Kawasaki Motors Malaysia (KMM) has just launched a new model to complement their already wide range of bikes in their stable. Though Kawasaki already have one bike in the 250cc sportsbike class, the Ninja 250R, this new bike will not compete with that model.
The new model, called the Ninja 250SL is a replacement for the Ninja 150RR which stopped production end of last year. “While the engine characteristics might not be the same, as the previous variant was a two-stroke model and this 250SL comes with a four-stroke powerplant, Kawasaki made sure that the performance level remains equal if not better,” said KMM director and GM, Jeffrey Lim.
The quick revving engine is a liquid cooled 249cc single piston four-stroke engine based on the already proven KLX 250 bike. Retuned to suit sportsbike characteristics, it makes 28PS at 9700rpm and 22.6Nm of torque at 8200rpm. Power is transferred to the rear tyre through a six-speed transmission and chain drive. Chassis wise it uses a Trellis frame with conventional forks up front and monoshock on the rear.
We managed to tryout the new bike on a few quick laps of the North section of the Sepang International Circuit. Our first impression is amazement at how slim and light the bike feels compared to its brother, the Ninja 250R.The engine has a strong midrange and power does not taper down too fast while shifting is smooth and the clutch feels light in addition to being easy to operate.
Tyres are 110/80 and 130/70 for the front and rear respectively and the stopping power comes from a single disc unit for both front and rear. Grip and braking feels adequate for the speeds the bike is capable of. While the smooth tarmac made it impossible to see how the bike handles dips and bumps, it does handle well in the corners with enough stability and ease of manoeuvring, which inspires a feeling of confidence to the rider.
The Ninja 250SL comes in two colours, the typical Kawasaki lime green and sporty yellow. A two-year warranty is standard and it retails at RM17689.00.
Text & Photos: Albakry Salehuddin