Following in the footsteps of superbike superstar Jonathan Rhea with an A1 driver’s license – the Kawasaki Ninja 125 offers entry into the green supersport segment. How athletic is she really?
When it comes to a motorcycle, the sporty character is not determined by the performance of the bike. Quite the contrary, one could say: sometimes it is the lack of performance that awakens the athlete inside you and challenges you on two wheels. As is the Kawasaki Ninja 125, which has also been Euro 5 approved since 2021. At first glance, you can’t see it at all, and even if you take a closer look, you only discover a new plastic case behind the left side panel that houses the activated carbon filter . Otherwise, everything has remained as it has been known since the end of 2018. This means that the Kawasaki Ninja 125 may not appear as aggressive in design and overall looks a bit delicate for a 125, but it is a true sport. Anyone who drives it quickly declares their commitment to the committed and dynamic movement on two wheels.
Single cylinder wide wake-up of 6000rpm
First of all because of the engine. After a cold start, the single unit, elaborately constructed with two camshafts and four valves actuated via the bucket’s tappets, allows a second or two before willingly moving on the gas, and also cycles for a very long time when idling increases. The single cylinder, tired at the bottom but getting up wide from 6000 rpm, fits perfectly with the super sporty Kawasaki Ninja 125 character, with which you want to flip gears up to 10800 rpm and fold behind the little fairing, like World Championship driver Jonathan put it Rhea as a superbike dominate.
Low handlebars, still suitable for everyday use, put you on the offensive, and with the Kawasaki Ninja 125 between your legs, the country road becomes the playground of a game that means: round, smooth, and with momentum. You don’t miss anything, except for the gear indicator, which is now standard on the 125 competition. The small LCD cockpit looks a bit dated and only moderately readable.
Hang on the Kawasaki Ninja 125
The Kawasaki Ninja 125’s chassis, on the other hand, is convincing, not too tight, but still usefully tuned for a sporty swing. Small flaw: insensitive fork response. It does not detract from the driving pleasure. Once folded over the narrow tires, the hatch faithfully follows the target line and raises itself only slightly when braking. Standard Dunlop TT 900 “J” tires encourage rolling when the temperature hits. All is well, then, except that the brake doses can’t be pinpointed perfectly, even if you’ve decelerated properly when you hold it stubbornly.
By the way, the Ninja 125 not only provides enough space for drivers with a height of more than 1.80 meters, but also provides space for a sports suspension. Knee loops for the first time – with the Kawasaki Ninja 125 this is possible. Only the seat itself gives a little support to the buttocks. In everyday life and in the longer stages, the soft padding provides good comfort.
At 4,695 euros, the Kawasaki Ninja 125 is right in the middle of its class. To be fair, you can get more for a little more budget. More optics, more chassis and more power. Equipped with a prestigious inverted fork, Yamaha YZF-R 125 (from €5349) comes to mind, whose engine with variable valve timing provides a more even and powerful power delivery at low to medium speeds. Meanwhile, the Ninja 125 isn’t interested in such a prestige. A real warrior.