Bargains from Honda, Kawasaki, KTM and Suzuki

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Bargains from Honda, Kawasaki, KTM and Suzuki


Bargains from Honda, Kawasaki, KTM and Suzuki

Honda CBR 250 R, Kawasaki Ninja 300 R, KTM 200 Duke, Suzuki Inazuma 250
Four motorcycles for 5000 euros

No question about it, in terms of engine performance, these four affordable bikes are at the bottom of the scale. Apart from that, they are still great cinema. Why? Very easily.

Rolf Henniges

December 06, 2012

Bargains from Honda, Kawasaki, KTM and Suzuki

Red Lights Club – not elitist, but with a lot of fun in life.

As always, it’s all a question of perspective. Just imagine that you don’t live in Germany, but in the country somewhere in India. Or even in Thailand. Only the mayor and a few mafiosi drive cars. Anyone who has made it halfway to something jets around with a Honda Innova 125 or similar ten-horsepower pickle. The rest of them ride their bikes or donkeys. If you show up in that environment with one of these four bikes, you are suddenly the big number.

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Bargains from Honda, Kawasaki, KTM and Suzuki

Honda CBR 250 R, Kawasaki Ninja 300 R, KTM 200 Duke, Suzuki Inazuma 250
Four motorcycles for 5000 euros

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King of the emerging market, so to speak. Master tow truck. Village talk. Each of these hummingbirds ennobles you and polishes your image up tremendously. But: how is it here in Germany? What are the advantages of riding a small bike? MOTORRAD was looking for reasons. And found.

Price breaker
A lot of motorcycle for little money. From this point of view, the Suzuki Inazuma is the big winner. For only 3390 euros you get 183 kilos of mass, two cylinders, two rear silencers and large plastic parts. Make something. But you should be able to live with the quirky, bulky look. In this regard, the 200 Duke come from KTM or Hondas CBR 250 R cooler over there.

Both are still quite cheap at around 4500 euros. Whereby Honda’s 250cc with integral brake system and ABS offers significantly more technology than the Spartan KTM, which will only come with ABS in the coming year. Kawasaki requires 5590 euros for the 300 ninja and thus reaches the pain limit despite 39 hp, ABS and sports suspension – for 5490 euros there is a Honda NC 700 S. With more displacement, more power (48 hp) and better suitability for everyday use. At this point, the following must be pointed out: All of the bikes collected here were developed for emerging countries such as India, Thailand or China. The dilemma for these comparatively lean motorized bikes is the new driver’s license regulation, which will come into force on January 19, 2013: Anyone who obtained their car driver’s license before April 1, 1980 can drive bikes with up to 48 hp after taking a practical test. Perhaps the question arises for less horsepower. But performance alone does not count here.

Bargains from Honda, Kawasaki, KTM and Suzuki

Honda CBR 250 R..

Motorhome compatible
If you don’t want to lug a scooter or similar companion at the rear of your motorhome, you might be toying with a bike from this quartet. Worst choice: the leaden Inazuma. Best: the KTM -Duke. With a full tank of just 139 kilos, the 200 can also be loaded on its own if necessary. In addition, the Duke looks very good at the rear of a mobile apartment. The motorcycle is cool, exudes youthful charm, and when you reach your destination, you can sit upright and go to get a sandwich or surf curve combinations. You can do the same with the Kawa or Honda. But the little athletes don’t look nearly as cool at the rear.

Engine feeling
Yes, we have to talk about power in this class too. First of all: The extra power of the 300 ninja cannot really be implemented when driving over winding paths, passes or in city traffic. In these areas, no machine really takes this comparison away from the others. Because in everyday life, average speeds between 4000 rpm and 7000 rpm are required – an area in which the four bikes are very close to one another in terms of performance. Only when it comes to overtaking or you have long straights ahead of you on which you can squeeze the engines does the 300 ninja drive up and away from the field. But isn’t the world a curve? The 200cc KTM, for example, compensates for the displacement disadvantage with its flyweight.

In this field, what it feels like is more important than benchmarking. Sports fans get their money’s worth with the Kawa-Twin. The 300 loves revs up to 12,500 tours, only appears extremely lively in the last third of the speed and then actually serves almost 40 hp. These are worlds compared to the Inazuma’s 25 hp. The complete opposite of the Kawa twin is the 26 hp and rough running Honda single. He looks comparatively sluggish, uniform and restrained. In terms of feeling, it could also drive an emergency generator. But it doesn’t matter, because in everyday life you get along very well with it. In contrast to other 250 CBR models, the test copy turned out to be very tricky.

KTM’s lively single cylinder is agile over the entire speed range, it can be driven easily at low revs, but also turns with vigor right down to the limiter, which takes effect at 10,800 rpm. This uniformity exudes a little electric motor charm. In terms of starting behavior, the Duke could also use fine-tuning.

