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2011 Honda CBR250R First Ride

Monday, December 20, 2010
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2011 Honda CBR250R First Ride Video
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Watch the new CBR250R as we ride through the canyons and around town in our 2011 Honda CBR250R First Ride Video.

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2011 Honda CBR250R Tech Review Video
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We've got the low down on the tech side of the new CBR250R, get the full details in our 2011 Honda CBR250R tech video.

Complete market domination. It’s a rarity in this day and age of aggressive capitalism. But it’s exactly what Kawasaki has had for decades here in the U.S. in the quarter-liter sportbike category. In fact, since the days of Yamaha’s and Honda’s 400s some two decades ago, Kawi has been the sole producer of any sub-middleweight-size sportbike with its Ninja 250R. And Kawasaki has produced a lot of them – some years selling more than 8000 units in our country alone. Why no one followed suit in such a lucrative market has always been something of an industry mystery. But that’s all about to change. Say hello to the 2011 Honda CBR250R.

Keepin’ it Tech

Totally new from the axles to the bars, Honda has started with a blank drawing board for its new entry-level CBR. At the heart sits a 249.4cc (76mm x 55mm bore and stroke) liquid-cooled, single-cylinder engine, featuring a four-valve DOHC cylinder head and a compression ratio of 10.7:1. The camshafts are driven by a Hy-Vo-type chain and run on forked roller rocker arms that allow valve shims to be adjusted without removing the cams for easier maintenance. The new engine also has 16,000-mile valve adjustment intervals – impressive for a Single.

The engine’s bottom-end features a crankshaft that runs on plain bearings for quieter operation, while the big end of the connecting rod uses a needle bearing. A gear-driven counterbalancer reduces vibration and sits as close as possible to the crankshaft so as to reduce overall engine size and centralize mass. Further reducing the engine’s front-to-back length is the stacked positioning of the countershaft, which sits below the mainshaft.

2011 Honda CBR250R First Ride
Powering the new entry-level CBR250R is a single-cylinder engine, which makes use of Honda's PGM-FI fuel injection
Fuel is delivered to the single-cylinder powerplant via 38mm throttle bodies and Honda’s Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI). This uses several parameters to deliver the proper air/fuel mixture in all conditions to optimize power as well as fuel economy. And with a 3.4-gallon tank, the CBR250R can easily go over 200 miles per fill-up. The PGM-FI system also incorporates an Idle Air Control Valve (IACV) designed to minimize back-torque under deceleration and smooth responsiveness when making small changes in throttle position.

The first five gears of the six-speed transmission have been designed for as much bottom end acceleration as possible, while sixth has been spread out slightly further for smoother highway cruising.

Cradling the new engine is an equally new chassis, designed from the ground up for the entry-level sportbike. Made from steel, the frame features a diamond twin-spar design that uses the engine as a stressed member. A 37mm, non-adjustable conventional fork graces the front end, while Honda’s proprietary Unit Pro-Link and single shock set-up sits out back and is adjustable for spring preload only. Seventeen-inch wheels grace both ends, the front shod with a 110/70 series tire and a 140/70 series out back. The tires on our test units were of the IRC variety, the production version set to get the same or similar.

Southern Californias freeways and back canyon roads played host to our introduction  giving us a good overall feeling for the all-new CBR in a wide variety of conditions.
The CBR250R chassis utilizes a steel frame, which incorporates the engine as a stressed member
A single 296mm disc sits up front, gripped by a dual-piston caliper; out back a single 220mm disc and single-piston caliper furthers aids in stopping the 250R. And while this set-up sounds like it could potentially be too weak for a sportbike, due to the machine’s extremely light weight (a claimed 359 pounds full of fluids and fuel, some 20 pounds less than the Kawasaki) they are more than up to the task.

An ABS-equipped version of the CBR is also available, the mechanical system only adding nine pounds to the bike’s overall weight. The ABS system is also partially linked. The front brake is a standalone system and does not engage the rear at all; extreme braking with the front alone lightens the rear enough that linking the two is unneeded. However, when one applies solely the rear brake, a single piston of the front brake is engaged to increase overall stopping power.

Giving the rider information is a multi-function digital instrument cluster that includes a speedometer, tachometer, engine temperature display, fuel gauge, clock, odometer and trip meter.

