The MY 2019 Kawasaki Z250 Streetfighter shares the same chassis, engine and other improvements which the manufacturer has included in the MY 2018 Ninja 250 motorcycle minus the full fairing panels. It feels lighter and more agile than its supersport cousin, with a generous height for its wider handlebars as a naked bike, making riding on twisty roads a breeze.
While there were some restrictions applied during the first impression ride for the media recently, there is absolutely none for an individual test as the decision to ride the Z250 Streetfighter to anywhere was solely mine to make. With that in mind, there are no restrictions on the speeds I could ride the new Z250 either, making it easier to see how much improvements Kawasaki has put in to the new twin-cylinder Streetfighter.
One of the facts I was curious about on the new Z250 Streetfighter is the capacity of its fuel tank, which has been lowered from 17-litre to 14-litre now, the same as the 2018 Ninja 250. Kawasaki Motors Malaysia (KMSB) had assured the media the fuel consumption of the new Z250 is similar with its predecessor despite the lower capacity.
This assurance by KMSB was a golden opportunity to find out if the claim was true or otherwise. Before I move on with the performance of the new Z250, let’s disperse with the bike’s limitations first – there’s no such thing as a perfect motorcycle, and the Z250 does have some.
The new steel trellis chassis used in the Z250 made it lighter overall than its predecessor, which is the same as the Ninja 250. Unlike the Ninja variant, which is heavier thanks to the inclusion of its full fairing panels, the new Z250 has none. This made the Z250 a little less stable on a couple of narrower, fast right-handers encountered during this test ride.
However, this less stable phenomenon would be absent as it can be countered by simply riding the Z250 on the opposite lane to avoid risks of binning it from following the correct lane ala circuit style technique, as most older trunk roads were built with ridiculous corners that’s impossible to prevent the vehicle from overshooting to the other side via a higher speed.
This phenomenon wasn’t felt during the first impression ride because the speed we were doing then wasn’t that fast to begin with, unlike for this individual test. For the most parts, I don’t think most owners will be experiencing this phenomenon either in their ride with the new Z250.
Just a few tenths faster could make the difference for any bike’s ability to cope with a given situation – where traveling at 80-90km/h won’t make the bike twitch or refusing to turn on certain corners, an increase to 120-140km/h would provide a totally new feedback to the rider on the same corners.
With the limitations of the new Z250 already mentioned, let’s proceed with the positive aspects of its capabilities. Its acceleration from an idle position to achieve the standard 0-100km/h sprint is super smooth, thanks to the built-in slipper clutch assist. One could feel the difference in this acceleration process if coming from a rider that’s riding smaller capacity mopeds and scooters including single-cylinder 4-stroke 150cc/250cc supersports.
It won’t make sense to most riders who’s more used to riding 500cc and above capacity motorcycles. Throughout my entire test with the new Z250, it only needed to be filled up twice, with each tank load giving me a distance of 370+km of mileage, which is equal with the 380+km achieved on its predecessor featuring a 17-litre capacity tank. This has indeed confirmed KMSB’s claim regarding the Z250’s fuel consumption to be correct.
The greater performance of the new Z250 comes from negotiating twisty corners as well as lane filtering during traffic congestion encountered in the cities and towns. Its extra grunts and torque allowed a biker to pull out of a tricky situation easily during congestions as compared to riding 110cc/150cc mopeds and scooters.
The Z250’s size and overall length are quite compact, making it agile in such a situation. The 14-litre fuel capacity combined with its agility, the new Z250 Streetfighter makes it enjoyable to ride as a daily commuting motorcycle, particularly important for those staying afar and looking to cheaper way of traveling to work daily.
As mentioned from the first impression ride article, the top speed performance I had managed to achieve was 170km/h. But for this individual test ride, the Z250 was able to go a few kilometers quicker – 176km/hr, not far off from the 180km/h achieved by a shorter/lighter media member during that first impression convoy test.
Personally-speaking, I do not ride regularly at speeds above 150km/h with any motorcycle tested. The top speed experience would lasted several seconds before slowing to the cruising level of between 110-140km/h, and between 70-90km/h during a massive traffic congestion encountered. For the most parts, the new Z250 Streetfighter offers a splendid atmosphere when riding it at those speeds. Lesser risks with no strong wind pressure going against you.
Occasionally, test riding the new Z250, the tendency to come across moped and larger capacity bike riders whose ego gets muddled for having witnessed this new Streetfighter going faster than them, resulting in the usual “need to chase after” syndrome. This, I can tell you it’s not that easy to simply overtake the Z250 when it was doing 120-140km/h when the traffic flow was quite busy. But once traffic flow is clear, those modified mopeds and bigger bikes would easily overtake the Z250.
Overall, the new Z250 Streetfighter is value for money and worth the investment for anyone looking for a decent motorcycle to enjoy as a daily commuting machine. One can’t go wrong with the decision made.