Kawasaki Z250 Review – Benchmark for aggression
Kawasaki Z250 is the entry level, which means most affordable, Kawasaki in India. But it doesn’t look that way. Set up a stage, crank up some electric guitar, blow up some smoke and this baby will fit right at the centre, with no need for neon lights.
Front fascia of Kawasaki Z250 is dominated by the distinctive twin headlamp, which is reminiscent of a darkly bulldog’s jaws. The head light assembly is surrounded by naked plastic, housed within minimal body-coloured cowl. Further, piano black trim above the lights, clear and edgy turn indicators, and chiseled wing mirrors round off the facial expression of Kawasaki Z250.
Unlike most naked bikes, including Kawasaki Z800 which Z250 is inspired by, the latter doesn’t sport just a pair of tank extensions, but a complete fairing behind the fork that ends with a belly pan. The same is painted in gloss black, over which racy decals are pasted; thus both complement each other very well. Kawasaki’s customary green tone in matte finish extends to the fuel tank, engine cowl and tail piece, while midship plastic remains black and gloss. Most of cluttered functional components, wires and hoses are in black, while some mounts and exhaust cover have brushed steel finish.
Rear part of Kawasaki Z250 gets narrower towards the end, and looks very similar to Ninja 300. Z250 gets integrated grab handles which may not be used often as the pillion seat is pretty comfortable and not that scary. While rider sits comfortably on his expansive allotment which is neither too soft nor too hard, good for a pretty long tour. And so is the riding position, with slightly rear set foot pegs and laterally shorter handle bar. Rear view mirror is sizeable and dependable for city and highway use.
Kawasaki Z250 shows extreme sophistication and muscularity from head to tail, and there is no doubt that it will attract eyeballs wherever it goes. But where does it fit in better functionally?
The naked street fighter from the Japanese motorcycle house is underpinned by a track-tuned diamond frame, that allows supple suspension settings. There is regular telescopic front fork with each leg measuring 37 mm dia and Bottom-Link Uni-Trak setup at the rear with gas-charged monoshock. For city and rough road use, damping is soft enough, would’ve been more comfortable if more travel was allowed. But that would’ve compromised its brilliant handling capabilities, especially while carving hills and circuits.
The 168 kg bike does not cause nervousness while making very sudden flicks and is very welcoming to dive into corners. The only bummer is the IRC Road Winner tires, 110/70-17 upfront and 140/70-17 at the rear, which aren’t very grippy even on perfectly dry and hot tarmac. Given that Z250 does not feature ABS, stopping the bike in tricky situations could be a bit of a problem when you’re in a rush in the city.
Not to worry, the parallel-twin, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected 249 cc engine with DOHC, is not very eager while riding in low and mid range. Despite recording 32 PS max power @ 11,000 rpm and 21 Nm peak torque @ 10,000 rpm, the bike does not feel as powerful. Especially when you are in need of it, like when coming out of a corner, or when you need sudden burst of acceleration for overtaking. Even the pickup is not impressive.
0 to 60 kmph acceleration is somewhere under 4 seconds and 0 to 100 kmph is below 9 seconds, but are achievable only when one belts the bike until redline at 13,000 rpm. All that aggression the bike displays is shown while riding only above 9,000 rpm, but the gearing is not short. Until then Kawasaki Z250 is just a sweet and linear revving machine. No wonder it has an ECO ride indicator.
What’s appreciable about the engine is the buttery smooth power delivery and total lack of vibration. The 6-speed gearbox shares the attribute of being slick, and is very responsive.
Overall, one can say Kawasaki Z250 is a good all-rounder, with work-of-art twin cylinder engine, excellent ride and handling balance, and comfortable seating and suspension for touring; all underneath an ego satisfying guise. Z250 does not disappoint anyone except those who are crazy on the throttle.
So is it worth the buck? Simply put, Kawasaki could’ve priced it better.
Why would you buy Kawasaki Z250:
Why wouldn’t you buy Kawasaki Z250: