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Old 23rd March 2013, 03:13   #31
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Default Re: From Honda CBR250R to Duke200 to Ninja250R: Quarter liter ownership story!

Pretty cool review. Great to see that you follow the function follows form philosophy with your bike selection. Excellent. Surprised to see that you can comfortably sustain safe high rpm riding of the Ninja on Indian roads. Instinctively, I feel a little nervous of that thought.

Great going. Ride safe and wear the best gear you can afford.

Cheers.
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Old 23rd March 2013, 10:53   #32
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Default Re: From Honda CBR250R to Duke200 to Ninja250R: Quarter liter ownership story!

Hi Niranjan,

Very well written, and compiled review of the three 250s.
I'm quite sure it'll help a lot of buyers in the market in selecting the right bike as per their individual tastes.
The fact that at a point you had all three is, well, pretty darn sweeeet!

Thanks for taking time out to write this.

Somebody else has also asked this here, but for touring purposes, how would you rate the TB500? Compared to that, would you personally still prefer one of these three? Also, how would a 6-1 heavy body frame take the ride on these three machines?

Cheers,
Sam
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Old 23rd March 2013, 12:06   #33
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Default Re: From Honda CBR250R to Duke200 to Ninja250R: Quarter liter ownership story!

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Originally Posted by samarth.bhatia View Post
Somebody else has also asked this here, but for touring purposes, how would you rate the TB500? Compared to that, would you personally still prefer one of these three? Also, how would a 6-1 heavy body frame take the ride on these three machines?

Cheers,
Sam
As a TB500 owner I can provide some inputs. TB is a very relaxed longlegged cruiser. It can keep a relaxed 80-100kmph with the revs in the range 3000-3700rpm all day. Sufficient power for quick overtakes without lowering a gear, just a quick throttle input should see you north of 120kmph. Gives a decent range with fuel economy around 32-35kmpl if held steady between 80-90kmph.

If you want to show her the stick she maxes out at somewhere close to an indicated 145kmph or so, however be aware the cruiser riding position is a problem at high speeds with lot of wind resistance felt at 100+speeds.

Probably the best bullet yet, everything fitted tightly as one unit, no oil leaks, no overheating , rattles etc.
Drawbacks.
Get rid of the zapper tyres before long rides. Its prone to skidding/moving off the line, especially the rear when shown wet patches. I believe Michellin/Perelli tyre combis are the best for this bike.

Its not a sportsbike for sure, and cruiser bodystyle makes imperative for a relaxed cruise with relaxed cornering. Dont expect it to corner carve on ghats, altough you can scrape footpegs easily.

Regarding the CBR/Ninja, they are much faster off the line and and in top end as well.

Depends on what you want actually. The TB500 is great bridge between the bullets and conventional bikes.
Cheers.
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Old 23rd March 2013, 12:25   #34
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Default Re: From Honda CBR250R to Duke200 to Ninja250R: Quarter liter ownership story!

Very nice and balanced review between the 3 bikes Niranjan. Its the best option available to most of us, and so rare, hence appreciated. A single owner of all 3! Personal ownership biases getting canceled out - almost (even a mother has a "favorite" amongst her kids!).

One must always of course consider that the Duke gives a whole 25% displacement advantage to the other two, and the Ninja has the extra cylinder which pushes the game further away.

I find this trend a little confusing about KTM.

When the whole world makes 250s, they make a 200.

When the whole world makes 450s (the "small" thumpers / top displacement motocross/rally bikes - the Jap 400s being dead for some time), they make a 390 (actually a 375).

When the whole world makes 650 singles (the "big" thumpers), they go and make a 690.

Wonder why.

Last edited by ebonho : 23rd March 2013 at 12:33.
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Old 23rd March 2013, 22:00   #35
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Default Re: From Honda CBR250R to Duke200 to Ninja250R: Quarter liter ownership story!

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Originally Posted by jkdas View Post
you are the man to give us a feedback about Hyosung 250 too
So if you were to replace the Duke and Ninja, what would these be?
Thanks. No experience on the Hyosung250 but would love to ride one sometime.
The D390 is the obvious upgrade to the D200. Ninja is much tougher - a proper upgrade would be something like a Daytona, N650 being of a different character.