The 2011 CBR250R comes in two color options.
The Honda CBR250R was developed for the world market, the bike unchanged for the American, European and large Asian market except for colorways.
With a 30.5-inch seat height and wheelbase of only 53.9 inches, the new CBR allows riders of all shapes and sizes, as well as varying skill levels, to take full advantage of all its abilities. The new entry-level Honda is also one of the manufacturer’s first worldwide production sportbikes. Made almost entirely in Thailand, the new Honda meets all U.S., Euro and Asian emission and sound regulations and will be the same bike for all markets, the only variance being different color combinations in other countries.

Available in Metallic Black or Red/Silver here in America, the all-new Honda CBR250R retails for $3999 (exactly the same as Kawasaki’s Ninja 250R), with the ABS-equipped edition fetching an extra $500 to retail for $4499. Look for the new bike to hit dealers this spring.

Let’s Ride

Southern California’s freeways and back canyon roads played host to our introduction, giving us a good overall feeling for the all-new CBR in a wide variety of conditions.

2011 Honda CBR250R First Ride
Straddle the new Honda and riders are presented with a very easy-to-ride platform, perfectly suited to its entry-level ridership.
Swing a leg over, turn the key and hit the starter button. The little quarter-liter Single jumps to life with a quick and snappy, though aurally muted response; the fuel injection makes cold starting a breeze. Click the shift lever into gear and ease out the clutch, the CBR’s bottom end allows one to easily pull away from a stop without having to rev it to the moon. In fact, the clutch actuation and power delivery works so seamlessly that the bike is nearly impossible to stall, a major plus for those first learning to ride.

Once underway, bottom-end response is impressive for such a small displacement Single, allowing the rider to be a bit lazier when it comes to gear selection. That’s not to say you can just drop it in fourth gear and cruise, as come twisty roads one’s left foot still gets a pretty heavy workout. Though it is far more forgiving than that of its competition. The little CBR also features one of Honda’s trademark seamless transmissions; shifting is very easy while still being positive and engaging the next gear with confidence.

The counterbalancer does well to smooth out vibration through the bars, the 250R only getting slightly buzzy at the rider’s hands and feet as higher-end freeway speeds are approached. Due to the bike’s internal gearing and slightly less power, the CBR is not capable of the same 90-plus mph top speed of the Kawasaki; the Honda tops out in the mid-to-high 80s. But Kawasaki’s Ninja 250 benefits from an additional cylinder and a 2000 rpm higher rev limit, so for the Honda to be within only a few mph is impressive.

Also user friendly is the confidence-inspiring chassis. Though the suspension is on the soft side when pushed hard, 95% of the time it’s plush, compliant and reactive. Combined with its class-leading low weight, the new CBR flicks from side to side with even the slightest input through the raised-up clip-ons. Just think about turning and your pitching into the corner with haste, sometimes so quickly I had to readjust my line to not run off the inside of the road. But once acclimated to the mini CBR’s abilities, one can concentrate more on the riding and road conditions, as very little effort is expended controlling the actual machine.
2011 Honda CBR250R First Ride
2011 Honda CBR250R First Ride
At only 359 pounds fully-fueled, the CBR250R is a light, nimble handler. The biggest question related to the new Honda is how it will fare against the established dominator in the entry-level sportbike market - the Ninja 250R.

Once settled into the corner and on its side the Honda 250 is stable, planted and does not want to stand up, with only a twist of the throttle needed to lift the bike upright on corner exit. This will lend itself very well to those less experienced riders as at no time does the bike do anything other than what it is asked. Think about turning and you’re at the apex. Then twist the throttle, lift your head and a perfect line through to corner-exit is easily achieved – the Honda just plain does every thing like… well, a Honda.

The CBR’s seating position is an equal balance between freeway comfort and canyon-carving aggression. The footpegs are high enough to stay off the ground but don’t cramp even the taller riders, while the raised bars do well to keep weight off the wrists but are still low enough to tuck behind the windscreen when the pace increases. It’s for all these reasons that the new machine provides another perfect option for newer riders looking to get into the sport or for those more experienced pilots wanting a high-mileage, lightweight urban commuter.

