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Z Day...Hello Kawasaki Z 250 SL

Blog date May 2016

Well a rather sleepless night brings forth Z day. It is time to pick up my new bike...Yikes !!

I am very, very excited about picking up my new bike the Kawasaki Z 250 SL. I am also very, very nervous. Will I actually be able to ride it? Will I drop it ? Will I love it or hate it? There is only one way to find out and that is to get myself off to Orrell and say hello to the bike. On Arrival at MCO I spot my bike parked up so I have a little stroke, hmmm it has not been polished to a high shine, how remiss. I then sit on the bike, aarrgghh oh dear first problem already ... 

The bike is nowhere as low as I had believed it was going to be. The Z 250 SL standard seat height is 785mm. The Lust racing lowering kit that has been fitted to the bike claims a reduction of height by 30mm. By my calculations that would lower the bike to 755mm. My Keeway RKS has a seat height of 760mm which I can flat foot on easily so I believed that I would be flat foot on the Kawasaki. This sadly is not the case. 
Originally before it was lowered I was on tippy toes only. I can now get the balls of my feet down so the fact it has lowered a little is obvious. But it is not the 30mm I was hoping for. I am really disappointed to not to be able to flat foot on the bike. The seat on the Kawasaki is narrow so I can not blame that for taking up some of height either. Pffft.
There is nothing I can do it is what it is but it is not the start I was hoping  for. I really did want the security I feel by getting my feet down flat. SO a word of advise - if like me you need your bike lowered by a full 30mm just be aware that you might not get that. 

Sharon sits astride the Z250SL and her feet are not quite flat on the floorThem feet are not flat

I call into the shop to complete all the necessary endless paperwork. My salesman Mark is a lovely guy. His honest and straightforward talk made me warm to him straight away, he is a great salesman but errrrr Mark I am sure you wont mind me saying, computers and paperwork are not your forte. Never mind because you've got the chat to get away with it :-) An age later I finally have the keys in my hand. A very patient Ren enquires whether I would like him to push the bike out of MCO and down the road a little. If you have never visited Motorcycle Centre Orrell (MCO) then you will not know why Ren suggested this. The exit from MCO is not the best. It slopes down, is on a camber and is situated on a blind bend on a busy road. But no, surprisingly for me I decide to brave it and say I will ride it out. Right deep breaths, swallow my nerves, key into ignition , start the engine and off we goooooo...

Sharon shakes Mark the salesman's hand, they both have the most ridiculous smiles
Do I look excited or just a Muppet ?

I am pleasantly surprised to find myself still vertical and riding along. Riding this bike is both easier and harder than I had expected. Easier...because I am still upright and can actually get it moving. The gears are slick and easy to change and I have no problems such as stalling the bike. The brakes are very good, much sharper than the 125cc but I soon adjust to them. Harder...because the lack of a gear indicators is freaking me out. I am so used to just glancing down onto the dash of the Keeway to known the exact gear I am in. So I find myself fumbling through the gears at junctions and through corners trying desperately to find the one I want. I have never rode any other bike in my life before other than my Keeway so I am seriously lacking confidence in both myself and the bike so I ride very slow and cautiously.

50 miles under the new shiny tyres and I am ready to call it a day. I am stiff and sore from being so tense and from the different riding position. As I climb off the bike I am not sure at all how I feel. Truth is I am concerned I have just made a very expensive mistake. I am not feeling any WOW factor. However I am aware I was very stiff and nervous and the bike and tyres were both being run in with the revs having to be kept at around 4000 which is a sedate 40mph. 

Once off the bike trying to manoeuvre it proves to be a challenge. What felt like a super light 148 kg on the smooth flat surface of a show room suddenly morphs into a heavy beast on the sloping rough surface of Rens back passage (snigger). As I am unable to flat foot I am unable to do my usual paddling while sat on the bike like I do with my Keeway. I have to get off and push. My little legs are strong but my arms are weedy and I am struggling. Right now I am glad I never did buy the MT03 because if I am almost brought to a stop by 148kg I would have no chance with the Yamaha's 170kg. I end up needing Ren's help to get it into his shed. 

