All about the Kawasaki Ninja 250



You really need two tool kits, one for carrying with you on the bike and the other for home use. The space of the bike for carrying tools is very limited indeed so you can only carry the most basic essentials with you, plus if anything serious goes wrong with the bike you'll probably want to get it transported home or to a garage rather than take the engine apart at the side of the road.

A tool kit for the bike

I'd say the following tools will take care of most small roadside repairs:

  • 8mm, 10mm, 12mm and 14mm wrenches
  • A #2 Phillips screwdriver
  • A medium flat blade screwdriver
  • A small set of hex (allen) wrenches (up to at least 6mm)
  • A packet of nylon cable ties
  • Small LED flashlight

Then you can add (if there is room)

  • A small roll of electrical tape and/or...
  • A small roll of Duct tape (or better, Gorilla Tape)
  • A few band-aids (to repair you rather than the bike)
  • A few feet of electrical wire
  • A pair of long nose pliers (with wire cutting ability)
  • A plug wrench (if you also carry a spare plug)
  • #1 and #3 philips screwdrivers
  • Small and large flat blade screwdrivers
  • Small pair of locking pliers

You may be able to combine some of these tools. For example you can use a screwdriver with interchangeable bits to give you an assortment of phillips and flat blade screwdrivers as well as a set of hex wrench bits. You may also find that a QUALITY multitool (e.g. Leatherman) is useful. Avoid cheap Chinese copies though as they will break, usually when you really need them not to.

These tools should enable you to tighten loose bolts and make small adjustments, but clearly you're not going to be taking off wheels, replacing chains, fixing flat tires and taking apart the engine with them. Carry only what you are likely to need and use at the side of the road. Leave the socket set and torque wrenches home (though I do carry a few small 1/4" drive sockets and a small stubby 1/4" ratchet).

Home tool kit

There really are no limits here. Just about every tool you can think off will be useful at some point. However there are a few basics.

  • The Kawasaki Factory Service Manual(s) for the Ninja 250. Available from your Kawasaki dealer.
  • A good 3/8" metric socket set (or combination 1/4", 3/8" and 1/2" set)
  • A good set of full size metric wrenches. 6 point wrenches grip better. Sizes to include at least 6mm, 8mm, 10mm, 12mm, 14mm, 17mm and 19mm. Open ended and ring wrenches if you can afford them. Ratcheting ring wrenches if you budget will strech to them.
  • A good set of both Phillips and Flat blade standard screwdrivers
  • A set of small and stubby screwdrivers to get into tight spaces
  • A torque wrench so you can properly tighten fittings. Maybe two if you want to cover the entire range of torque settings on the bike, one small for the lower values and one large for the higher values.
  • An electrical multimeter for diagnosing electrical problems
  • An electric drill and set of bits for when you have to "modify" things
  • A Dremel rotary tool or similar for a thousand purposes including cutting off stubborn bolts, smoothing rough edges, cleaning up rusted parts etc.

Then I'd add

  • A set of JIS screwdrivers. Most of the "Phillips" head screws on the Ninaj 250 are actually JIS fasteners (Japan Industry Standard). They are very close to being Phillips heads but they are slightly different. For the best grip and maximum torque (and the least probability of stripping the screw heads) you really need JIS screwdrivers. Your local hardware store is unlikely to carry them, but you can find them on the Internet.
  • If not included in a combination set, a 1/4" drive metric socket set for getting into tight spaces easier
  • If not included in a combination set, a 1/2" drive metric socket set for large nuts with high torque settings like the axle nuts. It will also help if you have nuts that don't want to loosen (and you will).
  • A 1/2" breaker bar if the socket set doesn't include one
  • A deep 9mm 1/4" drive socket (or the Kawasaki valve adjusting tool) and a set of feeler gauges for adjusting the valves.
  • The usual brute force tools, a hammer and a hacksaw - you never know when they will be needed.

You can add on any number of special tools, such as gear pullers, compression testers, tire bead breakers etc., but most people buy these as and when (and if) they need them.


There's nothing less valuable than cheap tools which will break (or worse round off bolts). Buy quality when you can. Craftsman tools are usually very good, but sometimes also expensive. Snap-on tools are also very good (and also expensive). Stanley make an intermediate quality line. Pretty good for most purposes (I have quite a lot of Stanley tools) and quite reasonably priced.

If you're looking for cheap, Harbor Freight have just about every tool you could want at a price you can afford. Quality ranges from OK to not OK. Most (all?) of the stuff is made to a price (low) in China and probably has little in the way of quality control. I have quite a few HF tools myself, but they are the sort of thing you wouldn't want to bet your life on or use in a commercial application. Not all tools made in China are bad, but the tools made to sell at the lowest possible price are often of questionable quality.

The bottom line is nobody ever regrets buying quality tools. Good tools are an investment. Cheap tools are a liability.

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