If you’re in the market for the hottest 250cc four-cylinder in town, then you need to get your finances sorted and head to the Kawasaki New Zealand website.

Yep, pre-orders are now open for the Ninja ZX-25R, the new inline 4-cylinder, DOHC, 250cc sportsbike that has a bonkers 17,000rpm redline and a claimed output of somewhere above 50hp. We haven’t seen anything like this since the heady days of the eighties where kids dreamed of owning the latest and greatest 250, with bedrooms adorned with pictures of the Honda CBR250R, Suzuki GSX-R250, Yamaha FZR250 and Kawasaki’s own ZXR250. Back in those days all the major manufacturers had small, high-performance four-cylinder 250cc machines, some revving as high as 20,000rpm and every young rider wanted one!

A couple of fast fellas (Alex Lowes and Jonathan Rea) took the ZX-25R for a spin on the track…

Jump forward to the crazy year that is 2020 and Kawasaki have re-entered the segment, with the family resemblance showing the ZX-25R shares many of the same DNA as the popular ZX-6R and ZX-10R.

The mini version, which is to be produced in Indonesia, features an engine which is mounted in a tubular steel trellis frame much like the flagship H2, and there’s a sexy set of Showa SFF Big Piston forks at the front. This is certainly a machine the engineers have designed to provide maximum excitement in a small package, and it’s certainly not lacking in spec.

The Big Piston forks are fully adjustable, there’s horizontal backlink adjustable rear suspension, quickshifter, ABS, power modes, traction control, aluminium swingarm, high-tensile steel chassis developed with learnings from the Ninja H2, monobloc caliper radially mounted dual piston front brakes, 6 speed transmission and that visceral sounding inline 4 engine that screams to over 17,000rpm.

We think you’ll find most at the racetrack, but it should also be a blast on the roads!

Obviously, with this sort of spec Kawasaki aren’t expecting this is be purchased by your typical 250cc owner, especially as the ZX-25R will be far outside of the LAMS requirements making it unavailable for learners to ride. Instead, this new 250 will likely appeal to riders looking for something light and rev-happy for the race track, or for riders from the eighties who lusted after the fastest quarter-litre sportsbike but were never in a position to get one. 

Pre-orders are now available from your Kawasaki dealer for $15,990 + ORC with delivery scheduled for December 2020, so visit www.kawasaki.co.nz/locate-dealer/ if you want to have the hottest 250 in town.

We can’t wait to hear one scream!