This is the maintenance schedule with associated service intervals for the Kawasaki Ninja 250R EX250-J made between 2008-2012, also known as the Kawasaki EX250 in different markets. But it’s usually just known as a “Ninja 250R” or “Ninja 250”.
The original Ninja 250 (1988-2007) was made very similarly for many years and shares a common maintenance schedule across the period.
The venerable Kawasaki Ninja 250 underwent a big redesign in 2008, and was made the same way until 2012, at which point it was retired in most western markets. It was succeeded by the Kawasaki Ninja 300, which shortly thereafter itself was succeeded by the more powerful and lighter Ninja 400!
The Kawasaki Ninja 250R (EX250-J, 2008-2012) is a motorcycle in the Ninja sport bike, which encapsulates everything from sporty commuters like the Ninja 250 up to hyper-bikes like the Ninja H2.
Originally introduced in 1986 as the marque’s entry-level sportbike, the Kawasaki Ninja 250 has undergone few changes throughout its quarter-century lifetime, having received only three substantial redesigns.
The Ninja 250R’s particular ergonomics, chassis design, and engine placement have resulted in a motorcycle that straddles the standard and sports classes.
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What you need to service your Kawasaki Ninja 250R
The Ninja 250 is a popular first bike, and a great bike to start to learn to do your own service on.
Aside from basic motorcycle maintenance tools, here are a few special parts you’ll need to service your Kawasaki Ninja 250.
|Part||Ninja EX250 (250R) spec|
|Oil||You need SAE 10W-40 engine oil (manual says mineral, semi-synthetic, and full synthetic are all OK). Use a good mid-range oil like Motul 5100 10W-40 (no need for something race-spec).|
Don’t over-torque the drain bolt (spec is 20 Nm/14 lb-ft per the manual) — use a torque wrench if you don’t have experience with how much torque is enough.
|Oil filter||Use a Hiflofiltro HF401, a commonly available and high-quality replacement. Torque on the oil filter is 20 Nm/14 lb-ft.|
|Chain lubricant||The chain needs to be lubricated every 600 km/400 miles (or more, if it gets wet/dirty). Motul chain paste is cheap and well-liked.|
|Cable lubricant||Remember to lubricate your clutch cable (and brake cables if you have them) with a cable lubricant. Protect All Cable Life is a good general-purpose lubricant.|
|Brake fluid||Spec is to use DOT-4 brake fluid, e.g. Castrol DOT 4.|
|Coolant||Use ethylene glycol pre-mix coolant with a 50% mixture, with anti-corrosion inhibitors safe for an aluminium radiator. E.g. Valvoline Zerex G05.|
|Front brake pads||Replace the stock pads with EBC brake pads for better bite and less fade, code FA197HH.|
|Rear brake pads||Replace the stock rear pads with EBC double hardened brake pads to match the front — code FA197HH (same as the front).|
|Spark plugs||NGK CR8E, with a spark plug gap of 0.7-0.8mm (use a spark plug gapping tool), torqued to 13 Nm or 9 ft-lb (use a torque wrench)|
|Air filter||You can use the K&N equivalent KA-2508.|
|Grease||Use a lithium soap-based grease for all the important greasing points.|
Maintenance Schedule for Kawasaki Ninja 250R EX250-J
Below is the maintenance schedule for the Kawasaki Ninja 250R EX250-J.
The maintenance for the Kawasaki Ninja 250R EX250-J is broken into three sections: Engine Related Items, Chassis Related Items, and Change/Replacement Items.
Notes on the maintenance schedule:
- For higher odometer readings, repeat at the frequency interval established here.
- Follow the earlier of the time and distance-based intervals.
- The break-in service is omitted, as the Ninja 250R is no longer sold new.
- #: Service more frequently when operating in severe conditions: dusty, wet, muddy, high speed, or frequent starting/stopping.
