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Old 30th August 2016, 23:07   #1
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Default Honda CBR250R C-ABS: Greyhound comes home

How it all started?
Three of us close friends have been long looking to get Leh’d year after year but every year the plan went for a toss due to some work or personal commitments. In 2014, one of the friends moved to UK for couple of years so we decided that trip will be put in bag till the time he comes back in 2016. Come 2016, he became father to a baby girl so trip again went for a toss for another few years. But this time (somewhere in January), other friend decided that it is time to put this itching to stop and we will get Leh’d this year no matter what. He started checking with his other friends who might join us and luckily one of them said yes to the trip. So the trip was finalized for the month of May/June and now it was time to prepare ourselves for that exciting journey.

Matters which don’t let you sleep:

“I am so absolutely, incredibly, extraordinarily confused.”

To start with, I was confused b/w taking my 11 years old (25k on the ODO) CBZ Star on the trip or taking a Thunder Bird on rent. I was in no mood to put money on a new bike considering how much my current CBZ has run in last 6-7 years (maybe 4000 kms only). Also, some people who have been Leh’d had suggested that 150cc bike is good enough for the Ladakh trip. Now this started a war b/w two neighbors who keep fighting with each other every time there is a decision to be made.

Heart: Buy a new bike.
Brain: No way. CBZ is still at 25k and what will I do with a bike after Leh trip since I go to office on car only. Plus, Delhi is so hot and dusty for bike rides.
Heart: CBZ has grown old and you know it. This is why you always look at speedometer and wish it was able to go beyond 80 easily. Don’t cheat on yourself.
Brain: I can use this money towards home loan advance payment.
Heart: Ah yes! All personal finance related articles talk like that. Let’s at-least take the RE on rent. Since it’s a long journey, bike should be able to sail at 80-100 km/h in effortless manner.
Brain: Now what are you waiting for. Open a renting website and book it.
Heart: But I always wanted to go on my own bike to have memories associated to it. Will rented one give that feeling? I don’t think so.
Brain: So go on CBZ na! Go and get it in top shape. Buy new set of tyres as well that will again last you for years. Wise financial decision it would be.
Heart: But when you ride to office on CBZ nowadays, do you feel happy?
Brain: Home loan
Heart: Happ’y’ness.
Brain: Home loan
Heart: Happ’y’ness..
Brain: Home loan

And so the battle continued and it was eventually the brain which won it. CBZ went to Hero Motocop for repairing work and came back with new timing chain (to reduce the engine noise), valve kit, clutch plate etc. The only thing now left was the new set of rubber. I then started going to office (80 Km trip) on CBZ as a matter of preparedness but after some 300-400 kms and less than a month left to start of journey, below happened.

Heart: See. I told you that it has no more life left in it. It is breathing hard at 80 km/h so imagine you driving it for 3000 kms. Look at your face. Are you happy?
Brain: Yes. Of course he is.
Heart: No way. I am in direct connection and know that this is not right. Take a bike on rent or buy one. YOLO!

Reached home and discussed it with the home minister. Although, she wanted me to rent one but understood that even after spending 15k (only I know how talks were planned to convince her ) on a rented bike would still not make it ours so it’s better to spend some more and get a new one or used one. So here came the nod from her and I couldn’t be happier.

Budget decided was 1 lac including proceeds from sale of CBZ (expectation was 17-20k). So the hunt for new/used bike started with less than a month remaining for the trip. I had to make sure that if a bike is new, run-in period would also have to be completed before the trip.

New bike should be an upgrade to CBZ. And for that, it should have most of the features from list below.

1. Should be a touring bike that doesn’t put strain on my back during long journeys.
2. Cruise easily at 100 kmph and have further punch available for that highway overtaking.
3. Trouble free maintenance.
4. Fuel Injection
5. Tubeless tyres
6. ABS (Wanted it to be the 1st one but it came last in the list due to budget restrictions)
7. Looks preferred are of something like Triumph Tiger or Ninja 300 (not a fan of naked bikes).

Now that's asking for too much, isn't it.
Which one sets the heart racing?

I don’t have much of long journey experience on bikes and mostly what I have driven is CBZ only. It was close to heart since this was my 1st bike ever and bought using money from 1st job way back in 2005. There is only one long distance journey that I have done on CBZ and that was Delhi-Lansdowne-Delhi (550 kms approx.) in 2011. It had served me well for all these years and was mostly a trouble free, take it anywhere bike.

The first vehicle from self earned money
Honda CBR250R C-ABS: Greyhound comes home-dsc_1817.jpg

Since the budget was a constraint, there were only few bikes that met some of the criteria’s above so I thought of looking at pre-owned market as well. This presented a lot of options and below is what I felt about each (These are my personal opinions and are not meant to disrespect anyone’s ride).

