Kawasaki has issued a recall on the 2009-2010 Ninja 250R, though only 250 units are actually affected. If you’ve bought one of these wonderful bikes, the best sport starter bike around in my opinion, huff it on down to your local Kawasaki dealer to have it checked out. The odds are very slim yours is one of the 250 (they probably sell well over 10,000 of these a year in the U.S.), but have them take a look anyway. Here’s a summary of the issue from the NHTSA web site:
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 09V464000
KAWASAKI IS RECALLING MODEL YEAR 2009-2010 EX250 NINJA 250 MOTORCYCLES. POROSITY IN THE ENGINE CASE COULD ALLOW ENGINE OIL TO LEAK, AND BE DEPOSITED ON THE REAR TIRE. A SMALL NUMBER OF UPPER ENGINE CASES FOR THE AFFECTED MODEL COULD HAVE POROSITY IN THE ALUMINUM CASTING. THIS POROSITY OCCURS IN THE VICINITY OF A PRESSURIZED OIL PASSAGE JUST ABOVE THE TRANSMISSION OUTPUT SHAFT.
ENGINE OIL LEAKING FROM THIS LOCATION CAN BE DEPOSITED ON THE REAR TIRE, CREATING THE RISK OF A CRASH.
DEALERS WILL INSPECT AND CHECK FOR LEAKS IN THE VICINITY OF THE SUSPECTED POROSITY. UNITS EVIDENCING SIGNS OF LEAKAGE WILL BE REPAIRED FREE OF CHARGE. THE SAFETY RECALL IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN ON OR ABOUT DECEMBER 8, 2009. OWNERS MAY CONTACT KAWASAKI AT 1-866-802-9381.
OWNERS MAY ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION’S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV .
The NTSA campaign ID number is 09V464000 in case you wanted to click the link and check for yourself. If you’re worried about Kawasaki’s quality, don’t be. A good manufacturer will have high traceability on everything they make. If they’re able to narrow this down to 250 or so specific bikes, that’s pretty damn good and means they’ve got decent quality assurance procedures in place to be able to trace issues like this. Of course this doesn’t excuse whatever happened to create the issue in the first place. It could have been anything from a bad batch of raw material to a procedural mistake, but the fact that they’re able to go back and narrow this down to a specific lot of 250 bikes is a good sign.