So errr there you go...I feel I should be writing about my joy, my sheer excitement and love of my brand new shiny toy. But I can only be honest and honestly I just feel a bit flat. This is not love at first ride. I think I best sleep on it and see what tomorrow brings 

Reader's Comments

Ren - The Ed said :-
Sharon look like a muppet.
07/06/2016 10:05:09 UTC
Ian Soady said :-
Well done. I'm sure it will start to get easier as you get used to the extra weight and height. Perhaps the seat is a bit wider than your 125 thus making it appear higher?

I must say I can never understand why there is such a huge gap between the tyre and the mudguard on so many modern bikes*. According to the spec rear wheel travel is 116mm. Some of this will be taken up by the weight of the bike / rider so the maximum you need between the tyre and the guard at rest is around 100mm. From the pictures, there's vastly more than that, and certainly enough to drop the seat by a significant amount. But of course, styling sells more bikes than functionality.......

*Not only modern of course - look at the gap on the BSA Gold Star with its perhaps 3" rear suspension travel.......

Goldie Clubmans
07/06/2016 11:38:14 UTC
Tony said :-
Hi Sharon, congratulations on your new purchase and the beginning of a new chapter in your motorcycle life. I look forward to reading more about your experience's with it. I expect by the time it's ready for the first service, your aches and pains would have been forgotten and hopefully alittle more comfortable with it, so you can get on with enjoying the ride.

Happy biking and safe journey's.
07/06/2016 17:49:02 UTC
Ross said :-
Congratulations on the new bike, Sharon...looking good. You could try softening the preload on the rear suspension, that might give you a bit more 'sag' when you sit on the bike and reduce the seat height a bit more. It's probably set in the middle of it's adjustment as standard and set up to suit a rider of average look as if you're not average weight! :) shouldn't cause you any problems with a softer rear end, as it were! Any way, good luck with your new bike!
08/06/2016 15:03:00 UTC
Steve Latchford said :-
SL, that bike has my initials.
09/06/2016 19:45:13 UTC
Steve Latchford said :-
SL, that bike has my initials.
So your heels are slightly off the floor, don't worry mine are as well sitting on me triumph.
09/06/2016 19:50:43 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Hi Ross. We've already backed off the preload as far as it will go...urgh. Good tip through as you said they're usually set somewhere in the middle.

Latchy - Sharon's problem is a lack of strength as well as a lack of height.
09/06/2016 20:59:22 UTC
Peter V said :-
Hi Sharon!

First of all I would congratulate you on your brandnew and beautiful motorcycle! I wish you many-many happy miles ( hereabout riders wish each other "wide roads" which means let you manage staying with the bike on the road anytime).
Reading you I decided to share my experiences about lack of gear indicator seeing I ride a bike without indicator as well (a Suzuki SV 650).
You mentioned when rev is at 4000 your speed is about 40 mph and I think this is true for the top gear. In this gear 5000/min means 50 mph, 6000 is at 60 mph etc. So you can check with a glance the 6th gear - it is important for lower fuel consumption during long straight road trips if you don't need accelerate hard. In any other case you have to attend principally the tachometer and choose a gear by it the same speed (in the case of Kawa 250 the range of ~3000-7000 for saving fuel and range of 7000 to red zone for sporty riding). So it is unimportant to know by it's number which gear is running. Just keep an eye on tacho and neutral lamp. And speedmeter when you are too close to a traffic camera :-)

I'm sure you will love your excellent bike and wish you wide roads! :-)
12/06/2016 12:41:27 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Thanks Peter. We're reading the messages but we're riding around The Netherlands and typing on the tablet is a bit of a faff. We find EVERYONE rides on the wrong side of the road here no matter how much we protest.

Normal service will be resumed on our return :)
12/06/2016 19:17:20 UTC
Peter V said :-
Oh, welcome on the Continent!
Luckily there aren't right-ridden and left-ridden motorcycles like in the case of cars:-D
Have a nice trip!
12/06/2016 22:06:53 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Thanks Peter. Hopefully off to Utrecht today to look at some fancy tents. Hopefully I won't spend any money.
13/06/2016 04:04:09 UTC
Ian Soady said :-
"typing on the tablet is a bit of a faff"

I entirely agree. I recently bought an ASUS netbook which is far better for travelling - less than £150, runs Windows 10 (which seems fine to me), less than 1 Kg and with a SSD seems very robust. It's not quite so good as a tablet for lounging around reading the Guardian but better for everything else.

