Feb 7, 2011

21 Honda CBR250R Vs. Kawasaki Ninja 250R [by Motorcycle USA]

Motorcycle USA compares the Honda CBR250R Vs. the Kawasaki Ninja250R..

We have to keep in mind the price differential between the two when we compare them in India..

While the CBR250R has yet to land on Indian shores, enthusiasts have already stared to compare it with the Kawasaki Ninja 250R. No one has even seen the Honda CBR250R in the flesh in India, yet it hasn't stopped guys from cooking up scenarios of comparing it (armed with the online knowledge) with the Kawasaki Ninja 250R.

Motorcycle USA has compared both the bikes and they seem to prefer the Kawasaki Ninja 250R over the Honda CBR250R.

[To read the full review and view the videos: Click here]

Motorcycle USA's verdict summarized:

  • The Kawasaki Ninja 250R has a better build quality than the Honda CBR250R

  • The Engine of the Ninja 250R is smoother than the Honda CBR250R

  • The Kawasaki Ninja 250R feels more planted and feels more confident and secure on the road at high speeds

  • In outright performance the twin cylinder Ninja 250R betters the single cylinder Honda CBR250R

  • The CBR250R has good low end Torque, the Ninja 250R has good top end rush

  • The clutch on the Honda CBR250R is very light in action

  • The Honda CBR250R is more comfortable and has a comfortable seat

  • The Honda CBR250R is slightly more fuel efficienct than the Ninja 250R

  • The guys at Motorcycle USA are not too convinced and kicked with the ABS on the CBR250R

Note: The Ninja 250R is available only in the carbureted version in USA and both the Ninja 250R and the non-ABS variant of the CBR250R is priced at $ 3,999. The ABS variant costs an additional $ 500.

The Kawasaki Ninja 250R is available with Fuel Injection in India and is priced Rs. 1.2 lakhs more (Rs. 2.7 lakhs ex-showroom) than the non-ABS CBR250R (Rs. 1.5 lakhs ex-showroom). Therefore we have to keep in mind the price differential between the two when we compare them in India.

On a personal note, I have recently spent a full day with the Kawasaki Ninja 250R and will be posting about it in the next post.

Honda CBR250R Vs. Kawasaki Ninja 250R: Photos [Source: Motorcycle USA]

2011 CBR250R Vs. Ninja 250R2011 CBR250R Vs. Ninja 250R2011 CBR250R Vs. Ninja 250R
2011 CBR250R Vs. Ninja 250R2011 CBR250R Vs. Ninja 250R2011 CBR250R Vs. Ninja 250R

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This is to remind that the Views or Opinions in the blog are entirely mine unless explicitly stated. The Views and Opinions published in this blog should in no way be related to any other person or organization associated -- directly or indirectly -- with me.


Sajal said...

A post on the Ninja after spending a full day on it!! Now we are talking :)

This was the second comparo after the group test of 2011 ZX-10R was surprised me in parts

Saurabh said...

Hello bro,
:-) :-)
To me, Ninja wins over CBR250.

The thing i like about CBR250 and hate about Ninja is one and i.e. THE PRICE.
:-) :-)

Ninja250 was made for ladies and beginners in Europe but now it became a worldwide hit sport bike...
:-) :-)
I love its(Ninja) full analogue console and awesome power...

Anonymous said...

he he..I have spent every day with Ninja 250R and still curious about CBR 250 performance..

and off course, I'd like to compare it with Pulsar 220..It's been 5 months since the last riding experience with my ex Pulsar 180..hope I still remember how it feels.. :)

Gautam said...

This review is not surprising. Two cylinder Ninja will always perform better than single cylinder CBR.

Real matter is how much Bajaj will cut Ninja's price when CBR comes to showroom to retain its customers.

Hope we will see Suzuki gw250 as real option for cbr, as their specification and price matches.

(Hey did anyone noticed Mahindra Mojo now a days??? Where it gone???)

Sajal said...

@Gautam : Mahindra Mojo (the one that was show cased) was only a concept model and not their production version. To that matter... I would ask has anyone seen any Stallio on road? I haven't seen a single one here in Delhi/NCR and I would blame it on the utter crap PR policy Mahindra has. Word of mouth spreads faster than what Amir Khan says through TV.

Coming back to the topic. What MotorcyclUSA.com as said is purely from the perspective of the two bikes. Unfortunately, the Indian market works on different scenarios. Price takes the top slot than anything else. As Gautam said, it would be interesting to see Bajaj's move when the CBR hits the showrooms

S.P - Biker Next Door said...

I agree with Sajal, India is a very very price sensitive market.

With a good Rs. 1.2 lakhs price difference between the two, bikers in India will probably see both the bikes in totally different categories.

The comparo above holds water in USA where both bikes are priced at par. Nevertheless the Ninja 250R is a wonderful bike. Will post about my experience on the Ninja 250R soon.

Saurabh said...

+1 To all you guys.
:-) :-)
India is cost as well as mileage sensitive.
But also, on the other hand, we should also consider that the income of majority of people here is not much.
They have not much option but to leave their dreams.
They dont have time to cruise every city or get into a professional race now and then.
:-) :-)

Also i am saying that Ninja250 is much expensive as it is imported to india as CBU(Company Built Unit) and assembled here.
If here, its been manufactured, the cost and category would be directed a little towards a simple guy like me.......
:-) :-)

Sajal said...

The Ninja 250 comes as CKD (Completely Knocked Down unit) and not CBU. If it would have been a CBU the price would have been much much higher that what's it's currently now.

The income and profession aspects in India is certainly not like it's in the west but yeah... judging from the amount of SBKs being sold in this country... things are really looking bright :)

Saurabh said...

