Fans of classic-styled motorcycles will have to go to Japan to find the 250cc Kawasaki Estrella. The Estrella has been around since 1992 but apart from a few years of European availability in the late ’90s, has mostly been confined to Kawasaki’s home market.
Updated for 2014 with a new seat and color options, the Estrella remains powered by an air-cooled 249cc Single. The engine has a long 73mm stroke with a 66mm bore promising strong low-end torque. Kawasaki claims a peak power output of 17.4 hp at 7500 rpm and 13.3 ft-lb. at 5500 rpm. The simple engine design is complemented by a neatly curved exhaust to a peashooter-style silencer to aid the retro look.
The engine is mounted in a light-weight steel double-cradle frame. The seat – with a new longitudinally-ribbed surface for 2014 – is only 28.9-inches from the ground which makes for an easy reach for shorter riders. High handlebars and relaxed footpeg positioning make for a comfortable, neutral riding position.
Suspension consists of a 39mm telescopic fork and dual rear shocks. A two-piston caliper grips the 330mm front disc rotor but the rear is stopped by a 160mm drum brake.
Contributing to the vintage styling are the single circular headlight, dual analog instruments, wire spoke wheels and chrome fenders. Kawasaki will produce the 2014 Estrella in Candy Caribbean Blue and Candy Ivy Green, both with color matched headlight, upper fork and side covers. A special edition version offers a Metallic Spark Black paint scheme with blacked out engine, exhaust and forks, as well as fork gaiters.
The base model is priced at ¥518,700 (US$5,180) while the special edition version will cost ¥533,400 (US$5,327). A number of accessories are available including a retro seat, engine guards, bikini fairing and panniers.