First ride of the 250SL, interesting positioning...
We can see why Kawasaki has done it. For years the parallel-twin Ninja 300 has been lumped into the same sub-500cc sports category as single-cylinder machines like Honda’s CBR300, and suffered criticism for being about £1,000 more expensive.
We did it ourselves when we compared the Ninja 300 and Daelim VJF250 RoadSport. The Kawasaki, at five grand, was of course the more accomplished machine, we concluded, but the £3,000 Daelim might be better for those simply seeking a low-cost entry to motorcycling.
Now Kawasaki has a new answer to that problem. In a diversifying sub-500cc market, the Ninja 250SL goes up against your CBR300 and VJF250, while the Ninja 300 (and now Z300) faces the similarly priced KTM RC390 and Yamaha’s forthcoming YZF-R3.
I think it's a good idea to diversify the segment. More options are great as people buy bikes for a variety of purposes. Some are more for commuting while others are more for fun and some want a combination of both.