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100mpg 05-29-2006 05:59 PM

Ninja 250
Anyone have a Ninja 250? 5 years ago, If I lived to be 100, A Ninja would be the last bike I would have ever considered buying.

Thats because I didn't know they had a 250 and it got 65-70 MPG without mods, and 70-80 MPG with different sprockets. Now, I am thinking about buying one.

The MSRP is $2999. for a 2cyl, 4 stroke, 6 speed trans and a 14,000 redline. I am the furthest thing from a ricky racer, but 70-80mpg gives me a chubby. Yeah, I am sure I need to get a GF or just get out more but the MPG's got me hooked.

The main purpose of this bike is to go back and forth to work, year round, as long as there is no snow on the ground. And I am sure there will be a couple of long trips mixed in if it is comfortable enough...


oh yeah, here is the blue one.

Gordy 05-29-2006 06:19 PM

I picked one up for my daughter and have "snuck" out on it a few times. It is a fun bike. It doesn't say 250 on the graphics and most guys think it is a 500 or something.:rofl The mileage is incredible, insurance cheap, but is a small bike. If you are over 5'10" or so, it will really be cramped.
Search out the Iron Butt Association results from last year. A guy rode and finished on one. He beat out lots of big bikes!:eek1

MotoKat 05-29-2006 06:24 PM

Traded mine in about a year ago for my SV650. I loved loved loved the bike, and I miss riding it. I really miss the MPG - down from 70mpg to 40mpg :2cry. The only negative thing about it was that I live in a windy state and I would get tossed around a lot, other than that, it was a great bike. I fully intend to get another some year.

100mpg 05-29-2006 06:33 PM

I heard some comments on the ninja 250 site about being kinda slow up hill. I am not sure if that was with the gear change or not. How was the power with yours? I live on Long Island and there ain't many hills. I was planning to head up north through New England (ct,ma,ri)for a 3 day if I get it, so I am wondering if it is THAT road worthy?

LazyLion 05-29-2006 06:38 PM

Why, yes, I do. There are a group of zealots to be found here.

I'm only 5'9", but I weigh 230. I wring it out through the revs like a maniac. I get about 55mpg. It is so much different from my other bike, an Electa-Glide, which is the only reason I can give for the hard riding.:wink:

foster 05-29-2006 07:04 PM

Wife has 250 Ninja and I ride it often. We live in the mountains of western NC and it's a blast to ride on the twisty stuff. It has plenty of juice for going uphill- you just have to use the available revs. It's lightweight, responsive, fast enough and goes forever on a gallon of fuel. It does tend to get blown around a bit, the mirrors offer a less than stellar view of what's behind and it is a small bike so I feel cramped on it.

Just bought wife an F650 and can't decide if I really want to sell the Ninja......

MotoKat 05-29-2006 07:24 PM


Originally Posted by foster
Just bought wife an F650 and can't decide if I really want to sell the Ninja......

Don't do it - you'll regret it!

I never had any problems on the hills with the ninja. As far as being road worthy, I've done 450 mile days on it with no problems at all. I'm kind of short though, 5'3" so I never felt cramped. It does 75mph freeways and mountain twisties like a champ. In fact, in the twisties, it was way more effortless than my SV is. I forgot the mirror issue, foster's right, they suck.

tbirdsp 05-29-2006 07:33 PM

I had one for a while. I bought it as a track bike, but rode it on the street a little. I'm 5'9" and 200 or so. The stock suspension sucks, but you can add fork springs/oil and a used Ninja 500 shock for cheap.
I personally wouldn't regear the bike for lower revs. It likes you to rev the piss out if it:D I don't think I ever dropped below 10 grand on the track. You don't have to wring it's neck THAT bad, but if you want to go fast you can't be afraid to rev it out.
I actually passed a Hayabusa and a ZX-9 in the corners on the track. Clueless nOOb riders, but it was fun anyway. Only sold it because our local track club is open riding and I was getting passed by liter-bikes at 150+ on the straight while I was doing 95:eek1 :eek1 :eek1 Got an SV650 then.
It's a sweet little bike and will take you anywhere you want to go. Check out the board listed above, good resource.

