Motorcycle

 The Little Ninja That Could…

Kawasaki Ninja 250

 

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! 😛

 

ninja 250

My Ninja and me, in perfect harmon-y (hey, that rhymes!)

 

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!

 

motorcycle travel

I lived out of those bags for 6 months.

 

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.

 

sport bike kawasaki

I take pictures of my bike like other people take pictures of their babies.

 

If you’ve traveled on a smaller displacement motorcycle, I would REALLY like to hear from you!

Comments

comments

5 Responses

  1. Piet Boerefijn says:

    I have a Yamaha WR250R. It is great because it is light. I like to drive gravel roads and tracks in remote areas alone. I can pick it up myself if I fall, bigger bikes are too heavy if you get stuck in the mud or have to lift it over fallen trees. It can do 28 km with one litre, needs relatively little maintenance, maintenance is easy and parts are not too expensive, insurance is cheap, etc. I can also move it in my car if necessary.

  2. Chris Scully says:

    You and Cardinal are certainly a force to be reckoned with! However should you end up in the market again (either here or in Europe), I wanted to cross some cons off your list! 😀

    “Insurance rates (which are expensive in Canada) tend to shoot up for anything larger than a 250cc bike.”
    – It’s actually a fairly gradual increase until around 600cc where it spikes. I went from 250cc to 500 and insurance only went up 300/yr

    “Yearly vehicle registration is much higher for anything over 400cc.”
    – Vehicle registration costs the same across the board for all bikes

    “Larger bikes usually require more expensive parts, and more expensive labor.”
    – It’s not so much about the displacement that makes parts more expensive, but how many production vehicles were manufactured. If there’s a popular bike that hasn’t changed design much if at all over the years, parts tend to get cheaper. Labour should really only increase for engine maintenance if you have more cylinders to tend to, but any other work (Tires/wheels, chain, radiator, FI) is pretty similar across bikes.

    A bigger motorcycle needs more room to park, and more people to lift it if I drop it.
    – Not too much more room actually, and you can learn to lift almost any bike by yourself, at least up to 650cc 😉

    • Chris, thank you so much for the info! Insurance rates were very high for me at first as Cardinal was my first vehicle, and I had no insurance history. Right now I bet it would be different no matter where I go, thank goodness!

  3. jim says:

    I also have a 2005 Ninja 500R that I picked up for a song, sat outside for a bit (PO scared himself on it) but I am in the process of reviving it. Only 3800 miles on it, and it runs!

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