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Old 31st August 2016, 17:28   #1
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Cool Honda CBR250R: Rideability and comfort mods! The heron flies easy

First the back story. I've been a commuter rider a long time! From a Kinetic Honda that's still at home to an erstwhile Wego. I've always had a great handling comfortable bike. But I wanted something bigger. At the time of purchase funds shortage forced me to buy the standard bike rather than the ABS. I picked up this beautiful Pearl Heron Blue Standard nevertheless. While I thought I could live with that decision it came with a downside.

The CBR is generally considered a good beginner rider's bike internationally. First came the change to Michelin rubber on both ends. My god does that change the way it handles. It literally wants to lean into every single corner! But, it comes setup very soft. Despite generally riding two up I found the front end spongy and the Bybre brakes like a loaf of bread. Coming from bikes that despite having drums on both ends had confidence inspiring brakes; something HAD TO BE DONE!

Plus the standard bike cannot be fitted with the adjustable levers as they are only available for the Nissin ABS International variant. I did not want to do the jugaad version of changing the brake pins and was given a fantastic idea by some of the older members of the group. Following this, I recently went to Karthik (our Bangalore famous CBR mech)to get the front end lowered and stiffened plus some brake mods

So MOD 1 - The lowering and stiffening process included lowering the triple tree down the forks about four cm. Plus, making the forks stiffer by changing the fluids inside the stem to a heavier grade. This mod only makes itself visible after you sit down on the bike and realise “damn, ill break the mudguard if I bottom out the front suspension.“
1. Front view – Reworked number plate mount Plus adjustable levers.

Honda CBR250R: Rideability and comfort mods! The heron flies easy-1.jpg

That brings us to MOD 2 – As seen in Image 1 the stock number plate mount has been removed. The replacement mount comes from a Yamaha Fazer 150. This can be done at home. Image 2 will show you the top view and the way the Fazer’s number plate mount has to be bent in order for it to fit. Image 3 shows the mounting of the number plate bracket to the rear-view mirror holder. You have to be careful while bending the number plate holder not to scratch the paint on the top fairing. Image 4 is only so you racer boys come to know that it does not obstruct vision.

2. Top view - number plate mount.

Honda CBR250R: Rideability and comfort mods! The heron flies easy-2.jpg

3. Close up - mounting position.

Honda CBR250R: Rideability and comfort mods! The heron flies easy-3.jpg

4. Behind the visor (when tucked in on the bike)

Honda CBR250R: Rideability and comfort mods! The heron flies easy-4.jpg

Mods 3 and 4 work together – Image 6 shows the new Master Cylinder. This is the one that comes directly from the ABS bike from 2014. It is a direct fit. Additionally, I opted to buy the Steel Braided Brake lines to bolster fluid pressures. Image 5 is a front view of the adjustable lever. If you own a standard you will spot the difference. The adjustable levers were a set for the International ABS edition and were a direct fit. Except ONE problem.

5. Adjustable lever mounting position

Honda CBR250R: Rideability and comfort mods! The heron flies easy-5.jpg

6. Nissin Brake Master Cylinder

Honda CBR250R: Rideability and comfort mods! The heron flies easy-6.jpg

Mod 5 – Changing the levers has a nasty side effect. Because these are not OEM levers for whatever reason the Clutch lever does not reach the clutch sensor pin correctly. People who have an ABS and adjustable levers should read this as well – With stock levers if your bike is in gear and you have not pressed the clutch the bike will not start. However, after changing the levers the pin no longer touches the lever allowing the bike to start even in gear without pressing the clutch. Karthik has solved this by using the clutch pin from a Unicorn (I think) and mounting it slightly off centre. Now no issues with that.

7. Clutch pin with adjustable lever

Honda CBR250R: Rideability and comfort mods! The heron flies easy-7.jpg

VERDICT - After adding in the fact that I already have Michelin front and rear. Front end feel is superb! The bike is pliant. Takes corners like a champ. Stays true to it’s line. Doesn’t drag as much as it used to. Additionally under braking does not dive like crazy anymore. The brakes are AMAZING! Nearly on par with the ABS. Sponginess is completely gone. It’s now linear and crisp. Very confidence inspiring.

How much did it cost me?

