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Old 28th November 2015, 06:45   #1
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Default RMLC - My Tricolor Honda CBR250R ABS

RMLC - My Tricolor Honda CBR250R ABS-photo_20151102_060551.jpg
A. The Name
The name is a funny one. I don't like to give it a personified name, but a name that signifies what it means for my life - which is Reverse Mid Life Crisis.
It makes people wonder - what did you mean? Its actually quite simple. Unlike most 30 something (middle aged) men, who buy fast motorbikes as a panacea for a mid-life crisis, in my case, my wife advised me to buy one, even though my personal instinct would've been to sweat the old bike and pre-pay the home loan!

I've been a biker for one and a half decade now, with rides all over from ladakh to delhi to Goa, but post marriage, the car was simply infinitely convenient first for the wife, then for the wife and our son. So my pulsar rusted while the Swift racked up miles.

But then, sir grew up. He's now 4.5 and is a total naughty brat. On long drives he gets antsy and wants to play. That results in him jumping up and down in the car, often throwing things around, or trying to pull his mother's hair and what not. Which makes it unsafe and super-tiring for the wife.

That meant that our long drives (Chennai-Kalpetta in ~13 hours) came to an end. Now my wife realized that I love traveling - she herself suggested that I should change my pulsar (10.5 years old) and get a reliable bike on which I can do occasional day tours. Thus the search started on the 250-400cc thread (Which 250 - 400 cc motorcycle should I buy?).

B. The Search:

Being able to afford a nice bike doesn't mean you go for the biggest one. If we scrimped around, took a loan I could've easily gone for the 650cc Ninja or the Bonneville or such.

My requirements were clear - all I wanted was a reliable "bigger" version of the Hero honda Karizma - a high speed appliance to cruise at a relaxed 90-110 all day for solo bat-out-of-hell touring, once or twice a month, nothing more. I need a bike that's super reliable and can be left away in a corner only to be brought to life once in a blue moon.

Hence, RE wasn't even considered. My job that makes me travel for 5 days a week with calls at all odd hours and I have a super hyperactive son that i cant spend enough time with. I don't need any more excitement in my life courtesy the motorbike.

There are two bikes which met my criteria and budget - D390 and CBR250R. (R3 was beautiful but out of budget)

After much internet research into the purported niggles of KTM (confirmed by one too many folks), the real deal breaker was an issue that doesn't matter to most people - the minimum speed at idle RPM in 1st gear.

Turns out the D390's idling speed is 11 kph minimum. I test rode the RC390. It was so fast so as to induce brick shitting and had the sound of a loading auto. At this speed, you will need to keep playing with the clutch in bumper to bumper traffic.

I've cribbed about this earlier - the swift's min speed in 1st gear is 10 kph which results in unnecessary clutch burn in bumper to bumper traffic.

On the other hand, the CBR was exactly what I had in my mind - a seriously fast karizma with a sweet intake manifold roar (did i get that right?). No matter which gear or what RPM you're in - just twist the wrist and off it flies. Importantly, it idles at 7 kph, good enough for most traffic.

C. The Buying Experience

The buying experience was outright shitty. I only bought the bike on faith in Honda's engines and little else. Starting August, I kept calling the Honda dealers in Gurgaon / Delhi every fortnight and they never had the damn bike in stock, forget a test ride. Half of them even said its withdrawn. Others said, wait for navratri. The muppets at HMSI didn't respond to 20+ tweets at them either.

Come October and the itch was getting stronger - but no one had the bike in stock - it was always a display bike, or on order. Towards the middle of October I started getting the first reports of sufficient stocks.

But by then, I had set my mind that I would buy only the ABS version. That created another problem - the ABS version was like a mythical unicorn - everyone had heard about it, but not seen it.

After much consternation I got a lucky break - end Oct, two Delhi Honda dealerships confirmed that they have an ABS piece. I didn't want to buy from there due to hassles in self-registration in Gurgaon (thats another thread), but I wasn't going to compromise.

Two dealers had the bike, but Malwa Honda had a 1 May manufactured bike (even though the bike was delivered to them on 18 Oct). So off I went to Globus Honda in North Delhi. Their idiotic salesman hitesh (?) made me ride 45km only to find out their ABS piece was Jun 2013!!! He refused to give me that information on the phone. Please avoid that salesman like the plague. His GM on the other hand was very nice and answered my qs in detail.

