Kawasaki EX250F Ninja 250: review, history, specs

The Kawasaki Ninja 250R was a four-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, parallel twin Sport Bike motorcycle produced by Kawasaki between 1988 and 2012. Max torque was 16.23 ft/lbs (22.0 Nm) @ 9500 RPM. Claimed horsepower was 32.99 HP (24.6 KW) @ 11000 RPM. It was known as the Ninja 250 in the US and the ZZR 250 in other export countries.

Kawasaki Ninja 250R
Also called Ninja 250, ZZR 250
Production 1988 - 2012
Class Sport Bike
Predecessor Kawasaki EX250E
Successor Kawsaki EX250J Ninja 250R
250cc four-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, parallel twin
Bore / Stroke 61.0mm x 61.0mm
Compression ratio 11:6:1
Top Speed 94.9 mph
Horsepower 32.99 HP (24.6 KW) @ 11000RPM
Torque 16.23 ft/lbs (22.0 Nm) @ 9500RPM
Fuel System Two Keihin CVK30 carburetors
Spark Plug NGK CR8HSA 98-03 , '04-07
NGK C8HA '88-97
Battery YUASA YB9L-A2 '88-94 [1]
Transmission Gear box: 6-speed, manual
Clutch: wet multi-disc, manual
Final Drive Chain: 520x106
Front Sprocket 14T
Rear Sprocket 45T
Suspension Front: 37 mm hydraulic telescopic fork
Rear: bottom-link Uni-Trak with 5-way adjustable preload
Brakes Front: single 290 mm hydraulic disc
Rear: single 220 mm petal disc
Front Tire 100/80.16 '88-94
100/80-16 '95-07
Rear Tire 130/80-16 '88-07
Wheelbase 55.12 inches (1400 mm)
Length 82.09 inches (2085 mm)
Width 28.11 inches (714 mm)
Seat Height 30.51 inches (775 mm)
Weight 170.0 kg (wet)
Oil Capacity 1.9 L (2.0 US qt) [1]
Oil Filter K&N KN-401
Recommended Oil K-tech 10W-40
Manuals File:1994 Kawasaki Ninja 250R owners manual.pdf
File:2007 Kawasaki Ninja 250R owners manual.pdf
More Manuals


A 61.0mm bore x 61.0mm stroke result in a displacement of just 249.0 cubic centimeters.


The bike has a 6-speed, manual transmission. Power was moderated via the wet multi-disc, manual.


It came with a 110/70-17 front tire and a 130/70-17 rear tire. Stopping was achieved via single 290 mm hydraulic disc in the front and a single 220 mm petal disc in the rear. The front suspension was a 37 mm hydraulic telescopic fork while the rear was equipped with a bottom-link Uni-Trak with 5-way adjustable preload. The wheelbase was 55.12 inches (1400 mm) long.

Kawasaki Ninja 250REdit

Ninja 250s on the track

The Kawasaki Ninja 250R (also known as the EX250 in the U.S., and GPX250 elsewhere in the world) is a long standing model in Kawasaki's lineup, introduced in 1986 and continuing in production as of 2006. The 2006 model has an MSRP of $2,999 USD. The 250R is marketed as an entry level sport motorcycle intended for normal use on paved roads. Compared to present industry designs, the 250R is more a "sporty-standard" motorcycle with a fairing than a true sportbike (considering its ergonomics, chassis design, and engine placement within the frame), but it is still an excellent sport machine.

The 250R is light for a motorcycle, weighing just over 300 lb (135 kg) dry. Its 250 cc displacement, counterbalanced, water cooled four stroke engine is smooth for a twin-cylinder, and though not exceptionally powerful with 36 hp (27 kW) at best, it can easily maintain speeds in excess of 80 mph (130 km/h) while consuming fuel (87 octane) at 55 to 75 miles per gallon US (22 to 30 km/L) from its 4.8 US gallon (18 L) tank, and has a top speed of about 100 mph (160 km/h).