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Originally Posted by VLOCT View Post
Surprised to see that you can comfortably sustain safe high rpm riding of the Ninja on Indian roads. Instinctively, I feel a little nervous of that thought.
Thanks. I am not much of a top speed guy actually - high rpms are more fun on lower gears. At 70, you can prefer to have fun on 2nd/3rd or get bored on 5/6th. I was simply referring to the former case

Quote:
Originally Posted by samarth.bhatia View Post
for touring purposes, how would you rate the TB500? Compared to that, would you personally still prefer one of these three? Also, how would a 6-1 heavy body frame take the ride on these three machines?
I have used a TB350 for long periods but never the TB500. I would still pick these 3 over it but then it's a personal choice. The CBR/Ninja can take a tall, heavy frame easily. The Duke might feel slightly small so better to test ride it first.

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Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
Personal ownership biases getting canceled out - almost (even a mother has a "favorite" amongst her kids!).

I find this trend a little confusing about KTM.
I won't claim to be without bias Doc
The KTMs are strange but that's what gives them character. I would love the 690 here and would be prepared to sell my car or something to pick that one up.
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Old 24th March 2013, 18:21   #36
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Default Re: From Honda CBR250R to Duke200 to Ninja250R: Quarter liter ownership story!

Mind blowing review, Niranjan! You're lucky to have some of the best indian bikes in your garage.

I agree with you about the CBR- your observations are spot on. I can't comment further upon the lack of top end as I haven't ever red-lined my ride. About the soft suspension, it's kind of a plus for me- I'm no corner carver and I like the way it soaks up the bumps and provides a relaxed feel on the highway. The only time I felt that the suspension was too soft was on one occasion where I had to overtake a Tavera on a curve at a somewhat high speed. The CBR felt a bit lazy to change the direction and I almost had to fight with the bike to get it back on to the other lane after I had overtaken the Tavera. Other than that incident, I'm happy with it.

Unfortunately, haven't ridden the Ninja yet- I've only ridden pillion (and I don't think I want to do it again- no grab handles!!). The N250R felt really fast and I'm sure when the engine's on a song at the top end, it can obliterate almost anything on the road. A highly desirable machine. For me it was too expensive, aggressive and somewhat impractical. But, it's THE 250 to buy if you've got the dough and the skills to exploit it fully.

Rode the Duke for a short stretch and I was impressed. Very very flickable and great fun. I was also quite taken with its detailing and high quality parts. For the price, it's a steal. It's also a bit aggressive for my tastes, but due to the great price point, I might have bought it if there was a pro-biking showroom in my town or if I didn't realize how perfect the CBR was for me.

Keep riding and have fun! Cheers.

Last edited by evilmessiah : 24th March 2013 at 18:23.
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Old 13th April 2013, 00:20   #37
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Default Re: From Honda CBR250R to Duke200 to Ninja250R: Quarter liter ownership story!

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Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
Very nice and balanced review between the 3 bikes Niranjan. Its the best option available to most of us, and so rare, hence appreciated. A single owner of all 3! Personal ownership biases getting canceled out - almost (even a mother has a "favorite" amongst her kids!).

One must always of course consider that the Duke gives a whole 25% displacement advantage to the other two, and the Ninja has the extra cylinder which pushes the game further away.

I find this trend a little confusing about KTM.

When the whole world makes 250s, they make a 200.

When the whole world makes 450s (the "small" thumpers / top displacement motocross/rally bikes - the Jap 400s being dead for some time), they make a 390 (actually a 375).

When the whole world makes 650 singles (the "big" thumpers), they go and make a 690.

Wonder why.
Real nice review Niranjan. First of it's kind I guess

I have the same confusion with KTM bikes, the displacement they choose just seems kind of odd. I mean, I'm not complaining or anything, but it just kind of makes you wonder whether they intentionally chose those numbers just to be more unique or something
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Old 13th April 2013, 07:38   #38
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Default Re: From Honda CBR250R to Duke200 to Ninja250R: Quarter liter ownership story!

Good comparo, Niranjan! Thanks for sharing.

I had these problems of 3 bikes too - Had a R15, CBR250R and Hyosung GT650N. Almost got a used Bullet 350 Gave away the R15 recently..

CBR250R as you pointed out is too gentlemanly (if I can call that ) - I am not surprised that it was the bike you parted with. Despite my big frame, I am not a big fan since the bike is too predictable and boring. I sometimes feel I might sleep while driving it. I wanted it to swap it for a D200, but since a 390 is coming I thought I might as well wait (Too much travel prevented me from picking up a D200 earlier)

I desperately wanted to pick a N250 instead of CBR250R - But, the low end was underwhelming, that I couldn't make up my mind to pick it up. I might open my mind again and swap the 250R for the N300R if possible.

