In 1983, the motorcycle division of Kawasaki Heavy Industries began the production of an icon. The research and development team possessed high hopes, but no one could have foreseen its future popularity. For the design team, it was initially categorized as new model GPZ900R. To the public, this bike would become known as the Kawasaki Ninja, and would enter its first sales year in 1984. Over 20 years later, the 2005 Kawasaki Ninja serves as an impressive lineup of two-wheeled warriors. From the flagship Ninja 250R – EX250, to the Hypersport Ninja ZX-12R, boasting 1200cc of power pumping from an impressively smooth four cylinder, 2005 served as an excellent production year for the Kawasaki Ninja. There are eight available models:
- 2005 Kawasaki Ninja 250R – EX250
- 2005 Kawasaki Ninja 500R – EX500
- 2005 Kawasaki Ninja ZZR600
- 2005 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R
- 2005 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6RR
- 2005 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R
- 2005 Kawasaki ZZR12002005 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-12R
And the lineup offered something for everyone, whether it's the track specialist looking for maximum speed, or the daily commuter looking to save as much money as possible at the pump.
The 2005 base model, Kawasaki Ninja 250R, is a near-perfect motorcycle for beginning riders, riders who are looking to score a great bike on a budget, or enthusiasts who want a bike that is as fuel efficient as it is good looking. Kawasaki cut no corners in building out the chassis of the 2005 250R. This model is an example of the production line developed in 1997, with a few changes in paint schemes. The 248cc parallel twin serves as a capable power plant, allowing this bike to reach highway speeds, while also scoring over 70 mpg on average. The 6-speed transmission keeps the engine workload at moderate levels.
Where the 2005 Ninja 250R really impresses is in its handling. Weighing in at a mere 304 lbs., this sport bike is nimble, maneuverable, and handles similar to some of the world's finest superbikes. It turns tight, smooth, and is devoid of rattles, clunks, suspension dumps, and other annoyances that are often found in entry-level sport cycles. The Kawasaki Ninja 250R gets off the line relatively quickly, and rolls smoothly within traffic. Riders in cities like Los Angeles (where lane splitting is permitted), will love the lean nature of this Ninja, as it slices its way through standstill traffic with ease.
Because of its budget-friendly nature, it might be expected that the looks of the Kawasaki Ninja 250R would suffer. Perhaps the slight detraction of the bike is found in the uninspired rear fairing and exhaust. However, when it comes to the bottom line, this bike is worth every penny, could have easily been priced for more, and is still a head turner. For the beginner rider who has to have a sport bike, there's an excellent chance the Ninja will be a perfect fit.