Thus on 1st Nov, I bought the RMLC from Malwa Honda. Interestingly, the payment was fully via IMPS. I love technology. No cheque nothing. Everything done on a Sunday.

The only fly in the ointment? Rs 3000 trade-in value for my 10 year old P180 which was sort of a Ship of Theseus but otherwise in decent nick, i.e it went for scrap. I wasn't going to OLX it for peace of mind in transfers. The dealer threw in an additional 3500 discount. Here's its last photo! Unlike other sentimental people, I was perfectly happy letting it go.
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D. The Journey thus far.

The bike has met my requirements to the T. I have completed 830km as of end Nov and its been a fun journey thus far. Here are some observations:

Positives:
  • The bike feels built to last. Sheer quality in everything.
  • The engine is butter-smooth
  • It does handle the occasional speed breaker very nicely
  • The seating is comfortable - not as relaxed as the P180 but nice nevertheless. My 490km day ride was quite peaceful ergonomically despite some horrible roads.
  • The brakes are absolutely phenomenal - no fuss, no drama - easy stopping whether you're at 20 or 110!
  • The mirrors are quite decent - you don't need to do a chicken dance with your arms to see vehicles behind you.
  • Its built to cruise - you can ride comfortably all day, but its not a rowdy traffic warrior by nature. Unlike the pulsar which was much more flickable, this seems to have a longer wheelbase that's a cruiser but not a traffic scalpel.
  • It gets attention EVERYWHERE. I am sick of this - wherever I have gone, whether at a delhi mall, or a roadside dhaba or even the service center, it is noticed.
  • The service experience at Big Swing Honda is good thus far - they do a good job, and its serviced on priority. let's see how they behave when problems emerge.
Niggles:
  • For whatever reason, I feel a slight pain in my right palm under the thumb area. Over time, this results in significant numbness on a long ride - even if I ride just 15-20km.
  • In the sixth gear, it behaves like an alto (and a swift in all other gears!) - it takes its own sweet time to get upto 110. The difference is stark compared to gears 1-5.
  • The headlights are nice, but I think the P220 projector setup was better. At 100, I cannot depend on the bike's lighting alone. I will soon setup an auxiliary LED setup.
  • The mileage seems to be on the lower side - closer to 25, just off the top of my head. Will start tracking now and will report in due course.
  • Its heavy and I'm not fit anymore. Pushing the bike (say reversing out of a parking lot with haphazard parking) is impossible. The split grab rails don't work either. The weight is hardly felt once in motion, though.
  • The lack of a heel-shifter. I hate toe-only shifters. You cannot commute to office wearing formal shoes on a CBR without ruining them.
  • Synthetic engine oil and a 4000km drain interval? Seriously honda you're smoking something. I don't mind the cost but the drain interval should be 6000+ at the very least in a Honda engine!
As of now, I'm overall very happy. This bike is all I need, unless I migrate to a first world country with significantly generous speed limits or faster traffic.

That's it from my side for now - till the next few thousand km are added on. Ride safe, ride hard and rabb rakhaa!
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Old 28th November 2015, 08:27   #2
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Default re: RMLC - My Tricolor Honda CBR250R ABS

Congrats on the RMLC! A very wise choice you made.
Are you sure about 4k km oil change intervals? Many friends of mine stick to 6k intervals on their 2012-13 CBRs.
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Old 28th November 2015, 08:31   #3
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Default re: RMLC - My Tricolor Honda CBR250R ABS

Great one and finally she is here!

When I saw the title, especially the first half, I was thinking it was related to something of PLC's of the software industry but the rest half of the title got my attention.

Congratulations Phamilyman!

Do post some more good quality pictures of the CBR250R.

Have a safe rider and long smiling ownership with the Honda. Hope you never have to go through the horror's that other BHPian's have gone through Honda's ASC.
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Old 28th November 2015, 09:37   #4
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Default re: RMLC - My Tricolor Honda CBR250R ABS

Quote:
Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
Synthetic engine oil and a 4000km drain interval? Seriously honda you're smoking something. I don't mind the cost but the drain interval should be 6000+ at the very least in a Honda engine![/list]
The Honda's engine oil is ok, but is priced at half of what the rest of the synthetics are priced at.

