Kawasaki Unveils 2008 Model Lineup & 2009 Street Legal 250S - Refined ZX-14 for '08

Refined ZX-14 and all new ZX-10R head the 2008 lineup

2008 brings us a reworked and refined ZX-14 sporting a new die cast frame and more (yes) even more claimed power. The all new ZX-10R heads up Kawasaki's lineup, and their chances at a comeback in the liter class on the track. Also announced is the all new Ninja 250R, sure to be a hit with entry level riders.

Making a debut for 2009 is Kawasaki' KLX 250S street legal dual sport. Details, specifications and hi-res photos below....


Every champion knows sustained dominance is only possible with constant improvement. Such is the case with Kawasaki's Ninja® ZX™-14. Since its debut in March of 2006, this motorcycle has ruled the open class sportbike roost with nearly non-stop magazine comparison victories. Even though the 1352cc Ninja ZX-14 won lavish praise for its massive torque, effortless power, agile handling and comfortable ergonomics, Kawasaki engineers were not willing to leave the door open to potential challengers.

The 2008 ZX-14 retains all the great features that made it a legend, plus more bottom, mid and top-end power. Changes to the engine and exhaust system allow it to comply with strict Euro-III emissions and tightening noise regulations. To meet noise standards, the engineers focused on reducing internal mechanical noise instead of muzzling the exhaust system. The result wasn't a power loss, but an overall improvement of the engine character and an actual increase in the ZX-14's legendary peak power! Yes, you read that correctly. Emissions and noise levels are lower, peak power is higher, the mid-range hit is stronger and smoother and low-end torque has been increased. A win-win solution for all, in our books.

To achieve those stringent emission levels, a third honeycomb catalyzer was added in the collector, joining the two honeycomb catalyzers already in each silencer. The secondary air ports in the cylinder head and its cover were made approximately 20 percent larger to permit an easier air flow into the exhaust system. A new Air Switching Valve (ASV) caps off the low emission updates and can handle approximately five percent more flow than the last year's version.

Conquering the challenging Euro-III regulations is admirable, but Kawasaki took it to the next level on the ZX-14 with changes to its 1352cc engine which improve the power characteristics while meeting noise regulations. The injection system was first to receive attention in an effort to boost peak power, give a more linear mid-range and stronger low end torque with the same user-friendly personality. The fine-atomizing fuel injectors had their lateral spray angle increased from 15 to 20 degrees to disperse the atomized fuel over a wider area and the intake porting was revised to provide optimum flow characteristics. Outside of the engine, the exhaust silencers feature refinements to the capacity of the first and third chambers and the lengths of the pipes projecting from the baffle plates have been adjusted. Next the entrances to the connecting tubes (joining header pipes 1-4 and 2-3) were enlarged approximately 75 percent to compensate for the new collector shape, which was altered to allow the inclusion of a third honeycomb catalyzer. These changes were a major component of the enhanced the torque characteristics, especially in the low rpm range.

Reducing internal mechanical noise allowed for the engineers to employ comparatively little exhaust modification to meet noise mandates and consequently the exhaust system could remain free flowing for greater power. Lower mechanical noise was attained by revising the piston profiles and adding a urethane insulation sheet to the inside of the magnesium chain cover.

The engine and exhaust system weren't the only areas updated for 2008. The ZX-14's chassis design is every bit the equal of its power plant. Using an advanced version of Kawasaki's unique aluminum monocoque design, its frame is lightweight and very strong. Switching to die instead of gravity casting for the cast aluminum sections of the main frame resulted in lighter parts, allowing the Kawasaki engineers to shave weight on the already slim and compact frame.

Featuring a relaxed sport riding position, the ZX-14 is compact without being cramped, with its bars positioned within easy reach. The narrow engine, monocoque frame, and fuel tank provide a slim rider interface. Footpegs are low-set to give ample legroom and the low seat height and narrow seat front make it easy to plant both feet on the ground when stopped. Comfort levels are high enough that riders might think they're on a dedicated sport tourer, but one twist of the ZX-14's throttle is all it takes to remind anyone this is the world's quickest and most powerful production motorcycle.

Uninterrupted fairing lines give the ZX-14 a smooth, flowing appearance from front to rear due in part to the monocoque frame that goes over the engine and doesn't protrude through the cowling. Quadruple projector beam headlights adorn the ZX-14's front, with low beams in the two center lenses and the outer lenses containing the high beams and position lamps. The turn signals are cleanly integrated into the fairing and rear cowl with a unique "V" design LED tail lamp capping off the sleek aerodynamics of the ZX-14 that reinforces Kawasaki's aircraft heritage.

This blending of form, power, and handling characteristics yields a motorcycle with appeal that extends far outside of its high performance audience. The Ninja ZX-14 lives up to its Ninja heritage, by surpassing the competition.

