Kawasaki announced its 2013 Ninja 250 beginner model with an updated engine, ABS and ZX-10R-inspired styling. The changes come as Kawasaki faces competition in Honda‘s CBR250R which has stolen some of the Ninjette’s sales.

The updated 249cc Parallel Twin engine receives new sleeveless die-cast cylinders as well as updated pistons, crankcases and a new exhaust. The 2013 Kawasaki Ninja 250 makes use of dual throttle valves like its big brothers the ZX-10R and ZX-6R. According to Kawasaki, the second ECU-controlled throttle valve helps to regulate intake airflow for a linear response, more efficient combustion and added power.

In most markets the Ninja 250 received fuel injection in 2008, though the U.S.-spec model had retained its carburetors. There’s no official announcement but we hope the U.S. model will finally catch up with foreign versions.

We also hope the U.S. customers will also get access to the new optional ABS-equipped version. According to Kawasaki, the ABS-equipped version weighs 383 pounds while the non-ABS version weighs in at 379 pounds (it’s not clear if this is the wet weight but for comparison purposes, Kawasaki claims the 2012 version weighs 375 pounds wet).

Kawasaki also updated the Ninja 250 with a new diamond-style frame that is said to be stiffer than the previous frame. Combined with revised damping and softer spring rates in the suspension system, Kawasaki claims the 250 offers increased comfort for city riding and firmer feeling for sportier riding.

Visibly, the 250 receives styling influences from the larger Ninjas. The new design uses dual headlamps instead of the previous model’s W-shaped single unit. Like the ZX-10R, the Ninja 250 gets a floating windscreen attached using only the mirror mounts. The side fairings feature new finned openings inspired by the ZX-14R to direct airflow.

Other updates include ZX-14R-styled 10-spoke wheels, a larger 140mm rear tire and a new instrument panel with analog tachometer and multi-function LCD screen displaying fuel gauge, dual trip meters, clock and an “economical riding indicator.”

Kawasaki is offering a number of regular and special edition color options, though not all will be available in all markets. The 2013 Kawasaki Ninja 250 will be produced in Passion Red, Ebony and Pearl Stardust White with special edition versions in Passion Red/Stardust White, Ebony/Metallic Moondust Gray, and Lime Green/Ebony. U.S. pricing and availability has not been announced.

[Source: Kawasaki]