Shouldn't I consider a bigger bike? Won't I want a bigger one later anyway?
Frankly, it gets old to hear that "you'll outgrow the bike in a few months" stuff. Where are people taught this? If this were true, everyone would be out to sell you a 250, knowing that you'd be back in a few months to buy a bigger bike, which would give the dealer another sale, more profit, and a barely-used bike as a trade-in. It doesn't make sense.
What does make sense is that as a beginning rider, you need to be very careful that you don't get in over your head. The 250 is a great bike to start with, and to keep. There are more than a few people on the board who have bigger bikes but still ride the 250 because it's so easy to handle and that much more fun than their bigger bikes. The 250 can give you a lot; when your riding skill and experience exceed what the bike can give, then you'll be ready for a bigger bike. But... that can take a very long time.
But I need more power, don't I?
Some people have this impression that if they can top out their bike in a straight line, they've mastered it. They fail to realize it's all about handling.
If you ride a 250 with 600cc and 1000cc bikes on the highway, they're gone before you even get started. We'll concede that. If you hit a nice twisty road, though, it's amazing how everything evens out. At lower speeds, handling and experience become more important than horsepower. Inexperienced riders, no matter what bike they're on, tend to hammer the throttle, slam on the brakes, ease through a turn, then hammer the throttle again.
If you are a decent rider, and have practiced your technique, then you can keep up with or pass larger bikes on winding roads, and then listen to their excuses afterwards.
Want to go faster? Learn to ride better.
See also: Why sportbikes are NOT beginner bikes
Won't such a low-powered bike limit how much I can learn?
Can I ride this bike with a passenger?
We're not saying that this is the best 2-up motorcycle ever made, but it works for many. The above pictures are on a bone-stock EX250.
Why you might want a bigger bike
While the Ninja 250 is an excellent bike, and is capable of doing anything you are legally allowed to do on a motorcycle, there are some things at which it does not excel:
If you want to do any of these things, then the Ninja 250 may not be a good long-term bike for you. This is not to say you should skip straight to the bigger bike -- the 250 is a fabulous learner's bike and will set you up well for a more powerful bike later on. And, like it says above, you may well find the 250 is a good second bike to have around even if you do upgrade. It gets better gas mileage and handles better than most bikes on the road, and it costs fairly little to insure. Ninja 250s have good resale value if bought used: you can typically sell a used 250 for about what you paid for it, if you got a decent deal and haven't abused it.
Will a 250R make me cool?
If you're not comfortable with who you are, you probably won't want an EX250. If peer pressure led you into a life of drinking, smoking, and snorting, then you probably won't be able to handle the comments from your buds about how you aren't really a rider until you get a TorqueMonster 1000. If, however, you are intelligent enough to realize that this bike will do nearly everything you need it to do on the road, and is a great way to limit the amount of trouble you can get into as a learning rider, then this is the machine for you.