Maybe they are not very confident of the viscosity in the long run or maybe the oil isn't as good as others. Dunno

I change oil every Holi & Diwali
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Old 28th November 2015, 10:52   #5
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Default re: RMLC - My Tricolor Honda CBR250R ABS

Congrats on that wonderful looking RMLC!! Hondas are indeed bombproof and wish you many miles of happy riding!

Quote:
Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
I feel a slight pain in my right palm under the thumb area. Over time, this results in significant numbness on a long ride - even if I ride just 15-20km.
One of the possible reason is putting too much weight on the handlebars. I suffered from this initially and palms would go numb instantly. I always ensure that my elbows are bent while riding. Many recommend to have arms parallel to ground but I feel it results in too much crouch. Just ensuring bent elbows means that palms are not receiving pressure.

Also, good gloves have adequate padding which I have felt help in reducing the pressure on palms.
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Old 29th November 2015, 00:07   #6
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Default Re: RMLC - My Tricolor Honda CBR250R ABS

Quote:
Originally Posted by Divya Sharan View Post
Congrats on the RMLC! A very wise choice you made.
Are you sure about 4k km oil change intervals? Many friends of mine stick to 6k intervals on their 2012-13 CBRs.
Let me recheck. The stupid standard service booklet says 4000km, and so concurred the barely educated (about CBR) service advisor. Thanks for mentioning. It is indeed 6000km. Stupid Honda. They have ZERO attention to detail. The number plate fouled against the mudgard in 300km itself. Is it too much to ask for an unmolested mudgard for a Rs 2 lakh motorbike?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a4anurag View Post
Great one and finally she is here!
No quality pics thus far - been riding solo only. Good pics only once I go riding with someone photographically inclined -let's see!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ksameer1234 View Post
Congrats on that wonderful looking RMLC!! Hondas are indeed bombproof and wish you many miles of happy riding!



One of the possible reason is putting too much weight on the handlebars. I suffered from this initially and palms would go numb instantly. I always ensure that my elbows are bent while riding. Many recommend to have arms parallel to ground but I feel it results in too much crouch. Just ensuring bent elbows means that palms are not receiving pressure.

Also, good gloves have adequate padding which I have felt help in reducing the pressure on palms.
I have used good enough gloves - Aspida Phaeton, and two other cheap Rs 300 ~gloves. Same pain. Even without gloves, there is mild pain. My elbows are always bent but I'll look more closely at it in my next ride.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheel View Post
The Honda's engine oil is ok, but is priced at half of what the rest of the synthetics are priced at.

Maybe they are not very confident of the viscosity in the long run or maybe the oil isn't as good as others. Dunno

I change oil every Holi & Diwali
so will I. good point!
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Old 30th November 2015, 08:20   #7
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Default Re: RMLC - My Tricolor Honda CBR250R ABS

Quote:
Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
In the sixth gear, it behaves like an alto (and a swift in all other gears!) - it takes its own sweet time to get upto 110. The difference is stark compared to gears 1-5


Quote:
Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
I will soon setup an auxiliary LED setup
Pls think twice before LED setup

Quote:
Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
[*]The mileage seems to be on the lower side - closer to 25, just off the top of my head. Will start tracking now and will report in due course
100% sure you're either riding super T.W.O or not tracking properly!! in nearly a Lakh Km, there's only once I got 24.4 Kmpl & that was because of TWO

Quote:
Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
The split grab rails don't work either. The weight is hardly felt once in motion, though
Its not the niggle of the motorcycle, you need to get used to that's all

Quote:
Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
[*]The lack of a heel-shifter. I hate toe-only shifters. You cannot commute to office wearing formal shoes on a CBR without ruining them
Commuter, not sports bike, has heel shifter

Quote:
Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
Synthetic engine oil and a 4000km drain interval? Seriously honda you're smoking something. I don't mind the cost but the drain interval should be 6000+ at the very least in a Honda engine!
WTH!! When did this even change? In my owner's manual (and Thai version), its a 6000 Km interval mentioned; anyway, my personal change interval is close to 8000 Km but on Shell 10W40

Congratulations on your new toy & hearty welcome to our club

Quote:
Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
They have ZERO attention to detail. The number plate fouled against the mudgard in 300km itself. Is it too much to ask for an unmolested mudgard for a Rs 2 lakh motorbike?
Has never happened unless there's some engineering change in the current models; the number plate setup is setup little different on our CPRs.