Have a great trip anyway both of you. At least in the Netherlands everyone speaks English (often better than we do......) I must say that having been there many times for work it's not a country that fills me with enthusiasm although very nice for cycling.

13/06/2016 10:47:12 UTC
Monk said :-
I had to take an asprin after reading Sharons woes does that count as a tablet?
15/06/2016 22:44:29 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Ian - I have a netbook too, the problem with it for traveling is I can't charge it from the bike and the battery life is nowhere near as good as the tablet. Otherwise you agree they are fairly good little computers.

Monk - yes of course it does. I also suggest seeing a real doctor.
16/06/2016 19:39:41 UTC
Monk said :-
I prefer the imaginary ones it's easier to get a n appointment.
16/06/2016 23:21:29 UTC
Monk said :-
Sharon, hallo...Being nosey's the new bike? Are you enjoying the bike, what form is that taking? How different is the experience from your faithful 125?? Very interested to know... if you have a minute... as your posts are always good to read.

Happy biking!


20/06/2016 09:10:35 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Hi Monk. You'll have to be patient as we're still in The Netherlands. Sharon's on the 125 and I'm on my 125 as well. We thought riding big bikes would be far too easy you see.
22/06/2016 10:56:13 UTC
Sharon said :-
Thanks everyone for your advise and good wishes. I am back home now and updates on the Kawasaki will be with you soon.

Meanwhile in answer to your responses

Tony - I suspect you are right I need time to settle on this bike.

Ian - The bike does not have a wider seat than the Keeway and on a quick measure today it seems the bike height is as I expected not been reduced by the claimed 30mm at all. I am going to check it more carefully but this quick estimate seems to suggest it is only 5mm lower than standard 785mm. How can that be? More measuring and scratching of head required me thinks.

Ross - The preload has also been set to its lowest position. You are right at the size of an average 12 year old I am probably not the average for a bike rider :-)

Steve - The bike also has my initials SL. My maiden name was Lomas :-)

Peter - I will keep my eyes on them revs.

Monk - Your wish is my command.
29/06/2016 13:14:40 UTC
Tom McQ said :-
Quote [that might give you a bit more 'sag']

Ren, the last thing a woman in her 30's needs, is a bit of sag!
13/07/2016 07:38:15 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Oh Lordy...Tom McQ is back and he's already started with the double entendres...
13/07/2016 09:25:03 UTC
Fred P said :-
looking at the Z250SL, does the height of the rear seat make it a problem to get on and off the bike?
I'm reasonably short in the leg
Cant find that dimension in any of the sales bumpf
17/10/2016 16:07:49 UTC
Sharon said :-
Hi Fred P,

Without any luggage on the bike I find no problem swinging my leg over the back seat to get on and off the bike.

I am 5ft tall with an inside leg of 28 inches. I am still quite flexible which also probably helps as do the Daytona Lady Star boots I wear which have a built up sole which adds at least another inch to my height.

With luggage I have no chance and simply put my leg through the front seat rather than swinging my leg over the back seat. So that is always an option.

I just measured the rear seat on my bike and that is about 38.5 inches. But my bike has been lowered so I would add another inch onto that on a standard bike therefore making the back seat height around 39.5 inches.

Hope this helps.

By the way it really is a cracking bike I love mine :-)
17/10/2016 20:07:04 UTC
Fred P said :-
Thanks for that info, I'm going to order mine next week
going for a Black one
will see how high I can swing my leg over
that sounds dodgy doesn't it
thanks again
18/10/2016 09:11:43 UTC
Ian Soady said :-
One of the reasons I've moved down (across?) to the CB400 is that I was struggling to get aboard the SLR650 even after lowering it by 30mm or so - again because the back of the seat was much higher than the front half. Once in the saddle I had no problems.

The little 400 has the opposite problem to some extent - very easy to swing my leg over it but a little cramped in the knee area. I'm arranging for another seat which I will insert 30mm or so of foam into the front to make the seat more level and to ease the knee angle.

A bit like this (my photoshop skills are a bit puny I'm afraid but it was only to get an idea):

18/10/2016 10:52:19 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Ian - your photoshop skills are more than a match for mine of that I'm sure.

