I have been riding my 2002 Ninja 250 for about 9 months now. My other motorcycle is a 1973 R75/5 BMW (750 cc). I have owned the BMW for almost 30 years. Since I started riding the Ninja, the BMW has been sitting.
To dispel a few common comments that seem unfounded to me, I have set forth my experience on my 250 Ninja:
1. I am 6 foot and 200 + pounds; and the Ninja is plenty comfortable to ride.
2. I don't believe I am any safer on my BMW than on the Ninja on the interstate. In fact, the agility of the Ninja makes me feel like I would be more likely able to avoid an unanticipated hazard with the Ninja than with the BMW. Feeling safer on a bigger bike I think is more of a perception than reality. I hit a deer a few months ago broadside at about 45-50 mph on the Ninja and the cowling took a beating, but I was able to keep the bike up and sustained no personal injury.
3. If you think you want a 250 Ninja, take one for a ride. I think it is a hoot to ride!!!!! I've driven at about 28 degrees and at over 90 degrees. No problem.
I know this is the Ninja 250 thread, but anyone have any experience with Royal Enfield or the Buell Blast for FE? Both state they get in the 70's for mpg. I imagine thats a positive outlook. Not probably as fast as the Ninja 250, but we are talking FE anyway. They are twice the displacement, but in a single cyl, lower rev'ing engine. I think the Royal Enfield also offer a lean burn engine as an option now? Thought I'd throw that out there....
Back in 1978 I had a 75 Yamaha RD350, I seriously doubt it weighed much more than a Ninja 250 and probably had about the same power.
My wife and I used to ride two up on that little sucker on the interstate with no problems keeping up with traffic and never felt pushed around by wind either. With the six speed you did have to drop down a gear or two to accelerate strongly but for normal passing, just keep it in sixth..
I had no problem keeping up with a GS1000 Suzuki in the twisties, he would waste me on the straightaways and I would catch up in the corners.
Bronze swingarm bushings, Koni shocks, Dunlop triangular section tires (the hot setup then), reworked front forks with progressive springs and heaver fork oil, a car coil for each cylinder to replace the stock coils, with plugs gapped at .040 .. Later I put some J&R chambers on it and rejetted the carbs w/K&N filter..
I turned 13.72 @ 92 mph in the 1/4 with the chambers on it..
I seem to recall that RD stood for "race developed"..
The little bike was dead bulletproof, I wrung it's neck every time I got on it and never broke anything..
Have you looked thru the tips? http://www.msgroup.org
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I dont go skinny dipping, I go chunkin dunkin
PGR rider - 78783
I've had my ninja 250 for about a year now and I'm getting about 57mpg. I don't know how you'd get below 40 honestly. I beat on mine. I keep the revs over 8k most of the time and usually run at about 70ish mph or I get stuck in traffic (stupid northern VA traffic). All things considered I track every tank. Last fill up was 3.8 gallons and that got me 210 miles on the nose, so about 55 for that tank.
As for high speeds. Tuck down and keep on the throttle. I've been though some pretty windy rides and haven't really found it to be unacceptable in the wind. Now I have never ridden a bigger bike in the wind but I drove my mom's old Toyota van, the rectangle with an angled face, and that was a mess. Windy day = free lane changes.
As for size, I'm 6' 175lbs and have no qualms with the stock set up.
Now the real issue. The old 250 is ugly. So I've been modding other farings to fit my 250. So far I have got a 600rr tail on it and soon will have a chopped busa front end on it. Then hours of fit and finish work to make it look intentional. Next project will be hunting down a cbr or gsxr with a blown engine and see if I can slide a 250 into it. Then best of both worlds, pretty and economy.
Hyosung also has a 250 cc cruiser and sport bike. My dad bought the United Motors (rebadged Hyosung) 250 cc cruiser. He weighs over 250 pounds and has no problems getting up to speed. His last tank of gas was over 63 mpg! It is also a VERY comfortable bike. MUCH more comfortable than a Harley. In this forum is a review about it.
if you want a 250 ninja to save money on gas, the last thing i would do is buy a new one and lose all the money you would of saved before you even leave the dealership. just get a used one...
as for a sportster... lots of bikes that will bring 40-50mpg, but the sportsters are some of the slowest ones. a 883 and a ninja250 would be heads up ina drag race, the 883 would be nicer in traffic with more torque, but the ninja will get ya 65-75mpg instead of 40-50. as far as looking like an adult doing it, sure, but i always seem to see them witha lady pilot chasing a guy on a larger harley
My Sportster (a 1200) will rip a Ninja 250 a new one, and I mean pass it like it's not even moving. That (relatively) huge engine still easily gives me 50+mpg on the freeway, but, as you can see from my gas log, most of my riding isn't on the freeway. I'm sure my mileage has a lot to do with the fact that I don't need to rev my bike past 2500 rpm to merge onto the freeway. Don't ya just love low-end torque!
I'm sure if I pulled off the Thunderheader, the high-flow air cleaner, and the rich jetting I could get much better mileage, but I think I'm doing just fine!
I had a 2003 Yamaha R6 (600cc) with a power commander and exhaust. I was never easy on the throttle and would get over 40 mpg... I currently have a Suzuki M109R (1800cc V-Twin) and get over 35 MPG. I only ride for fun vs trying to commute to work. I rather pay $0.30 per mile in my truck vs driving in Houston traffic any day...
Good Luck on the bike, just keep in mind... It don't matter what you ride, just as long as ride!!
If I may ad, the Honda CBR125R is another cheap bike, and gets 70+ MPG.
It supposely does 0-60 in 5.7 seconds, which isn't slow by any means (unless you compare it to other bikes, lol). And it looks very good.