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Old 7th August 2012, 22:27   #1
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Thumbs up Baby Fireblade comes home - My Honda CBR250R

It all started when my younger brother secured his admission in neighbouring district's (Bilaspur) Govt. College. He took away one of my prized possessions, my Pulsar 220. Then the hunt for the new bike began.

Initial shortlist :-

As I am working now, I shortlisted these bikes :-

Bajaj Avenger - Superb bike, good engine & awesome comfort. But it lacked rear disc & tubeless tyres.
Bajaj Pulsar 200 NS - Awesome looks, great engine, gearbox & monoshock. But, the bike wasn't available in my town (it was launched on 7th August)
Honda Unicorn - Very mature bike. Good looks, awesome gearbox, great handling & a gem of an engine. Was rejected due to low power.
Honda CBR250R - Was taken into consideration because it was available in India. That's it.
Yamaha YZF-R15 - Great handling, looks & engine. Was rejected because of too sporty & focused nature & was small for my build (5'11")
TVS Apache RTR 180 (ABS) - Great bike, good engine but posture wasn't good for my taste.
KTM Duke 200 - Great engine, awesome pick-up, good handling but rejected due to the pillion seat.

Didn't took any Hero MotoCorp's vehicle into consideration because frankly, I don't like the company & their attitude towards Indian bikers.

The test-drive period :-

Then the rounds of the showroom began. Avenger was the first to be test ridden. It is a great bike, has a good posture & has a great pick up. But the problem was its lack of tubeless tyres. I could've done without the rear-disc, but tubeless tyres was something that I wanted.

Then I went to Honda showroom to take a test ride of Honda Unicorn. The ride was great & so was the handling. But as I'm addicted to the power of Pulsar 220, I felt that the bike's power was very low for my taste. So I rejected it. Then came the turn of Apache RTR 180 (ABS). The brakes were damn awesome, the engine was also good, although I felt that the engine feels stressed above 6k RPM. But the riding posture wasn't good. Everything else was OK with the bike. I didn't go to the Yamaha showroom as my friend already has the R15-2.0. I rode it, rejected it after just 1 KM due to the sitting posture. Then Duke was also rejected by my dad due to pathetic pillion seat.

At last, I went to the Honda showroom again. I requested the test-ride of CBR250R which was promptly given. I rode the ABS version. I was blown away by the engine. It was so responsive. The brakes were good too & the bike looked awesome. In my mind, I had already selected this bike as my preferred bike.

The convincing family period :-

So, I chose the STD version which was of Rs. 150093 in my state. The ABS version was around Rs. 178000 which was too high for me. When I talked to my dad about the bike, he said that we can get a Nano for that price. But as we already have a Chevrolet Beat in the family, I said that getting another car will be impractical. After about 1 week with heated arguments with my parents, they agreed.

The delivery day :-

I talked to a family priest & he suggested August 2nd (Rakshabandhan Day) as the D-Day. I went to the showroom, paid the DD & took the bike home. It was raining heavily that day & the rains continued for another 4 days. The delivery experience was very good with A.G. Honda.

Here are some pictures.

Baby Fireblade comes home - My Honda CBR250R-img_20120802_171846.jpg
Outside a local temple.

Baby Fireblade comes home - My Honda CBR250R-img_20120802_171903.jpg
Different angle of the bike

Baby Fireblade comes home - My Honda CBR250R-img_20120802_171927.jpg
Another angle of the bike

Baby Fireblade comes home - My Honda CBR250R-img_20120802_185347.jpg
Near the river Beas in my town.

Baby Fireblade comes home - My Honda CBR250R-img_20120802_185405.jpg
Another angle of the bike

Baby Fireblade comes home - My Honda CBR250R-img_20120802_185413.jpg
Close-up shot of the front fairing.

Baby Fireblade comes home - My Honda CBR250R-img_20120805_085233.jpg
Early Sunday morning shot along the Chandigarh-Manali highway (NH-21).