Surely (don't call me Shirley) there must be a market and therefore a demand for those of us who are NOT 5 foot 7 inches to six feet tall, who are not as supple and lithe as a 19 year old gymnast and not as strong as a navvy.
18/10/2016 11:30:24 UTC
Ian Soady said :-
The trouble is, the "market" seems to be driven by fashion more than real-world requirements. I occasionally get a £3 3 month subscription to ride or bike magazines (wouldn't dream of paying full price). I was just leafing through one of them, and all the so-called touring bikes are over 1,000cc, weigh a ton and have skyscraper proportions. Not ideal when you may need to U-turn in narrow roads, park in off-camber gravelly corners (or even worse muddy campsites), gently amble down country roads etc.

But then manufacturers who've made what seems to be the ideal (and what motorcyclists say they want) never seem to do well - see Velocette's LE for an object lesson.
18/10/2016 14:24:57 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
I think the problem is Ian is those of us who look for sensible practical machines are NOT the majority nor are we the ones likely to buy brand new regularly either.

I know someone who's just purchased a Ducati Panigale. It will be like his previous 1098 in that it will likely cover 2-3k per year and be a beautiful garage ornament. Practicality, economy and comfort are nothing compared to pose value. It will probably be traded in against the next top of the range Duke in 3-5 years time. While this means there's lots of cheap low mileage exotica out there it also means there's nowt practical.

I suppose even if I were to create a practical sensible economical motorcycle I would have to sell them already second hand!
18/10/2016 16:12:17 UTC
Sharon said :-
Fred P,

Good luck with your new bike. Please send me a photo of your bike when you get it and let me know your thoughts on the Kawasaki Z250SL. Will be good to hear another real opinion on the bike. Hope you have a lot of fun.
25/10/2016 22:33:43 UTC
Peter old time biker said :-

HI sharon I've bort a z250sl 2 months ago and have had same problem
I went on eday and got new dog bones for the suspension. which
Lowers the bike by 30 milI meters. And you can use the standed side stand with this. ,also bort handbar risers to take the weight of your hands and make it more up right riding position I've done it to
Mine to make more useful . How to fit these mods are all on youtube
Just tipe in handlebar rises and thats it. DO THE SAME for how to fit motorcycle dog bones hope this helps
08/12/2016 20:08:36 UTC
Sharon said :-
Hi Peter,

Thanks for the information.

I already have the lower dog bones fitted onto my bike. Although the bike did stay upright on the side stand after it was lowered it just didn't feel secure, especially if there was a slight camber. Therefore I chose to shorten the side stand.

So far I have had no problem with the riding position so I have not needed to invest in handlebar risers but I am glad they are available and have increased comfort for you.

Would be great to hear how you are getting along with you Z250SL and how you find it as times goes by.
08/12/2016 22:23:12 UTC
Alan said :-
Just seen where you stated your inside leg Sharon. You are 5 inches shorter than me but only 1 inch shorter in the legs. That pretty much puts us in the same bracket as to what is ride able. I don't think an extra inch will give me much flatter feet than you have so 780mm is probably my limit, so long as the seat isn't as wide as a barges stern.

09/12/2016 02:01:26 UTC
Sharon said :-
Hi Alan

Yes seat width will have to be taken in to consideration and also the actual width of the bike.

The only way to be sure is go out and sit on as many bikes as you can. It is a great excuse for a good day out visiting bike shops.

Good luck let us know how you get on.
10/12/2016 18:40:36 UTC
Sharon said :-
If anyone is thinking of buying the Kawasaki Z 250 SL now may be the time. Bolton Motorcycles are offering the following deal. Buy a new Kawasaki Ninja 250SL or Z250SL and save £650 and take an incredible 4 years 0% finance with only £100 deposit, Payments starting from £60. Go on grab yourself an early Christmas present
10/12/2016 19:14:31 UTC
Sharon said :-
Hello again Alan.

One thing I forgot to mention when talking about the height of bikes is weight. Not the weight of the bike but your weight.

Your weight will have an effect on the bikes suspension, thus it may or may not lower the bike once you are sat on it.