Oops my mistake.
:-) :-)
I had CKD in mind but wrote CBU....
Thank you Sajal Bhaiya.
And yes, definately future of India is bright for bikes and their lovers..
:-) :-)

Anonymous said...


Sajal said...

There's a concept called power commuting and believe me ... it does not depend on the BHP or CC of your bike, but it depends a hell lot on your riding skill and the confidence you have on your machine. I know and seen people who can navigate through traffic with their 1000cc/180BHP machines in ways, using which I would be shit scared even on my P200.

Think it like this... people do travel in these traffic in their BMWs and Audis, then why can't we do the same on two wheels which are way more maneuverable!!

So, don't worry about the traffic just ride and enjoy ;)

Anil Anupam Mohanty said...

Funny it may sound but things pointed out by those American tested is easily visible in the nature of the bike.
Even if both bikes are direct competitors,
CBR seems more like a sports tourer and Ninja thoroughbred sports machine.

- Ninja is faster
Quite an obvious thing. It is meant for performance and has got 6 bhp advantage.

- Ninja is smoother
Two cylinder engine invariably translates into better vibration dampening and smoother operation.

- Ninja is a better handler
Again it is sporty bike. We can expect stiffer suspension setting compared to cbr (which might have softer ones for ride comfort).Riding position is also an advantage with ninja since it is more aggressive interms of stance.

- CBR is more fuel efficient
CBR's lower end torque v/s Ninja's peaky power delivery,

- CBR is more comfortable
Upright riding position

- CBR has got lighter clutch
Intentional? Tourers need one to have since heavier clutch strains the fingers in long trips


S.P - Biker Next Door said...


you are right.. but the above assumptions about the two bikes have been verified now


Anil Anupam Mohanty said...

Its like 'what you see is what you get'

I honestly expected the ninja to produced in our country to stay affordable. Bajaj , I feel got it wrong by underestimating the potential premium motorcycles in India !
Inspite of having an 'inflated' price tag, ninja still has got a decent number of buyers and going by the response that CBR got , Ninja couldn't have much different.
Personally I haven't ridden either of this machines though I feel CBR is going to hamper Ninja's market for sure.
Reason? Ofcourse the price difference.
And yes the 'brand honda' does make a difference in India.

Why CBR ?
KTM and next gen pulsars (if 250cc is a reality) will make things even more difficult. That is what I feel..

melville said...


Dude, thank you for sharing this comparo with us....I went through the entire road test by Motorcycle USA and I have to say that you've tinted your Executive Summary a wee bit 'green'.

- On the freeway there was a 'high-frequency buzz' on the Ninja (subjective though)
- Handling of the CBR is more quick and feels nimble which adds up to a bigger fun factor than the Nnnja. Overall the Honda is sharper
- THe six-speed transmission on the Honda is superior
- The Honda's styling is more attractive
- The CBR has spot-on fueling compared to the carb-Ninja (though this will be irrelevant against our Fi-Ninja)
And I'm sorry but I don't recall them saying the Ninja has better overall build quality
But the final verdict does go to the Ninja :)

P.S.What are the exact power and torque figures for the carburetted Ninja?

S.P - Biker Next Door said...


The Motorcycle USA comparo was for the "Carbureted" Ninja 250R since USA doesn't get the Fuel Injected Ninja 250R like us (Lucky we.. :-) )

Despite this the Motorcycle USA guys like the Ninja 250R. But as I have pointed out above the price difference the two in India has to be taken into comparison if compared in India.

The "High Frequency Buzz" that the guys from USA are taking is because those guys ride ultra smooth in line 4 cylinder bikes. I too have felt the slight buzz at 10,000 plus rpm on the Ninja.. but it is negligible when compared to the bikes that we ride in India.

The comment on the "Better Build quality" of the Ninja 250R over the CBR 250R has been very clearly made in the Video accompanying the Comparo on the Motorcycle USA site.

midhun said...

and d reviews n motorcycle usa is sponsored by d kawasaki!

Kiran bhor said...

hey guys.. please tell me can i get a test drive of ninja 250R in Pune since i am about to book in next month..

S.P - Biker Next Door said...


According to what I know, the probiking guys provide test ride to prospective customers. Get in touch with them.

Anonymous said...

"The Kawasaki Ninja 250R has a better build quality than the Honda CBR250R",, funny the Honda CBR250r i have seen here in europe seem to be rahter high quality.. One small danish guy (175 cm) drove it from nordkap to gibraltar without a single problem. The engine is a completely new design from Honda.. The only thing i cannot stand is the boat-anchor trumpet exhaust. Put an arrow exhaust on it (shaves on some weight),calibate the fueling and gain 1.6 hp on the backwheel and more torque between 4000-6500rpm. (plus a deeper sound).. And the black or tri-color model looks better than the red one.. :-)

The new kwak ninja 250 2013 looks sharp, but has the same top end as the old one (32 bhp), but changed engine parts should give it better low and midrange and fuel economy than the previous model. But one guy has both ninjas (2008 and 2013) and felt the new one had much cheaper plastic parts on it and it felt lesser in quality.. It also gained a little weight and is rahter heavy for a 250cc.
But with the revised lower friction engine parts I think it has some tuning potential. would be nice with at least 30 bhp meassured on the backwheel.

Anonymous said...

ask ko lang po kung kaya bang sakyan ng 5’3 – 5’4 ang height.ang ninja 250??balak ko kasi bumili ang kaso nag aalangan ako.sawa na sa underbone the bikes.hanap ng bagong thrill..
At saka nasa magkano na po ba ung 2012 ninja 250? at anong kulay po kaya available kasi wala na raw green..tnx po.

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