I think you will start to see less of them, as they dont have to be manufactured anymore as a 250 to target the beginner market. I dont think this will be an end to the 250's as there is still a big market for these smaller bikes, especially in the Asian countries such as India, Thailand etc. I do think if anything we will start to see a lot more "mid" displacement bikes between the 300 to 600cc range, which is pretty exciting.
If they made a bike similar to the Ninja 300 with an extra 100/150cc, and some better forks/suspension/brakes.......... I would be all over that.
The 250 was never really popular in the UK (well not for the last 20 years anyway) even when you had to ride a 33hp bike for two yrs, people would just buy a bigger bike and restrict it rather than buying a 250 and having to sell it after two years.
Now the limit has gone from 33hp to 47hp in the UK I think 250's will be removed from sale by the end of the year here as they no longer fit any tier of license.
Small bike sales are becoming huge nowadays, and with the smaller cc models starting to look like proper bikes and not scooters so much, I think this will increase even further. I love some of the new small cc bikes coming out, even this little gem from Korean manufacturer Daelim I found this morning looks the part also. http://www.daelim.com.au/VJF250.php
Add to that the already increasing price in part due to technology advances of the larger cc bikes, and it adds insult to injury if your looking for a larger capacity sport style bike.
Dunno about pricing so much in the states, but the 300 was less than 7k, compared to around 15k+ for a decent SS, and even up to 20k+ if you choose a more exotic brand. A 2013 ZX6R will cost you 16.5k, ZX10R 19k and a ZX14R a little over 20k.
So I still dont think you will ever see the end of the 250's, you will just start to see more mid range cc bikes for a price that is less than some of its bigger counterparts.
This is just my opinion but I would like them to work the 250 range a whole lot more actually not close it down & here is why.
The 250 or in this case even this new 300 range has legs to run yet they do not.
Instead we keep getting bigger & less exciting bikes. The 650 Kawasaki Twin is an example as is the new Honda sleepy 500 series. What a bunch of crap bikes.
I mean really? What has happened? Has all the big four manufactures been castrated?
With the price of oil only ever going up from here there is a reason for tweaking the 400 & less class to what it once was capable of.
Still is actually for those that watch Moto 3 GP they know a single cylinder 250 is doing 228 KPH average speed laps
This is on a single cylinder 250 & yes ok it is a race engine but there is a BIG discrepancy between what they sell & what they race
That gap can legitimately be closed down a LOT.
We can see some nice small bikes with GOOD adjustable suspension front & rear, alloy frame etc. Then let the engine run like it should right out of the box. Especially these twins.
It is not like they have not all done it before
A good light small displacement screamer can be a thing of beauty & is a lot of fun in the twisties or at the track.
Add to that the economy in most of the world is in the crapper & the price of fuels only ever going higher & octane lower & they make perfect sense.
BUT........they have to be potent not castrated
For city riding, they will continue to have 125 cc scooters which are probably the most practical mode of transportation in most crowded Asian cities, so the small engines aren't going away. So you have bicycles, electric bicycles, small-wheel 50 and 125 scooters which have a strong market in Asia. There is a reason Harley is an American company. Large, loud, heavy, gas-guzzling, impractical, expensive don't make it in most of the world.
bring back the inline 4 cylinder bikes, ditch the 250's and make them 300-400
heck even my 21 year old suzuki gsx250f across i could get a set of oversize pistons & rings for it & make it a 300cc bike, cost was almost $500 and absolutely a waste of money on such an old bike, but you could do it if you had money to burn.
i wish the ninja 400 from Canada was available in Australia a few months ago, if it was, i would probably have bought it instead of the 300