2008 Kawasaki Ninja® ZX™-14 Features and Benefits

Key Features

* Reduced emissions and mechanical noise with more peak power and low-end torque for 2008
* Well-balanced aluminum monocoque frame provides superb stability and reflexive handling
* Flagship ride quality with rider friendly ergonomics and that distinctive Ninja styling
* Excellent control and feedback from the 43mm inverted fork and fully adjustable Uni-Trak rear suspension

1,352cc Four-Cylinder, DOHC Engine
* Tuned to provide smooth power across a very wide rev range while raising Kawasaki's legendary horsepower standards to a new level
* Revised cylinder head and head cover with 20% larger secondary air ports to flow more air into the exhaust
* Carefully planned engine design keeps it compact and narrow
* Chrome composite plated aluminum cylinder bores are lightweight, durable, and quickly carry heat away from the combustion chamber and piston for supreme durability at high power outputs

Reduced Mechanical Noise
* Revised piston profile produces less noise for 2008
* New urethane insulation sheet added to the inside of the magnesium chain cover to aid in reducing mechanical noise

* Third honeycomb catalyzer added to the collector help meet strict Euro III emissions standards
* Revised internal silencer construction minimized impact of emissions regulations, preserving top-end power
* Exhaust connecting tube entrances enlarged approximately 75% to compensate for new collector shape (revised for the third catalyzer) for enhanced low rpm torque characteristics

Gear-Driven Dual Engine Balancers
* Already in perfect primary balance, dual secondary balancers virtually eliminate unwanted vibrations for extremely smooth engine operation and reduced rider fatigue

Ram Air Induction
* Central Ram Air duct produces a straighter path to the airbox for maximum intake efficiency
* Takes cooler, high-pressure air from in front of the fairing and guides it through the air cleaner and into the engine for maximum power output

Digital Fuel Injection
* New intake porting optimizes flow characteristics
* New injectors feature an increased lateral spray angle from 15 to 20 degrees to disperse the finely-atomized fuel over a wider area
* Fine-atomizing injectors produce 75- micron droplet size
* 44mm Mikuni throttle bodies are fitted with sub-throttle valves, controlled by the ECU to provide precise response, make DFI® performance smoother, and met Euro III emission requirements
* 32-bit ECU works with dual throttle valve system to further enhance throttle response and control

Digital Ignition
* Digital Timing Advance enhances low-and mid-range power
* Four individual spark plug-mounted ignition coils fire each spark plug independently to achieve the optimum timing for that cylinder at that instant
* ECU includes an idle speed control system for easier starting and warm-up

Radial Pump Clutch Master Cylinder
* Hydraulic clutch features a radial-pump clutch master cylinder for smooth and precise clutch engagement

Next-Generation Monocoque Aluminum Frame
* Lightweight, monocoque frame is a hollow aluminum box that arches over the engine from the steering head to the swing arm pivot. It is narrow, strong, rigid and very light
* New for 2008, the frame's cast aluminum sections - steering head and swing arm pivot areas - are now produced with a die casting process instead of gravity casting resulting in further weight savings
* Engine is rigidly mounted to the frame to increase its torsional rigidity. Using the engine as a stressed frame member also saves approximately four pounds
* Engine positioned forward in the frame, and the wheelbase and front/rear weight balance were carefully designed to achieve high-speed stability and responsive handling
* Massive head pipe casting contributes to frame rigidity
* Houses the air box and air filter in a space-saving design that actually simplifies air cleaner maintenance. Two screws hold a plate on the left side of the frame that allows air cleaner access
* Battery is also housed within the frame and has simple access through the back side of the frame

Inverted 43mm Cartridge Type Front Fork
* Damping rates offer stiff initial action to resist front-end dive when braking
* Stepless damping adjustment improves suspension performance

Bottom-Link Uni-Trak® Rear Suspension
* Linkage rates provide linear suspension action
* Bottom-link design concentrates the weight lower in the chassis for a lower center of gravity, which makes the motorcycle more nimble

Radial Mounted Petal Front Disc Brakes
* Radial mounted four-piston front brake calipers utilize integrated mounting points at both the top and bottom of the caliper, with the mounting bolts inserted through the rear of the caliper instead of the side/front. This makes the caliper more rigid, which improves brake feel over a wider range of operation
* A separate brake pad is used for each piston. Individual pads provide increased cooling efficiency and can absorb more heat without deforming so they maintain consistent brake feel stop after stop
* Petal design brake discs provide better cooling and warp resistance
* Radial-pump front brake master cylinder improves brake performance and lever feel
* Wheel rims feature center ribs which are slightly offset so tire balance weights can be located precisely along the wheel's centerline.

