That was, without a doubt, the best review I've ever read about the littlest Ninja. There was only one other positive one that I've read. I believe it was written by or with Bubba Shobert and he really liked it too. Most are relatively condescending, starter bike and all that. One of the quotes I remember from Bubba's test was that most beginners are never going to find the best part of the 250 because the fun doesn't start until about 7/10ths
I think they are a hoot and I've been riding a long, long time. I ride for the grins
and I've probably gotten more out of this bike then any other. Certainly on a grin per dollar ratio.
I bought mine in the early 90's because my XS1100 would not run well in the rain and I don't like cleaning rust off chrome. I bought the Ninja as a throw-away bad weather bike and got hooked. As I get older my bikes keep getting smaller, except the XR's got larger and I can't explain that. No reason paying for ability in a bike that I have no desire to test the limits of. And mom said I had no sense (she was right when she said it).
I've thrown it on the trailer with the dirt bikes and taken it all over Michigan to ride the back roads. I don't think I'd want to do 700 miles all at once but it was enough to make me realize I didn't need (or want) a larger sport bike.
Probably the best part of owning it is trying to explain it to onlookers. Almost everyone guesses it's a 600 because without a near by reference it's hard to tell how small it is. The "hard core" Harley types are the best. I've only had a few of them approach me about it but the result has been the same every time. They'll say something mildly derisive about it and I tell them it's a 250. They always stop, look again, and say they've never heard of one. I rattle off a few of the specs and they always end up begrudgingly giving it some little compliment that it's "kind of cool" or something like that. A miniature motorcycle gets them every time.
I've been riding it a lot more lately due to gas prices. It averages about 60 MPG. I have to travel 40 miles a day to work and back so it has paid for itself yet again. The other day at a light a guy on a BMW with softbags and some other gear on it stopped next to me. He's looking down about a foot and a half at me sitting there and you could just see "I remember Ninjas being a bit larger" on his face - priceless.
Excellent article - You 'da man