My presumptions about Korean bikes were shattered with Hyosung 650N - The V Twin is a BLAST and a real hooligan on street and highways. I think it offers maximum bang for the buck. I have made a few trips on highways and I don't think I have enjoyed that much in any bike. It gives a feeling that we don't own the bike and it owns us. It feels alive like a horse which cannot be controlled, but whose respect needs to be earned so that it will let us ride it (excuse my flowery language, since I am thoroughly jet lagged)

The biggest trouble I have is to remember to maintain all the bikes, pay insurance etc (different service intervals, different insurance schedules, even remembering to fuel them) - Thats the main reason I gave away my R15. I am single, and I usually ride alone (no groups, no pillion) - And, of late I am finding it tough to keep even two bikes (esp I am on travel 2-3 weeks every two months), I am planning to get down to only one bike. May be pick up a N300R or a Duke 390 instead of a 250R and 650N.

Glad to see your review, and do keep us posted on various trips. I don't post much to TBHP nowadays, but read all the posts!
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Old 13th April 2013, 10:06   #39
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Default Re: From Honda CBR250R to Duke200 to Ninja250R: Quarter liter ownership story!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sriramv.iyer View Post
My presumptions about Korean bikes were shattered with Hyosung 650N - The V Twin is a BLAST and a real hooligan on street and highways.
May be pick up a N300R or a Duke 390 instead of a 250R and 650N.
Nice set of wheels there! Very glad to hear positive stuff on the GT650N - why wouldn't you just keep the 650N instead of changing to D390 or N300? Too cumbersome in the city?
I hope for an upgrade later this year and the GT is in my sight because of it's VFM proposition. Most BHP per buck. But then I am entirely confused with the D390, possible Triumph STR, N650r and what not. I am not much of a believer in one bike for city, one for highway and all that - if I have a bike, I use it everywhere. Hope you take time to put down your review sometime!
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Old 13th April 2013, 10:37   #40
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Default Re: From Honda CBR250R to Duke200 to Ninja250R: Quarter liter ownership story!

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Originally Posted by niranjanrvce View Post
Nice set of wheels there! Very glad to hear positive stuff on the GT650N -
I hope for an upgrade later this year and the GT is in my sight because of it's VFM proposition. Most BHP per buck. But then I am entirely confused with the D390, possible Triumph STR, N650r and what not. Hope you take time to put down your review sometime!
Thanks! I have mostly heard -ve stuff on GT650N in this forum, and I am surprised. There are vibes if you go over 160 kmph, but that's not a good speed for any road (except closed tracks) - Please do keep your options open to GT650N when you plan to upgrade. That's the best VFM bike in that zone.

The ST is legendary - I might even be tempted when it lands here

Ninja 650N reminds me of CBR250R in character, and I might stay away from that.

Quote:
why wouldn't you just keep the 650N instead of changing to D390 or N300? Too cumbersome in the city?
All said, the big bikes are a strict no in traffic, and are near impractical especially w.r.t. to heat. I ride a lot, esp to office, and I prefer 250cc or less for the city commute. (N300R may fit the bill)

Quote:
I am not much of a believer in one bike for city, one for highway and all that - if I have a bike, I use it everywhere.
I used to be like that too - Some bikes do no lend to that kind of usage, unfortunately. R15's riding position is extreme (used it for close to 4 years) for highways. Secondly, its gearing and power delivery are highly sub-optimal for city rides with speed breakers. Any speed breaker will induce rapid downshifting to get any decent power delivery.

GT650N will burn your calf muscles in city.

CBR250R is quite accomplished in both city and highway, but the front suspensions are too soft for confident cornering (I have got bruises to prove ) - But, I am not an accomplished rider, may be I am projecting my inadequacies to the bike (i don't know)

Given that most power of 650cc bikes can't be tapped in our roads, and given the power delivery of D200, the specs of D390 make me drool. Despite a lot of people sharing their concern over the top whack due to its short gearing, I feel D390 might be the perfect bike for track, city and highways. (I know fuel tank capacity might be low for highway uses, but perfect bikes do not exist)
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Old 13th April 2013, 13:08   #41
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Default Re: From Honda CBR250R to Duke200 to Ninja250R: Quarter liter ownership story!

