We’ve had some early peeks at the Kawasaki ZX-25R sportbike, and it looks like a great bike but, sadly, it’s not scheduled for Canada, as far as we know. Pity, because this just-unveiled version of the bike looks particularly exciting.
Several Euro mags are showing photos of a track-optimized version of the bike sporting a ton of carbon-fibre. Fuel tank, fairings, seatpan/seat cowling, subframe, and swingarm cover are all carbon-fibre, there’s also a new windscreen, and new controls (rear-set footpegs, adjustable levers). The rear shock is upgraded to a fully-adjustable race-style unit, although the front forks are the same. And there’s a new NASSERT-R Evolution Type II exhaust (sourced from Beet Japan), and new Dunlop race tires.
There’s also word the high-revving four-cylinder 250 is supposed to make close to 50 hp, although the engine itself is allegedly unchanged.
Why go to all this trouble for an “entry-level” bike? Simple. While North Americans often poo-poo 250s (enlightened CMG readers aside, of course!), the quarter-litre class is considered more than enough power in other markets. In some places, it’s the biggest bike that riders can afford, due to insurance and licencing regulations. In other places, it’s the biggest bike that riders are allowed.
So Kawasaki built this screaming small-capacity sportbike, and now Kawi’s built a spec series around the bike, which was supposed to start in Japan this year. Of course, that may not happen (thanks again, COVID-19, you bastard!), but this bike is intended to promote that program. It also shows just how cool this platform is, so get used to it — hard as it may be to believe, bikes like this are a big part of the future of international roadracing.