If you are looking for the best used entry level sportbike – look no further than the Kawasaki Ninja 250. The smallest of the Kawasaki Ninja Family of sportbikes (which include the Ninja ZX500, Ninja ZX600, Ninja ZX1000 and Ninja ZX1400), the Ninja ZX250R has gone through some changes throughout the years, but continues to be the choice of many riders as a first bike.
This entry level sportbike came on the market in 1983 and the last year of production was 2013 – a nice run for a small, beginner bike. The reason for the end of production was the arrival of a Ninja300R with fuel-injection and an ABS option. Honda had come out with the CBR250R (another entry level sportbike) and Kawasaki was trying to stay one step ahead of the competition (and they did).
The ZX250R Ninja has been and still is being used at motorcycle safety and training courses offered by the motorcycle safety foundation to teach beginners how to ride in a safe environment before hitting the streets. Because the 250 ninja motorcycle is lightweight with a smaller engine, it’s easy for beginners to balance, maneuver, steer and start and stop the motorcycle safely.
The availability of used Kawasaki Ninja 250’s has created a buyer’s market. Someone looking to learn how to ride a motorcycle can spend around $2500 on a bike and maybe $500 on safety gear and be on their first motorcycle adventure:
Advantages of a used ZX250R as a first bike include:
- Great Gas Mileage
- Beginners get the feel of riding a sportbike without all the power of a larger bike
- You learn faster on a smaller displacement bike because as you learn to shift properly, it’s not easy to pull an inadvertent wheelie on a small displacement bike, than on a bigger motorcycle – twist that throttle too fast and the front wheel on a bigger bike will go right in the air
- The price is affordable and the bike holds it value should the rider be ready to move up to a larger bike quickly
Disadvantages of a used ZX250R as a first bike include:
- The rider should use caution when considering the use of this bike on the expressway. Although it can reach the speed, the big rigs and suv’s riding past can be very intimidating and inadvertently cause the rider to lose control
- The Ninja 300R is fuel injected – unlike the zx250r Ninja, which is carbureted. Carbureted motorcycles require a little more maintenance including a more extensive winterization process for those living in the Midwest and East where winter riding is minimal or not at all. Improper winterizing can result in clogged carburetors which can be around $300 – $500 to clean.
All in all, the Ninja ZX250R is a great choice for a starter bike. You can find used ZX250R’s on line from private parties, on Craiglist, at Motorcycle Dealerships and one of the most popular places to look is www.cycletrader.com. Cycletrader.com will have both private party and dealer bikes for sale and can be searched by location, price, color, etc., with one click of the mouse, a very convenient way to shop for motorcycles.