Let’s see, what would be an ideal motorcycle for tackling the treacherous roads, unending traffic and inclement weather conditions of a typical Asian city?

You want a bike that is lightweight, easy to maneuver and doesn’t put too much of a traction burden on mounds of slippery cow manure. You also want a bike that is torquey to get you out of the way of juggernaut garbage trucks that won’t stop no matter what gets in their way.

With these characteristics in mind, the newly revealed Kawasaki Ninja RR (or Kawasaki Ninja 250SL in some markets) seems tailored made for these environments.

The Japanese company took their popular twin-cylinder Kawasaki Ninja 250R, changed it to a single-cylinder thumper, and built the bike around a new steel trellis frame.

The downside: a deficit in power (compared to the normal 250) of 3.9 hp, but a increase in torque of 1.2 lbs•ft. The best part is is that the Kawasaki Ninja 250SL / Kawasaki Ninja RR weighs about 46 pounds lighter than the parallel-twin Ninja 250.

While this bike will be no match for the KTM 390cc bikes in terms of power-to-weight or torque-to-weight, it should be a practical and smarter choice for those looking for a lightweight runabout. No word on whether Kawasaki intends to bring this bike to other markets.






Source: TMC Blog

  • avsatishchandra

    When you say that Kawasaki took the Ninja 250 R and cut out one of the cylinders, are you not telling an incorrect story? If that is true then it means that the new Ninja ZX RR Mono or Ninja 250 SL is a 125cc motorcycle. And building a new trellis frame would suggest that this is a totally new motorcycle. The engine is new (not just one cylinder cut out or two of the twins combined together) and frame is new (not the diamond type which is on the Ninja 250 R) so perhaps the bike can be considered all new? But what is with the ZX RR naming? Last I knew ZX RR was used on the bike that spearheaded Kawasaki’s MotoGP effort. What made Kawasaki use that nomenclature on this bike is a mystery to me.

  • taikebo

    This is actually a replacement bike for 2-stroke Ninja RR for south east Asian market. The engine is not all new, but it is the (almost) same engine that is used in D-Tracker 250. The price of this bike is about $1000 cheaper than Ninja 250. I think this bike will be sold worldwide because it’s designed by Japanese engineers & it appears in Kawasaki website.

  • There seems to be too much overlap between the current parallel twin and this new single cylinder 250.

    Possibly, the parallel twin 250 will be discontinued moving forward and replaced by bigger CC’s – think 300 and up to challenge the onslaught of small CC bikes (KTM Duke 390, Pulsar 400SS etc).

    Yes, it won’t be able to take on the KTM Duke 390, but then that job will be left to the Ninja 300 surely?

  • Andrew

    I’m puzzled as to what niche is this bike supposed to fill, given that Kawasaki already have a small Ninja – both in 300 *and* 250cc version.

  • paulus

    The launches show the intended market… Indonesia, then Thailand, Malaysia and possibly India.
    It is a replacement for the ninja 150… a 2 stroke of old.

  • Skips

    @andrew in SE Asia it is designed to replace the (very popular) 2stroke ninja 150rr. This new bike is significantly lighter, shorter in wheelbase, and slimmer than the current ninja 250. All that combined makes this bike very attractive for the Asian market, and it has been recieved enthusiatically.

    Also I won’t be surprised if this doesn’t make it to some market such as North America and Europe.

    I live in Indonesia and ride the Z250. If this bike was available back when i bought mine, i would’ve gotten it instead.

    Fyi, if you go to Indonesian blogs like tmcblog.com you can see pictures of the media trackday. The bike looks just the right size when ridden by the blogger, and he’s a very short guy, like 160cm ish. It’s a SMALL bike.

  • paulus has the right idea here.

  • Ian john

    Is it me or does it have a comparably higher (used to seeing) ground clearance.
    Cue new zx10…..

  • Norm G.

    for some reason I’m hungry for Skittles.

  • Jw

    I would think this single cylinder model to replace a 2 stroke will get better fuel economy and provide less ownership costs. The sound of this bike will be much better too. I say it’s a home run.

  • donno

    while the 250SL is a nice bike, the Ninja 150RR superKIPS (last prod date 12/2013 in malaysia) is a very2 well loved bike. It has surely the sweetest production 2 stroke on the road engine. The tiny trouble free 150cc giving out nearly 35hp while burning only 1litre of 2t oil every 1500km (yes not a typo). Will be missed by a lot of people here in South East Asia…

  • paulus

    It’s all about emissions… Asia has committed to going Euro 4, then Euro 5
    Coupled with government incentives linked to less emissions/eco-vehicles… the poor 2-stroke (in its current incarnation) is not in favour.

  • Its not a new engine… It’s the same old KLX250 engine lol same old medicine in new wrapper.. :D

    Check the specs of both Lol its the same and even the engine looks the same extra few cosmetics…

  • Asia money value Is low and fuel cost is too high and people always look for a sensible buy… I own CBR as I am ready to sacrifice some power for fuel, reliability & maintenance cost in the long run.. Mainly most Indians go for KM/L than KM/H as I have done 157km/h on my CBR and that happens only when i am on the highway.. Rest of the time I will be around 70 or 80 and on a busy day I don’t want a high revving engine that keeps asking for more when I am in traffic wearing a formal dress.. So middle aged men prefer next level of what boys would and Boys only look for looks and top speed as they have nothing to worry. Tho I am from india , even in China and other Asian countries its the same.. So when you are trying to sell a bike, you look for bigger market than the performance segment. That is why even Honda never bothered about what people say and they kept selling km/l bike.. Even CBR1000RR is “THE” performance bike of the company is still turned for km/l as its the best km/l bike in its class. And sacrifice power running lower compression when other are running hot.. Just for the reliability factor.. But they prove it where it really matters in MSMA. The only problem with CBR250R is the rocker arm.. Honda did it for ease of maintenance and would be cheaper. But unfortunately, most customers spend a fortune getting it fixed as Asian mechanics are not keen in using right shim resulting in engine noise and if they complain, mechanic uses a over size which damages the engine and they end up buying new can, rocker and shims :/ hope this comes with bucket valves like in CBR150R and Ninja250,300R.. Even duke390 engine noise is because of the rocker.. :/

  • BBQdog

    Seems that dry weight is on the same level as the KTM RC 390.

  • If Kawasaki had introduced this for the ninja 250 restyle a few years back instead of the current 250 twin with turd dash and skinny tires, I’d have purchased this. But don’t mind me — I’m just a bitter Suzuki fan forced to ride a CBR250 because my beloved blue and white doesn’t make such an offering… Maybe I repaint this blue and white since KawaZukis were the same thing a few years back…