Poor man’s 250 Ninja
But the ZZ-R250 is cruelly undervalued
You’ll have a job tracking down one of these, because they only sold them in 2002 and 2003, and not many people bought them then because 250s were as démodé as afro hairstyles. But just as the afro can be seen in the wild, here and there, so too are ZZ-RS creeping out from the backs of garages.
What you get is basically the same engine as in the 250 Ninja, though you have to rev the tits off it to get anywhere: max power is at 11,000rpm.
It also has a beam frame and styling from the ZZ-R1100, so that’s all right. Oh, and it has an 18-litre tank and a range of 200 miles.
But look here – the engine is more or less the same unit as you’ll find in the modern 250 Ninja.
OK, so the Ninja looks rather more contemporary and sporty, but the ZZ-R’S slippery styling is still cool. You’ll see 100mph on the speedo: true top speed is nearer 95mph, but with a following wind, you’ll definitely hit a genuine ton, if it’s been kept well maintained.
These bikes are cheap because nobody really knows they exist, which is understandable. In Australia, they love them. You’ll have to put some hours into scouring the classified ads and ebay to find one, but really, right now £750 is all you need to get a good one in your garage. That’s just a quarter of the price of a decent 250 Ninja, but you’re getting 90% of a Ninja’s capability for your money.
It’s a rare beast, but the ZZ-R250 is very capable
Styling comes from the ZZ-R1100
Classic analogue dash, no mod cons here