Thunderbird 350 – One of the bikes I had good hopes with but after riding friends Electra for over 70 KMS, I felt engine was unimpressive for the money RE is asking for. And then those cheap plastics made me decide against it.

+ Good looks
+ Digital console
+ Match the tall and wide looks (I’m 6 ft. 1 in)
+ Lot of customization options
+ Comfortable seating position
- Niggles as pointed out on many blogs
- 350cc engine feels sluggish above 90 km/h somehow
- Cheap plastics
- Lots of vibration above 80 km/h
- No FI
- No tubeless tires
- No alloys
- No ABS

Thunderbird 500 – Lot of options available in used market but all of them were overpriced even though there’s no tubeless tire or alloys at that rate. The one’s falling in range were old engines (pre 2013) which had poor reliability reviews. I had to finally ignore this option since I was looking for bike that was manufactured 2013 onwards.

Pulsar Adventure Sport (AS) 200: The heart was almost set on AS200 as it looked great in images and there were good reviews of it all over. So one fine evening I visited the Bajaj showroom at Raja Garden and was surprised to find out that AS200 has been discontinued. I asked sales rep if he’s sure on this as I believe it is NS200 that has been discontinued but this guy was so firm on his words that he went on to say “why would a company have 2 bikes with same engine since RS200 is there?” I came back disappointed as bike was almost decided but now it’s not even an option.

Not convinced with what sales representative mentioned, I called up a BHPian friend who had recently picked up AS200 and he confirmed that it’s not discontinued and there’s no news of it being discontinued. I then sent an email to Bajaj asking for availability (And still awaiting their reply from 3 months).
Checked online and rang up Deewan Bajaj in Mahavir Enclave to check on availability and they confirmed it being available for sale and test ride both (so the Raja Garden dealer was an idiot who didn’t even knew what bikes Bajaj is selling?)

Next day was a bit relaxed at work so decided to visit the showroom with family. Sales rep was happy to offer the AS200 for a test drive. It took them some 15-30 mins for preparing the bike as they were not ready. Once the bike was ready, a person from the showroom hopped on to the back seat for the test ride after few formalities. There was a flyover nearby so he asked me to take the route which I happily did. But after just 1 Km of ride, bike came to halt on the flyover. Self-start wasn’t working and kick was of no help. Upon checking the fuel tank, we found that there was no fuel left in the bike. It was very stupid of showroom guys to have put just few drops of fuel in bike for test ride. They guy who came along with me then rang up the showroom for help and they said we are going to send somebody with fuel very soon. Even though we were just 1 km away, it took good 20-25 mins for a person to come with fuel. You must be thinking that why so much time? It’s because that poor chap came walking on the flyover. Come on! A showroom which sells bike doesn’t have bike for it employees for performing such mundane tasks. Anyways, we then put that bottle of fuel into the tank and moved ahead. Test drove the bike for some 5 Kms and somehow didn’t feel it to be having the punch of those claimed 20 horses.

+ Relaxed sitting posture to count as a touring bike
+ Value for money on paper
+ Alloy wheels
+ Tubeless tires
+ Spare parts availability at local garages

- Nothing exciting in the engine if you are upgrading from a 150cc bike.
- Missing FI
- No ABS
- Shady sticker job on the tank and panels
- Pathetic sales experience at both showrooms. While one showroom mentioned it being discontinued and other one didn’t bother to server even after asking for it. I could imagine how things would work in service centers.

Karizma ZMR – A proven workhorse with good owner reviews. But the current design has been long in the tooth now. Hero keeps on making changes to design but they fail to understand that it’s time to bring all new Karizma. There was a time when it was used to rule the roads but now there is hardly any sale. Saw few ZMRs on road and decided to skip it altogether as it didn’t set the heart racing.

CBR 250R C-ABS – A year back, one of the BHPian friend Keshav aka [b]keshavarora[b] had mentioned that he’s looking to sell his CBR 250R but since I wasn’t interested at that time, didn’t pay much attention to it. I started reading online reviews for CBR 250R and all of them had one thing in common i.e. Touring bike and reliable. I also visited the Honda showroom to test ride the bike and check sitting posture for my height. Since it was a very short test drive, I couldn’t make up my mind on how it will be during long journeys. So the only reliable source now left was online reviews. None of the reviews had mentioned about back pain due to long journeys and that made me go ahead with asking Keshav about availability.