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Originally Posted by sriramv.iyer View Post
Given that most power of 650cc bikes can't be tapped in our roads, and given the power delivery of D200, the specs of D390 make me drool. Despite a lot of people sharing their concern over the top whack due to its short gearing, I feel D390 might be the perfect bike for track, city and highways. (I know fuel tank capacity might be low for highway uses, but perfect bikes do not exist)
A tooth or two less on the rear sprocket.

A bigger after market tank from Acerbis.

A moderate sized clear windshield.

The Duke 390 begins to look pretty perfect for where I am coming from today.
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Old 13th April 2013, 15:23   #42
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Default Re: From Honda CBR250R to Duke200 to Ninja250R: Quarter liter ownership story!

Excellent Comparo. I put off the decision to buy a CBR250 for Ninja300 but looking at the pricing (and the fact that I will never take it to a track) is making me go for CBR250.

You have a way with words. Do try out the new Ninja and post your views.
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Old 13th April 2013, 16:36   #43
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Default Re: From Honda CBR250R to Duke200 to Ninja250R: Quarter liter ownership story!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sriramv.iyer View Post
Please do keep your options open to GT650N when you plan to upgrade. That's the best VFM bike in that zone.

the specs of D390 make me drool. Despite a lot of people sharing their concern over the top whack due to its short gearing, I feel D390 might be the perfect bike for track, city and highways.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
A tooth or two less on the rear sprocket.

A bigger after market tank from Acerbis.

A moderate sized clear windshield.

The Duke 390 begins to look pretty perfect for where I am coming from today.
You both seem quite set on the D390 The 5 sec 0-100 video is definitely making a strong case for it in my mind. Top whack is fine, IMHO - if the D390 limits at 160-170, it should be able to cruise calmly at 120 odd highway speeds and that's my main grouse with D200. Anything above is unsafe speeds on our roads anyways.

Update on the Ninja: I just got the rear tyre changed. The stock IRC lasted for a good 14k+ kms and was getting low on grip and prone to punctures. I explored several options - Pirellis weren't available and the limited 130/70 availability was overpriced. The 140/70/17 size had the Contis - the stock tyre on the CBR250r that I am not at all a fan off- and MRF Zapper Qs - again a very ordinary tyre.
There was some thailand make tyre - Euros - that I had never heard of and didn't want to risk. I asked Ravi, my Ninja/Duke service guy at probiking if we can try the 150/60/17 MRF Rev-z that comes with the D200 and he was against it fearing it would scrape against the swingarm. So sitting at probiking service, I gave friendly mod n_Aditya a call and he suggested checking with Millivision's near Lalbagh West gate.
Went down there and the guy there seemed very confident 150/60/17 will fit and gave me two options: Metzzlers at 12.5k and Rev-Z at 4k. Went with the Rev-Z since I couldn't convince myself to pay 3 times more for the Metzzlers. I was a bit apprehensive of the fitting but voila, it's a perfect fit! It isn't even close to the swingarm or anything else at all. I went back to Probiking because Ravi couldn't believe it fit so well and even he agreed it's just perfect after a short try out. The short ride back home felt very comfortable and had clearly better grip (the old ones were so far gone, I realize now). Going for a ride tomorrow morning and will hopefully take some snaps and post it here on how it looks.

Last edited by niranjanrvce : 13th April 2013 at 16:38.
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Old 13th April 2013, 19:51   #44
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Default Re: From Honda CBR250R to Duke200 to Ninja250R: Quarter liter ownership story!

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Originally Posted by niranjanrvce View Post
IMHO - if the D390 limits at 160-170, it should be able to cruise calmly at 120 odd highway speeds
Considering that the Duke 200 is most comfortable between 100-110, which is around 25 less than its top end, I am guessing being a bigger motor (nearly twice bigger), the 390 should be able to easily hold 140-150 if you have the road.

Note to Mods: I am not suggesting we do it. Just that the bike can.
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Old 13th April 2013, 21:35   #45
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Default Re: From Honda CBR250R to Duke200 to Ninja250R: Quarter liter ownership story!

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Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
I am guessing being a bigger motor (nearly twice bigger), the 390 should be able to easily hold 140-150 if you have the road.
Indeed. The D200 goes to its top whack with no fuss and if the D390 carries that forward, it should be able to genuinely max out easily as well. And that means a lot of usable power at your disposal. And with all that flick-ability and low weight, this should be a hella lot of fun. At less than 3 lacs.
Just read somewhere that the CBR/F/X 500 top out at 185ish. The CBR400 series that might come here will not carry more than 170 odd on paper then. And that just makes D390 sound even better!
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