This time around, our newly appointed Malaysian Riders associate gets to test out the new Z250 while we were working on the Z series film. Nader Ben Hadj Yahia is the man who we are talking about here, below are his very own opinion towards the Kawasaki Z250 and surely with the perspective of Malaysian Riders being taken into consideration as well. After all, our organization will only write and speaks the truth about everything we tested.
So let’s get down to business! The Z250 is one of the latest additions to the Kawasaki family for the year 2013/2014. It’s a water cooled 249cc DOHC parallel-twin engine, 4 valves per cylinder fuel injected bike, producing barely 32HP, and capable of achieving a top speed of 160Km/h, and 0 to 100 Km/h acceleration in 3 gear shifts (Using stock gearing). The bike roll’s on two light weight 17inch rims and has a 290mm front disk with a dual-piston caliper, and a 230mm disk at the back equipped with a dual-piston caliper as well, operating the brakes is very easy and the braking system provides lots of feel to the rider. Although 168Kg might sound light weight for a bike, the lack of power makes the Z250 feel heavy at times specially when going through traffic or riding uphill. Throttle responds fast for any changes and is accompanied with some sort of torque at all gears. An addition of 15Hp or another 20Kg weight loss would have brought this bike a lot closer to perfection, but for now there isn’t enough power that would make it ride as exciting as it looks.
The baby Z changed directions easily and kept good stability in, and throughout a corner, too bad the front suspensions cannot be adjusted to improve the ride quality, because the bike rarely went through a stretch of road that it could ride smooth. The seating position is up-right, with a seat that sinks well behind the 17 liters fuel tank, and is reachable by the younger and shorter riders easily, and also allows you to grab the tank with your thighs easily. But the quality of the seat was one of the major things I didn’t like in this bike, I found it to be unbearable to sit on it after an hour of riding and honestly from that moment onward, I was looking forward to return the bike and have mercy on bum! The gear shifter operates smooth enough for you not to miss shifts and the clutch lever can be operated with one finger only without too much trouble. Fuel consumption is excellent, this 250 benefits from a Economy mode which works every time it has a chance to, keeping consumption at a minimum at all times, offering more millage for your cent.
The paint on the Z250 is a work of art, it looked good in all light conditions, was hard to dirty and easy to clean, and kept its shine and texture after being exposed to different weather elements which is a hard result to achieve with matt paints in general, but still looked good here. Another nice feature on the bike in my opinion was the separated tail unit that looks extremely good and function well at the same time, but of course don’t forget the even better functioning and better looking headlight that comes stock on this 250 providing loads of visibility while night riding, you will definitely be more than comfortable in the dark! And don’t forget the aggressive, about to wheelie look, that this bike inherits from its older Z-series uncles. Another thing that was unbearable for me was the insane amount of vibration that my body absorbed during a trip, I am sure of the cause, it might be from the steel frame, the cheap feeling suspensions or the bad Road Winner tires, but this bike was not comfortable to ride for a long distance, I think it would do best for small distances less than 15Km at a time.
The Z250 is considered to be the naked version of the Ninja 250R, the very successful beginner bike which needs no introduction. This Baby Z shares the dazzling styling of the Z-series and will sure be a head turner in the real world, and, that will sure help capture a big part of the market since it doesn’t have many competitors in its category, but unfortunately, truth is the Z250 still needs a lot to become the monster its image projects it to be.