While the current Ninja 300 is a strong contender in the small sportsbike class when it comes to performance and handling, the design of its parallel twin engine can be carbon-dated back to the GPZ250 and it looks insanely expensive at £5,199 for the ABS-equipped version. Before it was discontinued, the CBR250R cost £1000 less, and the new-for-2014 CBR300R is also expected to be significantly cheaper than the Kawasaki.
Why? Because the Honda – like rivals from the likes of KTM and a host of smaller companies – uses a single-cylinder engine. While that penny-pinching move means it can’t hit the performance peaks of the Kawasaki twin, it helps keep the price down in a market where that figure is more important than peak power or top speed.
According to Indonesian website TMCBlog.com, where these pictures originate, the new bike is a 250cc single. The wheels and brakes look near-identical to the existing Ninja 300 parts, and the frame is claimed to be a steel trellis design.
A report on another website suggests there will be a faired and naked version. The faired version will be called the 250SL RR Mono and the naked edition simply the 250SL Mono.
At the moment, Kawasaki’s entry-level sports bike in Asian and Indian markets is the Ninja 150RR – the last man standing from an era when small sports machines were always two-strokes. Although it was updated only a couple of years ago, that bike’s old-school two-stroke engine means that even in markets less environmentally-conscious than Europe, its days are surely numbered. The four-stroke single picture here is sure to be its replacement.
Will it come to Europe? It’s quite possible, given the current trend for small, affordable sports machines.
I remember the days way back when i drove small single cylinder dirt bikes....
Those were quite peppy, but were very light.
If they can keep the weight down....these may be a fun ride for young light beginners...