Wind Tunnel-Designed Bodywork
* Monocoque frame goes over the engine the fairing is uninterrupted by protruding frame spars, adding to the extremely long and low styling.
* Both the front and rear turn signals are integrated into the bodywork and have clear lenses to enhance the appearance
* Quadruple projector beam headlights give the ZX-14 a distinctive upper fairing. The outer lights contain position lamps and the high beams, while the low beams are in the center lamps
* Lightweight Denso radiator with high-density cores provides maximum cooling efficiency

Full Instrumentation
* Dual analog speedometer and tachometer with white faces are easy to read
* Multi-function LCD digital display includes an odometer, two trip meters, fuel gauge, gear position indicator and a clock
* Programmable shift indicator lamp illuminates at pre-set rpm to signal rider upshift
* Programmable clutch engagement lamp illuminates at pre-set rpm to signal the rider to engage the clutch
* CAN (Controller Area Network) interface between the gauges uses fewer wires while allowing a greater volume of information, such as estimated fuel mileage, to be exchanged

2008 Kawasaki Ninja® ZX™-14 Specifications*

Engine: Four-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, four valve per cylinder, inline-four
Displacement: 1,352cc
Bore x stroke: 84.0 x 61.0mm
Maximum torque: 113.5 lb-ft @ 7,500 rpm
Compression ratio: 12.0:1
Fuel Injection: DFI® with 44mm Mikuni throttle bodies (4)
Ignition: TCBI with Digital Advance
Transmission: Six speed
Final drive: X-Ring chain
Rake / trail: 23 degrees / 94 mm
Front Tire: 120/70 ZR17
Rear Tire: 190/50 ZR17
Wheelbase: 57.5 in.
Front suspension / wheel travel: 43mm inverted cartridge fork with adjustable preload, 13-way compression and 11-way rebound damping adjustment / 4.6 in.
Rear suspension / wheel travel: Bottom-Link Uni-Trak® and gas-charged shock with adjustable preload, stepless rebound and compression damping adjustments, adjustable ride height / 4.8 in.
Front Brakes: Dual semi-floating 310 mm petal discs with dual radial-mounted four-piston calipers
Rear Brakes: Single 250mm petal disc with twin-piston caliper
Overall length: 85.4 in.
Overall width: 29.9 in.
Overall height: 46.1 in.
Ground clearance: 4.9 in.
Seat height: 31.5 in.
Dry weight: 485 lbs.
Fuel capacity: 5.8 gal.
Color: Metallic Midnight Sapphire Blue,
Atomic Silver,
Special Edition: Metallic Flat Spark Black / Metallic Persimmon Red
MSRP standard / Special Edition: TBD / TBD
Warranty: 12 Months


Factory Superbike Talent in a Street Savvy Performer

For the 2008 NINJA® ZX™-10R, Kawasaki engineers aimed for an ideal superbike with engine and chassis performance capable of satisfying professional racers, combined with top-notch streetbike qualities for mainstream riders. It's a delicate balance, but these aren't your average engineers. They've been directly involved in the development of every 600 and 1000cc supersport machine since the 2003 Ninja ZX-6R, plus Kawasaki's factory Superbike racing efforts, so they have the know-how to deliver the goods.

The result is an exceptionally communicative machine that provides the clean two-way rider/machine dialog demanded by professional racers. Placing the ZX-10R in the racing crucible and applying lessons from that unforgiving environment resulted in an ideal balance to satisfy the most demanding of riders. Japanese Superbike racer Akira Yanagawa was the man pushing the engine and frame components to the limits of their performance in actual competition. Parts that met with Yanagawa's approval were then tried on the production test bike, tweaked, retested on the racer and adjusted again. This process was repeated throughout the development cycle for the all-new 2008 Ninja ZX-10R.

At the heart of this capable package is a new engine tuned for even greater high-rpm performance, without sacrificing the stellar mid-range performance of its predecessor. Refinements include installing secondary fuel injectors, changing to oval throttle bodies and reshaping the intake ports. Intake flow was further enhanced with reshaped ram air ducts and a larger airbox that feeds into the new oval shaped velocity stacks. Exhaust efficiency was boosted with a new system that not only flows better but generates less noise and emissions. And to suit the enhanced power delivery, the transmission features new gear ratios for 1st, 4th and 5th gears along with an extra tooth on the rear sprocket. These changes make it essentially a race-ready engine with performance similar to Kawasaki's factory Superbikes.

Professional riders know it's useless to have the most power if you can't get it to the ground. The 2008 Ninja ZX-10R features a new ignition system that assists with torque management by monitoring throttle opening, gear position and rate of RPM change, then retarding ignition timing to reduce torque when sudden unwanted RPM spikes are detected. This system doesn't interfere with normal operation and still allows the engine to rev freely under typical riding conditions.

A superb engine deserves a superb chassis, and this is where the new ZX-10R really shines. To achieve the best-possible handling, Kawasaki used the lessons learned at the track to build a list of refinements including: changing the length of the steering tube and moving it 10mm forward, alleviating stress concentrations through subtle changes to the frame stampings (switching concave parts to convex pieces), increasing the wall thickness around the relocated swingarm pivot, adding ribbing on the interior of the pivot plate, and mounting a narrower, two-piece sub-frame to the main frame's upper cross member.

With a fully-adjustable 43mm inverted fork and a new swingarm that uses pressed instead of cast beams, the ZX-10R's track orientated suspension endows the chassis with better feedback. Refinements include adding a Diamond Like Carbon (DLC) coating to the fork tubes for less stiction and enhanced feedback, relocating the springs to the bottom of the fork for reduced oil frothing, and new settings that are better-suited for racetrack use. Rear suspension changes include dual (low and high-speed) compression damping on the fully-adjustable rear shock for better fine-tuning, a new mounting spot for the Uni-Trak® linkage and a re-shaped swingarm with a top-mounted brace.