Last edited by aargee : 30th November 2015 at 08:23.
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Old 30th November 2015, 09:42   #8
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Default Re: RMLC - My Tricolor Honda CBR250R ABS

Congratulations on your purchase! I was really surprised that it took you that long to get one though.

As for the oil, it's a 6k drain interval, and even the service booklet says that. Moreover, at the service centers, they usually have a separate table/chart for the CBR250R service intervals, which says 6k as well.

And for your wrist pain, it is definitely something to do with your riding position. I had the wrist pain for a couple of days (through horrid Bangalore traffic) but it was perfectly fine after. No lack of circulation or anything. After those first few days, never had an issue in the past 5 months and 8.5k kms.

Just another point to mention, 6th is meant to be a cruising gear, but if you want to get to 100 quickly, you'll hit that in 4th itself (maybe even 3rd, can't remember). Just remember that your power band effectively starts at 5k RPM so you'll have pulling power from then on.
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Old 30th November 2015, 13:53   #9
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Default Re: RMLC - My Tricolor Honda CBR250R ABS

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Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
[*]The lack of a heel-shifter. I hate toe-only shifters. You cannot commute to office wearing formal shoes on a CBR without ruining them.
Try getting something known as a Gear Sock. Had seen it on a friend's bike. Helps save your formal shoes.

http://www.sbkstore.in/parts/shift-s...-kawasaki.html

This seems to be on the higher side, but you should be able to procure a local variant of the same.
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Old 30th November 2015, 15:46   #10
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Thumbs up Good Show !

Congrats phamilyman on your RMLC,

I for one keenly followed your bike dilemma thread and I feel that by going for the proven CBR, you've made a decision that you won't regret later! Quite enjoyed your Bhangarh travelogue too. Now that you have the bike, and if you are an early morning person, you could consider joining up join up barcalad on weekend morning rides.

Wish you many more miles of safe and enjoyable riding.

Cheers !
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Old 30th November 2015, 16:00   #11
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Now that you have the bike, and if you are an early morning person, you could consider joining up join up barcalad on weekend morning rides.
He kind of has. Reached out to him immediately after reading his thread.

Already a part of TBhp NCR Motorcylists group on WhatsApp.
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Old 30th November 2015, 17:25   #12
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Default Re: RMLC - My Tricolor Honda CBR250R ABS

Congrats on the tri-colour, Hitanshu !!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by phamilyman
For whatever reason, I feel a slight pain in my right palm under the thumb area. Over time, this results in significant numbness on a long ride - even if I ride just 15-20km.
I don't have any pain, but do have the numbness part. On both hands. And it starts after the first 15 odd kms of the ride. I thought it was the bike, but looks like it is about me - because I have it when riding any bike for 15+ kms (tried a few bikes/scooters).

Quote:
Originally Posted by phamilyman
The mileage seems to be on the lower side - closer to 25, just off the top of my head. Will start tracking now and will report in due course.
Except for one fill when I got only 28kmpl, the rest of the fills got me between 36 - 39kmpl. All rides are alone. And given the Kerala roads in my part (Alappuzha / Kollam), usually well within 80kmph max, except for a rare burst touching ~100 now and then. My usage is very low - done only 2700kms in 1.5 years.
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Old 30th November 2015, 19:13   #13
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Default Re: RMLC - My Tricolor Honda CBR250R ABS

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the rest of the fills got me between 36 - 39kmpl. All rides are alone. And given the Kerala roads in my part (Alappuzha / Kollam), usually well within 80kmph max, except for a rare burst touching ~100 now and then
Yes, perfectly tracked I would say; this is exactly the FE for this kind of speed.
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Old 30th November 2015, 20:09   #14
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Default Re: RMLC - My Tricolor Honda CBR250R ABS

Congratulations Familyman!!

We should catch up soon. Two CBRs with same color themes would look nice on the road.

I have always felt that the CBR250 is a great motorcycle for our conditions. It looks the part too and the riding position is spot on. I think riding position on my bike is very similar to the CBR250.

Wish you many happy miles with it.

CHEERS!!

Rachit
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Old 2nd December 2015, 09:01   #15
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Default Re: RMLC - My Tricolor Honda CBR250R ABS

Congratulations Phamilyman! Your midlife crisis reversing machine is quite a looker. Going by the looks of it she will speed up the process soon. This is a very practical and versatile bike to own.

Ride safe and keep this thread updated, will keep following it.

Cheers,
Sting
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