It turns very high when it is cold, but often goes out when it is warm. Stupid when you stand on pole at the traffic lights and can’t get away. In order to track away from there with the Inazuma, you always need high revolutions. Life in the last third of the engine speed from 7000 rpm is the constant motto of the Suzuki twin. Perhaps that is because the Suzuki, for example, is 44 kilograms heavier than the KTM. But it doesn’t matter, because the Twin is a prime example of smooth running. No other unit in this comparison runs so smoothly and with such low vibrations.

Bargains from Honda, Kawasaki, KTM and Suzuki

Kawasaki Ninja 300.

Sins of youth
Gray hair, crunching knees, a map on our face – we’re not getting any younger. But these bikes bring back a piece of youth. Much more effective than hyperpotent super athletes can. Or strong naked bikes. Because: A lot of performance doesn’t just make you fast. It can also make you lazy. With 150 hp under the rear, you give less than more gas at the apex. You only pull up when the box is horizontal again, there are no pebbles on the road and it is not damp either. At some point, unfortunately, the ideal line will only become something that you know from hearsay. With a motorcycle from this quartet, everything is yesterday’s news. Suddenly you’re sixteen again. Eight horsepower, slipstream fights, racing line. Better dead than lose momentum. Everything back. Every home route that is driven quickly feels like having the world championship in the bag. Because in order to drive really quickly, you can’t allow yourself to make any mistakes: speed, choice of line, braking point, accelerating – everything has to harmonize perfectly. There is no extra horsepower to make up for driving mistakes. So put your spurs on your saddles and the horses – which one does you feel most intensely as a world champion? But above all: why?

In terms of feeling, the KTM is in first place. In addition to all the listed things that you must not mess around, this 200 rubber band motor never gives you an exact sign when it would be better to shift into the next higher gear.

In addition, you have to constantly struggle with the miserable shock absorber, which not only responds badly, but is also extremely underdamped. Compensating for the constant unrest in the chassis on undulating asphalt is a real grueling task and requires full concentration. Those who are fast with the Duke 200 can not only drive very well, but also enjoy the full cocktail of motorcycling. More is hardly possible. In second place: the Honda. The reason for this is their comparatively phlegmatic single cylinder, which constantly gives you the feeling of walking a stationary engine for a walk. No problem in everyday life. Great for tourist wandering around. But dramatic when it comes to feeling fast. The Honda has formidable prerequisites for the fast rush: the ABS-assisted integral brake system works foolproof and decelerates well, and none steers as directly and precisely as the little CBR. Even the body connection to the motorcycle is almost perfect. You can tell that the designers of this sports bike have drawn on a great deal of knowledge that the Honda engineers have been able to gather from countless racing events. Third place in the ranking for the fastest feeling: Kawasaki Ninja 300. Everything is right here.

39 HP shoot the 177 kilograms like a bullet through the landscape. Brakes: great. Direct. Effectively. Steadfast. The whole thing is served with a sporty sitting posture. In addition, a stable, tightly tuned chassis. You don’t just feel fast on the ninja. One is too. Faster than the rest of the quartet. Except that it doesn’t feel as intense due to the inadequacies of the KTM or Honda. How, you can’t do anything with that? It’s a bit like the mountaineering comparison: three men stand on the same summit. One is blind (KTM), the other lame (Honda) and the last a well-trained 20-year-old (Kawa). Although everyone climbed the same route, getting to the top means something different for everyone. Oh yes, there was something else. Exactly. The Suzuki Inazuma. Let’s be honest: the concept of the 250 can be compared to a 1200 bandit. Moves. Transported. Tours. Never want to be fast. Do what you tell her to do. “Harry, pull up the car.” That’s exactly how she comes across. The Inazuma is the ideal companion for people who are not looking for sound, action or a great look. It offers the most comfortable chassis set-up, the engine with the smoothest running and the best pillion seat. Unfortunately, it also takes some getting used to, wobbly steering behavior. Sorry, but at the Inazuma you usually feel as old as you are. Nothing with racing or mountaineering. The only thing missing is the standard retaining ball for small trailers.

Bargains from Honda, Kawasaki, KTM and Suzuki

KTM 200 Duke.

Second motorcycle
For motorcyclists who do not want to cover short distances to the quarry pond or the bakery on their big bikes and who hate scooters, these four are a real alternative. If you also take a pillion passenger with you from time to time, you can’t avoid the Suzuki. On it, the passenger at least still feels like a person. The knee angle is comfortable and the space is sufficient. On the other three bikes, the co-driver must either be extremely capable of suffering or only climb around the block for small trips. Unfortunately, compared to the other three, little Suzi’s thirst is as if someone was always going along. With 4.4 liters per 100 kilometers, it consumes more than the competition. If you are looking for a second motorcycle under the aspect of space, you should choose the KTM. The lightest and handiest machine in the test is also the most delicate and can be pushed into the tiniest nook and cranny of the garage. Ironically, the Kawa, the sportiest of the quartet, offers the best light, the lowest seating position and offers hooks so that you can lash your luggage (almost impossible on the KTM).

