15 February 2014 - 08:56
It's a single-cylinder Ninja 250!
A little over a year ago, Kawasaki pulled the covers off the revised Ninja 250. A little less than a year ago, Kawasaki replaced the 250 with the 300 in India. The 300 has been the smallest, and cheapest (if you can call it that, at a price close to Rs 4 lakh on-road, Mumbai) Ninja you can buy here, but in other Asian markets like Thailand and Indonesia, the facelifted 250 soldiered on. Now, Kawasaki has revealed yet another little Ninja for Asia.
Called the Ninja "RR Mono" (or 250SL, depending on where it's being sold), this new Kwacker sports a single headlight as opposed to the split units seen on all modern-day Ninjas. But that's not the big news. The big news is, the Mono has an engine that displaces 249cc as well, but if you look closely, you will notice the absence of one cylinder. Yep, the RR Mono is a single-pot Ninja 250. Understandably, that brings along a list of changes - the RR Mono makes 27.6bhp, which is roughly four horses down on the twin-cylinder 250. However, at 22.64Nm, the Mono's motor produces a little more torque than the 250's parallel-twin.
The motor is wrapped in an all-new steel trellis frame, which, according to Kawasaki, will bless the Mono with great flickability. Plus, the Mono's gotten rid of a lot of weight: it weighs just 151kg (152kg with ABS), which is over 20 kilos less than the twin-pot 250. So while the Mono doesn't make as much power, it makes up for that shortcoming with a substantial reduction in weight.
The Mono's fitted with wheels similar to the ones on the 250 and the 300, but here, the rear wheel is about 500 grams lighter. It's tyres are narrower than its better-endowed brothers, too, but Kawasaki says that all of this has been done to make the Mono as nimble as possible.
The suspension consists of a 37mm telescopic front fork, teamed with a five-way adjustable 'UniTrak' rear monoshock. Stopping power is provided by disc brakes front and back, with the option of equipping the Mono with what Kawasaki says is the smallest ABS unit...in the world.
Will we see it in India anytime soon? That's a toughie. Even if Kawasaki does decide to bring it to our shores in CKD form, it'll still be a whole lot more expensive than the single-potters it will compete against. Moreover, KTM's RC range is coming soon, as is the new Pulsar SS 400, which will make positioning the Mono very, very difficult.
How do you like the sound of a lithe, zippy, single-cylinder Ninja, dotcommers?