I didn't have the chance to take out the bike for a long ride as it is raining heavily in my state & the roads are blocked due to landslides. But I'll definitely ride to Rohtang Pass in September.


Review :-

Let’s start the review with the looks.

Design & engineering:-

The CBR250R is a real head-turner. Wherever I go, people do comment on the looks. The tires are absolutely fantastic looking. The front disc-brake also looks good. The front fairing & the cowl are very good looking. Although same can’t be said about the mirrors. They don’t look that good but do the job. I liked the mirrors of my Pulsar 220 but they were more like elbow-reflectors.

Secondly, the exhaust is pretty good looking too. But Honda should’ve increased the rear mud-flap in breadth. No matter how slow you go, some dirt always gets settled on the rear grab rails. The front mudflap also fails to do its job as entire dirt is sprayed upon the bike’s radiator which is pretty hard to clean.

Score – 9/10

Engine & Transmission:-

Engine :-

This 250 cc engine from Honda is a pure gem. It is very, very smooth. I think that it will get smoother after the first service when the oil will be changed. This engine loves being revved. There is absence of low-end torque. You can’t simply ride the bike in the town at low speeds (10-15 kmph) in 2nd or 3rd gear. But the same could be done easily on Pulsar 220 (you’ve got to thank Bajaj for that exhausTEC). But take her to the highway and it blows your mind. The engine has awesome range of torque from 2500 rpm to 7000 rpm. Although, below 40 kmph, I was struggling in the 6th gear but everything was working fine in the 5th gear. The roll-on is pretty good too. I had no problem accelerating from 30 km/h to 80 km/h in the 4th gear. There was loads of power & torque. I haven’t taken the bike above 100 km/h because frankly speaking, it is very tough to find such straight stretches of roads in Himachal Pradesh.

Gearbox & clutch :-

The gearbox is butter smooth. I haven’t encountered a single false-neutral in my bike since the day I took her home. The clutch is very light & is very responsive too. Gear shifts are precise & fast. The one-down-five-up pattern is perfect. The neutral is pretty easy to find too if you decide to ride it with the engine turned off which is very common here to save petrol.

Score – 10/10

Ride & handling :-

Now, let’s talk about the ride. Initially, when I saw the bike I thought that it is not meant for long rides. But when I rode it for 50 km one day, I figured out that I was very wrong. This bike is meant for the highway. It is very, very stable on the highway. The credit goes to the monoshock and those awesome tires. The front suspension has been made soft by Honda specifically to the highway riding. It easily swallows the minor potholes or bumps. The bike also feels very stable around the corners too, but not as stable as the R15. But R15 is too track-focused. But still, it doesn’t feels scary either.
The city-riding is not so good in this bike. I got palm-pain while riding this bike in the city. I can attribute that to the weight of the bike. It is super-easy to ride on the highway, but it is simply the opposite in the city. But then again, this bike is not a city-commuter bike. The rear seat is also good but not as good as the front seat. Still, it is manageable.

Score – 9/10

Switchgear & electrical system:-

The bike’s front headlight can be turned on without turning on the engine. The headlight is very good too. But the rear tail-light could’ve been made from LEDs. Secondly, the switchgear isn’t of good quality. You’ve got to give credit to Bajaj & Yamaha for making top-quality switchgear. Moreover, the high-beam/low-beam button is pretty hard to press. Regarding the horn, it is simply pathetic. It feels like someone has taken a horn out of Honda Activa/Aviator/Dio and installed it on the CBR. The bike-keys are also not up to the mark. They’re not as good as the keys of other bikes like R15, Pulsar 220 or ZMR. One thing that I’ve failed to understand that why has Honda installed a sticker of ‘Honda’ on my bike whereas the Unicorn & Shine get an awesome 3D-emblem.