Until now Kawasaki has had a monopoly on this ultra lightweight market segment with its Ninja 250, and it’s one they took full advantage of. But those days are a thing of the past and there’s a new kid in town: Honda’s CBR250R. Now only one question remains: how do the two stack up head-to-head?

I smell a shootout on the horizon. How about you?
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2011 Honda CBR250R Technical Specs
2011 Honda CBR250R First Ride
2011 Honda CBR250R
Engine Type: Liquid-cooled, four-stroke single-cylinder four-stroke
Displacement: 249.4cc
Bore and Stroke: 76mm x 55mm
Compression ratio: 10.7:1
Valve Train: DOHC; four valves per cylinder
Fueling: PGM-FI, 38mm throttle body
Ignition: Computer-controlled digital transistorized with electronic advance
Transmission: Six-speed
Suspension Front: 37mm fork
Suspension Rear: Pro-Link single shock with five-position preload adjustment
Brakes Front: Single 296mm disc with two-piston Nissin calipers
Brakes Rear: Single 220mm disc with single-piston caliper w/ Optional ABS
Tires Front: 110/70-17 radial
Tires Rear: 140/70-17 radial
Rake/Trail: 25.0 degrees / 95mm (3.74 inches)
Wheelbase: 53.9 inches
Seat Height: 30.9 inches
Fuel Capacity: 3.4 gallons
Colors: Metallic Black, Red/Silver
Curb Weight: 359 pounds / 368 pounds (ABS)
MSRP: $3999 (non-abs), $4499 (ABS)
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wettooth   December 29, 2012 02:35 AM
P.S. While Kenny had to sell his CBR250 because it can't pull hard enough on an autobahn, I suspect that the reason North American riders can't imagine that a 250 can be "fast" is that given a population that is now 50% overweight and 30% obese, they actually require bigger bikes to haul them around. Combined with vast distances on dull, mind numbing Interstate highways, bigger bikes are a default purchase there. Add in people who have more $$$ than they know what to do with, and it's a place where overweight people ride overpowered, overpriced sport bikes as a matter of course.
wettooth   December 29, 2012 02:18 AM
I have to qualify my previous post: The Mae Hong Son loop sits at the base of the Himalaya, in NW Thailand, in the area to bounded in the north and west by Myanmar. The first section, from the main hwy. to Pai is roughly 98km and features 760 curves. Another section, south of Mae Sot, features 1,2000 curves in roughly 5 hours riding time, and since the town sits at the end of a remote, mountainous, geographically isolated cul-de-sac, the return trip back to the main road is 2 days and 2,400 curves away. There are significant elevation changes, traffic is sparse enough that one can typically ride 10-15 mins. before overtaking or meeting other drivers. Road quality is good to excellent. Hotels cost $10/night, meals go for a buck, CBR250s can be rented for about $20/day in Chiang Mai (I owned my bike, I was living there). I suggest that anyone who wants to learn how to ride what must truly be considered Mecca for 2 wheels go immediately to Thailand with helmet and a warm weather riding jacket packed in a small backpack. Then you'll never doubt my words again, and you too will know the meaning of bliss... A word of caution: build your speed slowly and conservatively, if you overshoot a corner you'll go off the road, drop 50m into a ravine and will likely not be found for a while, if ever. The Golden Rule in Thailand is "THE BIKE NEVER GOES DOWN, EVER".
wettooth   December 29, 2012 01:56 AM
I just rode a CBR150 on the Mae Hong Son loop in NW Thailand, and in Bangkok, for 50,000+km, after having ridden an '82 RD350LC for years. After strafing 30,000-40,000 apexes on the loop I can confidently claim that I had no trouble leaving the rented 650 tourist Ninjas back in the rainforest; and that was on stock tires, no less. Riding a CBR250R shod with a decent set of sport tires and I'm sure that I'd have no trouble leaving the great majority of 1000cc bikes in the dust too, given that few riders ever have the great privilege to spend a solid year riding the loop. While I am no Cameron Donald, I understand the difference between going fast and simply whacking open the throttle and hoping for the best. Most riders will never master a CBR600RR, let alone a 900 or 1000cc machine, and for this reason it will always be possible to beat a much bigger bike, as long as one remembers that it's not the bike that makes the rider go fast, it's the rider who makes the bike go fast. The debate about whether a CBR250R or a Ninja 250 is faster is pointless, since I can still beat both of them put together on my 150.
DJOakTree   June 12, 2012 02:43 PM
