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Almost a year after its unveil at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show, the Ninja ZX-25R is finally on sale, albeit in Indonesia
The Kawasaki Ninja ZX-25R has kept tongues wagging since its unveil at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show, where it easily stole the limelight away from the brand’s own supercharged naked, the Z H2. And we could only get our heart rates back to normal before the brand released footage of Alex Lowes and Jonathan Rea riding the race-spec KRT version of the same bike around Jerez. Finally, the brand has launched the Ninja ZX-25R in Indonesia, priced at an Indian equivalent of about Rs 5 lakh for the standard model, while the SE retails at about Rs 5.9 lakh.
Yes, that makes this ridiculously costly. So what exactly is the reason for this? Read on to find out
While most 250s out there pack a single-cylinder engine, or at most a parallel twin, the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-25R is powered by a 250cc in-line four (yes!) making a roaring 49bhp (51bhp with ram-air) at 15,500rpm and 22.9Nm of torque at an equally heady 14,500rpm. As expected, the engine is mated to a six-speed ’box, and while the standard model gets dual-channel ABS and a slipper clutch, the SE boasts of traction control with riding modes and a bidirectional quickshifter. Braking duties, meanwhile, are handled by a 310mm disc with a four-piston calliper up front and a 220mm disc with a single-piston caliper at the rear.
Kawasaki has also equipped the Ninja ZX-25R with additional top-drawer hardware, including Showa-sourced 37mm USD forks and a link-type monoshock with preload adjustability. The road-going ZX-25R, has looks very much in line with its Ninja siblings. The split LED headlights and subtle beak and leaned-forward aesthetic and stepped seat are reminiscent of ZX 6R supersport. Even without the Kawasaki Racing Team decals on the flanks, the message is conveyed at the first glance.
In a burning heart...
The Kawasaki brand has always been at the forefront of innovation, evident in the fact it’s still the only manufacturer with a supercharged motorcycle as part of its series production lineup, that too in three different segments.
But at the other end of the capacity spectrum, there’s been precious little to look ahead to. The Ninja 250R, the quintessential beginner’s bike held fort for close to a decade-and-a-half before it got a 50cc upgrade (hence the Ninja 300) which itself was on sale for a good half-a-decade before another piecemeal 100cc addition led to the competent (though not particularly focussed) Ninja 400. Meanwhile, the competition blazed ahead, whether with a competent all-rounder in the form of the Yamaha R3, or an all-out racer like the KTM RC 390. And overseas, there was also the Honda CBR 250 RR, with its parallel-twin quarter-litre churning out an astounding 37bhp.
But now, with a near 50bhp quarter litre clearly harking back to the mad 250s and 400s of the early ’90s (before emissions rules played havoc on the Thrill Of Riding), Kawasaki has once again showed the competition who’s the boss. The ball is now in the rivals’ court, and we’re eagerly waiting for a response.
And speaking of waiting, the Indonesian price tags mean chances of the Ninja ZX-25R coming to our shores are remote, nigh non-existent. That said, we’re still waiting impatiently for a substitute to the RC 390. Hey Kawasaki, I hope you’re listening!