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The 250cc motorcycle market has finally opened up in the Western hemisphere. In North America, where the Ninja seemed to sit at the top of the 250cc sportbike throne all alone, it now faces challenges from both Hyosung, as well as from Honda's new CBR-250R. If you're looking for a 250cc cruiser, the only one available in Canada or the USA we'd recommend is the KYMCO Venox, but if sportbike motorcycles are your thing, here's a comparison of acceleration, speeds, braking and fuel economy from Popular Mechanics:

Best 250cc Beginner Motorcycle: Honda CBR-250R vs. Kawasaki Ninja 250R vs. Hyosung GT-250

Kawasaki Ninja 250R vs. Honda CBR 250RThe 250cc motorcycle market has finally opened up in the Western hemisphere. In North America, where the Ninja seemed to sit at the top of the 250cc sportbike throne all alone, it now faces challenges from both Hyosung, as well as from Honda’s new CBR-250R. If you’re looking for a 250cc cruiser, the only one available in Canada or the USA we’d recommend is the KYMCO Venox, but if sportbike motorcycles are your thing, here’s a comparison of acceleration, speeds, braking and fuel economy from Popular Mechanics:

Kawasaki Ninja 250R

0-60mph (secs)…….. 7.23 sec (-0.62)
40-70mph (secs)…… 6.66 sec (-1.18)
1/4mile………………… 15.56 sec @ 82.5 mph (-0.55 sec, + 4.9 mph)
60-0 braking………… 129 ft (+7.4)
Overall fuel economy 59.7 mpg (+11.7)

Honda CBR 250R

0-60mph (secs)……… 7.85 sec (+0.62)
40-70mph (secs)……. 7.84 sec (+1.18)
1/4mile…………………. 16.11 sec @ 77.6 mph (-0.55 sec, + 4.9 mph)
60-0 braking………….. 121.6 ft (-7.4)

Overall fuel economy  71.4 mpg (-11.7)

Hyosung GT 250

0-60mph (secs)………. 8.64 sec (+1.41)
40-70mph (secs)…….. 8.94 sec (+2.28)
1/4mile………………….. 16.58 sec @ 75.6 mph (+1.02 sec, 6.9 mph)
60-0 braking………….. 138 ft (+9)
Overall fuel economy.. 60.2 mpg (+11.2)

Where performance is concerned, the Kawasaki Ninja 250R is the clear winner. The Ninja makes the most of its old parallel twin, DOHC, 8 valve engine. Ashley rides a Honda CBR-125R, and as much as we’d like the love Honda’s new fuel-injected 250 it seems like the single cylinder engine just won’t keep up. The Honda does however offer superior stopping and excellent fuel economy. The Hyosung GT 250 has a nice full size frame and the look of a bigger bike, but perhaps all that extra beefiness may be harming the motorcycle’s performance.

The potential buyer should find a wide variety of used Ninja 250s available. Hyosung dealers may be hard to come by and used Hyosungs may be difficult to come across. Honda’s CBR-250R as a new model for 2011 may take some time before a used market opens up.

  • Tip: If in the market for a used Ninja, look for the ZZR models in Canada which had an aluminum frame.

Clip from Cycle World:

Other 250cc motorcycle reviews:
KYMCO Venox 250
Honda Rebel 250
Kawasaki Ninja 250R
Suzuki TU250
Yamaha V-Star 250

You may also be interested in our Kawasaki Ninja 300R review.

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