Interesting how most of the comments on this page are from idiots who think they know everything about the world and want to tell me how to enjoy my riding. This is a first ride review. Which means unless you've ridden it, NOONE CARES ABOUT YOUR OPINION. Thank you for making it so difficult to find a real comment when researching new bikes. I appreciate you sharing your uninformed, bonehead opinion on something that is entirely a subjective issue. With all that said, I have a CBR250R, it has 4000 miles, and I love the bike. Awesome for tooling around town. I do find myself wishing for more power, but I also find myself speeding on a regular basis, and realize that if it had more power, I'd probably be in jail right now. When I upgrade, hopefully to a STR (Street Triple R) or a Monster 796, I will probably keep this little honey parked in my garage. Also, it's better looking than many larger sportbikes. I am really a fan of nakeds, but this is one damn good looking full-faired(ish) bike. Worth every penny. GET ABS!!! It's saved my ass twice!
Kenny19   August 19, 2011 12:50 AM
I'm in Berlin right now and bought my 250r kawi for my 30th birthday and i had the bike for about a year then sold it and got a zx6r. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy riding it in the city and my wife loved it, was light enough that she could handle the bike, but my problem was getting on the autobahn (german highway system). the bike just did not have enough power for the autobahn, that was honestly my biggest problem with 250cc's bikes. would i ever buy another 250 again, no doubt. The bottom line is, the bike is great for city driving and especially with today gas prices, but not a great bike for the high speed driving on the highway.
torachan   July 10, 2011 09:27 PM
Bottom line is, the bike industry isn't thinking of the consumers enough. 80mph top speed is still not practical enough for a daily driver and a 600RR and up bikes are way too much of a hit for a consumer's wallet. Sure, you get what you pay for; but, why not just bring in the CBR400RR and VFR400RR? It's a great time to bring in the 400's that Japan and many of Asia's countries have had the pleasure of obtaining. A bike for a large portion of the market is a "luxury" due to prices of today. When you can buy a car for the same cost of a motorcycle today, it makes it rather hard for people to consider buying one as a second vehicle. back up until the mid 90's, bikes used to cost $100 per liter. Which meant 250 = $2500, 600 = $6000, 750 = $7500, and 1000's = $10,000. Now?? If the CBR250R is $4,000 and the CBR600RR is $10,000, they should be able to bring a 400RR somewhere in the middle. Only thing they should do is build a frame that's more suitable for American riders (5'8 ~ 6') Previous failures of the CB-1, Bandit 400, and FZR400 in the past are mainly due to the bike being too small for most american riders. (just my 2 cents)
Powerband   May 22, 2011 09:13 PM
This cbr 250r looks like its going to be a great bike with alot of potential to modify, cant wait to get one and see what can be done to make it as fast as the new 250 gp bike. Has anyone heard of the company JetsetRacing.com ? They claim to be releasing a tuneable racing exhaust system for the cbr 250. I don't think I've ever seen a tuneable exhaust for sale anywhere before, I wonder how it can be tuned.
CB Guy   February 22, 2011 05:56 PM
Too bad Honda doesn't make a CBR350R. 200# 6'ers seeking an affordable fuel efficient commuter bike would find this bike's style with a taller seat, a longer wheelbase, and a bit more power highly desirable.
Kyle818 -Kracerman  January 25, 2011 08:37 AM
GO BOTH WAYS??? That sounds kind of odd! Anyway, the best days riding for me, wasn't my 130 mph knee scraping or roadracing days ( though, they were a ton of fun ) it was the simple days. Cruising thru the country and enjoying the experience. But to call a weezer 250 a sport bike? It amazes me, how brand "H" can get away with anything, and everybody buys it. Hey CS-TU250x, what if you had a bike that could smoke most cruisers, could be an everyday bike, easy to ride, super reliable and is a good canyon carver, all in one? Only one insurance/bike payment, and I guarantee you'd love it. Go test ride a nice tight, well taken care of Yamaha RZ 350 and put on some good chambers. I promise you, you will not be dissapointed!
CS -TU250x  January 23, 2011 05:09 PM
Just to set the record straight. I own a TU250x and am considering the Ninja 250r. And the Duc Monster, and the Triumph Bonneville, and the.... come ON guys. Some of us go both ways.
Peter B -New Times  January 22, 2011 05:53 PM
Americans still can't get their heads around a 250 cc motorbike. This size is still poular in Europe (mainly for suburban commuting) and in India it's diificult to find a bike over 250cc except the Enfield Bullet. I grew up on 125"s and 250's in 1960's England and as an experienced rider I don"t have a problem with small machines as long as they are honest and provide fun. If you are looking for a new bike and want to finance then your options are limited. $5,000 (Canada) for the Honda, or $6,000 for the Vespa 150. No contest. Looks good to me - I might buy one for scooting around town. My days of 130 mph burn-outs are over - but I'm still around.
