Will the Kawasaki ZX-25R ever make it to the UK?

Aside from the supercharged and super-naked offerings of the last seven days, one bike that has got us very excited is the 250cc ZX-25R

Kawasaki ZX-25R

KAWASAKI’S ZX-25R is a bike that seems to have grabbed more headlines than a tiddly 250cc machine should. Especially when you frame is against the backdrop of Kawasaki’s highly anticipated Z H2.

To me, it’s hardly surprising that that the little green machine has gained such affection, especially from people over thirty! Echoes of the grey import era, when tiny four-pot machines with 20k redlines and GP spec (for the time) handling ring very loudly indeed. But will we ever see the bike in the UK?

Kawasaki ZX-25R price

As many of the specs of the machine are unknown, let's check out some data that we do know, the price.

One of the bright-spark journos at Moto Rival has managed to shoehorn out of a loose-lipped Kawasaki rep what the price in Thai Baht will be around. And it comes back at circa 249,000 Baht, equating to £6,416 in today’s money. Now, like me, you’re probably thinking that the bike would never be that price if it did make it over here, but that might not be the case. Take the Kawasaki Ninja 400 for example, Thai price, 215k Baht or £5,542. The UK list price for that machine is £5,499, not as far off as you'd have thought..

Kawasaki ZX-25R specs

So, using the price of about £6,500 for the ZX-25R as a baseline, let’s look at some unconfirmed but reliable stats for the machine. Again, these have been gained from the Kawasaki rep on the stand at the Tokyo Motor Show. They are claiming that the liquid-cooled, four-cylinder engine is capable of 46-47bhp and a 17,000rpm redline. That’s only a couple of bhp more than the current twin-pot Ninja 400. We’ve also seen the front forks for the ZX-25R and they are high-spec Showa Separate Function Big Piston Forks, a big step up when compared to the Ninja 400. The braking system also trumps that of any of the other small capacity bikes in the Kawasaki range, with chunky radially mounted calipers from the Versys 650 adventure machine.

But on price alone, would the extra benefits of the ZX-25R make it worthwhile? If it is a full £1000 more than the Ninja 400, it’ll probably put some folk off – even if a grand on a PCP deal is more like £20 per month. The closest thing to it in terms of spec and capacity is the KTM RC390, but you can pick those up for just over £4k now, which works out at less than £90 per month.

If one thing is saving the baby Kawasaki from being just another pipedream, it’s the power output. A2 licence bikes are big business over here, and Kawasaki knows it. They already have a full range of metal that restricted licence riders can hop onto, from sportsbikes like the Ninja 400, to restricted machines like the Versys 650. Getting riders onto the Team Green carousel as early as possible is a great way of ensuring they keep on buying your products. Having another bike that slots into the A2 range with such appealing specs is no bad thing in my mind.

So, Kawasaki’s ZX-25R is a more expensive, slightly more powerful, much better equipped, higher revving and better looking – thanks to the new fairing set up – version of the Ninja 400. Do we want it? Ohhh yes! Will we get it? We sincerely hope so!