2008 Kawasaki Ninja Review


The Kawasaki Ninja is a range of sport bikes that have been produced by the company since 1984. For the 2008 model year, six different Ninja models were produced ranging in size and power. The six 2008 Kawasaki Ninja models are the Ninja 250R, Ninja 500R, Ninja 650R, Ninja ZX-6R, Ninja ZX-10R, and the Ninja ZX-14. The 2008 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14 is the flagship, and most powerful, bike produced by Kawasaki for that year.

With the launch of the 2008 line of bikes, Kawasaki introduced the new 2008 Kawasaki Ninja 250R, which was previously sold as the EX250. The Ninja 250R is in a class of its own as a sport bike with a 250cc engine. It fits into the gap that riders meet when they have outgrown their 125cc bike, but aren’t ready for the larger half-liter ones available. The Ninja 250R has a new fairing so that it looks like the ZX-10R and ZX-14, a comfortable riding position, and new suspension, muffler, and brakes to provide excellent handling.

The 498cc, liquid-cooled, inline twin, four-stroke engine found on the 2008 Kawasaki Ninja 500R provides predictable power and quick acceleration making even beginner riders feel confident. With a half-liter engine, there is plenty of power for riders to expand their skills, as well as keeping experienced riders happy. Its light weight and compact design mean that the Ninja 500R handles excellently, and is a good choice for those looking for both a day-to-day bike as well as one that can be taken for longer rides on the weekend.

The goal behind the design of the 2008 Kawasaki Ninja 650R was versatility by combining sport bike performance with a cutting edge chassis design and comfortable seating position. When the bike was designed, the team focused on the rider, not the bike to come up with a sport bike that has a much broader rider appeal. Narrower footpegs, low seat height, and easy to use controls were all a part of this rider-centric design. Its compact 649cc engine helps keep the design tighter, and provides plenty of power and handling for everyday traffic, as well as letting loose on the highway.

The 2008 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R is a winner on the track, and the same design features also make it a favorite of riders on the street. The street legal model handles well, takes corners quickly, and has plenty of power when the throttle is opened up. The bike was completely retuned for the 2007 model release, and remains unchanged for the 2008 model year with the powerful 599cc engine, which was designed to produce minimal internal friction. This makes the engine more responsive, and allows riders to make modifications when cornering with the slightest throttle adjustments.

The design team aimed to create a sport bike that was capable of impressing professional racers, while also including street bike qualities for mainstream riders, which was how the 2008 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R was developed. For the launch of the 2008 model lineup, the Ninja ZX-10R is an all-new bike with a new engine at its heart. The engine has been re-tuned for improved high rpm performance. The exhaust system is completely new making it more efficient, plus is quieter and produces fewer emissions. The chassis has been completely redesigned so the Ninja ZX-10R not only looks different but handles that much better.

The 2008 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14 dominates on the track, and adjustments made to the bike mean that it meets stringent noise and emissions standards for road riding. Even though changes were made to meet the standards, this did not reduce the power provided by the 1398cc engine. In fact, the 2008 model has an even more powerful engine. Similarly to the Ninja ZX-10R, the Ninja ZX-14 also had a new exhaust system, and the chassis has been redesigned to improve the look and feel of the sport bike.

New For 2008

  • The Ninja 250R is a new bike for 2008 and is equipped with a new full fairing, UNI-TRAK rear suspension, petal disc brakes, a single kicked-up muffler, and a dual seat. The 2008 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R is an all-new bike with a significant change in its exterior design, as well as new retuned engine and new exhaust system. The engine of the 2008 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14 has been tuned to meet stringent standards as well as improve its power. A new exhaust system and chassis design are found on the 2008 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14.