Ren Schmidt -Pres. of Revanche2strokes.com  January 21, 2011 06:25 PM
Does anyone else think it's funny that this bike is being tested among "Sportbikes?" A 2011 Honda 250 Weezer, that makes barely enough power to get to freeway speeds, a sportbike? What's next, 125 2 strokes having to race 250 4 stroke motocrossers, these two things would be assanine. Oh, wait, we already do that, and people stand for this?
Kyle818 -Kracerman  January 11, 2011 05:19 PM
I will give evryone a real good ( great ) tip. There is a bike out there, that has 250cc's, gets 60 mpg's, does an honest 109 mph, does not break down and if it does, a caveman ( sorry Geico ) can fix it with little to no money and experience. It also can blow the doors off of ANY new 450 twin or any smaller machine and if it was updated, would give any 450 machine of any cylinder configuration a run. I also would ask/encourage anyone to try one before putting down hard earned greenbacks. I am talking about a mid to late 80's RZ/RD 250 LC. There is a reason that they were thee top selling machine for years and can still put a smile on your face like no other machine can. Or try a RZ 350 with a good set of chambers, then go Buell hunting, or guys who want to look cool on their Rebels or any cruiser. It's a blast to see the expression on the faces of guys who spent 20 large on a bike that the salesman sold them under the premise that there's only a few bikes faster and you smoke ( literally ) these guys and there mouths drop when they see 350 on your bike. One of life's great enjoyments.
Morph. - It's a 250 Folks, Don't you get it?  January 5, 2011 08:26 PM
"mxs - Leave TU-250 out of it ... People who will consider TU-250 would never buy CBR250 and the other way around ...." What are you talking about? Why not? I have a cb200, an 08 Versys, a Truimp Bonneville, a Yamaha morphous 250cc scooter, a Honda Helix 250 scooter. I would love to try one of these little Honda's. I wouldn't pay $4000 for one but just because I have couple of classic style bikes does not mean I don't like modern bikes. I would also like a TU250. Also, unlike a bunch of people here. I understand completely what a 250cc bike is. Everyone bitching about more power, not fast enough. bla bla bla.. It's a 250cc bike!!!. It is what it is. It was not designed to top 100mph.. If it were, it wouldn't be a 250. It's not designed to be a tourer.. If it were, it wouldn't be a 250. It's designed to sip gas, handle easily ,commute city and back roads and to handle short distances on the highway. It's designed to be fun. All of this "Honda shoulda woulda coulda done this".. Honda designed a new "250cc" bike!!.. If it were faster it wouldn't be a new "250". And to the person who said this bike "could not do highways with a top speed of in the high 80s." Are you on drugs? I'm not sure where you are where everyone is driving around at 90mph.. I seem to drive at 65-72mph no matter what I'm riding.. My versys, My Truimp or my scooters.. All of them will cruise at these speed with no problem and so will this new Honda. I've taken both my Helix and Morphous-- all 14 hp of them, from North east Pa to LI NY and back. I'm turning 7000-8000 rpms at 65-75 mph. This new Honda should handle the highways with no problems.
BikeyPikey -Don't knock it 'til you've tried it!  January 4, 2011 10:26 AM
I just bought 2 of these CBRs for my bike rental shop here in Chiang Mai, north Thailand and before I let the monkey punters out on them, thought it best to put 500km on each of them. So, here, from me, 30 years+ in the saddle on a s**tload of bikes is an honest review. Bear in mind I only did 500km on each bike and non-highway but lovely twisty roads and in sunshine whilst a lot of you guys are freezing your nuts off - ha ha! Pluses: Piss easy to ride Great front end Relatively torquey for a small engine Looks good, esp in black & silver Minuses: Crap rear shock - I never messed with the preload but very harsh Gearbox lash - both bikes Hard to select 1st from a start sometimes - both bikes A bit cramped - I'm 5'10" Sidestand kick-out tang in a wierd position in front of the peg Fugly exhaust Would I buy one for personal use? Nah, I'd buy it for the wife and sneak out on it occassionally! BTW, I ride a 2007 Triumph Bonneville and on the roads here am quicker on the little Honda but then again, as any good woman knows, being quickest doesn't necessarily equal the best ride ;)
McAllister -it's worthy  January 2, 2011 09:31 AM
Hello I'm terry mcallister, i'm from Indonesia. CBR250R is also coming to my country this month, and I think with $3999 it's more than worth, compared to what you will have on this bike it's a very good price. well, i dunno what to say about using it on the freeway, because we're not allowed too use a bike on the freeway. but to use this baby in the city or in the hilly B-roads in here I think it would be very great.
Stan -Ooops!  December 30, 2010 06:09 PM
I almost forgot.

