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Original Article:
2008 Kawasakis: First Look

Please discuss the Motorcycle.com article 2008 Kawasakis: First Look in our Motorcycle Forums below. Use the reply button to let others know your comments or feedback on the article. Constructive criticism is always appreciated, along with your thoughts and personal opinions on the bikes and products we have tested.
 

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Nice! Performance updates aside, Kawi seems to listening:

A return to japanese 250 sportbike that looks the part. Hopefully, more newbies learn on 250R's to bigger sportbikes now and still feel cool. Hope it sells well.

The ZX-14's new paint alone make it's look less like a plastic blob... my only complaint of a stellar piece of absurdly powerful technology. Nice visual update.
 

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I know Superbikes and streetbikes are different animals but kudos to Kawi. Maybe Hacker can see a few race wins next year with the ZX10. Good going guys.
 

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250R Front Tire...

IN the photos, its a 110/70r17 front (a IRC Road Winner RX-01F), so the front is a 110/70R17, not a 120/70R17.

If you have the original of the side profile photos (the ~8 Megapixel versions Kawasaki PR sent you) you can probably check the rear tire as well.
 

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The Toad
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Sorry, I just don't like the George Foreman Grill look of the ZX-14.

But I like them offering improved 250s in both street and DP modes. I hope these sell well.

And kudos for a side exhaust on the ZX-10. Maybe this under-the-seat craze is over. Perhaps they'll see the light someday and ditch the obsolete chains for a modern belt drive design.

BTW, mscuddy. Notice the change back to pressed components on the ZX-10. The more things change the more they stay the same, eh? Maybe the next "new" design will look like a Benley.
 

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Now, even the littlest Ninja looks Deadly. Hopefully, the new +1mm forks will work better than the screendoor-closers Kawi had it saddled-with before.
 

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Nice! Performance updates aside, Kawi seems to listening:

A return to japanese 250 sportbike that looks the part. Hopefully, more newbies learn on 250R's to bigger sportbikes now and still feel cool. Hope it sells well.

The ZX-14's new paint alone make it's look less like a plastic blob... my only complaint of a stellar piece of absurdly powerful technology. Nice visual update.
+1. Kawi seems to be in the "zone" Honda used to own. Solid products, the right new models, excellent pricing. Go Green!
 

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The Toad
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I was commuting home....

Imagine if the Ninja 250 was a two-stroke!

Great little bike though. Hopefully it will keep the youngsters from buying a ZX10 as their first bike.
.... one day a couple of years ago on the Harbor Fwy doing around 75 in the carpool lane. This was before the Governator screwed up the carpool lanes by allowing every envro-wacko an exemption and filled them up so that they are as slow as the regular lanes. I heard a loud bike behind me turning about 50,000 rpm and lo and behold it was some guy on a Ninja 250. As we got further south and the traffic cleared up some I pushed it to 85 and that little freak was still blaring along trying to pass me. Well, I finally let him because I decided that 90 mph was fast enough for me. I'd have loved one of those things when I was a teenager.
 

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IN the photos, its a 110/70r17 front (a IRC Road Winner RX-01F), so the front is a 110/70R17, not a 120/70R17.

If you have the original of the side profile photos (the ~8 Megapixel versions Kawasaki PR sent you) you can probably check the rear tire as well.
As a followup:

a) Fix the article. Its a 110/70R17 front, you can see for yourself in the photo of the front.

b) Could someone please post the original side profile photos that Kawasaki sent you? This probably has enough resolution to get the rear.

As a edit/followup: cycleworld reports that the rear is 130/70R17
 

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.... one day a couple of years ago on the Harbor Fwy doing around 75 in the carpool lane. This was before the Governator screwed up the carpool lanes by allowing every envro-wacko an exemption and filled them up so that they are as slow as the regular lanes. I heard a loud bike behind me turning about 50,000 rpm and lo and behold it was some guy on a Ninja 250. As we got further south and the traffic cleared up some I pushed it to 85 and that little freak was still blaring along trying to pass me. Well, I finally let him because I decided that 90 mph was fast enough for me. I'd have loved one of those things when I was a teenager.
I used to ride on the freeway on my friend's Honda XL100 with the throttle pinned. It could hit 65 with a tailwind!
 

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Yeah, Kawasaki is making some great bikes right now. I really like the Vulcan 900 custom, the Ninja 650, and the Versys.

The new Ninja 250 looks great, but what the bike really needs is fuel injection. That's invaluable for commuters in cold weather.

The ZX-14r is righteous! So much more comfortable than other sportbikes, and so sexy!
 

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On KLX250S:
"It's nice to see a relatively little-talked about bike get refinements like these."

Depends on where you go. The '06 and '07 KLX's were very much talked about in Dual Sport circles. Very popular bikes at events. Not sure how the suspension reduction will go over, though. Small people will like it, experienced riders will get something else.

They missed the boat by not using EFI like the '08 Yamaha WR's.
 

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Well, the original plan was to phase out the 500 after the 650R was produced. But they are now on their third year with the 650R and the 500 is still in their line up, so it is hard to say.

The 500 did get a new color scheme, which at first doesn't sound like much, but if you remember the previous color schemes it is much appreciated.

I couldn't imagine that the 500 is anywhere close to being expensive to produce considering it has been unchanged for years. How much could some updated styling and minor tweaks cost at this point?
 

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Aging Cafe` Racer
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.... one day a couple of years ago on the Harbor Fwy doing around 75 in the carpool lane. This was before the Governator screwed up the carpool lanes by allowing every envro-wacko an exemption and filled them up so that they are as slow as the regular lanes. I heard a loud bike behind me turning about 50,000 rpm and lo and behold it was some guy on a Ninja 250. As we got further south and the traffic cleared up some I pushed it to 85 and that little freak was still blaring along trying to pass me. Well, I finally let him because I decided that 90 mph was fast enough for me. I'd have loved one of those things when I was a teenager.
I got behind some guy on an RD400 a few years ago on the Trophy, (probably Buzz)...I could here this thing wailing along about 15k rpm with open expansion chambers from 1/2 a mile behind. I followed him for a couple of miles 'cause it sounded so cool I was chuckling away watching all these cagers trying figure out what the hell was going on
 

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I got behind some guy on an RD400 a few years ago on the Trophy, (probably Buzz)...I could here this thing wailing along about 15k rpm with open expansion chambers from 1/2 a mile behind. I followed him for a couple of miles 'cause it sounded so cool I was chuckling away watching all these cagers trying figure out what the hell was going on
I have a feeling at 15k the RD would be spewing parts at you. It was 7.5k but since it's a two stroke it sounds like 15k!
 
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