Kawasaki Z250SL heading to India this year, but is it too late to the party?

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Added in: Kawasaki

Kawasaki Ninja Z250SL - 1

If new reports from AutoCar Professional are to be believed, Japanese two-wheeler manufacturer Kawasaki will soon introduce its single cylinder quarter-litre motorcycle, the Z250SL, in the Indian market by the end of Calendar Year 2015. An earlier report suggested that Kawasaki plans to introduce three new motorcycles – Z250SL, ZX-6R 636 and the Vulcan S – for the Indian market. If this quarter-litre motorcycle does reach the Indian shores, it would be the cheapest Kawasaki available in the country. So what would happen to the current Z250 that is sold by Kawasaki in the sub-continent? The report indicates that Kawasaki intends to sell both the motorcycles, the Z250 and the Z250SL simultaneously.

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Two motorcycles with identical cubic capacity in the same market?

The Kawasaki Z250SL will be built on a very tight budget to keep the prices competitive. Available internationally, the Z250SL, unlike the Z250 twin, is powered by a 249cc single-cylinder liquid-cooled motor rated at 28PS of power and 22.6Nm of torque. The Z250, on the other hand, is equipped with a 249cc liquid-cooled, “parallel twin” engine capable of delivering 32 PS of power and 21Nm of torque.

A source, on terms of anonymity, told the motoring website that various components including handlebars, clutch plates, front and rear suspensions, wheels, tyres, head- and tail-lamps, electrical switches, switch housings, radiator fans and other similar parts may be locally sourced for the Z250SL. The source also added that the engine and engine components would arrive from Thailand but Kawasaki is working on localising this model to keep costs low. If that happens, there is a good possibility that the motorcycle would be manufactured at Bajaj’s Chakan plant.

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But is the Z250SL a little late to the party?

To a certain extent, yes. KTM is clocking great sales in India while local brands such as Hero MotoCorp and TVS are planning to introduce their respective quarter-litre motorcycles. If the Z250SL is heading to India, the Japanese two-wheeler maker really has to make an offer that the budget conscious Indian audience cannot refuse. Kawasaki should target the sub Rs 2 lakh price bracket but with partial localisation of components, that isn’t a very bright possibility. Anything above the Rs 2 lakh price bracket would place the Kawasaki Z250SL against the much more powerful and feature rich KTM Duke 390 where the odds tilt towards the India made Austrian pocket-rocket’s side. What would work in Kawasaki’s favour is its world-class build quality and refinement that is a hallmark of the Japanese bike maker’s entire product portfolio.

We hope Kawasaki has a well-placed strategy for the Indian market and and it is executed with efficiency. We would be following this development very closely, mainly because the Kawasaki ZX-6R 636 is also involved, so stay tuned for more updates. Meanwhile, you can share your views with us through the comments section below.

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Source: Folks at AutoCar Professional

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