Front Suspension mod- 1.5K (some seals and oils including labour)
HEL Braided Brake lines – 6.8k (thanks to group buy. Actually they are 7.5k)
Brake Master Cylinder – 1.6k (unit plus fitment you will have to add in 600 bucks for a change to DOT4 fluid. Note: the 2016 unit is 2500. This is a 2014/2015 Master Cylinder)
Number plate holder – 200 bucks.
Clutch Pin -100 bucks.

Note- Will attach the picture of the lowered suspension a little later. Need to wash her again!
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Old 31st August 2016, 18:35   #2
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Default re: Honda CBR250R: Rideability and comfort mods! The heron flies easy

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Originally Posted by valhallen.282 View Post
6. Nissin Brake Master Cylinder

Is this the kind of quality that is available on Nissin brake LINER these days or have you changed the brake liner to an after market one?
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Old 1st September 2016, 01:57   #3
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Post re: Honda CBR250R: Rideability and comfort mods! The heron flies easy

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Originally Posted by aargee View Post
Is this the kind of quality that is available on Nissin brake LINER these days or have you changed the brake liner to an after market one?
He said he's changed the brake to braided HEL lines, RG. HEL are costlier and comes in all fancy colors.

Cheers!
VJ
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Old 1st September 2016, 09:10   #4
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Default re: Honda CBR250R: Rideability and comfort mods! The heron flies easy

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Originally Posted by aargee View Post
Is this the kind of quality that is available on Nissin brake LINER these days or have you changed the brake liner to an after market one?
I think you got your answer before i woke up.
They are HEL braided brake lines. I did want to opt for some better ones but importing them would have cost me time and I really did not want to keep redoing the same things over and over again.

A friend with an ABS bike rode it recently. He was blown away and I quote by the sheer smoothness and linearity of those new brakes.

Last edited by valhallen.282 : 1st September 2016 at 09:23.
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Old 1st September 2016, 15:57   #5
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Default Re: Honda CBR250R: Rideability and comfort mods! The heron flies easy

Hey valhallen.282! A very nice thread and I must say that we're on the same page regarding mods to the CBR. Could you clarify some of my doubts?

1) Regarding lowering and stiffening the front suspension, what is the fork oil you replaced it with? Motul? I believe that the Honda ASC-s use Veedol as stock fork oil for the CBR.

2) Lowering the front suspension and stiffening it would reduce suspension travel, wouldn't it? Isn't that bad news for our pothole riddled roads? I've already had a bent fork with the stock suspension no thanks to the beautiful roads of Cochin. The better feel you're getting is good news. Without the lowered and stiffened suspension, the Michelins rob the front end of a bit of feel but you get to reap dividends in grip.

3) May I ask why the brake master cylinder was changed? Does it offer higher pressure than the standard's?

I've done a couple of mods myself on the same lines, though not as comprehensive as yours.

1) Michelin Pilot Street radials front and rear- totally transformed the handling. The stock ContiGos were lazy to veer off the straight line, but now it wants to tip into every corner I see.
2) Brake mods- steel braided lines front and rear. Front's from a Pulsar 220, the rear's off a Duke 200. Both are direct fits. Replaced the old DOT-3 with DOT-4. This itself changed the braking performance a lot. A bit of sponginess remains, though braking is stronger than before. I would have loved to ride your bike to try out your brakes to see how much of a difference the new master cylinder and the HEL lines make.
3) Radiator guard- Big thanks to rk.sans here. Thanks to him, I could directly fit it to my radiator to save it from all the muck.

Finally, I'm looking for ways to get rid of fairing rattle that occurs after I've revved it about 7-8K and when the tach comes back to 6-6.5K during deceleration. Could be the resonance from the radiator guard or just the fairings? If it is the fairings, I'm planning to replace all the bushes and place some dense cloth between the speedo and the windshield as suggested by VW2010.

Cheers, and thanks for sharing your mods with us!

Last edited by evilmessiah : 1st September 2016 at 16:01.
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Old 2nd September 2016, 10:36   #6
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Default Re: Honda CBR250R: Rideability and comfort mods! The heron flies easy

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Originally Posted by valhallen.282 View Post
First the back story.
First came the change to Michelin rubber on both ends. My god does that change the way it handles. It literally wants to lean into every single corner! But, it comes setup very soft.
I own a pulsar 200AS with MRF tires. I feel that tires could be a little better and was searching for new ones. Can you help me with one query - how is the life of these soft tires? I mean, if the hard rubber ones go on for 30,000 Kms how much do the soft rubber ones go? I don't want to spend too frequently on the tires, and hence the question.