I once had a gentleman who being the same height as me insisted I could easily flat foot on a Suzuki Van Van because he could. I told him no I could not, I had tried them and I could not even get my toes down. Impossible he retorted.

I then had the some what err delicate task of explaining to him that although we shared the same height we did not share the same weight. (He was somewhat rather larger than me). I myself at around 48 to 49 kg, about 7 stone 10lbs, have little if any effect on a bikes suspension. Whereas as the heavier the load the lower the bike will drop.

Also a newer bike will have stiffer suspension and therefore less give than an older one so bear this in mind too.

I guess there really is no substitute to just getting your leg over and sitting on it really like I said earlier.
11/12/2016 21:38:23 UTC
Alan said :-
Good point Sharon.

During the CBT training I think the training bike I had sunk by about an inch or so, it was an older Suzuki model, the stepson's sank a lot more but he is 6ftish tall and 4 stone heavier than me (this is the one who wants a Grom) , he used to be a lot more heavier than me but he has lost weight and since meeting his Mum I have, apparently, managed to find quite a bit of it.
Unfortunately due to the nature my job and also living in Spain I have to try to research as much as I can online, make a short list and blitz everything in the few days I am in the UK at a time. I could do my test in Spain but my Spanish is not very good and it would mean turning in my UK license which I am loath to do as almost every country in the world accepts it and I might not get all the groups my UK license covers if I change it.I hear it can be bad enough when getting them renewed in the UK never mind changed to a different system.
11/12/2016 23:39:17 UTC
Ross said :-
Hi Alan
if you want to do some online research you could have a play with the link's no substitute for sitting on a real bike, as Sharon says, and doesn't cover all models but...
12/12/2016 10:29:24 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
The cycle-ergo website is very clever Ross, there's a lot of useful details there. As Sharon says though you have to sit on a bike to be sure.

You're in Spain Alan! I understand about the bike licence but surely there are motorcycle shops in Spain where you can sit on the bikes? I guess there may be a different range there, I dunno.

As for putting on weight, I'm doing my best to dodge middle aged spread but it seems like it's almost inevitable...
12/12/2016 11:15:12 UTC
Alan said :-
There is one bike shop around an hours drive from where we live, were up in those mountains I took the photo of. It's a 3 hour round trip to get to anywhere that has more than one bike shop so it is a lot easier and (Ren will appreciate this) cheaper to try them out in a UK town where there are 4 or 5 dealers within a few miles.
12/12/2016 16:48:21 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Yip I appreciate that. But it still seems excessive flying all the way to the UK just to find bike shops.

(I know I know...visiting family - work or what not...)
12/12/2016 17:41:49 UTC
sue said :-
Absolutely understand where you are coming from. I too am petite. 4 foot 11. I too have Daytona boots which help a little. I too have a Keeway and I am in the process of taking my test. I am learning on an MT07 and I am finding it surprisingly easy!. the bike has been lowered and my feet are about the same as yours on your new bike. But I have found as my confidence has grown I do not need my feet flat down. The weight is a bit of a problem and I do have to get off to push, but I can do it. I am not sure why the bike manufactures have to make them so high, there's lots of shorter people out there men and women Your post has been very useful as I have been looking at the same Kawasaki.(maybe not now). I also like to see what gear I am in...its what you get used to. I hope you soon feel more comfortable and confident. Ride safe Sue
04/02/2017 14:08:22 UTC
Sharon said :-
Hi Sue

So you have a Keeway too. What model have you got?

You say you are learning on a lowered MT07 for your test. So did I. Could it be we also share the same training school I wonder? I trained at Wigan Rider Training. I also found the MT07 very easy to ride and handle. However the weight was a real issue for me. For the type of riding I do I need a bike as light as possible so the Kawasaki became the natural choice for me.

I have had my Z250SL for several months and I am totally in love with her. If you have read my recent blogs you will see I cannot praise this bike highly enough. For a 250cc this bike has incredible torque and get up and go. The other day I was on the motorway with Ren on his Honda 500cc. I think he was curious to see what my little bike can do so he suddenly accelerated. The Kawasaki goes with him no problem at all. He checks his mirrors, sees me on his tail, shakes his head and speeds up even more. I think he believes the little 250cc will have nothing left to give. Wrong! she sticks right behind him. So do not think this little bike lacks power. Kawasaki have done a wonderful job with this bike.