No part was left untouched on the ZX-10R, even the wheels are new. Produced using a squeeze-casting process instead of the earlier gravity casting method, the new wheels are lighter, stiffer and more precise, to perfectly match the new chassis. The lower unsprung weight of the wheels helps improve suspension action and their reduced rotational inertia provides quicker steering and acceleration.

Braking duties are handled by radial mounted Tokico brake calipers squeezing new 310mm petal discs which are 10mm larger for 2008, and feature reduced thickness from 6 to 5.5mm for better heat dispersion. The rear is a 220mm petal disc squeezed by a single-piston caliper.
The designers didn't rest when it came to styling either. Given great freedom with the 2008 ZX-10R, their efforts are illustrated in the clean design with superb fit and finish. While shaping the rear frame, tank and seat to offer improved ergonomics and increase the rider's contact with the bike, they also refined its aerodynamics from a new front cowling to the sharp, minimalist tail cowl.

The result of these efforts is a slim and compact package with the presence befitting its Ninja name.

2008 Kawasaki Ninja® ZX™-10R Specifications*

Engine: Four-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, four valves per cylinder, inline-four
Displacement: 998cc
Bore x stroke: 76.0 x 55.0mm
Maximum torque: TBD
Compression ratio: 12.7:1
Fuel injection: DFI with 43mm Keihin throttle bodies with oval sub-throttles, two injectors per cylinder
Ignition: TCBI with digital advance and torque management
Transmission: Six speed
Final drive: TBD
Rake / trail: TBD
Front tire: 120/70 ZR17
Rear tire: 190/55 ZR17
Wheelbase: TBD
Front suspension / wheel travel: 43mm inverted fork with DLC coating, adjustable rebound and compression damping, spring preload adjustability and top-out springs / TBD
Rear suspension / wheel travel: Uni-Trak® with top-out spring, stepless, dual-range (high/low-speed) compression damping, stepless rebound damping, fully adjustable spring preload / TBD
Front brakes: Dual semi-floating 310mm petal discs with dual four-piston radial-mount calipers
Rear brakes: Single 220mm petal disc with aluminum single piston caliper
Overall length: TBD
Overall width: TBD
Overall height: TBD
Seat height: TBD
Dry weight: TBD
Fuel capacity: 4.5 gal.
Color choices: Lime Green / Flat Super Black
Metallic Diablo Black
Candy Plasma Blue / Flat Super Black
MSRP: $11,549
Warranty: 12 Months
Wholesale distributor: Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A.
9950 Jeronimo Road
Irvine, California 92618
(949) 770-0400

*Specifications are subject to change.
2008 Kawasaki Ninja® ZX™-10R Features and Benefits*
Key Features
- Race-Ready Engine
- Track-Tuned Handling
- Advanced Digital Ignition with Torque Management
- Compact Package with Massive Presence
- Aggressive Aerodynamic Styling

Four-Cylinder, DOHC Engine
- Very compact, narrow and lightweight design
- One-piece upper crankcase and cylinder casting saves more than two pounds and offers increased rigidity
- Channels in the case route oil to various parts of the engine, eliminating oil lines and saving weight
- About two pounds cut from the engine with a lighter crankshaft that maintains the same inertial moment
- Oil pump reduction ratio refined for lower friction
- Lightweight Denso radiator with tightly packed cores
- Reshaped intake ports, exhaust ports and combustion chambers improve flow efficiency and top-end power
- Exhaust ports are narrower at the midpoint and larger at the opening
- Exhaust valves reduced in diameter from 25.5 to 24.5mm
- Cam profiles feature higher lift to deliver more power at high rpm and make it easier to tune the engine for racing

Fuel Injection
- New secondary injectors improve top-end power output and power characteristics
- Oval cross-sectioned throttle bodies replace the earlier round units, improve throttle response and allow more precise throttle control
- Compact flat-type fuel pump from the '07 ZX-6R takes up less fuel tank space and permits the same tank volume despite the additional space required for the secondary injectors

Air intake
- Ram air intake duct was reshaped to reduce intake noise and further improve intake efficiency
- New larger airbox with improved accessibility and ease of maintenance
- New oval shaped velocity stacks deliver improved flow efficiency

- Advanced ignition management system helps curtail sudden spikes in engine speed, enhancing the rider's control of torque delivery
- Sophisticated ECU logic based on extensive rider testing
- Monitors throttle position, gear position and rate of RPM change, then adjusts ignition advance to help regulate torque production

Exhaust system
- New exhaust system features a pre-chamber under the engine to reduce exhaust noise, and minimize silencer volume
- Palladium catalyzer ensures the ZX-10R meets Euro-III exhaust emissions standards
- Single orthogonal, titanium silencer, along with the pre-chamber, lowers the bike's center of gravity and improves exhaust efficiency

