Finally, the wait is over.
We’ve been waiting for the Kawasaki ZX-25R for months, and now, it’s almost here. Kawasaki Indonesia says it will finally reveal the machine on July 10, 2020. That should answer all our questions about Team Green’s high-revving quarter-liter sportbike.
The Kawasaki ZX-25R may only be a 250, but it’s one of the most exciting sportbikes Kawasaki has introduced in years. Jaded horsepower junkies may poo-poo the idea of a small-capacity sportbike, but that’s not the target market for the ZX-25R. It’s aimed at buyers in countries where 250s are considered big-bore bikes, and larger machines face regulatory restrictions or punitive insurance costs.
Kawasaki knows there are millions of riders in those environments who still want a high-performance bike. Its answer? A small motorcycle with a relatively powerful engine. Instead of the budget-minded parallel twin powerplant that Kawasaki used in the EX250 and Ninja 250 models, the ZX-25R has a liquid-cooled inline four-cylinder motor. It revs all the way to 17,000 rpm and makes nearly 50 horsepower at the crank, if previous information leaks are accurate.
The aftermarket is getting behind the bike too, with Sniper, Yoshimura, and Akrapovič parts fitted to pre-production models. Even if literbike fans don’t see the potential, there are plenty of other riders who want this bike. Third-party manufacturers must see major opportunity with this model, if they’re already gearing up to make add-ons for it.
Kawasaki was supposed to introduce the ZX-25R earlier in 2020, but the April launch date was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Now, expect a big roll-out for this new model, and even with the spec sheet revealed, there’s going to be one final question: Will it come to North America?
At this point, it’s hard to see Kawasaki selling the ZX-25R in the U.S., as it would probably sell for close to the price of a 600. Leaked pricing from New Zealand hints the Kawasaki would have a price tag around $10,000 in the U.S., which would be a hard sell.