First introduced to the Malaysian market in September 2013, Kawasaki took the innovative move of launching the Z250 Street Fighter in the market that sees a demand for the “Naked” models. The Z250 is a superb bike for beginners and ladies who are picking up motorcycle riding not only for leisure but for daily and work purposes as well. It is light and mild powered as compared to the Ninja 250. The build and design is easily mistaken for the Z800 which is a plus point for people starting off biking without having to feel “inferior” riding next to the bigger boys.
I had a fun time riding around the city even in traffic congestion areas due to the ease of manoeuvrability and the light front end handling. I am impressed by the aerodynamic of the bike seeing that it does not have a front screen, the wind resistant was surprisingly mild even in high speed. The Z250 can reach up to a maximum of 150 km/h. But anything around and above 140 km/h, the front will wobble like it is on some techno drugs. Depending on the intensity of front and cross wind, I wouldn’t recommend riders going full throttle on this bike.
The clutch is soft and gear shifting is smooth as silk. However Kawasaki has yet to solve the high 6th gear ratio. As in the other Kawasaki models, I always feel like I am in 5th gear and have the tendency to up-shift over and over again especially when riding on the highways. This does not help when the Z250 does not come with a gear indicator in the instrument panel.
The sitting position is a cross between a Dual Purpose bike and a sports bike. Seat is too hard for my liking and I am constantly moving my butt to find a comfortable spot. Throttle is light and smooth. Even on hard or sudden acceleration. Power from this Twin-Cylinder 249cc fuel injection engine comes gradually with no sudden surge or surprise to the rider.
Stopping mechanism in the form of a single disc for the front and rear is adequate on normal riding. The front suspension is not adjustable and the telescopic fork is a tad too thin to handle high speed riding and taking high speed corners. But then, this 31.5hp, Twin-Cam, 8 Valves liquid cooled beauty is designed not for speed demons but for street and leisure riding.
The amber lighted instrument panel has a wide analogue tachometer in the centre, a digital speedometer at the right side, 3 trips meter, clock and fuel gauge. The signal indicator in the panel is too weak to be clearly noticeable under bright daylight. Front light is bright for night riding and recommended to have your high beam on during the day as many motorists may not notice bikers at their rear with the normal light on. The rear light is surprisingly running on bulb when many bikes these days come with LED. Even on a budget to keep the cost of the bike down, it should not have been at the expense of the bikers’ safety.
This Street Fighter is donned with a huge exhaust which disappointingly does not emit the macho grunt expected from a menacing looking bike like this. The rims are beautiful, even better than the ones found on the Z750 or the Z1000. It is akin to the ones found on some super cars.
Overall, this is a good value bike for beginners and for seasoned bikers as well for daily city and village riding.
Photo & Text by: Justin Hong.
Test Bike courtesy of Kawasaki Motors Malaysia.