2008 Kawasaki Ninja Specs

  • Model: Ninja 250R; Ninja 500R; Ninja 650R; Ninja ZX-6R; Ninja ZX-10R; Ninja ZX-14 Engine Type: 249cc, four-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, parallel twin; 498cc, four-stroke, DOHC, parallel twin; 649cc, four-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, four-valve per cylinder, parallel twin; 599cc, four-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, four valves per cylinder, inline-four; 998cc, four-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, four valves per cylinder, inline-four; 1352cc, four-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, four valve per cylinder, inline-four Bore and Stroke: 62 x 41.2 mm; 74 x 58 mm; 83 x 60 mm; 67 x 42.5 mm; 76 x 55 mm; 84 x 61 mm Compression ratio: 11.6:1; 10.8:1; 11.3:1; 13.3:1; 12.7:1; 12.0:1 Valve Train: N/A Induction: N/A Ignition: TCBI with Digital Advance; Digital CDI; TCBI with digital advance; TCBI with digital advance and Kawasaki Ignition Management System (KIMS); TCBI with Digital Advance Transmission: Six-speed Final Drive: O-ring chain; Chain; O-ring Chain; X-Ring Chain; Chain; X-Ring Chain Fuel Capacity: 4.8 gallons; 4.1 gallons; 4.5 gallons; 5.8 gallons Estimated Fuel Economy: N/A Brakes (Front): Single 260 mm hydraulic disc with two-piston caliper; Hydraulic disc; Dual 300 mm Petal Disc with two-Piston Caliper; Dual 300 mm petal-type rotors with four-piston, four-pad calipers; Dual semi-floating 310 mm petal discs with dual four-piston radial-mount calipers; Dual semi-floating 310 mm petal discs with dual radial-mounted four-piston calipers Brakes (Rear): Single 220 mm petal disc with two-piston caliper; Disc; Single 220 mm Petal Disc with hydraulic caliper; Single 210 mm petal-type rotor with single-piston caliper; Single 220mm petal disc with single-piston aluminum caliper; Single 250mm petal disc with twin-piston caliper Suspension (Front): 37 mm hydraulic telescopic fork; 41 mm hydraulic telescopic fork; 41 mm inverted cartridge fork with top-out springs, stepless rebound damping, stepless compression damping, fully-adjustable spring preload; 43 mm inverted fork with DLC coating, adjustable rebound and compression damping, spring preload adjustability and top-out springs; 43mm inverted cartridge fork with adjustable preload, stepless rebound and compression damping adjustments Suspension (Rear): Bottom-link Uni-Trak with five-way adjustable preload; UNI-TRAK system with single shock; Single offset laydown shock with adjustable spring preload; Bottom-Link Uni-Trak® with gas-charged shock, top-out spring and pillow ball upper mount, dual-range (high/low-speed) stepless compression damping, 25-way adjustable rebound damping, fully-adjustable spring preload; Uni-Trak® with top-out spring, stepless, dual-range (high/low-speed) compression damping, stepless rebound damping, fully adjustable spring preload; Bottom-Link Uni-Trak® and gas-charged shock with adjustable preload, stepless rebound and compression damping adjustments, adjustable ride height Wheelbase: 54.7 inches; 56.5 inches; 55.5 inches; 55.3 inches; 55.7 inches; 57.5 inches Rake: 26 degrees; 27 degrees; 25 degrees; 25.5 degrees; 23 degrees Trail: 3.3 inches; 3.6 inches; 4.2 inches; 4.3 inches; 4.3 inches; 93 mm Seat Height: 30.7 inches; 30.5 inches; 31.1 inches; 32.3 inches; 32.7 inches; 31.5 inches Curb Weight: 333 lbs.; 388 lbs.; 393 lbs.; 368 lbs.; 394 lbs.; 485 lbs. Tires (Front): 110/70-17; 110/70-17 tubeless; 120/70-17; 120/70-ZR17; 120/70 ZR17; 120/70 ZR17 Tires (Rear): 130/70-17; 130/70-17 tubeless; 160/60-17; 180/55-ZR17; 190/55 ZR17; 190/50 ZR17


  • Factory Effex EV-R Series complete graphic kit to customize the bike Factory Effex pre-cut clear protector kit Sportech Shadow Series Windscreen

Key Competitors For The 2008 Kawasaki Ninja

  • Suzuki GS Yamaha FZ Suzuki SV