Ninja 250

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by 100mpg, May 29, 2006.

  1. 100mpg

    100mpg Self Imposed Exile

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    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...

    Anyone?

    oh yeah, here is the blue one.

    [​IMG]
    #1
  2. Gordy

    Gordy Team Listo

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    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
    #2
  3. MotoKat

    MotoKat Whine Cooler. Super Moderator

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    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.

    [​IMG]
    #3
  4. 100mpg

    100mpg Self Imposed Exile

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    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?
    #4
  5. LazyLion

    LazyLion Been here awhile

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

    http://www.ninja250.com/

    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:
    #5
  6. foster

    foster Huh?

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    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......
    #6
  7. MotoKat

    MotoKat Whine Cooler. Super Moderator

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    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.
    #7
  8. tbirdsp

    tbirdsp REMF

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    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.
    #8
  9. Jack90210

    Jack90210 mindful

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    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).
    #9
  10. 100mpg

    100mpg Self Imposed Exile

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    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?
    #10
  11. lastmanout

    lastmanout Been here awhile

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    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
    #11
  12. JamesRRS

    JamesRRS Been here awhile

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    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.

    James
    #12
  13. McB

    McB Joe 40 ouncer

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    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.
    #13
  14. Voidrider

    Voidrider Been here awhile

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    I've had one for three years.

    LOVE IT :D

    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 - http://www.pashnit.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1145

    But really, for commuting, and not insane speeds, it does it all REALLY quite well.
    #14
  15. boxercup03

    boxercup03 Jim Taylor

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    I Have A 1986 Ninja 250 With 1600 Miles On It,looks Like Brand New!
    What A Fun Little Toy
    #15
  16. Cauldron

    Cauldron Now in DESMODROMIC!

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    My brother got one on my recomendation for a first bike. He is 5'10" and about 250 lbs. He rides it everywhere. Longest trip for him was 300 miles to come see me so we could go riding! Takes his wife two up around town too. Everything on it is stock and it runs just fine. I borrowed it once. I had been riding my klr 250 a lot at the time. I wasn't paying attention, just shifting through the gears. 90mph comes fast enough!

    It's the only street 250 with a tach...

    I owned a 500 ninja for four years. Great bike and very similar. 500 mile days no problem!
    #16
  17. 100mpg

    100mpg Self Imposed Exile

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    Excellent posts. I read the pashnit story a while back but my CRS being what it is, and the fact that I thought Ninja was a bad, crazy word, I forgot about it. Thanks for the reminder.

    The dealer should be open when I leave work(sucks) tomorrow so it is off on my XRL to the dealer to see what I am dreaming of. I will let you guys know... :evil
    #17
  18. Surly

    Surly surly adventurer

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    Going to look at one today at 4:30.....
    #18
  19. 100mpg

    100mpg Self Imposed Exile

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    New? How your dealer is a little better then the one I just left.

    Bastards.
    I go in the door, Look around and found it right away. A blue Ninja 250, just what I wanted. I sit my stuff on the floor, and jump right on that bad boy. first impression (after getting off my XRL) WOW! My feet are flat on the floor! AND My knees are bent! Is this right? Wheel it out of the bike domino line and prop it up on the center stand. Put both feet on the pegs and it is comfortable. In fact, very comfortable. I am leaning much further forward then I am on the XRL and this riding position is completly new to me. All the bikes I have owned, I sat upright on the bike, holding the handle bars. On this one, I am leaning forward, on the handle bars. After the first 30 seconds, I start to think there is no way I could ride 500 miles in day like this, much less even 200. I catch a salesmen walking by and ask if I can test ride it. [salesline] There are no fluids, you couldnt even if we wanted to ride it[/salesline] Ok, that switched my mode from ready to buy it now, pick it up this weekend, to no sale. It is not much smaller then a 500, which was right next to it. Ok, I tell him I am interested and if he can do soething better on the price, he should think of a price that will make me say "I'll take it." He says he CAN do better. Cool.

    I start looking at helmets, explain I applied online for the credit and he says lets check out your credit line. 60 seconds later, he laughs and say' You can buy five. Can I have one?" Funny. We go back to the bike and he is going to ask about an XXL flip up helmet for my huge head, so I start looking at some helmets on the other side of teh store. Theres only 4, takes me 30 seconds to walk over, look at all 4, see they are not flip ups and I walk back. Sales whore has someone else in his offcie and I am standing next to my(possible) new bike, looking like a mugging victim. Ok, maybe the other guy is checking onthe helmets in the back. New sales guys come over and tells me his name, and starts trying to get me to buy a 650 Ninja, then 500 Ninja, a Vstrom, claiming tthey all get about the same mileage. yeah, ok. No thanks, I want the 250. "Are you sure? It is a VERY entry level bike, and not that good." Huh? WTF? I am sure I want that one. I have gone fast enough, long enough, many many times to know, I want to ride, and get high MPG. He says ok. I mention that the other guy said he can do something with the price. New guy says, yeah, no, there is very little mark up on these and that is the bottom line. Really? The First guy said he was sure he could do soething with the price. No, 2999 is the best.

    Ok, well, I will have to think about it. CYA.

    I left. Now I admit, it was getting hot inside the building, no ac and the doors were open and me carrying my jacket, walking backa dn forth, trying on the flip ups helmets, which were WAY too tight, and I was loosing my smiley disposition. Then they start trying to bump me up to the next bike, and leaving me for a guy that wanted a more expensive bike, it didn't much more for me to walk away.

    So, if I could have ridden it, I would have most likely bought it on the sopt, based on what everyone says about the bike. But not being able to ride it, and the salesmen telling me it is not very good, I couldn't make her mine.

    One more thing, He said "Kawasaki makes up buys these" WHo knows if that is true, but with all the other nonsense, I didn't believe it.
    #19
  20. Surly

    Surly surly adventurer

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    and I am getting a long slow knobber :evil

    Dealers didnt do anything for us either
    I called several
    I dont know aboot the limited mark up but they do seem to sell fast
    #20