Kawasaki has released information about its 2012 Ninja 250. Yes, you read that right, Kawasaki has dropped the “R” from its littlest Ninjette. And no, it’s still not fuel injected.

As shown on Kawasaki Motors Corp. U.S.A.’s website, the 2012 Kawasaki Ninja 250 has the same specs as the 2011 Ninja 250R, only it’s missing the “R”.  The 2012 Ninja 250 is powered by a249cc liquid-cooled parallel Twin engine with a six-speed transmission. And despite Honda upping the ante with the fuel-injected CBR250R, Kawasaki is keeping its Keihin CVK30 carbs instead of importing the fuel-injected version available in other markets.

Like the 2011 250R, the 2012 Ninja 250 has a 4.8 gallon fuel tank, 37mm hydraulic telescopic fork, preload-adjustable rear suspension and a the same claimed weight of 374.9 pounds.

Kawasaki will offer the 2012 Ninja 250 in three color options: Passion Red, Metallic Spark Black and Candy Lime Green. The 2012 Kawasaki Ninja 250 is priced at $4,199, an increase from the 2011 Kawasaki Ninja 250R’s $3,999 price tag.

But what about the missing “R”? Until 2008, the Kawasaki Ninja 250R was known by various names over the years and depending on where  you were in the world. Some called it the EX250, some called it the GPX-250R, and some called it the ZZR-250. In 2008, Kawasaki rebranded the motorcycle around the world as the Ninja 250R.

Why did Kawasaki drop the “R”? Probably to differentiate between its faired street bikes from its ZX supersports. In 2011, Kawasaki offered a Ninja 650R and, in some markets, a Ninja 400R, but the Ninja 1000 went without the R. Don’t be surprised to see the Ninja 650 lose its R this year.

[Source: Kawasaki]


    Long live the Honda 250R!

  • Booooo!

  • John

    I say don’t buy any of these ninja 250s until the put on a fuel injection system. So do these kawasaki idiots manufacturers a favor, ” Don’t Buy Them” and you’ll see a quick change.

  • Timo

    Everyone automatically assumes Fuel Injection is better but it depends on how you ride. Yes if you ride at constant freeway speed/rpm then yes, FI will always be better. But I found that if you like to flog the throttle (and on the 250 you do), then FI gives no better performance. In fact may decrease MPG depending on the mapping. Not to mention the freeway is not the 250’s preferred territory. As far as reliability, I got 30K on my 250 and still going, and so far, no carb problems. On the 250, FI is not worth the added price, 4200.00 is already overpriced.

  • Lisa Wark

    In Thailand where the CBR250R is manufactured, a Ninja 250R cost US$6000 compare to a CBR250R costing only US$4000. Americans are very lucky to have such a cheap Ninja. In Australia they cost over $7500US.

  • The Ninja 250 is one of the fastest selling bikes, it’s incredibly popular, fast, light and Kawasaki parts are extremely easy to get a hold of.

  • Born On Dirt

    I agree, FI is not always the best option. I think the reason for the FI in non US markets is because of the emmision and cc standards where in say Europe and Asia they are much, much different.
    The RPM range where the Ninja 250 is run the most is reletively high so I think Kawasaki knows what they are doing. If it was such a major factor in performance and cost, I am sure kawasaki would make it available in N. America.

  • jeremy g

    Adding aprox. 25 pounds to the rear of my 2010 Ninja 250 under the rear seat makes the the bike very comfortable to ride.