Bringing back the screamer: Kawasaki Ninja ZX-25R
Could Kawasaki be rekindling the screaming pocket rockets?
Back in the late 80s all of the top Japanese manufacturers had their fingers in the 250cc and 400cc pies. Most of the bikes were never officially imported into the UK, remaining exclusively for the JDM (Japanese domestic market) where they were extremely popular.
Bikes like the Honda CBR400RR and the more exotic V4 VFR and RVF variants were the staple of Japanese culture, with lightning sharp handling and with the Hondas in particular, superb build quality, with a price tag to match. Lots of the 250 and 400s were grey imports into the UK but slowly fizzled out as they weren't cheap to build and 600cc sportsbikes were rising in popularity.
1989 Kawasaki ZXR-250RR
Modern versions have been nowhere near the level of development, build quality and performance of their late 80s predecessors, and don't deserve the badges they have on them.
The new ZX-25R is different. It uses a four-cylinder engine to make 60bhp. This must surely equal a zillion revs (the old 250cc version revved to 20,000rpm). Sadly we have yet to hear one running, but here's hoping it isn't too heavy with the steel frame, and can rekindle our youth just a tad. Prices have yet to be revealed but with proper big-piston forks and high quality components, expect it to be around the £7,000 mark (at a guess). On quality tyres we're hoping it'll be a real weapon just like the old pocket rockets of the 80s and 90s