The Kawasaki Z250 a small capacity twin-cylinder naked-motorcycle. The Kawasaki Z250 is not cheap (151,000 THB), if you compare it to some of the Chinese competitors. Kawasaki in Thailand seems to attract the kind of buyer who doesn't mind paying a little more for a quality motorcycle. But, does the Kawasaki Z250 have enough firepower to command a premium pricing?
The Kawasaki Z250 is, essentially, the Kawasaki Ninja 250 that was on sale a couple of years ago, minus most of the fairing. It doesn't take a genius to tell that the Kawasaki Z250's styling takes its cues from the bigger Kawasaki Z800, whose familiar visage is well-known and much-loved.
On the design front, considering the sheer good looks of the Z1000 and Z800, the Kawasaki Z250 had some living up to do. And, to do that, Kawasaki paid some extra attention to designing the Z250, with the fuel tank and edgy-looking Z-shape tank extensions that merge with the underbelly panel to hide the wiring and partly encase the engine. The Kawasaki Z250 shares a few parts with the newer Kawasaki Ninja 300, like the Y-spoke alloy wheels, the seats, the exhaust and the tail section which lacks grab handles. Every detail of the Kawasaki Z250 exudes class, and the motorcycle not only looks premium, but feels it, too.
Hopping onto the saddle that sits 795mm off the ground, we found the riding position to be very comfortable. The footpegs are slightly rear-set, and the angle you sit at, along with the positioning of the handlebar, doesn't put a lot of weight on your hands, like it does on the Kawasaki Ninja 300. The riding position is a bit sporty, but not overly so. As we hit the road, the suspension held up beautifully and dispatched undulations on the straights and even corners commendably.
The Kawasaki Z250 is predictable at all speeds, and remains composed while carrying pace into corners. The riding dynamics of this Kawasaki are laudable, and you can flick it into and around bends with utmost ease.
The heart and soul of the Kawasaki Z250 is the familiar liquid-cooled parallel-twin 249cc engine that nestles in the diamond frame. The twin-cylinder engine churns out a respectable 31.5 horsepower and 21Nm of torque, and is mated to one of the slickest and most precise six-speed transmissions around. Lowe-end grunt isn't the engine's forte, but the gearing affords the motorcycle good tractability.
The clutch is nice and light, and the Kawasaki Z250 will pull from as low as 38 km/h in sixth without a knock. However, the motorcycle potters along rather desultorily under the 7,000rpm mark, and you'll have to downshift almost every time if you intend to comfortably get past a slow-moving vehicle. You' have to really wring the throttle and rev it hard through the gears to extract the best performance out of the 250cc twin-cylinder engine. And, the engine is always ready for it. The 168kg Z250 takes to triple-digit speeds like a fat kid to cake. Out on the highway, we came up to 100 km/h at around 4,700 in sixth. And, when the road cleared up some more and we decided to up the pace, all that had to be done was to drop two gears for the needle to hit 7,500rpm and we roared off towards 170 km/h, the claimed top speed.