The Little Ninja That Could…
The motorcycle I ride (pictured above) is a 2012 Kawasaki Ninja 250r. It’s my first motorcycle ever, which I bought brand new in 2014 for $3800 CAD after getting a rather large cheque for selling my body to science (long story!).
It’s not usually recommended to buy your first bike brand new since you’ll likely drop it a few times (and want to upgrade quickly). However, nearly all the used Ninjas for sale in my area were not selling for very much less than $3800, so I decided to go with the brand new one, which I knew wouldn’t have any mechanical problems.
I named her “Cardinal” and fell in love with her. I still dedicate love songs to her!
My fees associated with motorcycling (license, insurance, registration) end up being around $75.00 CAD a month. My motorcycle currently uses Bridgestone BT45 tires. I also put a tank bag, saddlebags, and a duffel bag on this motorcycle. For details, visit my gear page.
So… Why a 250?
Many motorcyclists I meet are puzzled as to why I would tour on a Ninja 250 since it’s not really a touring bike. After hanging out with many motorcyclists, I genuinely feel that there seems to be a “bigger is better” mentality when it comes to motorcycles! 😛
Reasons the Ninja 250 is just fine for touring:
- It can take you from point A to B, without exploding! 😀
- The seating position is upright and fairly comfortable.
- I’ve ridden my Ninja 250 for up to 11 hours in a day, so..
- It (almost) keeps up just fine on the highway, I promise!
- I’ve ridden it on gravel, dirt, grass, sand, snow, in the rain, etc.
- It’s a rather low-maintenance motorcycle.
- I don’t have any other motorcycles to compare it to, as it’s the only one I’ve owned.
- There’s room for all the luggage that I need, for months!
- I rode it from Toronto to Key West, and then to Texas, and survived.
- Border officers and cops think it’s cute, and don’t hassle me.
- This couple rode their Ninja 250 (together!) from Texas to Patagonia.
- This dude did a 26k mile trip (including to Alaska) on his Ninja 250.
- There are people traveling the world on scooters and bicycles.
- This guy is traveling the world on a Honda C90!
I LOVE loud cruisers, and would really enjoy a super-sport, but I think that if I was to get another bike, I would be all logical and get a Kawasaki KLR 650. It’s simply more suitable for what I want to do. Then again, I haven’t actually decided to upgrade yet, because there are reasons I like a smaller displacement motorcycle.
Reasons I’m Not Upgrading:
- A larger displacement motorcycle means I need to spend more money on gas.
- I’ve developed an emotional attachment to this motorcycle and don’t actually want to sell it!
- I don’t want to go through the hassle and expense of buying another motorcycle and selling this one. I’m basically lazy.
- Insurance rates (which are expensive in Canada) tend to shoot up for anything larger than a 250cc bike.
- The Ninja 250 gets me approximately 65 mpg or 27 km per litre!
- Yearly vehicle registration is much higher for anything over 400cc.
- Larger bikes usually require more expensive parts, and more expensive labor.
- A bigger motorcycle needs more room to park, and more people to lift it if I drop it.
- A faster motorcycle means I’m more likely to do something stupid (like wheelies?) to get myself killed.
So there you have it! I love my baby Ninja! Full review and specs here.
However, this bike isn’t really worth shipping to Europe, so if/when I decide to explore Europe, I’ll probably just buy a new one across the pond.
If you’ve traveled on a smaller displacement motorcycle, I would REALLY like to hear from you!