Six-Speed Transmission
- Lower 1st, 4th and 5th gear ratios to suit the new power characteristics, giving improved power feel in the low and high-rpm ranges
- Harder acceleration with an one tooth larger rear sprocket - final reduction ratio of 17/41

- Optimized stiffness balance of the unique twin-spar frame achieved by reshaping the frame's pressed parts, replacing concave pieces with convex pieces to alleviate stress concentrations
- Wall thickness around the swingarm pivot was changed to increase rigidity
- Ribbing added on the interior of the pivot plate where it joins the frame's upper cross member to slightly slow down the frame feedback for a more accurate feel
- Steering tube moved 10mm forward and length changed
- Relocated swingarm pivot for a slight front-rear weight balance change

- Two-piece, aluminum die-casting with lightweight construction
- New narrow sub-frame layout contributes to the compact and slim rear of the bike
- Mounted to the frame's upper cross member, so rear suspension feedback is transmitted more directly to the rider

- Pressed beam swingarm delivers a level of feel and feedback unobtainable with a cast swingarm
- New swingarm features a top-mounted stabilizer that contributes to the superb high-speed stability of the new chassis

- DLC (Diamond Like Carbon) fork tube coating on the fully adjustable 43mm inverted fork improves fork action with less friction, smoother action and better road holding
- Bottom mounted springs completely submerged in oil, offer reduced frothing and improving damping performance, fork action and road-following ability
- New mounting location for the Uni-Trak® rear suspension linkage
- Fully adjustable shock now features dual (low- and high-speed) compression damping, providing the fine-tuning needed for racing

- New Tokico radial mount brake calipers fitted with dual pads for superb initial bite, increased control and a progressive feel
- New 310mm petal discs with a 5.5mm disc thickness provide better heat dispersion so the brake feel remains constant and responsive during extended periods of heavy use
- 220mm rear petal disc is gripped by a single-piston caliper

- New lighter yet stiffer squeeze-cast wheels feature more precise dimensions with less wall thickness than the previous gravity-cast units

- Redesigned rear frame, tank and seat offer increased contact with the bike and provide the rider very accurate feedback regarding chassis performance and road surface
- More flared around its top, the new tank makes it easier for the rider to rest the inside of their arm on the tank when leaning into a turn
- New seat is narrower in the front and shorter, front to back, for a slimmer riding position, a shorter reach to the pavement and excellent feedback from the chassis
- Special rib on the end of new throttle under the grip rubber improves grip and feel

Aerodynamic Bodywork
- Top of the front cowl is shorter but has a slight step at the front to reduce wind blast on the rider's shoulders and generates a laminar flow around the rider's helmet for less turbulence at higher speeds
- New front fender increases cooling efficiency by directing air toward the radiator
- Recess added to the top of the fuel tank to accommodate the helmet's chin so it's easier to tuck in behind the new, flatter windscreen
- Smaller fairing sides reduce the influence of side winds on the bike
- Redesigned mirrors with integrated turn signals and Talbot-type reflecting surfaces are easily removable, for easy track riding prep
- High mounting position of mirrors provides excellent rearward visibility and helps to minimize damage if the bike falls over
- Flush-surface of the tail's underside reduces turbulence at the rear of the bike and ensures laminar airflow around the seat
- Larger rear inner fender keeps the bike cleaner and allows the mud flap to be smaller and less obtrusive, further improving aerodynamic qualities around the rear of the machine
- New license plate holder and rear turn signals are quickly detachable for racing
- New LED tail light makes the bike more visible to motorists and provides the final styling flourish to the evocative Ninja design

Race-quality steering damper
- Adjustable Öhlins steering damper with relief valve and twin-tube design, developed specifically for the Ninja ZX-10R is fitted as standard equipment to ensure stable damping performance even under racing conditions

Advanced Electronic Instrumentation
- Instrument cluster uses UV-blocking glass, so the LED displays are brighter and easier to read
- Multifunction odometer, tripmeter, clock and lap timer/stopwatch

*Features and Specifications Subject to Change.


Quick, Affordable, Fuel Efficient, Easy to Ride and Great Looking

One look at the new Ninja 250R tells everyone that this bike is the genuine article. With a new full-fairing similar to the Ninja ZX-6R and -10R supersport bikes, a single kicked-up muffler, UNI-TRAK® rear suspension, high-performance petal disc brakes and a dual seat, this is the most stylish performer in its category.

Compact size, exceptional personality and a low price tag highlight Kawasaki's new Ninja® 250R quarter-liter performer. Considering how much fun it is to ride and the fact that it's the only 250cc sportbike sold in the U.S., it's no wonder the Ninja 250R has been a strong seller for over a decade. Its successful blend of a rider-friendly engine, easy-to-operate chassis and supersport styling worthy of its Ninja moniker, this model was developed to offer real world performance to riders of all skill levels and goes to show that good things do come in small packages.

