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What is a fair OTD price for a Ninja 250?

13907 Views 33 Replies 21 Participants Last post by  The_AirHawk
Quick scan on the SF Bay area Craig's List; '05=$2950, '05=$3000, '07=$3000, '03=$2300.

I enjoyed your well written post btw.
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You should not have to pay more than the list price, plus tax and license. Possibly a 'set-up' (profit) fee of a couple hundred bucks too. List is $2999. You should be out the door for $3400 or less, depending upon TX tax and license fees. Sometimes you can find 'em marked down a couple hundred $ if they are previous model year (only the graphics will be different). You might be able to negotiate the 'set-up' fee too. You may not want to stick it to your dealer, but they obviously have no qualms about sticking it to you. Find another...
Funny you should ask as I just bought a 2007 Ninja 250 for my wife. The dealer started at $3100 out the door. My final price was $2900 out the dealer's door. My sales tax was $203, paid at the RMV, So the total paid to get on the road was $3103. There is not much in the bike, profit-wise.

It is dealers like you have discussed above, that ruin the industry. They try and make a month's profit from each sale. Go elsewhere, as any dealer that quotes a price this high will continue to screw you down the road, on tune ups, accessories, etc. other thing: Publish the dealers name so we-all can avoid them too!
Don't give up on looking for a used one. I picked up a used 99 for my kids last year from the original owner for $900. watching Craigslist every day worked for me. I am still quite impressed with the little ninja. Quite a fun MC to toss around and it gets awesome fuel mileage
I don't know what state you're in, but if you're anywhere near CA you might try one of the internet dealers in Los Angeles. I got a great deal on my R-1 (Beat by $500 the best I could get in San Francisco) and they shipped it to me for $150.

Check it out.
Welcome to the world of used motorcycles. Last year the prices of used motorcycles skyrocketed because of the blip in gasoline prices. Apparently this shyster dealer is trying to keep this going. However if you look at Kawasaki's website you will see that MSRP for a new Ninja 250 is $2999.

Find another dealer. This guy's a crook and as earthspirit pointed out undoubtedly his service department will be just as crooked.
My wife bought an '05 model last year, it had languished all summer at a Honda dealer after the original owner traded it in on a CBR. OTD price for a 1-year old bike with 1200 miles and no flaws: $2400. Keep searching for a good used one, somebody's got one their {wife, girlfriend, self} isn't riding.
Don't waste your money buying a brand new one of these. Although as you will be able to see from any CraigsList scan they hold their value well, the model hasn't changed in any appreciable way in 20 years. They hold up very well; they're very simple bikes. Buy a '99 for 1500. So it'll have a ding or two, who cares, it'll still look fine and it'll run as good as a new one. They are great bikes, and lots of fun, I owned one for a while and had no problem keeping up with friends. Go to for your fan club/advice forum.
I've got to say it's quite refreshing to see a post from someone who doesn't want to start out on a full blown sportbike! The 250 Ninja, IMHO, is almost a perfect starter bike; good handling, decent power, and outstanding fuel economy (insurance is cheap too). If you have to have new, go in armed with the knowledge of MSRP and make the dealer an offer where he doesn't lose money and you don't get screwed. If the guy won't come off of the high horse, find another dealer. I agree with the post above regarding his service department. Talk to other riders in the area and see if they've had bad experiences with them. I really think your best bet will be to go used. Last year, I purchased two of these bikes for $3200 in San Antonio, TX, from a private owner. A 2000 model with just over 2,000 miles and a 2002 with 63 miles on the odometer. The '02 had a rusty tank because they let it sit for four years with no fuel in it. I had to replace it with a used tank from Ebay. It also had a bad wobble caused by a front tire that separated from sitting for four years with no air in it. After all was said and done, I estimate I spent around $3,600 for two excellent little bikes that I have a blast riding. You've just got to look carefully and be patient; the deals are out there.
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F those prices, they're only $3000 MSRP new, and last year there were factory rebates!

--The Fox
Call Kawasaki City in Irving, Texas

For years, they've posted their out the door price on all bikes. Believe me, they've got the best prices in Texas. Most dealers will, reluctantly, match their price if you say, "Well this is what I can buy it for at Kawasaki City".
$4100 for a $2999 bike?

Ok, here's what you do; Kick the sales manager in the **** and go to another dealer.

You might need to be a bit patient, but there are good used Kawi 250s out there.

I'm guessing you've already been on Craigslist and Cycle Trader?