As for the gear change indicator..pahh who needs one of them? Hee hee I sure thought I did but I was plain wrong. Like you say it is what you get used to but I never notice its lack now and to be honest I think I ride much better without one. I used to ride a bit by rote. Now I listen far more to the engine and I am much better at choosing the correct gear for each occasion as it happens rather than trying to guess ahead. I used to look at a corner and look down at what gear I was in and think oh this is a 2nd gear corner I think and change accordingly. Now I have no idea what gear I am in on approaching a corner so I just listen to the engine and feel what the bike is doing and change up or down as appropriate. So much smoother and efficient.

I wish you every success with your lessons and happy future riding with whatever bike you choose. Confidence comes with time and miles and the more miles I put on my bike the more I love her.

04/02/2017 20:46:25 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
I remember a certain lady playing holy HELL at the notion of a motorcycle NOT having a gear indicator of some description. "How do you know what gear you're in?" "How will I know if I'm in the right gear for this corner, that roundabout or this hill?" And so on and so on. Sue - Sharon was a right moaner about gear indicators.

She's right though. It might take a little getting used to but motorcyclists manage without gear indicators.

Just enjoy the ride Sue and stay safe :)
05/02/2017 17:30:26 UTC
Jo said :-
Great blog
I am 5 foot 4 and 30 inch leg..and just ordered one of these to commute to work...
I see some men saying they would have problem... well how tall are they? lol now im starting to worry.
hopefully i will love it thought.

21/03/2017 19:08:55 UTC
Sharon said :-
Hi Jo,

I bet you are going to adore this bike. At 5 foot 4 you should be perfect on it.

I have had my Kawasaki Z250SL for 8 months now and the more I ride it the more I love it. If you have read my other blogs articles about this bike you will know I can not praise it highly enough. I bet it wont be long before you will be taking it out for more than just your commute. This bike is so much fun you will not be able to resist taking it on adventures.

Please let me know how you get on with your new bike. Would love to hear your feedback.
21/03/2017 23:59:18 UTC
Jo said :-
Its great!!!!! I love it ....only one thing..... that standard exhaust has to go asap for me... :)
02/04/2017 11:26:11 UTC
Jo said :-
You are right the more I ride it the more I love it.
28/04/2017 22:13:08 UTC
Sharon said :-
Hi Jo,
Good to hear that your Kawasaki Z250SL has captured your heart. These wee beasties are impossible to resist. Once ridden forever smitten I reakon.
They are a delightful surprise because for their small size they are huge on fun.
30/04/2017 10:16:39 UTC
Keith m said :-
So Saturday I had my very own Z day albeit a Z300. To be honest it was reasonably uneventful but in a good way. I spent more time reminiscing with the dealer about road racing and almost forgot to sign all the paperwork. The 10mile ride home was effortless. The bike is so lighting?and and easy to control it just rolls in out of corners almost by itself. It's not fully run in so haven't taken it above 50mph yet but was very surprised to find it will pull top gear from 40mph and being a four stroke with engine braking I didn't need to touch the back break. I had concerns about the IRC tyres but they seemed fine in the dry. This is a very fine piece of kit.

The only downside? doesn't concern the bike but the insurance. Bearing in mind this is supposed to be a A2 friendly bike I was surprised to find it was group 13 So my premium doubled from my CBF125 and the insurance company also gave me a £600 excess. This is to someone who is 51years old and have been riding bikes in some form since the age of 17. I dread to think what youngsters are being offered.
16/05/2017 18:31:35 UTC
Sharon said :-
Hi Keith,

Wahoo, new bike time how exciting. Welcome to a Z love affair. If the z300 handles like the Z250 you are in for a treat. Like you have already discovered corners are made for these bikes. Let us know how you get on and what adventures you are having.

Insurance is mind boggling. It is however always best to have a good shop around when buying a new bike. What may be a good deal with your current motorcycle at a particular insurance company may not be so with another bike.

For example, Just Motorcycle Insurance was the best option for my 125cc but when I got them to quote on my Kawasaki Z250SL the price was nearly £700. After shopping around the best deal I got was with Privilege. It has a excess of £250 with a premium of £207.