At the core of the lightweight Ninja 250R is an engine that thrives on high-rpm excitement. The gutsy 249cc parallel twin has been retuned to spice up its smooth and predictable power delivery. It now offers more low- and mid-range torque thanks to revisions to its dual overhead camshafts and a new 2-into-1 exhaust system. A silky smooth six-speed transmission tops off the sportbike equipment list, enabling the 250R to exploit a powerband that's sure to please riders with its beginner friendly low-end grunt and a lively top-end rush that'll keep seasoned veterans satisfied. The coup de' grace, is its ability to deliver excellent fuel economy.

The 250R's new fairing and windscreen not only look great, they deliver improved wind protection for a wide range of riding situations. This lightweight sportbike is loaded with even more rider-friendly features such as an easy-to-read instrument panel and positive neutral finder.

A natural riding position and comfortable ergonomics combined with its lightweight handling, easy controllability and improved throttle response make the 250R a pleasure to ride on city streets. Also new for 2008 are larger 17-inch wheels that offer great handling and improved stability. A larger 290mm front brake rotor is gripped by a powerful 2-piston caliper to provide a healthy dose of stopping power with a responsive feel at the lever. Like Kawasaki's other sport models, the Ninja 250R is fitted with petal discs for efficient heat dissipation.

The simple formula of providing easy-handling agility, lightweight responsiveness, and low ownership costs make the Ninja 250R a force to be reckoned with in the entry-level sportbike category.

2008 Kawasaki Ninja® 250R Features and Benefits

DOHC 249cc Parallel Twin-cylinder Engine
* Compact parallel-twin design offers good mass centralization for superior handling
* Tuned to deliver smooth, step-free power with an emphasis on low- and mid-range power for rider-friendly response
* Pistons feature reinforced heads and strengthening in the pin boss area for increased durability
* Thick piston (longitudinally) rings help minimize oil consumption
* Combustion chamber design optimized to maximize combustion efficiency and reduce emissions
* Ample high-rpm performance will please riders using the full range of the engine

Cylinder head
* Refined intake and exhaust ports contribute to good off-idle response and smooth power delivery
* Valve timing and lift were designed for strong low- and mid-range torque
* Direct valve actuation ensures reliable high-rpm operability
* Valves with thin heads and stems reduce reciprocating weight

* Twin Keihin CVK30 carburetors fine-tuned for good power feel and low fuel consumption

Exhaust system
* 2-into-1 system contributes to the Ninja 250R's low- and mid-range torque and smooth, step-free power curve
* Slightly upswept silencer extensively tested to determine chamber size, connecting pipe length and diameter to achieve least noise and most power
* Meets strict emissions with dual catalyzers; one in the collector pipe and the other in the silencer
* Using two catalyzers minimizes the power loss
* Positioning the first catalyzer as close to the exhaust ports maximizes its efficiency as well

Reduced mechanical noise
* Cam chain tensioner with an automatic adjuster, like that on the KX450F motocrosser, eliminates mechanical noise caused by a loose cam chain and reduces power-robbing friction loss
* Silencing mechanical noise allows the use of a freer flowing exhaust for a better sound quality
* Complex construction with reinforcing ribs helps eliminate airbox reverberation and reduce intake noise
* Air filter accessible from the side, for easy replacement

Liquid Cooling
* Latest generation Denso radiator offers superior cooling with minimal space and weight
* Ring-fan uses a quiet-running motor that also saves space
* Fins on the lower side of the crankcase further helps cool the engine

Six-speed Transmission / Clutch
* Involute splines reduce friction and backlash between gears and shafts for easier gear meshing and smooth shifting under power
* Spring-type clutch damper reduces jerkiness at very low speeds and minimizes shocks when rolling on and off the throttle for a smoother clutch feel
* Paper-base friction plates help increase clutch durability

* Sturdy and durable diamond-style frame of thick-walled steel tubing offers confidence-inspiring stability at both high and low speeds
* Beefy swingarm bracket contributes to the frame's rigidity and helps achieve an ideal chassis stiffness balance
* Square-tube swingarm with a 60 x 30mm cross-section further adds to rigidity

* New 37mm telescopic front fork with firm settings contribute to the Ninja 250R's smooth, stable handling and enhanced ride control
* Uni-Trak rear suspension compliments the rigid frame and re-tuned fork and provides great road holding ability
* Rear shock features 5-way adjustable preload, enabling ride height to be maintained whether riding solo or with a passenger

Wheels / Tires
* Features 17" wheels like its larger supersport brothers
* Low-profile sportbike tires on wide rims contribute to its easy, neutral handling at low speeds

* Large-diameter, 290mm front petal disc and a balanced action two-piston caliper offers excellent braking performance and a natural, direct feeling at the lever
* Two-piston caliper grips the rear 220mm petal disc

* Natural riding position with slightly forward-slanting seat and wide, raised handlebars

* Styling matches its larger-displacement Ninja supersport siblings
* Fit and finish of striking full-fairing bodywork on par with that of top-class Ninja supersports
* Aggressive dual-lamp headlight design, slim tail cowl and separate seats further enhance the supersport look
* Front cowling and windscreen offer the rider a substantial amount of wind protection
* Two helmet holders conveniently located under the rear seat
* Under-seat storage can hold a U-lock or similar device
* Two hooks under the tail and the rear passenger pegs provide anchor points for securing items to the rear of the bike

