Well, Indonesia media seems to have the answer. According to rumours spreading via Indonesian bogs, Kawasaki is about to respond in a rather shocking manner. The Japanese motorcycle maker is believed to be working secretively on a 4 cylinder 250cc engine for new gen Ninja. Backing this theory is the fact that Kawasaki had already produced 250cc 4 cylinder engines for Ninja ZXR-250 models back in the days.
Kawasaki Ninja ZX-250A was sold from 1988 to 1991, followed by ZX-250C from 1991 to 2004. The sports bike hosted a 249cc inline four cylinder liquid cooled 16 valve engine with Dual Over Head Camshaft (DOHC). With compression ratio of 12.2:1, Kawasaki’s engine produced 45 PS (33 KW) max. power at 15,000 rpm and 25 Nm peak torque at 11,500 rpm. Fueled via 4x Keihin CVK D30 carburettors. 6 speed constant mesh transmission passed all of engine’s power to wheels.
144 kg ZXR-250 bike used 110/70-R17 54H tire on front and 140/60-R18 64H tire on rear end. Dual 300 mm disc and dual caliper stopped front wheel, and single 230 mm disc with single caliper braked rear wheel. With wheelbase of 1,370 mm, turning radius achieved was 3.1 metres.
Is it too farfetched or ridiculous to think Kawasaki would resurrect 250cc engine 4 cylinder configuration producing 45 PS to challenge Yamaha, Honda and Suzuki? In fact, all mentioned Japanese motorcycle makers had 4 cylinder engines producing around 45 PS back at the time. Yamaha FZR250, Honda CBR250, Suzuki GSX-R250 and aforementioned Kawasaki ZXR250; were capable of crossing 200 kmph mark as well; redlined at about 19,000 rpm.
Will Kawasaki bring out four cylinder quarter litre engine in the coming months to chase the likes of new Honda CBR250RR, Suzuki GSX250R and Yamaha R25 out? What makes this proposition interesting is the fact that PT Kawasaki Motor Indonesia’s Deputy Head of Sales and Promotion, Michael Tanadhi has gone on record and stated that the company is in fact looking at the prospect of introducing a 4 cylinder Ninja 250 very seriously.