawasaki ninja 400 is great until the 120km/h where you feel no vibrations at all. Once you go past that, you start feeling a buzz in footpegs and handlebar. However, the one thing I didn’t like about is the riding position because it is a little claustrophobic. So, if you are a tad tall, you might feel very uncomfortable on top of this bike. That being the case, the biggest flaw of this bike is that the Kawasaki ninja price is way above the competition. It is an excellent bike at a high cost.

Specs

  • Engine – Liquid-cooled, 2-cylinder, 4-stroke, DOHC
  • Displacement – 399cc
  • Maximum Torque – 28.0lb-ft @8,000rpm
  • Ignition – TCBI with digital advance
  • Final Drive – Sealed chain
  • Fuel System – DFI® with 32mm throttle bodies (2)
  • Transmission – 6-speed, return shift
  • Electronic Rider – AidsABS
  • Rear Suspension – Bottom-link Uni-Trak®, swingarm adjustable preload
  • Front Suspension – 41mm telescopic fork
  • Rear Tire – 150/60×17
  • Front Tire – 110/70×17
  • Rear Brakes – 220mm single disc
  • Front Brakes – 310mm semi-floating single disc
  • Frame Type – Trellis, high-tensile steel
  • Overall Height – 44.1 in
  • Curb Weight – 366.0 lb/361.6 (non-ABS)**
  • Seat Height – 30.9 in
  • Fuel Capacity – 3.7 gal
  • Wheelbase – 53.9 in
  • Colour Choices – Candy Persimmon Red/Metallic Magnetic Dark Gray, Metallic Spark Black, Pearl Storm Gray/Metallic Magnetic Dark Gray

Kawasaki Ninja 650

The Kawasaki ninja 650 goes just one little step further down the line without getting into super sports territory. The supersport version is the Kawasaki ZX6R is an incredible racing machine. However, just like its bigger sister, the Kawasaki ZX10R is a supersport bike not intended for street use. So, if you are one of those people who like commuting in a powerful vehicle and taking it out on weekends for fun, it’s great.

Kawasaki Ninja 650

The Kawasaki ninja 650 will put more power and control in your hands than many other motorcycles. It is the middle ground before going to a 998cc engine and driving a real sports motorcycle. It is street-friendly and sturdy; the 649cc dual-cylinder engine is a bomb when it comes to torque. Moreover, you can get some real track-like goosebumps opening up the throttle on the Kawasaki ninja 650. So, if you are looking for a fun, powerful and responsive bike, look no further.

Kawasaki Ninja 650 Specs

  • Engine – 4-stroke, liquid-cooled, 2-cylinder, DOHC
  • Displacement – 649cc
  • Maximum Torque – 48.5 lb-ft @6,500rpm
  • Ignition – TCBI with digital advance
  • Fuel System – DFI® with dual 36mm Keihin throttle bodies
  • Final Drive – Sealed chain
  • Transmission – 6-speed
  • Electronic Rider Aids – ABS
  • Rear Suspension – Horizontal back-link with adjustable spring preload
  • Front Suspension – 41mm hydraulic telescopic fork
  • Rear Tire – 160/60 ZR17
  • Front Tire – 120/70 ZR17
  • Rear Brakes – Single 220mm petal-style disc and single-piston calliper, ABS
  • Front Brakes – Dual 300mm petal-style discs and 2-piston callipers, ABS
  • Frame Type – Trellis, high-tensile steel
  • Overall Height – 44.7 in
  • Curb Weight – 425.6 lb/419.0 (non-ABS)**
  • Seat Height – 31.1 in
  • Fuel Capacity – 4.0 gal
  • Colour Choices – Metallic Spark Black, Candy Steel Furnace Orange/Metallic Spark Black

Verdict

The entire Kawasaki ninja line is made of fast and powerful motorcycles. It’s a vehicle not intended for the faint of heart; they are not tourers or choppers; they are sports bikes. Moreover, each incarnation of the Kawasaki ninja pays due homage to the most famous stealth warrior of Japan. So, if you are ready for the challenge, jump in one of these; it will give you years of happiness and fun.

Do you agree with us on the Kawasaki ninja line? Did you ride any of those and want to add something? Feel free to comment and share this article with your fellow rider friends!

Happy riding!

Smart Brake Module

A device that flashes your brake light when engine braking and down-shifting to warn drivers behind.

Smart Turn System

Best motorcycle turn signal module, that cancels turn signals automatically.

HOW MANY TIMES DID YOU FORGET YOUR TURN SIGNAL ACTIVATED?


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