Bargains from Honda, Kawasaki, KTM and Suzuki

Suzuki Inazuma 250.

Type advice
Get pleasure? Welcome to the Red Lights Club! Which one for whom, you may now be asking yourself. We start alphabetically: Honda CBR 250 R – if you dream of a four-cylinder Fireblade, but can also live with one cylinder, the 250 is the right choice. It looks sporty, but is a reliable everyday companion. Kawasaki Ninja 300 – The Ninja is the right choice for everyone who likes a real athlete feeling, classy look and driving dynamics. It is also suitable for beginners and those switching from the automotive sector (keyword new driving license regulations). KTM Duke 200 – for all the young at heart and those who want to become one again. Gets the respect of the iPod generation and always makes for a cool appearance. Suzuki Inazuma – Do you have your driver’s license but don’t know if motorcycling is the right hobby for you? Try the Inazuma. The machine is very cheap, easy to drive and good-natured.

MOTORCYCLE scoring / test results

Perhaps not quite fair: But the Kawa collects a comparatively high number of points thanks to its displacement advantage. With a top speed of 170 km / h, it runs around 40 km / h faster than the KTM, for example. In addition, the Kawa-Twin runs relatively smoothly, only the Suzuki-Twin is a bit smoother and can also be shifted best.
Winner engine: Kawasaki

landing gear
The suspension set-up of the Suzi is successful, because it is comfortable and offers reserves. The shock absorber of the Honda could respond a little more sensitively, the KTM is completely underdamped and does not respond well. But the Duke is extremely handy. The chassis of the Kawa is sporty and tight, actually not a must for this class.
Chassis winner: Suzuki

Perfect ergonomics with good body contact with the motorcycle – this is where KTM and Honda score. If you are toying with taking a passenger with you, you have to choose the Suzuki. In the mirrors of the Kawa you can see nothing but forearms, but you can lash luggage halfway, and the light is great. The KTM trumps with the best workmanship.
Winner everyday: Honda

Honda has put together a great package: stable brakes that are controlled by an integral system plus ABS. Complete contrast: the Suzuki stoppers. Without ABS, with fading and a tough braking effect.
Safety winner: Honda / Kawa

Low consumption, long inspection intervals (12,000 km), low maintenance costs – victory for the CBR.
Winner cost: Honda

Inexpensive, good, pleasant – without any real flaws – the Honda

Max points Honda KTM Kawasaki Suzuki
Overall rating 1000 563 513 569 523
placement 2. 4th. 1. 3.
Price-performance note 1.0 1.5 2.2 1.6 1.9

Bargains from Honda, Kawasaki, KTM and Suzuki

A lot of power doesn’t automatically make you fast. It can also make you lazy.

Test results

1. Kawasaki Ninja 300
The engine tears everything out: easy-revving, agile, potent. But the sporty chassis and the crisp brakes are also convincing. As a second motorcycle, the 300 is almost a shame.

2. Honda CBR 250 R
Balanced, economical, handy, reliable. The Honda virtues were also given to the smallest sports motorcycle on its way. With a little more power, it would be the test winner.

3. Suzuki Inazuma 250
Great comfort, silky smooth engine running, looks that take getting used to, no real weaknesses. But no strengths either. Little Suzi is a great workhorse for little money.

4. KTM 200 Duke
Have fun, little gasoline, great performance. With a better functioning shock absorber, it would be a high-flyer as a second motorcycle. Because it is cool and exudes the charm of youth.

Technical specifications

Bargains from Honda, Kawasaki, KTM and Suzuki

KTM 200 Duke, Suzuki Inazuma 250, Honda CBR 250 R and Kawasaki Ninja 300.