The Ninja 250 faces very little direct competition within its class inside the United States. The main competitors are the other 250cc "beginner bikes" priced around $3,000, namely Honda's Rebel 250 and Nighthawk 250, the Suzuki GZ250, and the Yamaha Virago 250. With the exception of the Nighthawk (a standard), these bikes are all cruisers. The disparity in style between a crusier, a standard, and a sportbike is frequently the buyer's deciding factor, given that one's choice in bike is often as much about self-image as objective features. None of these bikes can match the Ninja 250's much greater power, 14,000 rpm redline, 6-speed gearbox, tachometer, and centerstand, nor do they offer both front and rear disc brakes. All of them have an advantage over the stock Ninja with their rear suspension preload adjustability, although the Kawasaki "Uni-Trak®" system is more advanced and may be upgraded. The cruisers also offer relatively low seat heights in the 26-27 inch range, an issue for some riders.

None of these US models, including the Ninja, have changed much in recent years, but outside the United States there are many exciting advances in small-displacement, lightweight, and/or low-cost motorcycles, including several four-cylinder, sixteen-valve 250's. That being said, the Ninja 250 enjoys a modest following among riders who appreciate its light weight and nimble handling as an amusing "track bike". The very fact that it hasn't changed much since 1988 means parts are plentiful and inexpensive.


Kawasaki ZZR 250 (or, in USA, EX250-F), lateral view
Kawasaki ZZR 250 (or, in USA, EX250-F), front view
2006 Kawasaki EX250-F19, front
2006 Kawasaki EX250-F19, rear
2006 Kawasaki EX250-F19, side
  • EX250-E: model sold in the from 1986 to 1987.
  • EX250-F: model sold in the USA and Australia from 1988 to present. Sold from 1988 to 1990 in other parts of the world. Changes in bodywork, wheels, suspension, electricals and some engine specifics from the E model.
  • EX250-H: sold primarily outside of the USA and Canada since 1991; Canada received this model in 2000, while the U.S. still has the F model. Major rework including frame, wheels, suspension and electricals; same engine as the F model. Known largely as the ZZR-250.

Specifications & performance statisticsEdit

Engine 4-stroke Parallel twin, DOHC, Liquid cooled, 8-Valve, w/ counterbalancer
Displacement 248 cc
Starting Electric
Bore x stroke 62.0 x 41.2 mm
Compression_ratio 12.4:1
Carburetion Keihin CVK30 (2), Constant velocity, diaphragm-type
Ignition CDI (electronic advance)
option CR7HSA, CR7HIX
Transmission 6-speed, Constant mesh, Return shift
Clutch Wet, Multi-disc, Manual, Cable-actuated
Frame Tubular Diamond design
Rake/trail 27 degrees/3.3 in (84 mm)
Suspension, front Hydraulic telescopic fork
Suspension, rear UNI-TRAK® system with single shock
Wheelbase 55.1 in (1400 mm)
Wheel travel, front 5.5 in (140 mm)
Wheel travel, rear 5.1 in (130 mm)
Tire, front 100/80x16
Tire, rear 130/80x16
Brakes, front/rear Single hydraulic disc
Overall length 80.1 in (2034 mm)
Overall width 28.0 in (711 mm)
Overall height 43.1 in (1095 mm)
Ground clearance 6.1 in (155 mm)
Seat height 29.3 in (744 mm)
Weight dry/wet 304/355 lb (138/161 kg)
Max load 340 lb (154 kg)
Fuel capacity 4.8 US gal (18 L)
Fuel type Min 91 Research / 87 avg. octane unleaded
Oil capacity 1.9 L
Oil type SE-SG Class SAE 10W40-20W50
Performance stats
0-60 mph (0-100 km/h) 5.75 s
1/4 mile 14.6 s @ 88 mph
Maximum speed 105 mph (160 km/h)
Max power 36 hp (27 kW) @ 11000 rpm, 26 hp (19 kW) @ rear wheel
Max Torque 18 ft.lbf (24 Nm) @ 10000 rpm, 14 ft.lbf (19 Nm) @ rear wheel
Fuel Efficiency 55-75 mpg US

Year ModelsEdit









First major changes in years. Updated to the EX250J


In MediaEdit


External linksEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 1994 Kawasaki Ninja 250R owners manual. Kawasaki.