The dramatic new styling isn't the only improvement to the '08 model. According to Karl Edmondson, Kawasaki's sportbike product manager, over 70 percent of the engine was updated. I noticed smoother power delivery in the low end and midrange, and a burst of power above 9000 rpm. Experienced riders may find themselves wanting a bit more, but the littlest Ninja definitely gets up to speed quickly enough to put a smile on your face. The transmission is extremely smooth, as is the clutch engagement, and the lever is easy to pull-a relief if you have small hands like I do. That makes in-town riding much more enjoyable, preventing a new rider from fatiguing his or her underdeveloped motorcycle muscles.