The baby naked is back to the Green stable with a BS-IV power mill

After making a sweet spot in the hearts of enthusiasts with its Ninja 300, Kawasaki had struck again with its yet another onslaught in the entry-level performance motoring, Z250. It was first launched in 2015 and was the smallest displacement bike from Kawasaki into India (after they stopped making the Ninja 250). As the name suggests, the Z250 is a quarter litre motorcycle from the ‘Z’ family of naked streetfighters of Kawasaki. Designed and engineered on the lines of the bigger Z’s, the Z250 also promises to give the thrills of the Ninja in a more affordable package.

They may not have begun their journey high, but they do seem like having everything under control. After the Ninja 300, we were speculating that Kawasaki might launch its Z300 and replace the Z250, but that seems out of the question at the moment. Nonetheless, there is still oodles of potential waiting to be unleashed with the 250 and Kawasaki has done just the right thing by getting it to the market again and this time, it gets BS-IV compliant engine, new colour schemes and the much needed ABS. Good news is never too late.

  • Year:
    2017
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-2
  • Displacement:
    249 cc
  • Top Speed:
    101 mph
  • Price:
    INR 350000 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • Overall:
    8.3/10

STYLING

The styling curves and lines have remained the same since the 2013 model because why will you change something that is already good?

Carrying the trademark Sugomi-inspired styling from its elders, this naked 250 is described by the elegant bodywork having sharp lines flowing from head to tail and is minimalistic to the core. The slim and close fitting bodywork gives its representation as a light and agile image. Style front, it adorns the cues from its elder Z900 and Z1000 brothers, and Kawasaki has maybe added a few new touches. As it is, the Z styling has been more sharp and fewer curves from the headlight and all the way to the tail.

"Carrying the trademark Sugomi-inspired styling from its elders, this naked 250 is described by the elegant bodywork having sharp lines flowing from head to tail and is minimalistic to the core."

Out front, just like the bigger Zs’, twin headlight unit design is housed in a chiselled W cowl on which the meter visor sits to compliment the design. Going even further in the bloodline, the 250 gets a Z-shaped running bikini fairing extending below from the tank, and it envelops the engine compartment at the front. Apart from a visual extravagance, it is also a functional unit that delivers excellent heat management properties; evidently designed in some science lab this one.

Broad and muscular fuel tank add to the bulkiness of the motorcycle which is also due to the running bikini fairings. The footrest in the 250 has an Aluminium finish to it, the massive engine and the wheels have been painted black to add some boldness to the overall design of the motorcycle. The quality of the plastic looks impressive, and a pass switch has also been added to the new 250 which was missing previously. There is also some amount of storage space under the seats which come in handy. Taking more components from the Ninja 300, the upswept tail cowl finishes the sporty image and houses the unique led tail light. Beautifully contoured exhaust pipes flow from the engine housing and are fed into a compact muffler design with stylish stainless steel end caps.

The instrument cluster is neatly tucked behind a small fly screen and looks futuristic with its combination of analogue and digital panels. The tachometer is a full-sweep dial with the speedo taking the digital route. A nice touch included is the "Eco riding indicator" encouraging riders to drive on lower RPMs and higher gears. The same you see on the Ninja 300.

Overall Dimension

Make Model 2017 Kawasaki Z 250 2017 KTM Duke 250 Benelli TNT 25
Length 2010mm 2002mm 2080mm
Width 750mm 873mm 810mm
Height 1025mm 1274mm 1125mm
Wheelbase 1400mm 1357mm 1400mm
Ground Clearance 145mm 185mm 160mm
Seat height 785mm 830mm 825mm
Wet weight 168kg 153kg 159kg
Fuel Tank 17L 13.5L 17L

POWERTRAIN

The 2017 model will feature the same four-stroke, parallel-twin, liquid-cooled, 249cc engine that has been running since 2013. This time, it gets BS-IV compliancy. It is the perfect learner- requirements to give the new generation of bikers a nice push into the motorcycling world. Being pinned within the frame, it keeps the mass centralised and thereby making the bike feel agile and nimble.

