Dealers everywhere are reporting they're out of stock of 2008 Ninja 250R, redressed this year to better resemble its ZX-6R and ZX-10R brethren, but they needn't wait long for more of the popular bike — Kawasaki says the first shipments of the '09 model should be arriving later this month.
Kawasaki scored big in ?08 with the diminutive Ninja, which has proven to be a popular model with sport-minded novice and veteran riders alike.
"The dealer and customer response to this bike far exceeded our expectations," says Kawasaki's Russ Brenan. "The new revisions to the 250, combined with its affordable price and rising fuel prices, created an even more dramatic demand for the bike."
Brenan says the OEM produced more Ninja 250Rs in 2008 than in any other model year. "And we'll do everything we can to meet demand for the 2009 model," he says.
Kawasaki first offered the Ninja 250 in 1986. Now, three revisions and 23 model years later, "It continues to be our top selling sportbike, as well as the second best-selling sportbike in the country," Brenan says.
All of those 250R sales represent a consumer market largely ignored by other OEMs. How important is the small displacement on-road class to Kawasaki?
"Very important," Brenan says. "Models like the Ninja 250R help attract new riders from every demographic; it's an affordable sportbike option, provides an additional choice for those who need or prefer a lower seat height, and is now even becoming a favorite for track days."