A 2010 Ducati Monster 796 weighs about 305lbs wet, and has the same seat height as the Honda 250. Let's talk about fun factor NOW!I'd rather fork out $11k for that bike and have something I won't outgrow, that also retains market value on resale. The minute you ride off the Honda lot with a CB250R I bet you can't get $2k for it on a trade-in!

If you can make a virtual 800cc bike weigh that little then they should be making 250's that weigh 200lbs. Seems all the pork on the Honda's in the fairings, which by the way are such a visual rip of the VFR1200 that it makes me sick.
Stan -WTF??!!  December 30, 2010 05:57 PM
Overpriced, underdeveloped POS just like the VFR1200. As a VFR800 owner, all we wanted Honda to do was lighten the bike weight and go to maybe 1000cc. They come out with a $16,000.00 base model VFR1200. Morons. They think the VFR800 sales are down? Just wait a couple years and see if the VFR1200 is still around. LMFAO.

Turd in the toilet #2 from Honda - NT700V- Heavy, underpowered, bags that don't even fit a helmet, one step above the Crossover scooter, which is POS #3 from Honda.

Back to the 250 - If they really wanted to make it high tech they would have kept a single-sided swingarm setup and made fully adjustable front and rear suspensions - for shelling out $4 grand I think that would be fair. The 'all new' frame? Does anyone know how to say trellis? Ducati does, so does Suzuki. Hand it to Honda to weld frame members across the top of the heads so you have a hard time getting to them to do your own maintenance. Don't let me go there about THAT issue on my VFR800 (can you say sardine?)!

So, are they going to offer touring hard cases soon too? LOL! I love that the guy says you won't outgrow this bike so fast. BULL CRAP. He should have said you can't AFFORD to outgrown this bike so fast!

Yeah, I gre up riding RD400's. They only go to 98mph, but they did it faster than any bike made at the time. THAT'S why they were popular. And they were EASY to work on!

No one here even mentioned the 1987 Yamaha SRX250 - slim, light, single cylinder 249cc that topped out at 110mph and cruised all day at 90mph, all while sipping gas. normal riding coughed up 80mpg. WTF happened to THAT bike?! Under promoted I'd say. You want a true shoot out then get an SRX and go single to single, head to head. Old tech that was better than new tech. Are we going backwards technologically? SHEESH! My SRX set me back a whopping $2k in 1987. I'll take a carb I can work on over fuel injection anyday on a supposed beginner's bike. That's how you learn to do your own repairs people. On simple designs!

Honda discontinued my VFR800 (mine's a 2006 with hard cases). Perfect size motor, too heavy overall, but so predictable that after 5 years I still love it and push myself. I usually trade a bike in before a year is up! Anyone that knows me, knows THAT!

