The rider position has some pretty significant differences between these two bikes. Not like the difference between a sport and a cruiser, but if you can get on them side-by-side, the differences will become very apparent. Also, when you climb on the bikes to get their feel, make sure you’re doing so with both feet on the pegs.
“the highway romps seeming to be next to impossible on the Ninja 250R”
Uh… Wrong. It’s plenty capable. Don’t feed into the myth.