* Instrument panel features an easy-to-read, large-face analog speedometer along with an analog tachometer, odometer, trip meter, fuel gauge and warning lights

2008 Kawasaki Ninja® 250R Specifications*

Engine: Four-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, parallel twin
Displacement: 249cc
Bore x stroke: TBD
Compression ratio: TBD
Maximum torque: TBD
Cooling: Liquid
Carburetion: Keihin CVK30 x 2
Ignition: TCBI with digital advance
Transmission: Six-speed
Final drive: O-ring chain
Frame: Semi-double cradle, high-tensile steel
Wheelbase: TBD
Rake / trail: TBD
Front suspension / wheel travel: 37mm hydraulic telescopic fork / TBD
Rear suspension / wheel travel: Uni-Trak® with aluminum linkage / TBD
Front tire: TBD
Rear tire: TBD
Front brake: Single 290mm hydraulic petal disc with two-piston caliper
Rear brake: Single 220mm petal disc with two-piston caliper
Overall length: TBD
Overall width: TBD
Overall height: TBD
Seat height: TBD
Dry weight: TBD
Fuel capacity: TBD
Color choices: Lime Green,
Passion Red,
Candy Plasma Blue
Warranty: 12 months
Wholesale distributor: Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A.
9950 Jeronimo Road
Irvine, California 92618
(949) 770-0400

*Specifications are subject to change.


A leaner, meaner and greener lightweight dual-sport machine

The fun doesn't have to stop at pavement boundaries when riding Kawasaki's street legal KLX™250S. This lightweight dual-purpose motorcycle is equally at home on the pavement or off-road and always ready for your next adventure. Now, thanks to significant updates that saw refinements made everywhere from its improved braking prowess to its aggressively styled bodywork, the KLX250S is more fun than ever.

A compact, liquid-cooled, four-stroke, single-cylinder engine displacing 249cc, the KLX250S features convenient electric-starting. The engine is mounted beneath a lightweight, high-tensile steel perimeter frame to deliver a low center of gravity and enhanced maneuvering on tight trails.
A gear-driven engine balancer means reduced engine vibration for greater comfort and less fatigue on longer rides. The 34mm semi-flat slide Keihin CVK carburetor boosts throttle response and contributes to improved power. It also helps to provide increased fuel economy. The addition of a new evaporative emissions system allows it to meet strict CARB regulations, making the KLX250S eligible for sale in all 50 states.

Further refinements appear in the transmission. Closer ratios between 5th and 6th gear enhance the KLX250S' high-speed off-road capabilities, while a reshaped shift cam offers a more positive shift feel and promotes firmer gear engagement.

The rigors of off-road motorcycling dictate additional protection for the exposed underside of most machines. The KLX250S comes standard with aluminum engine guards to protect its crankcase during off road adventures. Negotiating tight terrain also highlights another off-road reality - heat. The incorporation of dual lightweight, high-capacity Denso radiators and a shallow-footprint cooling fan is an ample solution to potential heat issues.

The rake was increased a degree to 27.5 to boost straight-line stability, which is further enhanced by the rigid square-section frame. Thanks to its short wheelbase, the stability improvements didn't sacrifice any of the 250S' outstanding nimbleness or turning aptitude. At the other end of the chassis, a new lightweight aluminum swingarm employs a highly-rigid D-shaped cross section and features new KX racing-type chain adjusters for precise chain adjustment.

For 2009, the KLX250S received revised damping settings and reduced wheel travel at both ends, plus an all-new rear suspension linkage. These modifications help to increase straight-line stability, give a more planted feel in corners and make it easier for riders to reach the ground. The 43mm inverted cartridge-style front fork and Uni-Trak® rear suspension both come with 16-way adjustable compression damping and offer 10.2-inches and 9.1-inches of travel, respectively.

New wheels feature 0.5mm thicker spokes for increased wheel rigidity and enhanced off-road durability. The KLX250S also offers upgraded stopping power from a twin-piston caliper and a 250mm semi-floating petal disc up front and a larger 240mm petal disc at the rear.
Finishing off this reworked package is a completely new set of aggressively styled bodywork, a re-shaped seat with firmer urethane, and a handlebar with a straighter profile.

The KLX250S offers serious capabilities in a fun, easy-to-ride package, regardless of where the adventure takes it. Riders seeking enduro handling and modern engine performance in a dual-purpose motorcycle designed for effortless street riding will find it at their local Kawasaki dealership.

