Here's a video you might find interesting.
I had a 2007 Ninja 250 I bought new, but felt it was just a bit small for me, so I sold it with just over 5,000 miles on it, and got a new 500 Ninja. Major mistake. While the 250 really was to small for me (6' 220, 34" inseam) that helped dealing with the sport bike riding position. My arms were long enough to reach the bars while still sitting fairly upright, with a bend in my elbows. The 500 had a much longer reach to the bars, and my arms were straight. I had to support a lot of my upper body weight with my arms and shoulders, and bend my neck way back to see where I was going. That caused a lot of pain, and I gave it up and sold that bike as well, with about 5,000 miles on it in 3 years.
If you can handle the riding position for a long period of time, the 250 makes an excellent touring bike, and you can get way more stuff on it than you might think. If you really want to spend big money (about what you paid for the bike) you can get a Ventura Bike Pack System with 2 of their biggest bags for it. It is a custom fit setup, and works perfectly. Combined with a Cortech 14L tank bag, it will hold pretty much everything you need.
One really cool thing about the first generation Ninja is it's centerstand, which makes chain maintenance and flat repair easy. I recommend always carrying stuff to fix flats. With the Ninja's tubeless tires, all you need is a plug kit and a pump.