How Fast Does A 250cc Motorcycle Go? (5 Bikes Compared) - Road & Garage (2024)

250cc motorcycles can be used for most kinds of journey, making them the workhorses of the motorcycle industry. But if you’re in the market for one of these bikes, you may be wondering just how fast a 250cc motorcycle can go.

A 250cc motorcycle can typically reach a top speed of about 90 mph (140 kph) if it’s in good condition on a decent road, and as long as it isn’t carrying too much weight. If the bike is carrying two people, it will struggle to reach this top speed, and it also depends on the model of motorcycle.

250cc bike owners know that speed isn’t everything, but it’s still worth considering when you’re thinking about picking up a new motorcycle. Keep reading as we take a deep look at the multiple possibilities and benefits that owning a 250cc bike bestows.

Overview Of 250cc Bikes

In the world of motorcycles, the highest demand is for bikes in the range of 100cc to 350cc, with the 150cc and 250cc bikes fighting for the top spot. The 250cc bikes are more powerful and speedier, but the 150cc bikes have a big edge over them in fuel consumption and maintenance requirements. The choice between a 150cc bike and a 250cc bike all depends on what the end user wants to get from it.

250cc bikes can be used for commuting, to carry heavy loads, and for recreational rides. They can carry two people easily, have good stability and power on country roads, with the additional big plus of fuel economy. These bikes are ideal for beginners to learn on as they have good stability and not enough power for a beginner to get themselves in trouble.

Top Speed Of 5 250cc Motorcycles Compared

MotorcycleTop SpeedMax Power
Aprilia RS 250123 mph / 198 kph26.5 HP
Kawasaki Ninja 25R116 mph / 187 kph51 HP
Suzuki GSX-250R85 mph / 137 kph24.7 HP
Yamaha V-Star 25085 mph / 137 kph21 HP
Suzuki TU25075 mph / 121 kph16.3 HP

What Is The Fastest 250cc Motorcycle?

The fastest 250cc motorcycle is the Aprilia RS 250 with a top speed of 123 mph (198 kph), and in second place comes the Kawasaki Ninja 25R with its top speed of 116 mph (187 kph). 250cc motorcycles are capable of high top speeds, but they’re not designed to run at high speed for any length of time.

The top speed of a 250cc motorcycle is usually very close to its specified speed by the manufacturer when carrying the rider only, and without any extra weight. As more and more weight is added, its top speed keeps reducing.

What Happens If I Run The Motorcycle At Its Top Speed All The Time?

When a motorcycle runs at its top speed or peak power, it generates a lot of heat that must be carried away from the engine to prevent damage. Most 250cc motorcycles are air-cooled except for the expensive ones that are liquid-cooled. Liquid cooling is more efficient and cools the engine much faster, but requires liquid coolant with a pump to circulate the coolant around the cylinder head.

Along with a liquid-cooling system comes increased maintenance costs with monitoring and refilling of the coolant when necessary. All of this costs money, so many manufacturers prefer to use air cooling in favor of sacrificing some performance.

Without effective cooling, the oil breaks down and increases friction inside the engine. This causes increased wear, which in turn means that moving parts will have to be more frequently replaced thereby increasing maintenance costs. The immediate cost increase, however, is from extra fuel consumption.

This makes running a 250cc motorcycle at top speed for extended periods of time quite expensive in the long term. These bikes are also not the most comfortable at such high speeds, so if you think you’ll do a lot of high speed riding, a bigger motorcycle may suit you better.

Advantages & Disadvantages Of 250cc Motorcycles

The Advantages Of 250cc Motorcycles

Cost & Recurring Maintenance

The rough price of a 250cc motorcycle is about $2,000 to $6,000. This puts them in the affordable range for motorcycles. A 500cc bike or a 650cc bike would cost double or triple the price along, with increased fuel consumption and higher cost of maintenance and spare parts. As long as the bike is not abused by running it at high speeds for long durations, 250cc bikes are very sturdy and reliable.

The basic maintenance that it requires is that its gearbox oil is changed regularly, and that the gearbox oil level is topped up as needed. An occasional chain cleaning and greasing also helps, but isn’t as important. These basic steps will go a long way to keep the bike in good condition. It can be done at home without needing to go to the service center, where labor charges drive the cost up further.

250cc motorcycles have small engines that do not need to be complex, as is the case with much larger engines. Spare part replacement is generally cheaper too, meaning these are some very cost effective motorcycles.

Fuel Efficiency

250cc motorcycles are very versatile bikes in that they can be adapted for almost any use. They are best suited for commuting, as delivery bikes, and for recreational riding, as their fuel consumption is very low when compared to other means of transport such as cars or bigger bikes, which results in a lot of money saved in the long run.

Fuel cost is a recurring outlay that people do not factor in at the start, but later turns out to be expensive. This is an area in which small-engine bikes excel, and has caused a massive surge in their demand in many countries across the world where fuel prices are sky high.

The Disadvantages Of 250cc Motorcycles

Low Power

In comparison with larger motorcycles that have more than enough power to transport heavy loads with ease, the 250cc bike appears to be lacking. For its low price, this is the main limitation you need to deal with. If you need a bike that has to carry big loads or two people on a regular basis, then you may need to get a bike with a bit more power.

Are 250cc Motorcycles Good For Beginners?

250cc motorcycles are excellent for beginners to learn on, and get some experience using them before they move on to using luxury bikes. A beginner learning on a big bike has too much power available that can get him into trouble very fast. The 250cc bike also has power, but not too much, and has sufficient stability to be ridden on dirt roads making it a good choice for a first bike.

After a beginner gets enough experience on a smaller bike, he can think about upgrading to a bigger bike with more power and speed. The problem with beginners is that they don’t know where their limits are. They tend to overspeed and wrongly estimate traffic on the road which leads to disastrous consequences for the rider and other people around.

The single largest cause of accidents is not enough time for the rider to react. In other words, speed is to blame for most of the tragedies on the road, so it makes sense to learn on a bike that has enough power to travel comfortably without excessive speed. Wet or slippery roads have to be ridden on with extra caution, especially at high speed.

Can You Take A 250cc Motorcycle On The Highway?

You can take a 250cc motorcycle on the highway in most places. Their excellent fuel efficiency along with their decent stability and mid-range power makes 250cc bikes ideal for long-distance travel as long as you keep within the speed limits and ride safely.

Final Thoughts

250cc motorcycles can typically reach top speeds of about 90 mph (140 kph), but they aren’t designed for pure speed, and are instead meant to appeal to a wide variety of riders. These bikes more or less fall into the budget bike category where speed and power aren’t their top priority.

How Fast Does A 250cc Motorcycle Go? (5 Bikes Compared) - Road & Garage (2024)
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