2012 Kawasaki Ninja 250 R | Preview

2012 Kawasaki Motorcycle

Since its introduction in 1983, the Kawasaki Ninja 250 has been the optimal choice for entry-level sportbike riders.

But although in its 29th year, the Ninja 250 has only had four major upgrades, the latest coming in 2008 with modern sportbike styling and the additional “r” added to the name across all world-wide markets.

And for 2012, Kawasaki continues to offer the Ninja 250R as a carry-over model, which is not a problem whatsoever considering the Ninja 250R continues to be the number-one selling sportbike in the states.

Vital to the 2012 Kawasaki Ninja 250R’s popularity is the liquid-cooled parallel twin-cylinder engine, which is tuned to delivery smooth torque at lower rpms. This is all hooked to a six-speed transmission, providing proper gearing for either sport-riding or highway speeds.

As previously stated, when the fourth-generation was released in 2008, it received major upgrades, including the aggressive bodywork similar to its older siblings, the ZX-6R and ZX-10R.

Besides the aerodynamic bodywork, the 2012 Kawasaki Ninja 250R also features suspension for great handling paired with the standard-sportbike 17-inch wheels. Stopping the 2012 Kawasaki Ninja are a single 290mm front rotor, and 220mm rear-brake rotor.

The 2012 Kawasaki Ninja 250R – light, agile and under $5,000, which is a perfect mix for the entry-level sportbike rider.

Following are highlights, specs, color options and MSRP for the 2012 Kawasaki Ninja 250R.

2012 Kawasaki Ninja 250R Highlights:


  • Compact parallel-twin design offers good mass centralization for superior handling
  • Tuned to deliver smooth, step-free power with excellent mid-range and high-rpm power for effective highway performance
  • Heavy duty piston rings help prevent oil consumption
  • Ample high-rpm performance will please riders who wish to utilize the engine’s full potential
  • Combustion chamber designed to maximize combustion efficiency and reduce emissions
  • Intake and exhaust ports contribute to good off-idle response and smooth power delivery
  • Valve timing and lift designed for strong low and mid-range torque
  • Direct valve actuation helps ensure reliable high-rpm operability
  • Valves feature thin heads and stems for reduced reciprocating weight and efficient flow
  • Twin Keihin CVK30 carburetors offer a nice power feel and help provide low fuel consumption
  • Self-adjusting cam chain tensioner reduces mechanical noise caused by the cam chain and minimizes loss from power-robbing friction
  • Minimizing mechanical noise allows the use of a freer flowing exhaust for better performance
  • Complex construction with reinforcing ribs helps eliminate airbox reverberation and reduces intake noise
  • Air filter accessible from the side, for easy replacement


  • 2-into-1 system contributes to the Ninja 250’s low
  • and mid-range torque and smooth, step-free power curve
  • Slightly upswept silencer extensively tested to determine chamber size, connecting pipe length and diameter to achieve least noise and most power
  • Meets strict emission standards with dual catalyzers; one in the collector pipe and the other in the silencer
  • Using two catalyzers helps minimize power loss caused by backpressure in the exhaust system
  • First catalyzer is positioned close to the exhaust ports for maximum efficiency


  • Denso radiator offers effective engine cooling with minimal space and weight
  • Ring fan uses a quiet-running motor that also saves space
  • Fins on the lower side of the crankcase helps further cool the engine


  • Involute splines reduce friction and backlash between gears and shafts for easier gear meshing and smooth shifting under power
  • Spring-type clutch damper reduces hesitation at very low speeds and minimizes shocks when rolling on and off the throttle for a smoother clutch feel
  • Paper-base friction plates help increase clutch durability


  • Sturdy and durable diamond-style frame of thick-walled steel tubing offers confidence-inspiring stability at both high and low speeds
  • Beefy swingarm bracket contributes to the frame’s rigidity and helps achieve an optimal balance of chassis stiffness
  • Square-tube swingarm with a 60 x 30mm cross section further adds to rigidity


  • 37mm telescopic front fork with firm settings contribute to the Ninja 250’s smooth, stable handling and enhanced ride control
  • Uni-Trak rear suspension helps provide predictable handling and good ride comfort
  • Rear shock features 5-way adjustable preload, enabling ride height to be maintained whether riding solo or with a passenger


  • Features 17-inch wheels like its larger Ninja siblings
  • The use of proper sportbike tires contributes to its easy, neutral handling at low speeds and excellent cornering feel


  • Large-diameter, 290mm front petal disc and a balanced action two-piston caliper offer excellent braking performance and a natural, direct feeling at the lever
  • Two-piston caliper grips the rear 220mm petal disc


  • Natural riding position with slightly forward-slanting seat and wide, raised handlebars

Body Styling

  • Styling, fit and finish of striking full-fairing bodywork match its Ninja supersport siblings
  • Aggressive dual-lamp headlight design, slim tail cowl and separate seats further enhance the supersport look
  • Front cowling and windscreen offer the rider a substantial amount of wind protection
  • Two helmet holders conveniently located under the rear seat
  • Under-seat storage can hold a U-lock or similar device
  • Two hooks under the tail and the rear passenger pegs provide anchor points for securing items to the rear of the bike
  • Instrument panel features an easy-to-read, large-face analog speedometer along with an analog tachometer, odometer, trip meter, fuel gauge and warning lights

2012 Kawasaki Ninja 250R Specs:

  • Engine: Four-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, parallel twin
  • Displacement: 249cc
  • Bore x stroke: 62.0 x 41.2mm
  • Compression ratio: 11.6:1
  • Cooling: Liquid
  • Carburetion: Keihin CVK30 x 2
  • Ignition: TCBI with digital advance
  • Transmission: Six-speed
  • Final drive: O-ring chain
  • Frame: Semi-double cradle, high-tensile steel
  • Wheelbase: 55.1 in.
  • Rake / trail: 26 degrees / 3.2 in.
  • Front suspension / wheel travel: 37mm hydraulic telescopic fork / 4.7 in.
  • Rear suspension / wheel travel: Bottom-link Uni-Trak with 5-way adjustable preload / 5.1 in.
  • Front tire: 110/70-17
  • Rear tire: 130/70-17
  • Front brake: Single 290mm hydraulic petal disc with two-piston caliper
  • Rear brake: Single 220mm petal disc with two-piston caliper
  • Overall length: 82.1 in.
  • Overall width: 28.1 in.
  • Overall height: 43.7 in.
  • Seat height: 30.5 in.
  • Curb weight: 374.9 lbs.
  • Fuel capacity: 4.8 gal.
  • Warranty: 12 months
  • Optional Good Times Protection Plan : 12, 24, 36 or 48 months

2012 Kawasaki Ninja 250R Color Options:

  • Candy Lime Green
  • Metallic Spark Black
  • Passion Red/Metallic Spark Black

2012 Kawasaki Ninja 250R MSRP standard / special edition:

  • $4,199 – $4,499