Video: Kawasaki Ninja ZX-25R vs. Jerez

The ZX-4R would be built around this ZX-25R design, but with more engine capacity.

Japan is still building bikes, and one of the most interesting machines to come out this year is the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-25R. A quarter-litre pocket rocket with a screaming-high 17,000 rpm redline, aimed at the real mass market of motorcyclists (the developing world)? Sounds like a game changer.

And now you can, in fact, hear what that game changer sounds like, as a couple of jockeys have taken the ZX-25R for a spin around Jerez, with some marketspeak spliced in. Hey, it’s how this business works, so just listen to them complimenting the bike awkwardly, and then enjoy the in-flight footage.


  1. See, I just don’t get why in the great Kawasaki tradition, they didn’t make this new bike in a Triple ! More torque and i bet it would sound delicious 🙂 i feel the same way about the 400 ninja BTW. I think Kawi is missing out on some capitalization of their own fine history with that. It would be cheaper as well than a 4-cylinder i expect. I do though truly hope they bring it to North America,, Come on Kawi,, win me back !

    • IMO, this bike is a proper shout out to the ZXR-250, which had a significant run (’88-’99 in Japan and as late as 2004 in Malaysia). The ZXR-250R Sports Production was an absolute beast of a thing with a 19k RPM rev limit. I don’t think we’ll see a 4-stroke Kawi triple since Triumph plays in that area.

  2. What a great little track bike. 250 national series. I want one for the street. Hope Kawasaki brings it to the states.

  3. I was recently in Costa Rica and noticed that all of the locals were riding 150 cc singles. So I went into a Yamaha dealer to see why. The 150 cc Yamaha was equivalent of $4,000 US, the Yamaha MT-03 was $12,000 US!! In many other markets the cutoff from regular bike to “luxury” bike is 250 cc. So a 250, 4 cylinder would be significantly cheaper to buy and to operate than the Ninja 400. I know this is shocking but it is not about the first world all the time, even though we boomers think it should be. And we are the arbiters of good taste and style as well, who cares about the research done in Asia, where they sell up to 100 times (or more) as many small bikes as North America. It should still be about us. The ultimate generation of navel gazers. C

  4. Good marketing varies from location to location. That video might be more effective in their domestic market than our market. The push start may be in reference to the starts common in racing decades ago. Don’t slag the bike too much. It will sell in other parts of the world. It could be a great bike for riders with less experience and disposable income.

  5. It’s odd that they suggest this bike is aimed at “the developing world”. This definitely NOT a developing world machine! On the other hand, it’s also not a Great White North machine. Other than that niggle, it’s a nice bit of engineering fluff, but totally pointless in today’s market.

    • SE Asian nations have enormous import taxes, bikes manufactured in the region won’t have that tax. I’m not up to date with the agreements SE nations have with one another, but they have trade deals so the bike can be sold in neighbouring countries without the enormous import tax Japanese bikes have. To help give you some perspective on the Import taxes in that region, a 10-year old GSX750 is about 13.000 CAD. I think this little ripper will be a hit. Even more so if it’s exported to India or Europe. Bike manufacturers want in with the growing middle-class in the Asian region and it’s enormous. North America just isn’t what it used to be for sales.

  6. I agree pushing the bike to get it going was a really stupid mistake. Makes one think 1st gear is to tall or the bike is as gutless as all the other 250s already out there….
    I really like the idea of this inline four.
    And I hope that there is some eye opening punch when the revs get up there. As in a power band ……
    A flat power curve is NOT what we want.
    Unfortunately the short video showed and sounded like a slow rev to red line.
    This would be a massive mistake…..

  7. So here we arrive back in the 1980’s again with ultra high rpm inline 4’s in the 250 displacement segment. Don’t get me wrong this is a good thing on the previous generation they didn’t land on North American soil, this is a opportunity not to be ignored.
    Light, compact, and reliable, a machine that can be utilized to near 100% on the street. A piped version of this would sing hauntingly through the twisty roads of rural freedom. This is the ultimate second motorcycle, a personal riders choice for oneness with the asphalt.
    Do not exclude yourself from this bliss as I did several years back, regrettably I often think of “ what if” instead of knowing I had worked out my best moments of sport riding on my favorite roads.
    The price of finding your limits probably won’t be cheap but the satisfaction of carving up a lengthy combination of esses, decreasing radius’s, and pin point braking will keep you warm into your golden years.

  8. Do you guys know something we don’t about availability, seeing that you post this on a Canadian site? As much as it is cool, I think it would be a hard sell in Canada for the price they would need for it.

    • We have not heard that it’s coming here, nor have we heard it isn’t. But I expect the next great sportbike wars to be in the high-revving 250 segment.

  9. Probably not a great idea to imply the bike needs to be pushed to get going (0:40) when you are marketing a small capacity bike.
    I do like the idea of a modern inline four 250. It’s just too bad Kawasaki doesn’t know how to make a good looking bike.

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