Honda CBR 250R (2011-current): Urban moto-GP

     The bike under test was new. An improvement to the performance described should be expected. ‘his was not a C-ABS model.

     Engine: The single cylinder liquid-cooled 249.6 cc engine delivers 26 bhp / 8500 rpm and 2,42 Kgm/7000 rpm torque, claimed values.
     Actually, engine rpm should be at least 3000, to obtain acceleration. The torque produced by the engine is very sufficient. The lower-middle area of the power band is sufficient for daily urban commuting.

     There is a threshold in performance at 6000 rpm, above that engine gets punchier. Due to the counterbalance shaft, there are no vibrations deriving from the engine. At the limit of the engine revs, first gear produces 52 Km/h, second 81 Km/h, third 110 Km/h, fourth 132 Km/h, while top speed obtained with sixth gear was 150 Km/h at 9000 rpm, very slowly increasing.
     The engine is adequate for short trips on the highway, just indicatively with 6th gear, at 100 km/h 6000 rpm are needed, at 117 Km/h 7000 rpm and 134 Km/h 8000 rpm . The figures showed above are speedometer indications.
     Riding position: The saddle height is moderate, even average height riders will be relatively confident, stepping a foot on the ground. Really short riders would appreciate a marginally lower riding position. Tall riders will be pleased.
     The dimensions of the bike are average except from the width which is small. The weight of the bike is moderate, 161 Kg nominal kerb, for the non ABS version, which is the bike under test. Some riders would expect the CBR to be lighter. Center of gravity feels like being in the middle of the bike.
     The neutral riding position places the rider in and over the bike.

     On the road: The 37 mm fork provides a relatively soft feel while the shock provides moderate hardness, its a little tighter than the front suspension. The only suspension adjustment that may be performed is the spring preload at the shock absorber. A linkage is also available.
     Tyres fitted are IRC, Road winners, dimensions are 110/70-17 at the front and 140/70-17 to the rear. By replacing them, handling will be improved especially on low friction streets.

     Urban commuting will be easy for the rider. The CBR provides a mix of agility and stability, just the right amount that a neutral and small street bike should deliver. The CBR is very user friendly, allowing novice riders to build confidence through their first steps in motorcycling.
     The small width of the bike makes it possible to take advantage of small traffic gaps. Urban streets imperfections will be felt by the rider. Therefore on roads featuring imperfections, rider may wish for more comfort. From the other hand, feedback during cornering is really good on urban streets.
     During filtering the handlebar height is the same with car mirror°s height, while the height of the bikeĘs mirrors is almost the same with SUV mirrors. Quite unexpectedly though, this will not be a problem for the rider during filtering, as the small width of the bike cancels any filtering disadvantage.
     Steering lock is pretty good, not top class though. There will not be any problems imposed to the rider during daily commuting.

     On B-roads the fine mixture of agility and steadiness observed in urban rides, is still dominant. The CBR is considered to represent the right balance for the category standards. Its very agile and stable , for every possible use, providing a robust sensation. ItĘs a satisfying bike not only for riders wishing leisure rides on B-roads but also for those who will seek for a fast riding pace.
     If there are any road imperfections, these will find their way to the rider. Over a series of road imperfections, the rear wheel tends to bounce. This may be noticed on urban streets also. From the other hand, feedback to the rider is really good.

     At the fast pace, the CBR will be decent also. Handling is very good, providing precise feedback. Confidence to the rider is great. The CBR is greatly neutral and robust, providing a decent sporty sensation.
     To some extent even at such a pace, tyres will not be a real obstacle. However, if rider wishes to conquest the fine combination of speed and safety, tyres should be replaced, especially on medium-low friction roads.
     After solving this puzzle, rider will be concerned with the relatively low engine absolute power. The engine revs should be kept constantly higher than the 8000 mark then.
     To preserve a high entry cornering speed becomes a task, as there is no adequate power for a decent exit. As a result, this is the only available riding technique to preserve a fast pace. The CBR will take the load, no problem. On downhill routes its already a very fast bike providing average feedback though due to the tyres…Eventually this motorcycle will teach a young rider his way through an occasional track day.

     On the highway the bike will preserve the speed of 120 km / h, where there is adequate power from the engine for overtaking. Air resistance is not considerable at such a speed, the motorbike is comfortable.

     Disc brakes are used front and rear. The front is progressive, braking power is average, decent feedback is provided. Braking hard causes the fork to dive considerably. The rear is relatively weak, providing relatively good feedback.
     Brakes are very user friendly, their stopping power can be fully exploited, especially on low friction roads, or by novice riders. The brakes of the bike reviewed here, were not equipped with C- ABS, that means no ABS and they are not combined front and rear.
     At the C-ABS version however, this system is not the same with that equipping the CBR600RR and CBR1000RR.
     Comments: The design refers to the VFR 1200, is really contemporary, the CBR gets a lot of glances out on the street. The quality of construction is the one that should be expected from Honda, very good indeed. The blue light on the dash is very beautiful during the night. The frame is tubular diamond type, featuring Trellis components. A small complaint should be mentioned, as rider has to hold the fuel cap while refueling.
     The Moto3 regulations , which will be valid from 2012, require that two-stroke 125 GP will be replaced by single cylinder four-stroke 250cc motorcycles. Honda took the initiative, manufacturing a motorcycle like this, aiming not only to sporty riding but also commuting, for markets around the world.
     Especially in some countries, this motorcycle will be perceived as the superbike of the average motorcyclist.
     It is not the first time that this manufacturer is not interested in being competitive on the issue of power. However this does not apply to the target group as a whole, for the CBR. Due to the weight and engine performance this model could be named CBF.
     Thus, although the bike is sturdy providing sporty handling which favors fast rides, the single cylinder engine is powerless to preserve such a pace. This contradiction is particularly emphasized due to the potential of the bike. When it comes to top power delivery, the CBR will be outnumbered by the twin cylinder bikes. On B- roads limits are set because of the engine performance also.
     Thus among numerous factory accessories accompanying the bike, a factory kit increasing horsepower would be welcomed by young riders. The 33 bhp which is the limit for the first class riding licence is within reach, by 7 ponnies.
     From the other hand, the torque of the engine makes it a very easy commuting stylish bike, taking advantage of lower-middle power band in day in, day out riding. Another part of the target group will really appreciate it…
Price, non ABS version : 4280 Euros
Price ABS : 4730 Euros

+ Sporty feeling

+ Build quality

+ Daily use

+ Handling

- Top engine power

- Weight

More, specifications

Thanks to the motorcycle shop Baxevanis - Honda, tel.+302109237000, Kalirois 12, Athens, Greece, for the test ride.


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