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Kawasaki Ninja 250R EX250-J (2008-2012) Maintenance Schedule and Service Intervals

Red Kawasaki Ninja 250 2012

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 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 series intended for on-road riding. It’s riding posture also falls between standard and sport.

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.

OilYou 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 (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 filterUse a Hiflofiltro HF401, a commonly available and high-quality replacement. Torque on the oil filter is 20 Nm/14 lb-ft.
Chain lubricantThe 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 lubricantRemember 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 fluidSpec is to use DOT-4 brake fluid.
CoolantUse ethylene glycol pre-mix coolant with a 50% mixture.
Front brake padsReplace the stock pads with EBC brake pads for better bite and less fade, code FA197HH.
Rear brake padsRepalce the stock rear pads with EBC double hardened brake pads to match the front — code FA197HH (same as the front).
Spark plugsNGK 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 filterYou can use the K&N equivalent KA-2508.
GreaseUse a lithium soap based grease for all the important greasing points.
Consumables for servicing the Ninja 250R (2008-2012).

Maintenance Schedule for Kawasaki Ninja 250R EX250-J

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

The following is the list of maintenance operations and to be done on this motorcycle with a time or distance interval — whichever comes earlier.

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.
  • K: Should be serviced by an authorized Kawasaki dealer if you’re uncertain how to do it.
  • #: Service more frequently when operating in severe conditions: dusty, wet, muddy,
    high speed, or frequent starting/stopping.

Engine-related items

Air cleaner element – clean/replace (KA-2508)
Valve clearance – inspect
Throttle control system (play, smooth return, no drag) – inspectyear
Choke operation – inspectyear
Engine vacuum synchronization – inspect
Idle speed – inspect
KFuel leak (fuel hose and pipe) – inspectyear
KFuel hoses damage – inspectyear
KFuel hoses installation condition – inspectyear
Coolant level – inspect
Coolant leak – inspectyear
Radiator hose damage – inspectyear
Radiator hoses installation condition – inspectyear
Air suction system damage – inspect
Evaporative emission control system – function (CA model only)
Ninja 250 maintenance – engine

Chassis-related items

KClutch operation (play, engagement, disengagement) – inspect
Drive chain lubrication condition – inspect #every 600 km (400 mile)
Drive chain slack – inspect #every 1000 km (600 mile)
Drive chain wear – inspect #
KDrive chain guide wear – inspect
Wheels and tires:
Tire air pressure – inspectyear
Wheels/tires damage – inspect
Tire tread wear, abnormal wear – inspect
KWheel bearings damage – inspectyear
Brake system:
Brake fluid leak – inspectyear
Brake hoses damage – inspectyear
Brake pad wear – inspect #
Brake hose installation condition – inspectyear
Brake fluid level – inspect6 months
Brake operation (effectiveness, play, drag) – inspectyear
Brake light switch operation – inspect
Front forks/rear shock absorber operation (damping and smooth stroke) – inspect
Front forks/rear shock absorber oil leak – inspectyear
Uni-trak rocker arm operation – inspect
Uni-trak tie rods operation – inspect
KSwingarm pivot – lubricate (lithium soap-based grease)
Steering System:
KSteering play – inspectyear
KSteering stem bearings – lubricate (lithium soap-based grease)2 years
Electrical System:
Lights and switches operation – inspectyear
Headlight aiming – inspectyear
Side stand switch operation – inspectyear
Engine stop switch operation – inspectyear
Chassis parts – lubricateyear
Bolts and nuts tightness – inspect
Kawasaki Ninja 250 — Chassis items maintenance

Periodic replacement/change items

Air cleaner element # – replace (K&N KA-2508)2 year
Engine oil # – change (Motul 5100)year
Oil filter – replace (HF401)year
KFuel hoses – replace5 years
KCoolant – change (Valvoline Zerex G05)3 years
KRadiator hoses and O-rings – replace3 years
KBrake hoses – replace4 years
KBrake fluid (front and rear) – change (DOT 4 only)2 years
KRubber parts of master cylinder and caliper – replace4 years
Spark plug – replace (NGK CR8E)
Kawasaki Ninja 250R — Replacement items

Tyre size and tyre pressure for the Kawasaki Ninja

The Kawasaki Ninja has the following tyres and tyre sizes standard, plus the following recommended pressures.

TyreSizeBrand(s)Tyre pressure
Front110/70-17 M/C 54SBRIDGESTONE- “BT-45F” TL
200 kPa/28 psi
Rear130/70-17 M/C 62SBRIDGESTONE- “BT-45R” TL
225 kPa/32 psi
Kawasaki Ninja 250R Tyres and tyre pressures

General information 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.

With its smooth and accessible power delivery, low seat height, and excellent value, the Kawasaki Ninja 250R EX250-J has all the vital elements to make it the perfect first sportbike.

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

2012 Kawasaki Ninja 250R Maintenance Schedule Screenshot From Manual

The above maintenance schedule comes directly from the user’s manual for the 2012 Kawasaki Ninja 250R EX250-J, which is available here.

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