Kawasaki Ninja 250R Racer first ride - 'tight, planted and solid'

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This is the bike that could catapult a talented teenager into racing superstardom. It’s a race-prepared Kawasaki Ninja 250R and it’s the machine being used for next year’s inaugural European Junior Cup. 

We got to ride the first Ninja 250R to be race prepared for the series at Jerez. Modifications are limited to the removal of all the road gear and the addition of fibreglass race bodywork, a Two-Brothers racing exhaust, air filter, braided brake lines, rearsets, crash protection and Pirelli control tyres. 

I was expecting the 249cc parallel-twin cylinder 33bhp Kawasaki, with its standard budget-spec suspension, to be lost around the epic Jerez MotoGP circuit, but it impressed the hell out of me. Far from being breathless and a bit wobbly, it’s tight, planted and solid. It flicks easily into corners and is fast and stable at full lean.

Read the full test in this week’s MCN, on sale Wednesday 8 December 2010.