Thanks in anticipation.
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Old 2nd September 2016, 10:53   #7
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Default Re: Honda CBR250R: Rideability and comfort mods! The heron flies easy

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Originally Posted by YoungSaint View Post
I own a pulsar 200AS with MRF tires. I feel that tires could be a little better and was searching for new ones. Can you help me with one query - how is the life of these soft tires? I mean, if the hard rubber ones go on for 30,000 Kms how much do the soft rubber ones go? I don't want to spend too frequently on the tires, and hence the question.

Thanks in anticipation.
Michelin Pilot street radials will last you around 20 to 25K kms depending on how you ride.
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Old 2nd September 2016, 11:53   #8
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Default Re: Honda CBR250R: Rideability and comfort mods! The heron flies easy

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Originally Posted by evilmessiah View Post
1) Regarding lowering and stiffening the front suspension, what is the fork oil you replaced it with? Motul?
First off Thanks! Glad to share it where someone will make use of all the information I've managed to collate! Yes Motul was the replacement and was done at the ASC. I didn't have the space or time to do it myself. Plus i did not know how much additional would be required. Fortunately Bangalore has an amazing mech!

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Originally Posted by evilmessiah View Post
2) Lowering the front suspension and stiffening it would reduce suspension travel, wouldn't it? Isn't that bad news for our pothole riddled roads?
It would. But it is a gamble. Kinda why you see the number plate mod. Plus tyre pressures and your riding style play a great role in how often you manage to bottom her out. Rarely happens to me!

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Originally Posted by evilmessiah View Post
3) May I ask why the brake master cylinder was changed? Does it offer higher pressure than the standard's?
The stock BYBRE Master Cylinder has a three piece actuator. From lever to a rubber protector to a "brake pin" to the piston in the Master Cylinder itself. This and something about the pressure it pushes through the line robs the feel entirely from the front brake. The Nissin unit is a direct one from lever to piston! This makes a world of a difference. Also for whatever reason along with the DOT4 brake fluid the ABS unit runs much higher line pressures!

Quote:
Originally Posted by evilmessiah View Post
I've done a couple of mods myself on the same lines, though not as comprehensive as yours.

1) Michelin Pilot Street radials front and rear- totally transformed the handling.
2) Brake mods- A bit of sponginess remains, though braking is stronger than before. I would have loved to ride your bike to try out your brakes to see how much of a difference the new master cylinder and the HEL lines make.
3) Radiator guard- Big thanks to rk.sans here. Thanks to him, I could directly fit it to my radiator to save it from all the muck.

Finally, I'm looking for ways to get rid of fairing rattle that occurs after I've revved it about 7-8K and when the tach comes back to 6-6.5K during deceleration.
Cheers, and thanks for sharing your mods with us!
The PSR's are great! glad you got them! Those Conti's are the abomination of our bike. Great if you ride in warm weather or relatively straight roads. Awful for everything else. The HEL brake lines make a small difference. The primary difference is the Master Cylinder unit. at 1.7k it makes a VERY worthy case for itself!

Also remove the side fairings and retighten the mounts of the speedo unit and surrounding panel pieces. That tends to be the issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dipak1406 View Post

Is there a reputed and good private mechanic for this bike in MUMBAI.

This information will be a big help

regards Deepak
Sorry Dipak I'm from Bangalore. I do not know anyone there!

Quote:
Originally Posted by YoungSaint View Post
I own a pulsar 200AS with MRF tires. I feel that tires could be a little better and was searching for new ones. Can you help me with one query - how is the life of these soft tires? I mean, if the hard rubber ones go on for 30,000 Kms how much do the soft rubber ones go? I don't want to spend too frequently on the tires, and hence the question.

Thanks in anticipation.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sagarpadaki View Post
Michelin Pilot street radials will last you around 20 to 25K kms depending on how you ride.
@Youngsaint - As Sagarpadaki has mentioned the Michelins will last you about 20-25k. But it depends primarily on your riding style! P.S. The MRF's are no slouch when it comes to handling. A couple of CBR boys also swear by them!
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Old 2nd September 2016, 17:06   #9
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Default Re: Honda CBR250R: Rideability and comfort mods! The heron flies easy

First off, brilliant and very informative thread. Great colour on your ceeber as well. I have never noticed one in white blue and red could you maybe post a few more pictures of the bike?

