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2015 Kawasaki Z250SL ABS

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by leegil1, Mar 8, 2016.

  1. Hi All,

    I wanted to provide some information on my recent purchase (secondhand Z250SL ABS with 1200km on the clock).

    Riding background:
    Got my licence in 2006 after doing a NSW rider course (L's) (but live in ACT). Immediately after that I went straight to my P's. I had only ridden the 250cc Honda rental bikes. Within I think 2mths (because of my age (over 30 then)) I was able to buy any motorcycle I wanted...Bought a brand new Triumph Daytona 675 as my first bike. It was a nice bike that I lowered using a Naarden speedlink and added only 300km onto the bike before selling it and moving to the UK. I never felt like I got full skill development from that bike as it was too powerful to fully throttle it.

    In November 2015 I bought a used LML Star 2 scooter. This was my first motorcycle ride since 2007. Rode it well and had a hoot, but wanted to go back to a sports bike. I have very little experience...but it's like 'riding a bike'...you never forget. I found the limits of the scooter and it felt great to take something to its limits.

    In December 2015 I purchased my Z250SL. I had lowered it by 30mm using a Lust Racing link. It is pretty much stock configuration (besides short levers).

    My criteria for purchasing were:
    1) under 300cc to keep ACT rego costs down.
    2) needed to be able to ride easily at the max speed limits.
    3) had to be naked. Like the feeling of 'true freedom'.
    4) seat height had to be lowerable to 750mm without ground clearance being crazy low to cause cornering problems.
    5) something that won't entice me to speed crazily.

    What I really liked about the bike is the light weight. A 200kg motorcycle cannot compare to this 150kg whippet. It is crazy easy to handle for a beginner like myself. Seating position felt more comfortable than a full-on sports bike which made commuting much easier. The narrowness of the bike is confidence inspiring.

    All controls were good quality and the general build appears to be good. No problems that I can see developing.

    As you would expect, the power is lacking compared to my old D675, but I like to be able to give it a full turn of the throttle to wring it...something I could never do on the D675. I think it is a good learners bike because it is so easy to handle, has easy power delivery (feels smooth) and starts to feel alive from 5000rpm upwards.

    You can easily accelerate off the lights faster than most cars but it is not a 'fast' speedster. It is more about launch control and feeding the power to get the best take-off, unlike a more powerful bike where you don't need to do much to burn everyone from the lights. I found that the clutch engagement/friction point was further out than the scooter (which was close to the grip)...not sure if this is normal or not but I like it this way.

    I have not yet engaged the ABS on the brakes but it is very good to know that it is there when I need it. I am a nervous wet rider and to have ABS is better than nothing. The front brakes bite well but I find the rear brakes have too much modulation...I prefer the on/off feeling and have my toe as the 'modulator'.

    I do not ride much as I cycle mainly to work to get my training done, so I was not interested in an expensive sports bike. I can afford to buy any bike I want but I doubt that I would go over 600cc ever again as I like to know the limits of a bike (or have a chance of finding it). There is enjoyment of being able to control the bike in full.

    This Z250SL ABS has the safety features I like and has the performance for my max 75kg geared up weight. Great power to weight ratio...but I am starting to ask myself if I need/want more power? This is a fantastic learners bike which can be lowered easily without negative impacts to ground clearance. It is easy to ride and rewarding.

    Don't overlook this bike as a learner bike. The Z300 may be better but I would have compromised ground clearance after lowering it. Being vertically challenged has its compromises.