The bike is expected to debut at the Tokyo Motor Show later this year, in October, with an eye on reviving Japan’s lost history of screaming small-displacement machines.
While there seems to be some evidence that the bike will debut – sightings of a prototype have already been published – our reservations for excitement come from similar rumors that have failed to pan out.
Take for example the not-for-the-American-market Honda CBR250RR, which was also said to be a four-cylinder, high-horsepower, small-displacement track weapon. While the Honda impresses over its “single R” sibling, it is a far cry from a four-cylinder sport bike.
Still, we are a sucker for a good motorcycle rumor, and this one is certainly too lurid for us to pass up. If you believe the gossip, the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-25R will spin its engine close to 20,000 rpm and make around 50hp in the process.
Said to be slated for production in Indonesia, that will help keep the cost of the small sport bike in check, but one has to wonder what the price tag on such a vehicle will be. Then you have to ask how big the market is for such a machine.
Those are tough questions, and perhaps the answers gives us the most pause when considering the validity of this rumor. Small-displacement motorcycles are finding a resurgence in the western markets, but they are doing so because of the high costs associated with more “normal” sized motorbikes.
A 50hp quarter-liter is a lousy bike to learn on….as is a 250cc machine that is going to cost well over $10,000 (if not more).
October isn’t such a long time to wait though, and one way or another, it seems will have answers by then. Stay tuned.