No one insurance company is the cheapest. They all have there own criteria and that criteria can change from one month to the next. So unfortunately the only way to ensure the best price is trawl through as many as you can until your time, patience and sanity as expired.

I would also always recommended that once you have an insurance company in mind always telephone them to go over the quote in detail. To make sure that your garage meets there criteria for what a garage is etc.
21/05/2017 09:55:14 UTC
Keith m said :-
Hi Sharon.
Thanks for the insurance advise. I often wonder where they get their figures from and how one company can be so vastly different on price to another for insuring the same product.
Bikes going fine, using it everyday? for work and liking it more each time I use it. I'll let you know how I get on in the future.
Brilliant web site keep up the good work.
24/05/2017 19:28:08 UTC
Andrew Mifsud said :-
Hi Sharon, thanks for the advice. My daughter is a short legged 4'11" so I am not sure if she will reach even with a lowering kit. When yours was fitted, did they lower the forks in their yokes at all? I reckon with risers the front end could also be lowered around 30-40mm. At the back end I found the same Lust racing kits but I also found a fully adjustable kit which CLAIMS to dop it up to 100mm-

There are no Z250SL anywhere near us to test so we may have to buy, get it delivered and THEN try lowering. I am curious as to whether your front end was lowered too.

Good riding. :)

16/06/2018 15:40:36 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Hi Andrew Mifsud. We have lowered Sharon's forks a little, probably only 10-15 mm though as the top of the forks meets the bars. Bar risers would allow further movement.

Tread carefully. Changing suspension here and there is ok but making larger changes can cause problems, even become dangerous.

Dropping the forks too far can cause the forks to bottom out against the lower triple clamp. It will bring the rake in which could lead to instability. Dropping the rear could also cause bottoming out.

I know of a Street Triple that cannot go over a speedbump...

Before you spend lots of cash you really must make the effort to try and sit on one. Where do you live?
16/06/2018 19:01:06 UTC
Ewan Stevenson said :-
Sharon, thanks for your very interesting blog. I just bought a 250 SL. Very pleased with it. Suspension is a bit dodgy over rough roads. It loves smooth tarmac, that's for sure. ?? Took mine on the motorway and at 70mph it felt like 90. Awesome ??
Someone told me the rear shock can seize up. Has anyone experienced that?
Anyone done any high mileage on one of these? Any issues to be concerned about? Thanks.

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12/08/2019 09:24:21 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Hi Ewan Stevenson and happy new bike!

Snod, one of our readers, had the linkage for the rear shock seize up completely on his. This lead Sharon and I to check hers at about 14,000 miles. It was fine with a good clean and re-grease. I'd suggest regular cleaning will help followed with strip and re-grease every couple of years or 15,000 miles will make it last as long as any other bike's linkage. It's not a bad job either.

Otherwise follow the service intervals. Sharon's now has about 19,000 miles on it without issue.
12/08/2019 09:31:11 UTC
Ewan Stevenson said :-
Ren the Ed
Thanks for the quick response re shock
linkage. Not sure I know what it does. I thought it was just a spring? :)
I only do 1000 miles a year so hopefully won't happen to me with an occasional grease. 19000 ! That's a lot of miles for. 250.
Shame they didn't sell this more in UK or at all in the USA. The old Ninja 250R was a cult machine in USA.
Btw, first gear seems very short, but second gear is great fun. Is that what people think on this blog? Was expecting a longer first... Great at wheelies though :)

12/08/2019 10:45:07 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
"19000 ! That's a lot of miles for. 250." Erm, let me introduce you to my Honda CBF125 with 83,000 miles.

The motor is out of the 250 off roader so that's why the gearing may feel short. Didn't notice it much myself and the only time I did a wheelie I pooped my pants. That's probably why my 125's lasted for 83,000 miles though.
12/08/2019 11:31:32 UTC
said :-
83000 is amazing even for a Honda. This little 250SL replaces a Hornet 600. It's just as much fun but in different ways. Downsizing now I'm over 50. Was tempted to go for another Suzuki Van Van 125 which I loved but the 250 SL was some where in between the two and looks stunning. Do you still have your SL? Naked or Sports?
12/08/2019 12:04:31 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
The Z250SL (the Z is the naked version) belongs to Sharon, my girlfriend. She still has the bike and it's in regular use. Sharon chose the bike simply because it is small and light and as she's only tiny it's proving to be ideal for her. It has however turned out to be an excellent machine. With her on the 250 and myself on a 500 we've toured the UK and Spain. If you look around the site you'll find reviews, jobs we've done, trips we've made and much more.

