One of the major highlights of 2020 in terms of automobiles was the launch of the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-25R. When Kawasaki first unveiled the quarter-litre four-pot sports bike, it excited the entire motorcycling fraternity. For those of you who don’t know, quarter-litre four-cylinder motorcycles existed before too. The Japanese big four (Kawasaki, Yamaha, Suzuki and Honda) had their own take at this segment. Honda had the Honda CBR250RR, Yamaha had the Yamaha FZR250, Kawasaki had the ZXR250 and Suzuki had the GSX-R250.
With time, all the aforementioned motorcycles were discontinued as their production run wasn’t feasible, given their comparatively low demand. Now that Kawasaki has revived the genre, there are rumours surrounding the return of Yamaha too. Reportedly, Yamaha is working on its own 250cc four-cylinder sports bike, in the form of a YZF-R25M.
Though there isn’t any official word from the manufacturer itself, rumours are blowing the lid in Indonesia that Yamaha is planning to unleash its own 250cc four-cylinder sports bike. It seems like Indonesia is going to be the target country for this new crop of motorcycles because the Kawasaki ZX-25R was launched there too. And guess what? Yamaha isn’t the only manufacturer that is going to develop a 250cc four-cylinder sports bike as Honda is believed to be working on a CBR250RR-R featuring a multi-cylinder 250cc engine. Exciting times ahead!
Yamaha currently has the R25 in their portfolio but that motorcycle utilizes a twin-cylinder engine and that is no match for the level of performance and equipment the Kawasaki ZX-25R offers. The ‘M’ moniker suggests that the motorcycle will likely be a high spec, track-oriented motorcycle, with the ‘M’ part of the name signifying the top-spec version of the series. It’d also make sense for Yamaha to produce a more street focussed bike once the ‘M’ version is launched.
Kawasaki started working on the ZX-25R years ago so whether it is Yamaha or Honda, they have had enough time for R&D. However, the ZX-25R isn’t going to be an easy motorcycle to take over because of the performance and equipment it has on offer. The Ninja ZX-25R is powered by a new 250cc, 4-cylinder, DOHC engine which churns out 50 PS of maximum power @ 15,500 rpm. Kawasaki has also included ram air input, just like the ZX-10R and that takes the maximum power output to 51 PS. Torque output stands at 22.9 NM @ 14,500 rpm. The engine is coupled with a 6-speed gearbox.
Also read: Kawasaki Ninja ZX-25R: All You Need to Know
The ZX-25R can hold 15 litres of fuel and that is pretty decent according to the purpose it was built for. It is nowhere close to being a lightweight motorcycle though because the standard variant has a kerb weight of 180 kg while the SE variant weighs 182 kg. Kawasaki has made sure to go all-in while choosing the cycle parts to develop the ZX-25R. Suspension duties are handled by separate function big piston USD forks (SFF-BP) and a horizontal back-link preload-adjustable monoshock. It is pretty much expected that the suspension has been tuned to match its track-focused intent.