Periodic replacement/change items
|mi x 1000||7.5||15||22.5||30||Every|
|km x 1000||12||24||36||48||X years|
|Air cleaner element # – replace (K&N KA-2508)||2|
|Engine oil # – change (Motul 5100 10W-40)||•||•||•||•||1|
|Oil filter – replace (HF401)||•||•||•||•||1|
|Fuel hoses – replace||5|
|Coolant – change (Valvoline Zerex G05)||•||3|
|Radiator hoses and O-rings – replace||•||3|
|Brake hoses – replace||•||4|
|Brake fluid (front and rear) – change (Castrol DOT 4)||•||•||2|
|Rubber parts of master cylinder and caliper – replace||•||4|
|Spark plug – replace (NGK CR8E)||•||•||•||•||–|
|mi x 1000||3.75||7.5||11.25||15||18.75||22.5||Every|
|km x 1000||6||12||18||24||30||36||X years|
|Air cleaner element – clean/replace (KA-2508)||•||•||•|
|Valve clearance – inspect||•||•||•|
|Throttle control system (play, smooth return, no drag) – inspect||•||•||•||1|
|Choke operation – inspect||•||•||•||1|
|Engine vacuum synchronization – inspect||•||•||•|
|Idle speed – inspect||•||•||•|
|Fuel leak (fuel hose and pipe) – inspect||•||•||•||1|
|Fuel hoses damage – inspect||•||•||•||1|
|Fuel hoses installation condition – inspect||•||•||•||1|
|Coolant level – inspect||•||•||•|
|Coolant leak – inspect||•||•||•||1|
|Radiator hose damage – inspect||•||•||•||1|
|Radiator hoses installation condition – inspect||•||•||•||1|
|Air suction system damage – inspect||•||•||•|
|Evaporative emission control system – function (CA model only)||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|mi x 1000||3.75||7.5||11.25||15||18.75||22.5|
|km x 1000||6||12||18||24||30||36||Every|
|Clutch operation (play, engagement, disengagement) – inspect||•||•||•|
|Drive chain wear – inspect #||•||•||•|
|Drive chain guide wear – inspect||•||•||•|
|Wheels and tires:|
|Tire air pressure – inspect||•||•||•||year|
|Wheels/tires damage – inspect||•||•||•|
|Tire tread wear, abnormal wear – inspect||•||•||•|
|Wheel bearings damage – inspect||•||•||•||year|
|Brake fluid leak – inspect||•||•||•||•||•||•||year|
|Brake hoses damage – inspect||•||•||•||•||•||•||year|
|Brake pad wear – inspect #||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|Brake hose installation condition – inspect||•||•||•||•||•||•||year|
|Brake fluid level – inspect||•||•||•||•||•||•||6 mon|
|Brake operation (effectiveness, play, drag) – inspect||•||•||•||•||•||•||year|
|Brake light switch operation – inspect||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|Front forks/rear shock absorber operation (damping and smooth stroke) – inspect||•||•||•|
|Front forks/rear shock absorber oil leak – inspect||•||•||•||year|
|Uni-trak rocker arm operation – inspect||•||•||•|
|Uni-trak tie rods operation – inspect||•||•||•|
|Swingarm pivot – lubricate (lithium soap-based grease)||•|
|Steering play – inspect||•||•||•||year|
|Steering stem bearings – lubricate (lithium soap-based grease)||•||2 years|
|Lights and switches operation – inspect||•||•||•||year|
|Headlight aiming – inspect||•||•||•||year|
|Side stand switch operation – inspect||•||•||•||year|
|Engine stop switch operation – inspect||•||•||•||year|
|Chassis parts – lubricate||•||•||•||year|
|Bolts and nuts tightness – inspect||•||•||•|
Maintaining Your Chain on the Kawasaki Ninja 250R
It’s important to maintain your chain on the Ninja 250R, 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 item||Every|
|Check drive chain lubrication condition, lubricating if necessary (Motul chain paste)||400 mi / 600 km|
|Check drive chain slack, adjusting if necessary||600 mi / 1000 km|
Notes on chain maintenance for the Ninja 250R
- Do these items (checking/adjusting slack, and checking/applying lubrication) more often if you ride your Ninja 250R in dusty or rainy conditions.
- Always lubricate the chain after washing the motorcycle.
Tyre size and tyre pressure for the Kawasaki Ninja
The Kawasaki Ninja has the following tyre sizes standard, plus the following recommended pressures.
|Front||110/70-17 M/C 54S||200 kPa/28 psi|
|Rear||130/70-17 M/C 62S||225 kPa/32 psi|
The Ninja 250R shipped with Bridgestone BT-45R or Dunlop GT501R standard, but use whatever street/sport tyres suit your regular use.
About the Kawasaki Ninja 250R EX250-J
The Ninja 250R is the quintessential first motorcycle. Affordable, easy to ride, easy to repair, and widely available, a common recommendation is for people to buy one and then to sell it for exactly what they paid for it.
But that’s not all the Ninja 250R can be. It is a simple bike, but it has the underpinnings of a track bike. Granted it’ll need different springs, maybe gold valves, better brake lines and pads… but once you’re done with that and have cleared off a lot of weight, it can be quite a fun bike to rev up to the limiter on a tight track.
In stock form, with its smooth and accessible power delivery, low seat height, and excellent value, the Kawasaki Ninja 250R EX250-J has all the elements to make it the perfect first sportbike, giving a new rider a taste for the style.
It’s lightweight and agile, with low ownership costs coupled with impressive performance (for the capacity). It doesn’t pull that hard, but when you wind it up, it sounds like a jet engine!
The 249cc liquid-cooled, parallel-twin engine is tuned for smooth, predictable power delivery around town and excellent performance on the highway. You have to rev it up, but the smooth and easy to use six-speed transmission (with Kawasaki’s positive neutral finder) means you can always keep it going at any speed you need.
The modern aerodynamic fairing and windscreen mean that the Kawasaki Ninja 250 not only looks great but is comfortable to ride, keeping the wind off you (and the chassis) at speed.
The Ninja 250 is also comfortable. It has a natural riding position and comfortable ergonomics. Riding it on city streets is a pleasure.
The braking power is ample for a bike this light and modestly powered with a 290mm front and 220mm rear brake rotors, each gripped by two-piston hydraulic calipers.
Like later Kawasaki Ninja models, the Kawasaki Ninja 250 has generally high-quality components and won’t let you down until you decide you have outgrown it.
Manual for the Kawasaki Ninja 250R EX250-J
The above maintenance schedule comes directly from the user’s manual for the 2012 Kawasaki Ninja 250R EX250-J, which is available here. It’s the same for the other years.