The digital fuel injected unit is capable of churning out a healthy 31 bhp at 11000rpm, with peak torque 21 Nm delivered at 10000rpm. This is a high revving engine which can max at an astonishing 13000 rpm tuned to produce strong low- and mid-range torque. It is a highly responsive and a reactive power mill that rewards the rider into being very engaging to extract every ounce of power from it through a six-speed gearbox.

"It is the perfect learner- requirements to give the new generation of bikers a nice push into the motorcycling world."

Taking innovation from the elder siblings, the 250’s engine makes use of Aluminium cylinders with friction-reducing T-treatment instead of the old heavy iron sleeve and help in keeping the engine cooler than before. Similar to our Ninja supersport models, dual throttle valves give precise control of intake air, resulting in linear throttle response across the rpm range.

You don’t, however, get any assist and slipper clutch option or a positive neutral finder like the ones you find on the Ninja 300. There is, however, an ECO mode for an efficient riding experience.

Engine Specification

Make Model 2017 Kawasaki Z 250 2017 KTM Duke 250 Benelli TNT 25
Capacity cc 249 248.8 249.2
Bore/ Stroke mm 62/41.2 72/61.1 72/61.2
Output 31 bhp @ 11000 rpm 31 bhp @ 9000 rpm 29 BHP @ 9800 rpm
Torque 21 Nm @ 1000 rpm 24 Nm @ 7500 rpm 22 Nm @ 8000 rpm
Type Liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, DOHC, 8 Valves Single cylinder, liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, 4 valve, DOHC In-line, single cylinder, 4-stroke, liquid cooled, 4 valve, DOHC
Clutch type Wet-Multiplate Wet Multiple-disc with PASC anti-hopping clutch/ mechanically operated (Slipper Clutch) Wet- Multiplate
Transmission 6-speed 6-speed 6-speed
Top Speed 162 kph 163 kph 160 kph

RIDE AND HANDLING

The Z250 will command an upright and relaxed yet sporty riding position offered by the wide and flat handlebars. The footpeg positions along with the low saddle will give a greater level of confidence to the rider which is still further enhanced due to the scooped fuel tank section where the rider can tuck in and start having fun. A low seat height and slim overall design facilitate riders placing both feet on the ground, for smoother, confident stops. Split seats look comfortable, though the pillion might get a bit fussy.

There is a reason why the Z250 is regarded as one of the best lightweight in the category. They have used circuit-developed lighter and rigid, diamond type steel frame that makes use of the engine’s centralisation to balance out masses evenly. Steering head angle of 27 degrees allows easy flicking of the motorbike around corners.

"Just like the other Kawasaki machines, the Z250 is one fantastic package regarding equipment and dynamics."

Just like the other Kawasaki machines, the Z250 is one fantastic package regarding equipment and dynamics. This bike carries conventional performance equipment with regards to suspension units. Fixed-rate 37mm front forks have a relatively soft setup, and at the rear, Kawasaki’s Uni-Trak mono shock system is tethered to the swingarm and comes with 5-way adjustable preload settings.

The wide 140 mm rear tyre matches the engine’s sporty performance, contributes to the aggressive street-fighter image and offers superb straight-line stability. Braking job has been given to a single 290 mm petal discs at the front and clutching on it is a 2-piston hydraulic calliper, and the rear also gets a 290mm disc with a 2-piston calliper. For 2017, Kawasaki has introduced ABS option either as standard or optional. Thank you.

Chassis Specifications

Make Model 2017 Kawasaki Z 250 2017 KTM Duke 250 Benelli TNT 25
Suspension / Front 37mm Telescopic Fork 43mmTelescopic Upside Down Forks WP Suspension Inverted telescopic forks
Suspension / Rear Bottom-link (Uni-Trak), gas-charged, adjustable preload Monoshock, Alloy Swingarm WP Suspension Monoshock
Brakes / Front Single 290 mm petal disc with dual-piston calliper 300 mm Disc brake with four-pot brake calliper 282mm Single disc with 2 pot callipers
Brakes / Rear Single 290 mm petal disc with dual-piston calliper 230 mm Disc brake with one-pot brake calliper, floating brake discs 230 mm Disc brake with one-pot brake calliper
Tyres / Front 110/70-17M/C 54S 110/70 R17 110/70 R17
Tyres / Rear 140/70-17M/C 62S 150/60 R17 150/60 R17

PRICE

Though the Z250 has snatched the title of the most affordable Kawasaki motorcycle in India from the Ninja 300, it is not cheap by any standards. To be available in only one variant, the Kawasaki Z250 has been priced at around ₹ 3.5 lakh (Ex-showroom, Delhi), making it the most expensive quarter litre naked streetfighter on sale in India. More than twice as much as the competition.