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Not true. You cannot get a 250 OTD for the MSRP or below.
I have bought two Ninja 250's new in TX. You should be able to get one OTD for $3400 or so. They sell like hot cakes and that is why you won't get one at or below MSRP like many others think you should. Not to mention the riding season in TX is basically year-round.

I would also suggest you find a nice used one. It may take some time but you will save some money.
They advertised rebates on the company website last year from mid season to late season.

My post isn't critical on new prices, I am critical of the used prices in SF Craigslist. $2900 is high for a used one, when if I pay MSRP on new I'll book out no higher than $3230 - MSRP + 10% sales tax and $200 in fees.

For a discount of $330 (and honestly, it isn't even that because I still have to go title and license it, as well as pay tax) on a 5 year old model, it makes no sense. So F those used prices; I'd wait for a better deal.

--The Fox
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Buy used. You will grow out of this bike real soon. Or you do what I did buy a new 600 super sport and just be careful and practice all of those MSF drills in a nice big parking lot. Especially important is the braking drill. Seriously, I would buy a used bike for your first bike.. You are going to hit with all of that first year depreciation if you buy new. Although the little Ninja is a good bike there are other nice first bikes like the Ninja 500, Suzuki GS500, 650 SV etc.
kpaul sez buy used.
I should have mentioned that I'm a reasonably experienced rider. My other bikes are a Ducati ST4s, Ducati 900SS, Triumph Daytona 675, BMW R90S, BMW F650GS and a Honda VFR750.

Yes, it may look like a bad case of Multiple Bike Disorder but I'm getting better, really. Just one more bike and I can quit. I'm in control. I'm in denial.

So why would I want the little Ninja? I've done the litre-bike thing and it was somewhat fun but mostly... enlightening. I had a 999S and thought the world of it, took it to a couple of track days, and then sold it. Even my other sport bikes are too much for the street (well, maybe not the 900SS but it's a close call.)

I may be a slow learner but I do eventually, gradually and often through great pain and expense, learn. The smaller bikes are simply more fun. Riding the 999S at 10% of its ability is absolute agony. The Daytona, as much as I admire it, is still agonizing on my daily commute. With traffic I'm lucky to get one good corner out of the whole trip. I don't treat the streets like my personal racetrack but I do have a need to enjoy the motorcycle. And before anyone jumps in-- I keep a good 1/2" chicken strip on my tires when street riding so I'm not pushing it. I consider myself a reasonably mature rider without anything resembling a multiple-bike problem. Remember, I'm in denial.

I've had three SV650s over the years and they are great bikes and truly more fun on the street than anything in my current stable except maybe the 900SS.

Yea, verily, I have seen the light. Having test-driven a Ninja 250 my eyes are open and I see this motorcycle as a way to enjoy riding even on my work commute without risking life, limb and license. I don't expect to outgrow it and instead hope to revel by pushing it closer to its limits.

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Re: Call Kawasaki City in Irving, Texas

I checked their web page and they are more than $500 less than the price quoted here.

"It's more fun to ride a Slow Bike Fast, than a Fast Bike Slow." That's the motto of the Slow Motorcycle Action Resemblance Team (S.M.A.R.T.).

Welcome to the Club, Brother!

We're opposed only by the Club that has the "It's better to ride a Fast Bike FAST, than do ANYTHING on a Slow Bike" motto - the Daredevil Ultimate Meteoric Motorcycle Yeomen (D.U.M.M.Y.).

These guys think 25hp bikes make good starter-motors................
I'm very happy for all you guys who have bought clean used bikes for great prices and think everyone should do the same. But that's not for everyone, for a couple of reasons.

First, buying a used bike is a lot of work. Last spring my son wanted to buy a motorcycle, and his budget was $2000. I would have preferred that he start with something like a 350 dual sport, and would have been thrilled to find a clean Ninja 250. We passed up a nice XT350 the previous fall because he couldn't make up his mind.

So we spent months scouring the net and responding to ads, and finally spent an entire Saturday driving about 150 miles to look at bikes that had just been sold or were in much worse shape than advertised. Late in the day we checked out the last bike on the list, a very clean 86 CB700C Nighthawk for $1800.

It's a nice bike at a nice price, but it isn't what I would have picked. And I'd say I put enough hours into that purchase to just about make up the difference of what a new Ninja 250 would have cost. If that's your idea of hobby, fine, but to me it's just work.

Second, I realize there's no accounting for taste, but most previous years of Ninja 250 have color schemes that were clearly intended to make them appeal to girls. It doesn't bother me a bit to ride around on a little bike, but I'd prefer it not have pink wheels.
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