2009 Kawasaki KLX™250S Specifications*

Engine: Four-stroke, Liquid-Cooled, DOHC, four-valve single
Displacement: 249cc
Bore x stroke: 72.0 x 61.2mm
Compression ratio: 11.0:1
Cooling: Liquid
Carburetion: Keihin CVK34
Ignition: Digital CDI
Transmission: Six-speed
Final drive: Chain
Frame: Semi-double cradle, high-tensile steel
Rake / trail: 27.5 degrees / 4.3 in.
Front suspension / wheel travel: 43mm Inverted Cartridge Fork with 16-Way Compression Damping Adjustment / 10.2 in.
Rear suspension / wheel travel: Uni-Trak® with Adjustable Preload, 16-Way Compression and Rebound Damping Adjustment / 9.1 in.
Front tire: 80/100x21
Rear tire: 100/100x18
Front brake: 250mm semi-floating petal disc with two-piston hydraulic caliper
Rear brake: 240mm petal disc with single-piston hydraulic caliper
Overall length: 87.5 in.
Overall width: 32.1 in.
Overall height: 47.1 in.
Ground clearance: 11.0 in.
Seat height: 34.8 in.
Dry weight: TBD
Fuel capacity: TBD
Wheelbase: 56.7 in.
Color choices: Lime Green, Sunbeam Red
MSRP: $4,899
Warranty: 12 months
Wholesale distributor: Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A.
9950 Jeronimo Road
Irvine, California 92618
(949) 770-0400

2009 Kawasaki KLX™250S Features and Benefits*
Single-cylinder 249cc DOHC Engine
- Compact engine design is lightweight and high revving, with a broad torque curve
- Good mass centralization for superior handling
- Flat-top piston and pentroof combustion chamber deliver an 11:1 compression ratio
- Lightweight piston, piston pin and connecting rod enable higher revs for maximum power
- Aluminum cylinder features electrofusion coating, which allows a tight piston-cylinder clearance for greater horsepower and offers increased engine life thanks to superior heat transfer and lubrication retention properties
- A gear-driven engine balancer provides smooth power delivery from idle to redline

Liquid Cooling
- Dual high-capacity, vertical-flow Denso radiators provide reliable and efficient engine cooling
- Radiators feature tightly packed cores and a fin design for excellent heat dispersion
- More consistent engine temperatures allow tighter engine clearances for quieter running and sustained power, while promoting longer engine life
- Cooling fan is powered by a shallow-footprint electric motor

Four Valve Cylinder Head
- Provides maximum valve area for optimum flow to boost low end torque while providing improved high-rpm breathing efficiency for more power

Revised carburetor settings
- 34mm semi-flat slide Keihin CVK carburetor delivers the optimum amount of fuel at all rpm, contributing to improved response and power, as well as good fuel economy
- Now available in California, thanks to new evaporative emissions system that meets strict CARB regulations

Electric Starting
- Quick and easy push-button starting
- Kawasaki Automatic Compression Release (KACR) automatically lifts one of the exhaust valves at cranking rpm, for reduced starting effort

Exhaust system
- Secondary air system helps provide clean emissions
- USFS-approved spark arrester allows the KLX250S to access designated off-road public riding areas

Updated Six-speed Transmission
- Allows engine's full potential to be used
- Provides excellent acceleration as well as relaxed highway cruising
- Gear ratios amended to set 6th gear closer to 5th for improved performance
- Revised shift cam offers better feeling and allows gears to click into place with more precision

Improved Inverted Front Forks
- 43mm inverted cartridge fork offers excellent rigidity and consistent damping performance
- Reduced travel to 10.2 in. for increased straight-line stability, improved handling in corners and a lower seat height
- 16-Way compression damping adjustment allows tuning for differences in rider weight or various terrain profiles

UNI-TRAK® Rear Suspension
- All new linkage and revised damping settings reduce front-rear pitching motions
- Rear wheel travel reduced to 9.1 in, for increased straight-line stability, improved handling in corners and a lower seat height
- Progressive linkage rate provides a smooth ride and excellent bottoming resistance
- Shock features 16-way adjustable compression damping

Diamond Frame
- Lightweight, high-tensile steel for amazing rigidity
- No down tubes for lower engine placement and lower center of gravity
- Still has ample ground clearance
- New lightweight, aluminum D-section swingarm is highly rigid and reduces unsprung weight
- New KX racing-type chain adjusters allow precise adjustment to minimize drivetrain power losses

Enhanced Ergonomics
- Revised handlebar is straighter and offers a more relaxed position and effortless control
- Footpegs are positioned close to the bike's centerline
- New seat shape and stiffer urethane makes it easier to change seating position

New Bodywork
- Aggressive new look courtesy of a new headlight and front fender design
- Two-piece radiator shrouds styled like the KX motocrossers
- Rear fender is a two-piece unit featuring a sharp tail light design that offers increased visibility and further contributes to the KLX's aggressive styling

Narrow Fuel Tank
- Narrow tank design gives riders maximum comfort and control

Digital instrumentation
- All-digital instrument console gives at-a-glance information that includes a digital bar-graph tachometer, digital speedometer, clock, and dual trip meters

Petal disc brakes
- Front and rear disc brakes offer impressive stopping performance
- Twin-piston caliper grips a 250 mm petal disc up front
- Increased rear brake control provided by a revised lever ratio, new pad material and different caliper
- 240mm rear petal disc is 20mm larger than the old model

- New 4.0mm spokes offer increased wheel rigidity for greater off-road durability
- Tires feature smaller blocks for longer tire life and increased grip on asphalt
*Features and Specifications are subject to change.

Source: Bikeland.org

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