The new 250 is a scam to boost sales so they can race it. I'll agree that Honda build quality is excellent (not sure about a 'made in Taiwan' tag though), and that it would probably make a good round town rider or short commuter. But to take that thing out on the highway would be funny to watch and listen to, as I pass it in 2nd gear...LMAO
Drasius -Reason for capacity  December 23, 2010 08:29 PM
The reason for the capacity size is due to engine size limitations depending on liscence class in other countries. It also fits into racing classes as mentioned below. I'm not really sure why you guys are so concerned with 350's or 400's, if you want that, go get a dirty and put road tyres on it, otherwise, there are numerous 600's to choose from, all of which will get the job done admirably.
Bob -Answer to Why?  December 23, 2010 01:33 PM
"Why this fixation on 250CC, an engine size that almost precludes safe highway operation?"

Most likely because of the road racing classes. Which is a stupid reason when the end goal should be to create the most useable and competent road bike for a given type of rider. You make your own rules and decisions on displacement if that is what a company really cares about.

Unless the motive is, like in Moto2, Honda wants to be the supplier for Moto3 in 2012 and this is the engine they want to base the race engine on.

Or it has to do with what Asian countries and their tarrifs are that dictates size. No one in the USA cares about what makes the most sense to own a motorcycle in India.
brian gilbert -old school 250cc  December 23, 2010 10:35 AM
Why was my 1969 suzuki x-6 so much faster ?
randy -DOA  December 23, 2010 07:45 AM
All the comments comparing this bike to old 250 models. For me that old bike is a 1974 Yamaha RD250. That bike would eat this thing alive (and Honda 350's too :^). Any of the old 350-400 four stroke commuters seems superior to this.

This bike is being compared to the Ninja 250...and loses! Nice going Honda. What about comparing it to the Kawasaki Ninja EX500? These little screamers have 50+ RWHP, top speed over 115mph, nice low seat and are only about 40 pounds heavier than the CBR. Very easy to ride but perfectly capable of slicing and dicing in modern traffic. I always wonder why anyone buys a Ninja 250 when the 500 is so far superior.

Except for the WR250RX (well even it too) all of these new bikes should be 350's. Why this fixation on 250CC, an engine size that almost precludes safe highway operation? Who needs a $4000 BEGINNER bike anyway?
Bob -Seems Like A Useless Category  December 22, 2010 12:13 PM
I've ridden a number of 250s at the track and even on the street just to try it out, the Ninjette more than any other. I can see these being ok for putzing around town for short liesurely commutes and visiting friends but these things have to work far too hard to keep up on the USA's faster roadways. Yes, you can wring the things out and do it but it just isn't practical for serious daily use over here, unlike in Europe where the small towns blend together and everything is slower until you hit an actual motorway. And yes this is someting I know about. I lived in Europe for 5 1/2 years.

As far a gas mileage goes, I've had 4 Buells (and many other OEM concoctions) and every one of them got around 50 mpg. The best I've ever gotten was 58. That's out of a 1200cc twin with about 90 RWHP. If this 250 can't get any better than that, they should have bumped up displacement to 300 or 350. At highway speeds, these little bikes have to work too hard and spin too high of rpms to generate the HP to fight wind resistance and the gas mileage suffers greatly. A little extra displacement would provide better power down low to get off the line better, require less rpms to cruise and achieve better MPG and still not be intimidating to new riders. After all, we don't have a graduating licensing system and the number of CCs does not always directly correlate to what constitutes a beginner bike. It's about the power delivery.

If given a choice of 25 HP bikes:
1. 250cc and 14,000 rpm
2. 350cc and 10,000 rpm

I'll take #2. Better bottom and midrange power, better mpg, more comfotable cruising, better reliability, better handling (you won't be fighting as much precession of a motor turning more rpm)and less exhaust noise.
Nate -Shootout  December 22, 2010 06:49 AM
+1 to adding the Hyosung GT250R to the mix. I think it will run with both of them very well. Should be a tight race.
Alien2k -Times have changed  December 22, 2010 05:14 AM
I am 27 years old, when I had 19 I could buy my first bike... guess what... a 1992 Honda CBR 250 Hurricane. Man it was a four cilider, liquid cooled beast, handled like a real track bike, cornered very good. A real racing machine for the time. I would love to see a shoutout between same bikes but from different years. Dont know if it is correct to build a "modern" bike when the model from 16 years ago would kick it ass! Anyways looking forward to see the comparison with the 250 Ninja.
evan -wr  December 21, 2010 08:45 PM
the wr is more than a match for the ninja and can handle the freeway just fine. its also built to a level of finish the kawasaki could never match
LT -WR250X  December 21, 2010 07:25 PM
GP: have you ever ridden a WR250X? You'd be surprised. It's a very lively bike that doesn't have a hard time cruising at 75mph even with one tooth down in the front sprocket.
VJC - -Remember the Bandit 400  December 21, 2010 04:19 PM
You forgot a good one, please check the link.

