The Kawasaki Z250 competes against the KTM Duke 390 and the Suzuki Inazuma in the segment, but does it have the edge over its rivals? We do a quick comparison to see which street-fighter is worth your money.
The naked quarter-litre segment is getting hotter and hotter by the day with customers being offered a variety of options to choose from. An assortment of sorts, it is now Kawasaki that has launched the Z250 street-fighter in the country to take on the KTM Duke 390 and the Suzuki Inazuma 250. So while one is the leader and the other an underdog in the segment, where exactly does the Z250 fit in? We find out with our quick spec comparison.
Design – While beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, there are some elements we all would agree upon unanimously. In terms of aesthetics, it is certainly the Kawasaki Z250 that takes the cake home. The Z800 inspired styling gives a striking flair to the design, not to forget the bigger bike feel that comes along with it. A similar case is with the Duke as well. With even the 1290 Super Duke sporting the same design, the Duke 390 manages to look its part and is a head turner. The Inazuma on the other hand falters in the design department without realising and looks dated and too conservative. Yes, it is purpose built, but the 3-spoke alloys look from two decades ago and the bland overall styling does not work for a younger buyer.
Dimensions – The Duke 390 and Inazuma share the same length at 2145 mm, while the Z250 lags behind by a bit at 2010 mm. However when it comes to the wheelbase, the Duke loses by a bigger margin compared to its rivals. Owing to the longer wheelbase, the Inazuma can easily accommodate the rider and pillion, while the Z250 does the same reasonably well. The Duke 390 on the other hand is best enjoyed without a pillion. In terms of weight though, the Duke supersedes the competition by miles being the lightest in the class at just 154 kgs. The Z250 is a healthy 168 kgs, while the heaviest is the Inazuma that touches the scale at 183 kgs.
Comfort – Being the longest in its class, the Suzuki Inazuma is the most comfortable with the elongated and well cushioned seat. The Kawasaki Z250 comes in second here when it comes to seating comfort, while the KTM Duke 390 is a distant third courtesy of the thin seats. All the bikes get wide handlebars that make for upright seating positions. In terms of touring, riders can easily do around six hours on the Duke 390 and the Z250, while the Inazuma will be more comfortable for an additional 2-3 hours.
Powertrain – Without a second thought, it is the Duke 390 that wins the prize with the biggest engine and power output. However while the Duke 390 is a single-cylinder unit, the Inazuma and Z250 come with 250cc parallel-twin motors that are extremely refined. The Z250 is also a lot more sportier and offers a strong top-end performance with 32 PS of power on tap. The Duke screams at the top-end of the power band, while the Inazuma is the most nimble of the lot and also the most underpowered at the same time. If performance figures are to be considered, 0-100 km/hr will be fastest on the Duke 390 courtesy of the light weight and high power followed by the Z250, while the Inazuma comes in a distant third. However, the extremely refined Suzuki engine runs smooth even after countless touring kilometres.
Price – While all the three bikes have pros and cons to their side, pricing becomes a very important aspect of the purchase decision and it is here that the Kawasaki Z250 fails miserably with an asking price of Rs. 2.99 lakhs. Despite being a fantastic offering, the Japanese manufacturer simply cannot match the value for power and outlandishness that the Duke 390 offers at Rs. 1.80 lakhs. After the price cut, the Inazuma was competitively positioned and manages to slot in between the 390 Duke and Z250. However, being the least powered here, the bike just seems a bit under equipped especially at Rs. 2.09 lakhs (all prices ex-showroom, Delhi).
Verdict – Yes, Kawasaki behaves a lot more differently and will offer you a much bigger bike-like feel in the overall sense. It looks great, is well equipped and comes with overwhelming levels of quality. The Duke 390 on the other hand is what you would use to redline every now and then. It is the perfect track scorcher, corner craver that the segment offers and will not leave a big hole in your pocket either, it’s also the only bike here which comes with ABS as standard. Lastly, the Inazuma is for those who believe in longevity and are looking for a brilliant touring machine. If you believe in going a mile extra, the Kawasaki Z250 is certainly the bike for you, otherwise, the Duke 390 will still keep you happy with no complaints.