Test ride: Kawasaki Z250 ABS

By thoriq, 18 August 2019

Launched just before Ramadan, the new generation Kawasaki Z250 naked bike looked poised to raise the bar from its predecessor. After sampling it during a short press test ride session held in Bangi recently, there’s much to shout about Kawasaki’s renewed lightweight streetfighter offering indeed.

If you like the way Kawasaki’s current generation naked bikes like the Z650 and Z900 look, you’ll definitely like the way this quarter-litre offering looks too. Traits found in the bigger models mentioned are present here, none more evident than the sharp, predator-like (or ‘Sugomi’ style) stance this bike presents itself in.


Study the details closer and it’s easy to see Kawasaki has done much more too. Highlights include the adoption of new full-LED lighting and a rich new digital instrument display panel, not forgetting the new and narrower seat design matched with a wide new handlebar assembly, all geared for greater riding comforts.

At the heart of things is a new and improved 249cc parallel-twin mill, which is the same as found in the Z250’s sport-bodied Ninja 250 twin. Headlining figures of 36.5hp and 23Nm may not sound like much, but it’s is more than adequate in getting this streetfighter’s claimed 165kg kerb mass going almost effortlessly.

As we’ve noted in the Ninja 250 prior, this mill’s improved smoothness is one to savour, especially when you’re working the throttle high up in the rev ranges. Adding to this is the lightened lever action from the new assist and slipper clutch module primed in this bike’s six-speed transmission.

Light and compact, filtering through traffic astride this new Z250 is very easy indeed. Praiseworthy too are the spring and dampers, which felt pliant and well dampened without trading off much on sharpness and feedback. In other words, it’s pleasantly comfortable whilst delivering respectably high agility too.

Sweetening the affair is the fact that this new version of the Z250 now comes primed with a dual-channel ABS suite as standard. Previously absent, the presence of ABS to supplement the single disc brake hardware primed front and aft adds greater control and stopping ability in the mix too.

Our only gripe with this new Z250 lies in its absent wind protection as a naked bike.

Our only gripe with this new Z250 lies in its absent wind protection as a naked bike, but this is no deal-breaker considering just how much more agile, smoother and safer it has evolved from its predecessor. Kawasaki’s starter naked bike certainly offers more than before, setting a new segment benchmark here too.

Commanding an affordable base starting price of RM21,998, it’s easy to see how this quarter-litre naked is starting to look very tempting to many avid newbies indeed.