Score – 8/10

Conclusion :-

The Honda CBR250R is an awesome bike. The price is good too but if Honda can slash it by Rs. 10000, then it can be a viable option to the buyers of KTM Duke 200 & Yamaha R15.

Overall score – 9.5/10

Baby Fireblade comes home - My Honda CBR250R-dscn1818.jpg
Beautiful hills, beautiful road & a beautiful bike.

Baby Fireblade comes home - My Honda CBR250R-dscn1819.jpg

The bike looks best from this angle in my opinion.

Baby Fireblade comes home - My Honda CBR250R-dscn1820.jpg

Rear mud-guard can't do the proper job. Dirt sprayed on the tail-light & the grab-rails.

Last edited by 0xTKB : 9th August 2012 at 23:25.
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Old 10th August 2012, 17:34   #2
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Default Re: Baby Fireblade comes home - My Honda CBR250R

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Motorbikes Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 10th August 2012, 18:15   #3
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Default Re: Baby Fireblade comes home - My Honda CBR250R

Congrats on the new bike. A very well composed and well written review. Its good you are so close to mountains and twisties. Was pillion seat comfort important during your purchase? If not, then the Duke would have been a blast in the hills and the low down torque of the KTM is supposed to be so good that you can chug around without lugging even at 30kmph in 6th gear!
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Old 10th August 2012, 18:26   #4
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Default Re: Baby Fireblade comes home - My Honda CBR250R

Congrats for the new bike. I have seen a sudden increase in the number of CBR owners in my city as well as on this forum while the yamaha counterpart is suffering from poor sales.
Just out of curiosity, have you driven the Pulsar NS after buying your beast? If yes, then how would you rate it with respect to the CBR?
Anyways thats a great bike you have chosen. Superbly written review and the pics work as the icing to the cake.
Congratulations once again.
Take care and Drive Safe.

Last edited by dZired : 10th August 2012 at 18:31.
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Old 10th August 2012, 18:32   #5
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Default Re: Baby Fireblade comes home - My Honda CBR250R

Congrats on the new bike and welcome to the club

I agree with most points you have mentioned except for one. I use my CBR for my daily office commute through Bangalore traffic and I would not say that the CBR is not meant for city commutes. You just have to get used to it. Initially I had some wrist pain too but I just had to find the right riding position and it disappeared.

PS - Get rid of that ugly saree guard ASAP if you will not be having any saree-clad pillion riders.
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Old 10th August 2012, 19:08   #6
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Default Re: Baby Fireblade comes home - My Honda CBR250R

Congrats on the bike man! This truely is an awesome tourer! Well written post too

And I have to say!! - You live in Mandi! Wow! For us a 120 km ride gets us to something like Mahabaleshwar! The same distance gets you to Rohtang!!! Lucky you! Just had been to Manali couple of months ago. Memories are still fresh!!

Enjoy your bike man. Congrats again!
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Old 10th August 2012, 19:49   #7
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Default Re: Baby Fireblade comes home - My Honda CBR250R

Congrats for a new CBR. It looks good in black and you are very lucky to get it for 1.5lacs and staying near mountains . HP is an awesome place.

We bangaloreans have to shell out 1.75 lacs

Was there any waiting period? How is the braking performance between ABS and your non ABS version?
IMO ABS version has a 3pot caliper where as non ABS has 2. Right?
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Old 10th August 2012, 21:01   #8
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Default Re: Baby Fireblade comes home - My Honda CBR250R

Quote:
Originally Posted by 0xTKB View Post
Didn't took any Hero MotoCorp's vehicle into consideration because frankly, I don't like the company & their attitude towards Indian bikers.
congrats on your purchase!

not to spark a discussion (and i have never owned/purchased a bike - so noob question), but could you share your views behind this statement.
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Old 10th August 2012, 21:50   #9
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Default Re: Baby Fireblade comes home - My Honda CBR250R

Quote:
Originally Posted by 0xTKB View Post

The one-down-five-up pattern is perfect. The neutral is pretty easy to find too if you decide to ride it with the engine turned off which is very common here to save petrol.

