Tanshanomi's Snap Judgments

Kawasaki 250TR

Thu, May 20th, 2010

I normally try to respect online IP, but I blatantly stole this from a Czech-language website (www.motocykl-online.cz) because it’s too great a shot to not include here. This is what motorcycling is all about.

Click images for larger view.
NOTE: The 250TR has never been imported for sale in North America.

2001–10 Kawasaki BJ250TR
The 250TR is a variant of the JDM-only Estrella 250, and shares that bike's motor. It's not a powerhouse, but friendly, and has good output overall for a 250. It shifts nicely and its electronic fuel injection imparts a level of sophistication uncommon on this size bike.
The 250 TR is a quality lightweight streetbike that can handle the occasional dirt trail without a problem. Its retro-scrambler persona is not just for image. Light weight and a narrow chassis, along with it's comfortable, flat seat and wide bars are great for the kind of riding a 250 single excels at. The dual-piston front caliper is a nice touch.
It looks like an updated, enlarged version of my first bike, a '73 Honda CL125S. It triggers a neural pathway deep in my brain's pleasure center.
The 250 TR and the Estrella it's based on have been for sale forever in Japan, where riders are willing to pay for quality-built lightweight bikes, and expect them to withstand constant use. These are very well made machines.
Lightweight 'street scramblers' are extinct in this country, and few Americans would buy the 250 TR if it were sold here. That's a shame; for most people's needs and riding habits, it would be head and shoulders above the Yamaha XT250 dualsport and the Estralla-inspired Suzuki TU250 streetbike that are sold here. It gets my customary 2-point deduction for not being imported to the U.S, and another point taken off for being a bit too low on power for comfort on U.S. Interstates.
Very few lightweights have the magnetic pull of this bike. I absolutely love it.
This retro-styled 'street scrambler' is everything we love about vintage bikes and everything we love about modern bikes in one very attractive package.