The answer was promising Yes but he would have to first check in family and confirm if they are really looking to sell at this point of time. It took him 2-3 days to confirm and those days were passing like months (isn’t that how we enthusiasts are). We then scheduled a meet at his place to check and test ride the bike. Home minister accompanied me to the ride to ensure that bike is good for pillion riders as well. Keshav just happily handed over the keys and there we went for good 30 kms ride on the Noida expressway. Bike just sprinted over to 100 km/h even without us noticing it and little later we realized that we were doing 115 km/h. Engine still had further juice left in it and that is something I was looking for in the bike.

Bike was equipped with HID kit, Pirelli sports rubber and LeoVince exhaust as add-ons. We fell in love with exhaust note of LeoVince as it turned out to be a head turner on the highway.

Honda CBR250R C-ABS: Greyhound comes home-final28.jpg

Engine was revving happily and there were no issues that we could find except for few minor scratches and broken rear indicator. After some nice chit chat with Keshav, we happily confirmed on the deal and promised him to transfer the money in a day or two.

So after all formalities were done, we brought her home on 1st May 2016 and named it Greyhound (just because it’s fast and grey). :-D

Greyhound delivery pic with Bhpian keshavarora. He has been really helpful on answering all my queries post purchase as well.
Honda CBR250R C-ABS: Greyhound comes home-img20160501wa0009.jpg

Below is some work that I got done after bringing her home.

1. Chain and sprocket change – It had some juice left in it for another 400-500 kms but since we had plans of getting it Leh’d, got them changed immediately.
2. Rear brake pad set
3. Disc bleeding
4. Fork greasing
5. Swing arm alignment
6. Shocker oil change

Riding in city & highways

Greyhound surely doesn’t love hustling through city traffic and is meant for more of highway runs. If you are looking for a bike which can zip zap and move ahead in traffic through small gaps, look elsewhere. Handle bar when turned fully to left or right side causes wrists to touch fuel tank and restricts maneuvering in busy traffic of Delhi. It also caused some pain in wrists for initial couple of days but went away after that. But if you are going through long stretch of broken roads, it will be a bit uncomfortable for sure.

But take her out on highway and this is where it really impresses you with surge in power and bring smile on your face. 100 km/h is reached easily around 6200 RPM in 6th gear with lot of power still left in the engine to cruise ahead.

Seating position is perfect and doesn’t cause any pain in back during long journeys. Seat cushioning is perfectly as I wanted. This is in comparison to RE Bullet Electra seating which caused lot of inconvenience during one of my 40-50 km ride.

The great Indian question – Kitna deti hai (Mileage)?

Greyhound is environment friendly and returning the 33 km/l consistent mileage for 80 kms of office runs including 25 kms of highway roads. This is quite good considering the occasional spirited expressway runs. The highest mileage so far I have got on the highway is 39 km/l which included 50-60 kms of hilly area.

Brakes & safety (ABS):

During one of highway runs on NH 8, a dog suddenly came running in front of VW Polo ahead and driver had no choice but to apply sudden brakes. Thankfully, I was maintaining the good distance from it and was able to apply brakes on time. Greyhound didn’t lost traction due to ABS and it was easy to bring her to stop with confidence.

However, rear brakes are totally useless and lack bite and this is the main grouse I have with it. It takes some time to adjust to braking but even then it is far from being normal. Wish it could be improved.

And now some pictures of the Greyhound.

But before that, a big thanks to friendly neighbor Bhpian cameraman Archit Kishore aka Kisharchit for doing a photo shoot of the Greyhound.
Also, to aargee , for these two helpful threads that helped a lot in decision making.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/motorb...0r-review.html (Honda CBR 250R Review)

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/motorb...questions.html (Honda CBR 250R : Answers to some commonly asked questions)

Honda CBR250R C-ABS: Greyhound comes home-final23.jpg

Honda CBR250R C-ABS: Greyhound comes home-final24.jpg

Pics from recent trip to Narkanda:
Honda CBR250R C-ABS: Greyhound comes home-img_20160827_112307230.jpg
Honda CBR250R C-ABS: Greyhound comes home-img_20160827_111035731.jpg
Honda CBR250R C-ABS: Greyhound comes home-img_20160827_162654160_hdr.jpg

Greyhound with my CBZ:
Honda CBR250R C-ABS: Greyhound comes home-dsc_1826.jpg

Ride safe and thanks for reading
Honda CBR250R C-ABS: Greyhound comes home-final5.jpg

Last edited by Aditya : 31st August 2016 at 13:01. Reason: Spacing, smileys
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Old 1st September 2016, 08:38   #2
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Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Motorbikes Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 1st September 2016, 10:50   #3
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Default Re: Honda CBR250R C-ABS: Greyhound comes home

Very nicely written! I particularly liked the Heart and Brain discussions.

I am currently having such an internal debate on whether to go for a nice bike or to save and use the funds for more 'rational' things.
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