Score Ė 10/10
Congrats dude, first time looking at a CBR that is in black apart from official reviews and advertisement posters. i thought it doesnt looks good that's why people arent buying them in black . Actually it does look good after seeing so many of them in RED.

BTW, people riding with their engined switched off in ghat type roads is too dangerous for the rider and those climbing up too. I have been riding in OOTY for more than 5 years and my bikes and cars have run more on hill roads than on the plains, so I know how risky and foolish to ride with engine switched off to save a hundred or two. Be careful dude, you dont do it and influence others. no offense.

Accidents do not happen every time when it is ridden like that but we ought to make sure it doesnt happen even remotely.

Enjoy touring,
Chaos
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Old 10th August 2012, 22:06   #10
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Default Re: Baby Fireblade comes home - My Honda CBR250R

Quote:
Originally Posted by abhinav.s View Post
Was pillion seat comfort important during your purchase?
Yeah, the rear seat was one of my priorities as I'll be doing some minor 30 km stretches a week with either my colleagues or friends or most importantly with my dad who loves to take a ride on bikes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dZired View Post
Just out of curiosity, have you driven the Pulsar NS after buying your beast? If yes, then how would you rate it with respect to the CBR?
No I haven't tried the Pulsar 200 NS after getting the Baby Fireblade. But as a long term Bajaj customer, I've utmost respect for Bajaj & the Pulsar 200 NS. My cousin is thinking of getting a bike in coming months. If the budget allows, I'll try to get Pulsar 200 NS for him.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hells_Fury View Post
I agree with most points you have mentioned except for one. I use my CBR for my daily office commute through Bangalore traffic and I would not say that the CBR is not meant for city commutes. You just have to get used to it. Initially I had some wrist pain too but I just had to find the right riding position and it disappeared.

PS - Get rid of that ugly saree guard ASAP if you will not be having any saree-clad pillion riders.
I think that you may be right. I haven't ridden around in town a lot on the bike. But then again, there's a lot of difference between big metros & small hill stations. And yeah, I've removed that sari guard & it looks awesome now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thumpingheart View Post
Congrats on the bike man! This truely is an awesome tourer! Well written post too

And I have to say!! - You live in Mandi! Wow! For us a 120 km ride gets us to something like Mahabaleshwar! The same distance gets you to Rohtang!!! Lucky you! Just had been to Manali couple of months ago. Memories are still fresh!!

Enjoy your bike man. Congrats again!
Thanks for the compliments brother. I was thinking of going to Manali or Rohtang Pass this weekend. But the recent cloudburst near Solang Nala has destroyed a bridge & a small stretch of road. The repairing should take around 15-20 days.

Quote:
Originally Posted by djay99 View Post
Congrats for a new CBR. It looks good in black and you are very lucky to get it for 1.5lacs and staying near mountains . HP is an awesome place.

We bangaloreans have to shell out 1.75 lacs

Was there any waiting period? How is the braking performance between ABS and your non ABS version?
IMO ABS version has a 3pot caliper where as non ABS has 2. Right?
No waiting period at all . In fact, there were two models in the showroom. The other one was red & silver. Regarding the braking performance of the two models, frankly speaking, I didn't tried hard braking on the test-drive model because of the traffic & the rains. And yes, the ABS version has a 3-pot caliper.

Quote:
Originally Posted by infotech58 View Post
congrats on your purchase!

not to spark a discussion (and i have never owned/purchased a bike - so noob question), but could you share your views behind this statement.
Actually, all other companies are offering huge VFM models at every price point. For example, Bajaj is giving 23.5 BHP, 6 gears, petal-discs etc in the NS for 87k. TVS is giving ABS, 17.5 BHP, awesome brakes at 80k. Yamaha is giving razer-sharp handling, awesome engine, gearbox & brakes at 1.20k.