Honda KTM
design type Single cylinder four-stroke engine Single cylinder four-stroke engine
injection Ø 38 mm Ø 35 mm
coupling Multi-disc oil bath clutch  Multi-disc oil bath clutch 
Bore x stroke 76.0 x 55.0 mm 72.0 x 49.0 mm
Displacement 250 cm3 200 cm3
compression 10.7: 1 11.5: 1
perfomance 19.4 kW (26 hp) at 8500 rpm 19.0 kW (26 hp) at 10,000 rpm
Torque 23 Nm at 7000 rpm 20 Nm at 8000 rpm
landing gear
frame Bridge frame made of steel Steel tubular frame
fork Telescopic fork, Ø 37 mm Upside-down fork, Ø 43 mm
Brakes front / rear Ø 296/220 mm Ø 280/230 mm
Assistance systems Compound brake, ABS
bikes 2.75 x 17; 4.00 x 17 3.00 x 17; 4.00 x 17
tire 110/70 17; 140/70 17 110 / 70R 17; 150 / 60R 17
Tires IRC Road Winner RX-01 MRF Revz-FC
Dimensions + weights
wheelbase 1369 mm  1361 mm 
Steering head angle 65.0 degrees 65.0 degrees
trailing 95 mm 100 mm
Suspension travel v / h 130/104 mm 150/150 mm
Seat height ** 785 mm 800 mm
Weight with full tank ** 166 kg 139 kg
Payload ** 181 kg 143 kg
Tank capacity 13.0 liters 10.5 liters
Service intervals 12,000 km 5000 km
price 4490 euros 4395 euros
Price test motorcycle 4966 euros *** 4395 euros
extra costs 170 euros 200 euros
Top speed * 140 (148¹) km / h 129 km / h
0-100 km / h 8.0 sec 9.0 sec
0-140 km / h 21.9 sec
60-100 km / h 10.0 sec 8.5 sec
100-140 km / h 16.4 sec
Consumption highway 3.6 liters / normal 3.3 liters / super
Reach country road 361 km 318 km
Kawasaki Suzuki
design type Two-cylinder four-stroke in-line engine Two-cylinder four-stroke in-line engine
injection Ø 32 mm Ø 26 mm
coupling Multi-disc oil bath clutch (anti-hopping) Multi-disc oil bath clutch 
Bore x stroke 62.0 x 49.0 mm 53.5 x 55.2 mm
Displacement 296 cm3 248 cm3
compression 10.6: 1 11.5: 1
perfomance 29.0 kW (39 hp) at 11,000 rpm 18.0 kW (25 hp) at 8500 rpm
Torque 27 Nm at 10,000 rpm 22 Nm at 650 rpm
landing gear
frame Bridge frame made of steel Double loop frame made of steel
fork Telescopic fork, Ø 37 mm Telescopic fork, Ø 37 mm
Brakes front / rear Ø 290/220 mm Ø 290/240 mm
Assistance systems SECTION
bikes 2.75 x 17; 4.00 x 17 3.00 x 17; 4.00 x 17
tire 110/70 ZR 17; 140/70 ZR 17 110/80 17; 140/70 17
Tires IRC Road Winner RX 01 IRC Road Winner RX 01
Dimensions + weights
wheelbase 1405 mm  1430 mm 
Steering head angle 63.0 degrees 64.0 degrees
trailing 93 mm 105 mm
Suspension travel v / h 120/130 mm 120/120 mm
Seat height ** 770 mm 780 mm
Weight with full tank ** 177 kg 183 kg
Payload ** 177 kg 182 kg
Tank capacity 17.0 liters 13.3 liters
Service intervals 6000 km 5000 km
price 5595 euros 3990 euros
Price test motorcycle 5595 euros 3990 euros
extra costs 180 euros 150 euros
Top speed * 170 km / h 135 km / h
0-100 km / h 6.1 sec 9.5 sec
0-140 km / h 13.8 sec
60-100 km / h 7.7 sec 8.1 sec
100-140 km / h 9.7 sec
Consumption highway 3.4 liters / normal 4.4 liters / normal
Reach country road 500 km 302 km

* Manufacturer information; ** MOTORCYCLE measurements, *** incl. Carbon add-on parts (476 euros)

Performance measurement

Bargains from Honda, Kawasaki, KTM and Suzuki


Power on the crankshaft. Measurements on the Dynojet roller test stand 250, corrected according to 95/1 / EG, maximum possible deviation ± 5%.

200 and 300 cubic meters – that corresponds to a 33 percent displacement advantage. Compared to the Duke, the Ninja also translates this into 33 percent more power. Above 7000 rpm, the engine with the largest displacement dominates and outclasses the comparison field. The Ninja also sets top values ​​in terms of acceleration: after just 6.1 seconds, the speedometer shows 100 km / h. The Inazuma needs 3.4 seconds longer for this. In everyday life when swimming along in rush hour traffic or when poking through unknown curves, the Ninja cannot implement its performance advantages so dominantly, since the power output of the engines up to 7000 rpm is relatively close to one another. Interesting in connection with the power delivery: The long-stroke Suzuki twin always requires high speeds, which is unusual. The slight drop in torque of the KTM single at 4000 rpm is hardly noticed when driving. Just like the drastic increase in torque of the Honda single at 5000 rpm. In everyday use, the power output of the single cylinder is much more uniform. The small Duke hides its displacement and torque deficit with its weight advantage and the high revving power of the 200.

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