Just when we thought the 250 wars were over, the interwebz rumours are suggesting otherwise.
Kawasaki abandoned their long-running Ninja 250 series in 2012 when they announced they were building a Ninja 300 (developing markets still get a small-bore 250 version of the bike). Then, Honda announced they were replacing the CBR250 with a CBR300 (although we don’t know yet if that bike is coming to North America).
But just when we thought the quarter-litre segment was once again falling from grace, a couple of Asian media outlets are suggesting otherwise.
Japanese mag Young Machine is reporting Yamaha is about to release their R25 sportbike. This twin-cylinder 250 project has been in the background for a while – Yamaha has been keeping their cards very close to the vest on this one – every once in a while we learn a bit more about it, or see a concept bike, but details are slow to emerge.
Now, Young Machine has published a bunch of photos of the R25 in a recent issue. Could it be just around the corner? Fans of the Dawn to Dusk Rally can only hope …
But what about Kawasaki? Team Green looked like they were torpedoing the 250 segment when they released the Ninja 300, but TMC Blog says they are now working on a new quarter-litre machine. Sadly, we don’t have a great grasp of Indonesian, so we can’t decipher the article for you, and Google Translate seems a bit useless as well.
However, the little bit we can figure out seems to indicate they reckon Kawasaki is planning to build a new single-cylinder 250 sportbike. If true, it would be a smart move; many buyers in developing markets would love to own a Ninja, but simply don’t have the dosh (or lakh, or dong, or rand, or birr, or whatever) to spring for a water-cooled 300 cc twin. A Keep-It-Simple-Stupid bike built to low specs could keep the price down, and allow Kawasaki to dominate in markets where manufacturers are selling bikes in the hundreds of thousands, instead of hundreds.
It’s hard to imagine them importing the machine to Canada, though, when sales of the Ninja 300 were reportedly very strong in 2013.
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