I've ridden it and I thinks it's a cracker. It's not my style but it goes very well and is a hoot to ride. Perfect compromise between a "big" bike's power and a 125's ease of use.
12/08/2019 14:13:55 UTC
Ewan Stevenson said :-
That's impressive. Spain on the 250?? Was that driving through France or ferry to Santander? Yes I've read quite a few articles on your site. Interesting stuff.
What's your 500?
12/08/2019 14:34:05 UTC
Ewan Stevenson said :-
....I just read. Santander. Through
France would be challenging on a 250 but possible. :)
12/08/2019 14:49:25 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
There are people who travel the whole world on foot and by bicycle. I know several folks who've travelled the whole world on Honda C90's. I personally know a lady who's touring around the Ukraine on a KLR250 presently. You can go as far as you like by any means. All you have to do is adjust your attitude and speed, simples!

I have a Honda CB500X. Smashing bike.
13/08/2019 09:33:14 UTC
Ewan Stevenson said :-
Yes, CB500X same engine as the CB500R? I so nearly got the 500R but I got his 250SL brand new for only £2700 with 3 year warranty which is peanuts. Think the Ninja 400 is very tempting though reading your review on it. Such an exciting time for lower capacity bikes :)

13/08/2019 10:19:14 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
The CB500X is the same as the CBR500R, the differences are the clothes they wear and suspension tweaks here and there. Modular design saves on production costs. The CB500F is also the same save for the clothes.

The Ninja 250SL and Z250SL were not big sellers so they are no longer being brought in by Kawasaki. You and Sharon and myself know it's a cracking bike but you don't get to brag down the pub about your 170hp engine and your 200mph top speed. They're cheap because Kwakker and the shops are trying to shift them and make space for more popular models.

The Z400 is another guddun, but it won't have the same economy as the 250 and it's not as light as the 250. Horses for courses but in terms of sheer fun to ride and character there's very little in it. That 250 is CHEAPER than some 125's too.
13/08/2019 10:41:59 UTC
said :-
What's Sharon going for next? The 2018 250 with the big hike in GP perhaps?

13/08/2019 11:46:58 UTC
Ewan Stevenson said :-
...sorry. meant hp, not go :)
13/08/2019 11:48:30 UTC
Ewan Stevenson said :-
Looks like the Ninja 250 2018 is only in Asia So it's only 125 or 400 now in UK. I'll be amazed if I ever see another 250SL on the road now :)
13/08/2019 14:39:03 UTC
Sharon said :-
Hi Ewan,
Yes it us a pity the 250cc superlight Kawasaki bikes didn't sell well in the UK. But when I hear people passing their tests saying they won't consider anything under a 650cc because they would be bored then it's not surprising. There is a lot of misconceptions about fun factor and engine size. A bigger engine does not always denote more fun and a smaller one does not denote boredom. I have had thousands of miles of fun on mine. Both in the UK and abroad.

As for the gears I have never really noticed a short first gear. Probably because I change up pretty quick so never spend much time in first apart from setting off and slow speeds.

What do I want next? I'm not sure because I have no plans to change my Kawasaki Z250SL at the moment because there is nothing as light as this bike out there. I do like the Kawasaki 400z so that is a possible maybe for the future.

I hope you enjoy your Kawasaki Z250SL and look forward to hopefully hearing about your adventures on it.

Posted Image
14/08/2019 22:16:37 UTC
Ewan Stevenson said :-
Hi Sharon,
This might interest you. It's not the SL but the Ninja 250R.
Paste that into your browser.
It shows how 250s can trash litre bikes on the corners.
I reckon the SL would be able to do the same, maybe even better as it is 15kgs lighter and it's second gear is so fast. Tempted to do this on mine and film it on the web cam. :)
I did see a great SL vid on the motorway. Will send if I can find it. He was like Rossi on an SL..

15/08/2019 14:22:06 UTC

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