The engine in the new Ninja...
The engine in the new Ninja 250R has several updates that are claimed to boost low and midrange torque.
Kawasaki Heavy Industries—parent company of Kawasaki Motor, the motorcycle manufacturer—is a huge corporation, with an incredibly diverse portfolio of products (check out our story on the company here), and the motorcycle division is actually only a small part of that company. The motorcycle manufacturing section belongs to a division of KHI called the “consumer products” division; this is because all of the other products the company makes are business or government-related items (ships, trains, aircraft engine parts, manufacturing/construction equipment, etc.).
So when KHI decided to revamp its corporate website, it also redesigned its consumer products section to show off its increasingly successful motorcycle division. There apparently must have been some crossed wires as far as when the information on certain new models was supposed to be released, leading to a full section on the new 2013 Kawasaki Ninja 250R (albeit in Japanese) on the site. Granted, the Ninja 250R is a global model for Kawasaki with a number of markets in line for what has turned into one of the most successful bikes in the company’s catalog.
The old triple analog gauge...
The old triple analog gauge instrument panel of the old Ninja 250R has been thankfully updated.
Most apparent change on the new 2013 Ninja 250R is revamped bodywork that more closely replicates its larger Kawasaki ZX-10R brother. It’s not all just about looks, however; the lower panels have been designed to keep engine heat off the rider as much as possible, including the addition of a heat shield on the new muffler. Instrument panel has now been modernized from the previous model’s antiquated three-analog-gauge layout to an analog tachometer and an LCD info panel.
The Ninja 250R’s 249cc parallel twin engine has undergone some internal modifications, with new sleeveless die-cast cylinders plated with Kawasaki’s “electrofusion” process, redesigned crankcases sporting a larger and deeper oil sump, anodized pistons (increasing surface hardness), and increased cooling capacity. Kawasaki is claiming an increase in low-midrange torque with the 2013 model.
Although all previous Ninja 250Rs in the U.S. have been one of the last motorcycles available with carburetors in order to keep costs down, the dual throttle valve EFI shown on the website is likely to make its way to the U.S. model in 2013. This would allow the Ninja 250R to easily meet emissions standards and still offer some increase in performance.
The single-backbone steel frame has been beefed up for increased rigidity, with suspension rates altered to match. Rubber has been employed in the engine mounts to reduce vibration. Out back, a larger 140-size rear tire replaces the previous 130-size rear. And the 2013 Kawasaki Ninja 250R will now be available with ABS, using a system claimed to be the world’s smallest that appears similar in design to the Bosch unit on the ZX-10R ABS. Claimed curb weight with the new 250R is 379 pounds, which is four pounds up on the older model (384 pounds for the ABS model).