Written on: 06/12/2005 by FreddieBowie
Cheap, easy to maintain, looks relatively good and have just enough power to get you going.
Definitely won't go like a 2-stroke of similar displacement. Can't start racing at 140kph. Price isn't too much lower compared to its bigger brothers.
Obtained the Kawasaki ZZR 250 as a learner bike, something to get me going back in 98. It's relatively cheap, easy to maintain, and quite reliable. Light enough not to snap a tendon when backing up an incline, and easy enough to handle for places that permits lane-splitting. Is fairly good for motorcycle autocross / gymkhana events with the right gearing.
I kept it as a commuter even after obtaining bigger (though not necessarily better) bikes.
Most non-bikers and even some bikers will probably mistake this 250 for a 600. Side-by-side with a zzr600-d, they don't look too different, except for the obvious fact that the 250 don't have double disks up front.
The ZZ-R250 is Kawa's smallest ZZR, displacing 248cc with two cylinders. The 1998 model redlines at 14,000rpm and peaks at 29 rear wheel HP (probably something like 38 or 40 at the crank).
Perfectly gutless below 6k, quite rideable at 7k to 10k rpms, excessively busy at 11k and up. Pointless to rev it past 12k. It has more midrange than top end.
Will outrun an Integra up to 140kph (roughly 78, maybe 80mph ?).
The tank can take 18 liters and get around 370km mixed riding. Gets 290km during track days. Definitely can do 120kph all day. Tested top speed on a stock bike with a 186cm 80kg rider in full tuck is 180kph indicated at the end of 1.5 kilometers.
Suspension is standard for a budget bike. No adjustables except for rear preload. Front end dives excessively under hard braking. This can be remedied with aftermarket springs or heavier fork oil.
Ground clearance is limited. You will find yourself scraping pegs should you enter a turn too hot and ask for more angle from the bike. Shorter riders will probably scrape pegs before they scrape knees.
Suprisingly it's fairly comfortable for medium-range 2-up. At least according to the wife-unit this bike is more comfortable for the pillion than a SuperHawk. Would not make the best tourer for two-up riding though.
For serious tourers taller gearing, such as 15 tooth front and 44 tooth rear would reduce buzzing to an acceptable level. For twisty and track day enthusiasts a 14 and 49 would be adequate to go round the bends along with bigger bikes.