Slim, one of the most powerful in its class and smouldering sexy, the 2014 Kawasaki Z250 SL single-cylinder makes for a great entry-level motorcycle. Its makers had the gentler sex in mind when designing this bike. I was lucky enough to have had the chance to borrow this bike for a couple of days: between a moment in time and a year’s long relationship, this is one of those times when I can say it was a beautiful affair without offending anyone. I have only Bikes Republic, a community of bikers in Malaysia, to thank for this rare opportunity.
With all my biking gear in place, I mounted the Kawasaki and checked out its digital interface which is easily readable for the average rider. The digital fuel gauge, tachometer, speedometer and trip meter are about all that one needs to ride with peace of mind. However, as a newbie rider myself, I was quite disheartened by the lack of a gear indicator on the bike; the only indicator present merely shows when one has shifted into neutral gear.
Asking around got me more or less the same answers, the most common being that after a while of riding, the gear indicator becomes irrelevant. Both the speedometer and tachometer can also do the job of showing which gear one is in. I soon learnt that a lot of bikes in the market don’t necessarily come with a gear indicator, and made a mental note to learn the ropes of gear shifting quickly and thoroughly if I wanted to continue the entire business of riding.
My first time on the bike, I couldn’t help but appreciate the sturdy and rock-solid build of the bike. Weighing 148 kilograms, the bike is considered light for a motorcycle – the SL in the name standing for Super Light – but I felt well supported on the bike despite its petite frame. Around the small streets and back alleys of the city, the bike proved nimble enough to cut through heavy traffic, and its 250cc engine is more than powerful enough for zipping around town.
In contrast, hitting the highway with this bike is quite another story. It’s a fast bike but at the end of the day it’s a single-cylinder, so one can only go so fast as the engine starts to vibrate at top speed, making for a slightly uncomfortable ride. Depending on what kind of rider one is, this bike can comfortably run from 130-160 kilometres per hour at maximum speed. Its light weight didn’t help with wind turbulence on the highway either. I even thought that perhaps a set of slightly larger tyres might help with this problem.
But priced between RM15,000 and RM16,000, the Kawasaki Z250 SL 2014 is a recommended buy for all entry level bikers, especially lady bikers. Light enough to manoeuvre, its highly responsive engine makes gear shifting simple and easy riding very comfortable. Although I had only less than a year’s riding experience, this motorcycle felt so secure, I was turning corners like a pro – well almost. While taking the 2014 Kawasaki Z250SL for a spin, I felt no less safe than a baby in a mother’s embrace, so to the lady who lacks the courage to ride through heavy and fast traffic, this is just the bike to see you through a safe ride. – August 18, 2014.