Kawasaki Ninja 250R EX250-F (1988-2007) Maintenance Schedule and Service Intervals

This is the maintenance schedule with associated service intervals for the Kawasaki Ninja 250R EX250-F, also known as the Kawasaki EX250 in different markets, or the ZZR250.

It was made from 1988 until 2007 basically unchanged until Kawasaki replaced it with the 2008 Kawasaki Ninja 250R, improving the aesthetics and also a bunch of riding components like brakes, suspension, lights, and so on.

The Kawasaki Ninja 250 has been an entry-level sport bike for many years, with a riding posture that’s not totally upright, but also not totally bent over the bars, like on a focused high-speed sport bike (e.g., ZX-6R). It’s a commuter that’s agile, or a casual sport bike that will sip fuel and let you go down to the shops.

The Ninja 250R is special in that unlike nearly any larger motorcycle, you can redline it in every gear (well, until you run out of power). You can really thrash it and enjoy it to the full, flinging it around corners with aplomb. So the Ninja 250R is a great beginner bike because it’s so forgiving.

This was originally published on October 19, 2020, but has since been extensively updated.

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Ninja 250R Service Intervals

Overall, the 1988-2007 Ninja 250R has service intervals of 6000 mi / 10000 km or a year between oil changes.

Every 6000 mi / 10000 km (but not necessarily annually), you also have to check the valve clearances. This may coincide with the oil change, but may not.

Many owners of the Ninja 250R say that once the valves bed in, they don’t need frequent service, and thus they wait for signs of sluggish performance or valve noise.

Maintenance Schedule for Kawasaki Ninja 250R EX250-F

Below is the maintenance schedule for the Kawasaki Ninja 250R EX250-F.

For convenience we’ve broken the schedule into two parts:

  1. The service schedule of major items to do (e.g. oil change, spark plug change)
  2. The standard “maintenance checklist” to attend to at every service.

Service schedule


  • For higher odometer readings, repeat at the frequency interval established here
  • Follow the earlier of the time or distance-based intervals.
  • The break-in service is omitted (for obvious reasons)
  • Items marked “check”: Replace, adjust, or torque if necessary.

Kawasaki recommends you take your bike to a dealer for items that might affect safety — e.g. changing brake fluid, servicing steering or suspension components, or replacing brake/fuel hoses.

mi x 1000369121518
km x 100051015202530Every
Perform standard inspection checklist (see below)
Engine oil — change (10W-40, e.g. Motul 5100 10W-40)year
Oil filter — replace
Air cleaner element — clean
Air cleaner element — replace5 cleanings
Spark plugs — clean and gap
Valve clearance — check
Throttle grip play — check / adjust
Fuel system — check for leaks
Fuel hose — replace4 years
Brake fluid — change (DOT 4 only)2 years
Brake master cylinder and caliper rubber parts and seals — replace2 years
Brake hoses — replace4 years
Radiator hoses, connections–checkyear
Coolant — change (ethylene glycol-based coolant)2 years
Steering stem bearing — lubricate (lithium soap-based grease)2 years
Swingarm pivot, uni-trak linkage — lubricate
Front fork oil — change
Kawasaki Ninja 250R Service Schedule

Standard service checklist

This is the standard inspection checklist to perform according to the schedule above.

Ninja 250R Standard Service Checklist
Carburettor synchronization — check
Idle speed — check
Brake light switch — check
Brake pad wear — check (minimum thickness: 1mm)
Brake hose connection — check condition
Fuel hose connection — check condition
Brake fluid level — check. Perform more often, e.g. pre-ride or monthly
Clutch — check / adjust free play
Steering – check
Drive chain wear — check
Tire wear — check
General Lubrication — perform
Nuts, bolts, and fasteners tightness — check
Evaporative emission control system — check
Ninja 250R Standard Service Checklist

Maintaining Your Chain on the Kawasaki Ninja 250R

It’s important to maintain your chain on the Ninja 250, as on any chain-driven motorcycle. Use a good-quality chain lubricant like Motul chain paste, or a Motul chain care kit which comes with a couple of handy tools to maintain the chain.

Kawasaki recommends you follow the following chain maintenance schedule:

Chain maintenance itemEvery
Check drive chain lubrication condition, lubricating if necessary (Motul chain paste)400 mi / 600 km
Check drive chain slack, adjusting if necessary600 mi / 1000 km
Chain maintenance — Kawasaki Ninja 250


  • Do these items (checking/adjusting slack, and checking/applying lubrication) more often if you ride your Ninja 250 in dusty or rainy conditions.
  • Always lubricate the chain after washing the motorcycle.

Tire size and tire pressure for the Kawasaki Ninja 250R EX250-F

The Ninja 250 has street/sport tyres. The tire sizes and pressures are below.

WheelTyre (Tire) sizeTyre (Tire) pressure (cold)
Front100/80-1628 psi / 200 kPa
Rear130/80-16 32 psi / 225 kPa
Tyre sizes and pressures

About the Kawasaki Ninja 250R EX250-F

The Kawasaki Ninja 250R has a twin-cylinder 248cc engine that makes modest power, making it ideal for entry-level riders everywhere — whether it’s legally mandated or just a “good idea to start with a 250”.

Its compact parallel-twin design is lightweight and high revving, with a broad torque curve. It has decent mass centralization for easy handling by novices, with a frame that’s lightweight and rigid.

While not being a full-on sport bike like the ZX-6R from Kawasaki, the Ninja 250R has good cornering clearance and a low centre of gravity, making it fun to fling around back roads at high RPMs and lean angles. The relatively low power makes it forgiving if you give it too much throttle. But that doesn’t make it slow!

The Ninja 250R’s engine is a high-revving, liquid-cooled, parallel twin engine with dual overhead cams and four valves per cylinder.

Its 13000 rpm redline and six-speed transmission mean that even experienced riders can get a lot of joy out of the little Ninja. Keeping the revs soaring is rewarding, with a jet turbine-like sound that is hard to eke out of a larger motorcycle on public roads (within the speed limit, anyway).

And on top of all that, the Ninja’s 250cc engine has excellent fuel economy even in this early carburettor configuration. Don’t be surprised if you easily clear 70 mpg (US gallons), even while riding it aggressively.

Like its larger siblings from Kawasaki, the Ninja 250R has an aerodynamic full fairing, Kawasaki’s progressive rear suspension and high-performance disc brakes.

It also has a low seat height for added confidence when stopped. Other features include an easy-to-read instrument panel, positive neutral finder, center stand, and pop-up bungee hooks.

Manual for the Kawasaki Ninja 250R EX250-F

The above maintenance schedule comes directly from the user’s manual for the Kawasaki Ninja 250R (2004-2007 for this one).

Kawasaki Ninja 250R EX250-F 2004 maintenance schedule table

You can view archives of Kawasaki owner’s manuals here. If you want to download a copy, a version of the manual is below (a 2006 copy, from one of the final model years).

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