Is Kawasaki developing a 250cc, 4-cylinder engine to compete with the Yamaha R25?

Yamaha Motorcycles launched their latest low-capacity performance motorcycle last month, and this motorcycle swept all the biking enthusiasts off their feet. The motorcycle in question is, the Yamaha YZF-R25. The Yamaha R25 is Yamaha’s latest attempt to re-enter the 250cc segment, and they have done it in a way that only they could, with the motorcycle clocking a record 2,800 bookings within just 25 hours of being launched. It looks really good with all the sharp lines all over the motorcycle and also with the signature split twin headlamps up front, and also it has a strong USP in it’s parallel twin engine.


The R25 is powered by an all new, high-revving 250cc parallel twin motorcycle with it’s redline set at a glorious 14,000 rpm and all these features of the Yamaha R25 seems to have intimidated its competitors. Direct rivals of Yamaha motorcycles like Honda, Suzuki and Kawasaki have already started developing, or are planning to develop a motorcycle to compete with the Yamaha R25, and these manufacturers also know that just having any motorcycle in this segment will not work, because the consumers want performance and thrill from these baby track-bred motorcycles.

The Yamaha R25 already has a competitor in the Honda CBR 300R which has a sturdy, reliable engine with pretty awesome performance figures, but it is a single cylinder unit, and would not thrill the rider as much as the parallel twin units found in the Kawasaki Ninja 300R and the Yamaha YZF-R25 and would lose out on a few customers because of this. Kawasaki already has a very good parallel twin engine which is currently being used in the Ninja 300R, but now the rumor in the grapevine is that Kawasaki wants to take it a step further and develop a 4-cylinder 250cc engine.


When there is more than one cylinder in an engine, it gives manufacturers the opportunity to introduce high compression and high compression always means more power and also a higher redline. There is always the second piston to help the first piston with the high compression, and there always is the first piston to help the second, and so on. This effect is further amplified when there is double that number, and according to rumors spreading on Indonesian blogs, Kawasaki intends to exploit this phenomena to compete with the Yamaha R25.

Kawasaki is not new to this either, as they had earlier manufactured the Ninja ZX-250A from 1988 to 1991, and the ZX-250C from 1991 to 2004 and both the motorcycles used a 249cc inline-four cylinder, liquid cooled, 16 valve engine with Dual Over Head Camshaft (DOHC). Running a  compression ratio of 12.2:1, this engine produced 45 PS max. power at 15,000 rpm and 25 Nm peak torque at 11,500 rpm.


A sportbike running an engine with these numbers from Kawasaki, in today’s age could be almost disastrous for Yamaha, as all petrolheads love high revving engines, and this is exactly what biking enthusiasts need right now.

But will they actually do it? Only time can tell.

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Also see – Is Ninja 250cc Kawasaki’s upcoming single-cylinder motorcycle?


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