But what is Hero MotoCorp giving us at 100k? A pathetic 17.5 BHP bike which weighs 150 kgs. Pathetic front & rear tyres. Moreover, their spares are the most priciest spares in the country. And now, they've resorted to coping everything that Honda makes (read Ignitor/Stunner).That's why I don't like that company.
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Old 10th August 2012, 22:59   #11
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Default Re: Baby Fireblade comes home - My Honda CBR250R

Quote:
Originally Posted by 0xTKB View Post
Gearbox & clutch :-
The neutral is pretty easy to find too if you decide to ride it with the engine turned off which is very common here to save petrol.
First of all CONGRATULATIONS on the CBR 250R. Beautiful bike and a nice choice of colour.

Just a suggestion and hope not taken offensively.

I hope you don't do this regularly. Riding with the bike in neutral gear and engine OFF is a very dangerous and unsafe practice.

Just imagine a case of emergency with the bike in neutral and Engine OFF and your needed to get out of an accident that could happen by the nature you would twist the throttle but in reality you have no power. Very Risky buddy.

Point of saving petrol by switching off the engine is NOT correct. The modern day ECU cuts-OFF the fuel supply when the ECU senses no throttle input given when the bike is in Gear. When in neutral the engine needs fuel to idle. Best is to keep the bike in gear without any throttle input.

All the best and Happy riding.

Anurag.
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Old 10th August 2012, 23:01   #12
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Default Re: Baby Fireblade comes home - My Honda CBR250R

Quote:
Originally Posted by a4anurag View Post
First of all CONGRATULATIONS on the CBR 250R. Beautiful bike and a nice choice of colour.

Just a suggestion and hope not taken offensively.

I hope you don't do this regularly. Riding with the bike in neutral gear and engine OFF is a very dangerous and unsafe practice.

Just imagine a case of emergency with the bike in neutral and Engine OFF and your needed to get out of an accident that could happen by the nature you would twist the throttle but in reality you have no power. Very Risky buddy.

Point of saving petrol by switching off the engine is NOT correct. The modern day ECU cuts-OFF the fuel supply when the ECU senses no throttle input given when the bike is in Gear. When in neutral the engine needs fuel to idle. Best is to keep the bike in gear without any throttle input.

All the best and Happy riding.

Anurag.
Thanks. And yeah I know it is a very bad habit. Now, I'm trying to get rid of it. Thanks for the suggestion.
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Old 13th August 2012, 21:59   #13
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Default Re: Baby Fireblade comes home - My Honda CBR250R

Update :- I'll be going to Barot, which is a beautiful settlement about 70 kms from Mandi, my home town, on 15th of August (if it doesn't rains). The road is NH-70 for the most part, some kilometers of state highway & last 4-5 kilometers will be village road. I expect this bike to shine on those roads. Will definitely update you guys on the behaviour of the bike on those roads. Moreover, I'll be riding with a pillion this time. Will also post his reviews of the rear seat.
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Old 17th May 2013, 23:23   #14
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The 7000 km & 8-months update.

Sorry guys, I was missing for a long time from this forum. But, better late than never. Here I am back with the updates.

Personally, I feel that 7000 kilometers in 8 months is very sedate riding. I was hoping for at least 10000 kilometers. But the severe cold weather of the Himalayas prevented me from doing so. I'll start posting the review.

Engine :-

The engine is one awesome unit from Honda. Revs beautifully, accelerates briskly & it is very responsive. But, it is not as butter smooth as I wouldíve hoped it to be. I also rode the CBR150R and I found itís engine to be more smoother than CBR250R. There are some vibrations, but those can be neglected. I also rode my friendís Ninja 250R. After riding that bike, I found out that the CBRís engine is smoother but less punchier which can be attributed to the twin-cylinder layout of the Ninja.

