The 2011 Kawasaki Ninja 250R has been in India for the better part of two years now and ever since it’s launch in 2009, has been around with almost no competition as the price as well as the features on offer put the baby Ninja head and shoulders over every Indian motorcycle this side of 250cc.
With a 250cc, liquid cooled-parallel twin motor nestling under it’s fairing, the Ninja 250R was quicker than every other Indian motorcycle to top out at 160 Kph and while at that, cross the 100 kph mark in about 7 seconds. Sweet handling and an easy to ride posture meant that the Kawasaki Ninja was as much home on the track as it was munching miles as a long distance sport tourer.
Time does move on and two summers down the line, the Ninja 250R finally gets competition, and some really serious stuff at that. Honda has readied up it’s latest global 250cc entry level motorcycle challenger, the 2011 Honda CBR250R. Honda Motorcycles and Scooters India opted for a low key launch by just sending across the prices to us.
While this was due to the sad set of events at Japan over the last couple of weeks, the motorcycle in itself has garnered tremendous response from Indian motorcycle enthusiasts young and old alike. One reason for this of course is the fact that the CBR250R comes with a technology laden 250cc liquid cooled, DOHC, four valve engine that pumps our 25 Bhp of Power and 23 Nm of Torque.
While the power is lesser than the Kawasaki Ninja, the Honda pips the Kawasaki in the torque stakes. So, in essence, the Ninja 250R, loves to be revved to keep things on the boil while the Honda CBR250R will offer the same thrills at lower rpms. This, on paper at least translates into better drivability in trafficated Indian conditions where high revs could get you plastered onto a slow moving Bus’ behind if you aren’t careful enough.
Given the stick, the Honda CBR250R can be pretty rapid, but just a little slower than the Ninja when it comes to outright performance stakes as the Ninja’s extra cylinder gives it that edge when it comes to all out performance. What the Honda CBR250R could also gain is on the fuel economy front where the more torquier Honda engine could pip the high strung Ninja motor.
Also, being lighter than the Ninja by almost 12 kilograms for the Non-ABS CBR250R, the difference in both performance and fuel economy of the CBR250R shouldn’t be much with the CBR having an edge in economy. When it comes to styling though, as a personal preference, I’d pick the Ninja 250R over the CBR250R, which to me looks boring. But since that is pretty subjective, let’s get a move on.
The Kawasaki Ninja 250R sells 50-60 units every month and costs almost INR 3.2 Lakhs on-road Pune. On the other hand, Honda has already garnered 2000+ bookings for the 2011 CBR250R even before the first crop of motorcycles are out on the streets. This is a clear indicator that the CBR250R is a clear winner on the Value-For-Money stakes as it is prices at approximately INR 1.7 Lakhs on Road Pune for the non-ABS version and INR 2 Lakhs for the C-ABS version.
This is something that the Ninja 250R can never match as the CBR being built in India grounds up has a huge advantage when compared to the Ninja, which is assembled at Bajaj’s Chakan plant through the CKD route. And that factor simply seals the advantage for the CBR250R in the Indian market. Meanwhile, here’s a head to head comparo between the 2011 Honda CBR250R and the 2011 Kawasaki Ninja 250R.
Bike 2011 Honda CBR250R 2011 Kawasaki Ninja 250R
Price INR 1.43 Lakhs INR 2.8 Lakhs
Engine 249cc single cylinder 249cc twin cylinder
Power 25 Bhp@8,500 rpm 32 Bhp@11,000 rpm
Torque 23 Nm@7,000 rpm 21.7 Nm@8,200 rpm
Weight 162/165kg 172kg