The Z250 is brought to India through the CKD route, with the assembly being carried out at its facility in Pune. It will come with exciting new colours and additional touches.

COMPETITION

Though there are several 250cc motorcycles on sale in the Indian two wheeler market at present, the two motorcycle which matches the credentials and specifications of the Kawasaki Z250 are the newly launched KTM Duke 350 and the Benelli TNT 25.

KTM Duke 250

India got the first Duke 200 in 2013, and since then there has been no turning back for the Austrian Orange. In 2017 came a surprise from KTM when they launched the Duke 250. KTM has just used the sweet spot between the Duke 200 and Duke 390 by launching the Duke 250 in some of the international markets last year. It looks like, after the success of the Duke 200 and 390 models, KTM brought in a new sortie in the segment with the next generation of Duke Cousins running a 250cc motor under the belly.

Aesthetically it is an entirely new design that borrows cues from its eldest brother, the Super Duke R. It has the new streetfighter design philosophy seen on the new 390. The bodywork is more aggressive and mental than the outgoing model and includes sharp design language with tank spoilers and the newly uplifted tank design, all made to cut just through anything.

The power mill is where the differences between Duke 250 and the other two Dukes are the most prominent and for the records - the Duke 250 comes with a reworked form of the Duke 200’s engine. The Duke 250 runs on the bored out version of the Duke 200 – it is a four stroke, single cylinder, liquid cooled, 248.8cc engine, which pumps out 31 bhp of maximum power and 24 Nm of torque.

This Duke will fetch you a cool ₹173500 (ex-showroom), and you can get them in two colour options: Orange and White.

Benelli TNT 25

The TNT 25 carries a lot of essence of the former, but in a scaled down package. The motorcycle promises to be one pocket rocket, which not only intends to establish Benelli in the mass market segment but also aims to become the first proper competitor to the Kawasaki Z250 and the Duke 250.

It manages to appear as a best of both worlds, carrying both the aggressive as well as understated design language together effectively - something which will appeal to a mature set of motorcyclists.

Unlike the twin-cylinder 302cc engine on the TNT 300, Benelli has equipped the TNT 25 with a lesser powerful liquid-cooled, single cylinder 251cc engine. But losing out on one cylinder doesn’t make the TNT 25 any lesser animal-ish, the engine is healthy enough to pump out 24.5 bhp of power and 21 Nm of torque. The engine is coupled to a six-speed gearbox with shorter throws for instantaneous acceleration. Tipping the weighing scales at 150 kgs, the TNT 25 promises to deliver some impressive performance numbers on the go.

The TNT 25 is at price tag in the range of ₹ 1.6-1.8 lakh. The motorcycle will be launched only in one variant sans the ABS.

VERDICT

The Z 250 has until now might not have been a commendable success regarding sales are considered, but it still continues to have the poise and guts to stare down any competition. For 2017, the aura of the motorcycle remains the same, and with the introduction of new colours and ABS, the bike gets a whole new appeal for itself.

Parked on the street or riding the highways, it will always look stunning with its potent engine shining through the minimal bodywork. Its style reflects its purpose. The aggressive engine gives it truckloads of power at your disposal delivered in a crisp and smooth manner leaving behind a throaty exhaust note. It is designed for maximum riding pleasure around town, and its lightweight is felt from the moment you lift the bike off the stand. Exhilarating without being overly intimidating, the combination is just sublime. It sure does come close to making many mid-weight motorcycles go into the shadow. And that is what making a statement is about.

The Z250 appears to be a very balanced and likeable motorcycle, but the fact that it almost costs over ₹ 3.5 lakh spoils the party, considering the fact that a bit more dough can fetch you a Ninja 300, which is a way more superior machine regarding performance and dynamics.

" Exhilarating without being overly intimidating, the combination is just sublime."
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