Jack90210 05-29-2006 07:36 PM

Awesome bikes, unbeatable for the price. And IMO it's plenty comfortable for tall guys, much more so than any "sport bike" for sure. It's got more standard-y than sporty ergos, IIRC (haven't been on one in about a year).

100mpg 05-29-2006 08:03 PM

I have never even sat on one. It is the high mpg's that I am interested in, and doing it on the highway. I am about 5'10", 190. The dam dealer was closed on sunday when I went by to see it, and they are about 25 miles from me. The current promo for Kawi is up 5/31, so I am going to try to get there before then. Thats going to be tough due to working all the dam time.

Thanks for the input all! Any other comments, like how far have you taken your 250 in a day?

lastmanout 05-29-2006 08:06 PM

Yep, Dittos to the above. Fixed up a salvage for the girlfriend (She never got to ride it). Really FELT fast- like I was GP racer. Actual speed was 50-75 mph. FUN! Watch for the insurance rates. Grilfriend was new rider, she cost as much as me on a 1200cc ZRX. Both Kawasakis are gone now-and so is the girlfriend!! I would probably buy a KLR650 and skip the 250 ninja if I had to do it again.:ricky

JamesRRS 05-30-2006 05:33 AM

I put 35k trouble free miles on a 250 Ninja.

If you are going to ride freeways (I'm in a 70mph state) go up a tooth on the counter sprocket. Don't follow large trucks closely on the interstate, you get blown around a bit.

If you weigh more than 150, find an rear shock from an ex500 on ebay.

Insurance is cheap, tires are cheap, 87 octane fuel. Best fun for the money around. You will feel like Rossie.


McB 05-30-2006 06:04 AM

Everything I read is that they are great little bikes in their own right. One of the mags did a gas mizer article a few months ago, and said it was about the only one of the bunch that qualifies as a real motorcycle. Or something like that.

If you compare it to scooters, it's cheaper, faster, sexier, more fun in the twisties, and stone axe reliable.

:hide (That should bring the scooter folks out of the woodwork)

It's a bargain at under $3k.

Voidrider 05-30-2006 02:43 PM

I've had one for three years.


I haven't found the fabled 70 mpg, but mine was a used '96 with questionable history. I did the 15 tooth front sprocket mod and liked seeing my highways cruising rpm drop from 10K to 9K. Didn't really seem to change mileage or uphill climbing ability.

Leon Begeman finished the 2003 IBR in the teens, Duke Dunsford finished the 2005 IBR one one a bit lower in the ranks. I met Duke in Gerlach when he was making a practice run out west in July of last year.

I got my bike with about 19K miles, and after replacing damaged intake valves (for just over $200), I've had 10K trouble-free miles.

EDIT - When I rode down to Gerlach I rode with a fellow who came down from Portland Oregon, the previous summer he had ridden back to the NE states and back, and he's over 6' tall. I've had a couple of 500+ mile days, and frankly, I find it to be a pretty comfortable ride, if you just keep shifing your seating position.

My only complaint is that when I am cruising on the highway at 75+ mph and want to pass something, there isn't much left in the upper end to provide for more speed. It will accelerate, but it definitely doesn't "leap out", so you have to think your passes through. The speedo is a bit optomistic, I've had mine up to an indicated 98 mph and that is probably really in the high 80s.

You really HAVE to forget about about "these bikes will tear themselves apart at high RPMS - that is decidedly old school thinking. Mine has run for hours at a time at 10-12K rpms. They love to run at high RPMS.

Tim, the guy who gives sportbike tours in N. California found himself riding on one after a crash on his Hayabusa - a pretty remarkable account -

But really, for commuting, and not insane speeds, it does it all REALLY quite well.

boxercup03 05-30-2006 04:03 PM

I Have A 1986 Ninja 250 With 1600 Miles On It,looks Like Brand New!
What A Fun Little Toy

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