Kawasaki Ninja single

New 250cc sports bike launched – but not for us

KAWASAKI has officially launched the Ninja 250SL – an all-new single-cylinder sports bike aimed at undercutting the existing Ninja 300 parallel-twin on price while offering nearly the same performance.

Unfortunately, Asian and Indian markets are its target, so it’s unlikely to be offered in Europe, at least in the immediate future.

The bike makes some 27hp compared to the existing Ninja 300's 39hp, but is also expected to be around 30% cheaper than the twin in markets where both machines are sold. It’s lighter, too, at 151kg compared to the 300’s 174kg.

The bigger, more expensive Ninja 300 (also sold as a 250 in some markets to suit local regulations) will remain in production and on sale alongside the cheaper single. However, in Europe the market for small sports bikes, while attractive enough to be bringing in several new machines this year, isn’t reckoned to be strong enough to sustain two similarly-sized Kawasakis.