The maximum top speed that I attained was 140 kmph at the Solan-Chandigarh highway. It wouldíve easily touched 150+ but I chickened out. The maximum riding in a day was when I went from Mandi to Chandigarh which is about 200 kms. There wasnít any kind of problem from the bike. The engine didnít heat-up, the bike was rock steady.

The PGM-FI does the job brilliantly. In the very cold mornings (about -5 degrees C), the bike started without a hassle. I even went to Shimla when it was snowing there. The engine did the job brilliantly. You canít get same peace of mind from a carbureted bike.

Regarding the Ďkitna deti haií question, Iím getting about 30-35 kmpl in the city & about 40 kmpl on the highway.


Verdict :- 9.5/10 (0.5 deducted for lack of smoothness)

Gearbox & Clutch :-

Iíll keep this one short. The gearbox & clutch are a pleasure to use. Not once in the 8-month period, I encountered a false neutral. The clutch is also good for wheelies (my younger brother says that, I never wheelied).

Verdict :- 10/10

Ride & Handling :-

The ride and the handling of the bike is good. But R15 2.0 steals away the handling crown easily from this. This is not the bikeís fault as it is not built for track. The front suspension is soft which aids in the long distance touring. This bike is a real long-distance tourer. Even for a 5í11Ē and 85 KG guy like me. At high speeds (say 120+), the bike is steady & the front fairing does itís job of protecting you from the wind-blast. The tank is chiseled nicely, and it grabs your thighs properly. The footrests are good too. Although, some vibrations do creep in to the footrests but those are almost negligible.

Verdict :- 9/10

Damages :-

I never crashed from the bike. But my younger brother did. An upcoming auto-rickshaw did a complete U-turn without indicating & he collided with it. Minor damage on the muffler occurred. My brother bruised his knee. Apart form that, nothing.

The front visor rattles when I accelerate suddenly. Iím thinking of sorting the issue once I visit the showroom.

Pros :-
  • Awesome engine.
  • Brilliant gearbox & clutch.
  • Spare parts are cheap.
  • Efficient for a 250 cc bike.
  • Awesome long distance tourer.
  • Lights are good. Good spread at night.

Cons :-
  • Pathetic, absolutely pathetic Continentalís ContiGO tyres. Theyíve no grip whatsoever. The rear tyre tend to lock-up immediately on emergency braking.Iím thinking of upgrading to either Michelin or Pirelli in the coming monsoons. Plus side is, they are hard compound and there is no wear and tear.
  • Not that Honda smoothness that I was looking for.
  • The showroom mechanics arenít that qualified to handle the CBR250Rís mechanism.


Baby Fireblade comes home - My Honda CBR250R-1.jpg
Alongside my friend's Ninja 250R.

Baby Fireblade comes home - My Honda CBR250R-2.jpg

Recent trip to Shimla. Somewhere near Ghanaahatti.

Baby Fireblade comes home - My Honda CBR250R-3.jpg

With the bikes from our group.
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Old 18th May 2013, 09:24   #15
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Default Re: Baby Fireblade comes home - My Honda CBR250R

Quote:
Originally Posted by 0xTKB View Post
But, it is not as butter smooth as I wouldíve hoped it to be. I also rode the CBR150R and I found itís engine to be more smoother than CBR250R.
It isn't as smooth and I am somehow glad that it isn't. Maybe the single 250 is to be blamed for it.

But nowhere it sounds thrashy or not in sync.

Quote:
There wasnít any kind of problem from the bike. The engine didnít heat-up, the bike was rock steady.d there is no wear and tear.
The bike heats up & throws lots of heat in congested city traffic & while being stationery (idle). While out riding on the open highways, it should not heat up. If it does, you need to get it checked ASAP.
Quote:
  • Not that Honda smoothness that I was looking for.
  • The showroom mechanics arenít that qualified to handle the CBR250Rís mechanism.
I already mentioned about the first impression earlier & agree about your 2nd drawback.
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