GP -The Ninja wins.  December 21, 2010 03:17 PM
With a top speed in the mid to high 80's, this bike will not be suitable for highway use. Even with our 65 mph speed limits, traffic is usually moving from 75-85 mph. The Ninja handles these speeds easily, with more on tap. I could not imagine spinning this little single up into the red and keeping it there for long. The little Ninja may require a bit more work to keep it spinning, but, quite frankly, that is what makes it so fun!
This little Honda is probably a hoot around town, but it is not serious competition for the Ninjette! Nor is the WR250X, or the TU250. The Hyosung is the only real competitor, IMO.
Claritysailingadventures -new vs old  December 21, 2010 11:16 AM
I'd like to see it compared to my old 1980 Suzuki GS250T. One of my favorite bikes, with 25.8 hp @ 10000 rpm (gotta love them roller bearings and 4 valve cylinder heads!), 357 lbs wet weight, a six speed gearbox and a 90 MPH top end, with up to date tires and shocks, and perhaps a nice cafe/flat track/bob job, it might not be only the equal, but perhaps the better of the Honda (and the others, too!)

Hmmm... I can already see the photos on BikeEXIF!
evan -interesting shootout  December 21, 2010 10:59 AM
do a 250 shoot out, ninja 250,tu-250,hyosung 250,cbr 250 and the wr250 super moto
Switchback -Not impressed  December 20, 2010 07:05 PM
The WR250X beats the Honda hands down. Yeah it is more expensive but it weighs 60 lbs less, is 10 MPH faster on top, and has 26,000 mile valve interval adjustments. Hope it is included in a shootout.
LT -While you are at it ....  December 20, 2010 06:59 PM
throw in Aprilia RS4 124, would you ;).
T.T -I'd like to see the Hyosung in the comparo  December 20, 2010 05:03 PM
I agree with other's comments. I'd like to see how the Hyosung stacks up to these bikes. It had fuel injection for a year already, and it looks great. With all of the magic with Hyundai I wonder if some of it trickled down into Hyosung's factory? 16,000 valve adjust intervals?!?! that's really good news to hear for the DIY crowd.. I owned a 95 Ninja 250 and the 6000 mile intervals didn't cut it. The new Ninja has 7500 mile intervals I believe, and the cam needs to be removed to get to the shims. More work = no good. This bike sounds really interesting to me. I'm seriously keeping an eye out on this puppy...
john -why not  December 20, 2010 02:32 PM
throw in the vespa 300 in your shoot out as well. Also the hyosung and I think megellini has something in this displacement as well.
W1LLPARKER -don't be a schmoo...  December 20, 2010 02:23 PM
u can get a nice used 600 super sport for the same cash and it'll have four times the Hpower..
mike -comparo  December 20, 2010 01:06 PM
I hope the Suzuki TU-250 is compared to this new Honda (and the Ninja 250). After all, both bikes are fuel injected 250cc singles from Japan that cost exactly the same amount.
mxs -Leave TU-250 out of it ...  December 20, 2010 11:01 AM
Throwing TU-250 in the shootout would be like mixing apples and oranges. They come at the same price, but are not even close in taste. People who will consider TU-250 would never buy CBR250 and the other way around ....
dexx -what the industry needs  December 20, 2010 11:00 AM
This bike seems like exactly what the industry needs to get more new riders involved in the sport. While it might seem on the small side, the CBR250 is (if I remember correctly) about the same size, weight, and hp as my first bike, a '72 CB350, which was more than adequate for street use.
JSH -$3999 Shootout  December 20, 2010 10:52 AM
Don't limit your shootout to just the Kawasaki and Honda. Hyosung has been selling their $3999 GT250R for several years and just added fuel-injection for 2010. Yamaha has the classically styled TU-250 also with fuel-injection for $3999. How about a $3999 shoutout featuring a mix of styles.