Posted: 11 Oct 2012
Honda’s CBR250R hasn’t caused waves of buyers to storm Honda dealerships in the UK and there’s a good case for asking why? Traditionally, most novices look to restricting a larger capacity machine after passing the125cc licence. But with the advent of new European licence category laws, the Honda fits neatly into the new rules and regulations of the Category A2 class.
With the CBR250R you get a nicely presented package of which its silhouette mimics the new style Honda Fireblade. This rolling loveliness is powered by a water-cooled single-cylinder 250cc engine that is, at best, economical and reliable and, at worst, woefully boring.
Think more along the lines of a big-bore 125cc to best describe the Honda engine. Because while it cheerfully potters along at 70mph no problem and has bigger capacity attributes of decent handling and bike-like steering, the engine delivery is flatter than a wet leaf.
Yes, it revs out to a heady 10,500rpm but what punch it delivers is all but gone by the halfway mark of the usable rev range. And with every gear change at max rpm, there is no real benefit except even more noise from the engine and a louder ’hurrumph’ from the exhaust – more likely to be in indignation of such abuse.
It’s possible that many buyers will appreciate the lazy, asthmatic engine delivery and gratefully smile at the 55+mpg the Honda will return if ridden sedately. But the point is that everyone will be dancing all over the CBR’s gearlever trying to stimulate some emotion from it because of its styling. Not a chance. Instead, owners will have to face the fact that the CBR is a taster for bigger and better things.
However, given that the bike is built outside of Japan, it retains the air of quality that comes with Honda products. The suspension suspends; brakes brake effectively and you can be happy in the knowledge that the CBR will start every time, all the time. Typical Honda then? Yes, it is. But not your typical Honda supersport or superbike, fact!
+ points – meagre fuel consumption, ABS version available
- points – lacklustre engine performance, vibration at high rpm
Power: 26.4bhp, 16.9ft lbs
Kerb weight: 162kg
Seat height: 784mm
Colours: Red/white/blue, black
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