Quote:
Originally Posted by valhallen.282 View Post
The stock BYBRE Master Cylinder has a three piece actuator. From lever to a rubber protector to a "brake pin" to the piston in the Master Cylinder itself. This and something about the pressure it pushes through the line robs the feel entirely from the front brake. The Nissin unit is a direct one from lever to piston! This makes a world of a difference. Also for whatever reason along with the DOT4 brake fluid the ABS unit runs much higher line pressures!
Very interesting. Do you think the BYBRE master cylinder in my RC390 does the same thing? Is that why the brakes lack a progressive feel to them on my bike? I find that I have to squeeze a fistful and even then the feedback is simply lacking when the ABS is turned on. Would you perhaps be able to help me sort this out or recommend some mods to carry out on my bike (the only thing I truly hate about it) ?
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Old 2nd September 2016, 18:01   #10
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Default Re: Honda CBR250R: Rideability and comfort mods! The heron flies easy

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Originally Posted by IshaanIan View Post
First off, brilliant and very informative thread. Great colour on your ceeber as well. I have never noticed one in white blue and red could you maybe post a few more pictures of the bike?



Very interesting. Do you think the BYBRE master cylinder in my RC390 does the same thing? Is that why the brakes lack a progressive feel to them on my bike? I find that I have to squeeze a fistful and even then the feedback is simply lacking when the ABS is turned on. Would you perhaps be able to help me sort this out or recommend some mods to carry out on my bike (the only thing I truly hate about it) ?
I need to clarify here that I'm not very well-versed when it comes to the 390/RC. It's quite possible that you might be facing something similar. However, I do need to also state that sometimes it is an issue caused by shoddy bleeding of the brakes; especially on ABS bikes. This has been noted among the CBR community here in Bangalore as well. Badly bled ABS brakes tend to feel spongy and really not up to scratch.

Also, Thank you! It is a gorgeous colour. Hopefully, Monday when it is due for a fresh round of cleaning, washing and polishing I'll have the opportunity to take a few more pictures!
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Old 2nd September 2016, 20:41   #11
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Default Re: Honda CBR250R: Rideability and comfort mods! The heron flies easy

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Originally Posted by IshaanIan View Post
Do you think the BYBRE master cylinder in my RC390 does the same thing?
RC has a radical brake & CPR has floating caliper; both engineering are different & cannot be compared even if they achieve the same results
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Old 4th September 2016, 18:09   #12
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Default Re: Honda CBR250R: Rideability and comfort mods! The heron flies easy

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I have never noticed one in white blue and red could you maybe post a few more pictures of the bike?
As requested a few more pictures of this beautiful Heron-

That gorgeous side profile
Honda CBR250R: Rideability and comfort mods! The heron flies easy-b.jpg

Front Three Quarters - Those colours really pop here
Honda CBR250R: Rideability and comfort mods! The heron flies easy-.jpg
Honda CBR250R: Rideability and comfort mods! The heron flies easy-c.jpg
Honda CBR250R: Rideability and comfort mods! The heron flies easy-d.jpg

Look at that rear any which way and it's still the stuff of dreams! - Honda - Stuff of dreams. Yes.
Honda CBR250R: Rideability and comfort mods! The heron flies easy-e.jpg
Honda CBR250R: Rideability and comfort mods! The heron flies easy-f.jpg

A view from that cockpit is always worth it! Superminion approves!
Honda CBR250R: Rideability and comfort mods! The heron flies easy-g.jpg

That isn't to say she is without her faults - oh no here are a few.
Those footpegs were lady love's doing. Fortunately she has her own ride now
Honda CBR250R: Rideability and comfort mods! The heron flies easy-j.jpg

Those darned bikes at parking and autos keep destroying this bit
Honda CBR250R: Rideability and comfort mods! The heron flies easy-k.jpg

Gotta watch your boots when you swing a leg over - else this happens
Honda CBR250R: Rideability and comfort mods! The heron flies easy-l.jpg

And first week of believing that Honda does great work on paint jobs that can withstand anything did this with another key -
Honda CBR250R: Rideability and comfort mods! The heron flies easy-m.jpg

But then again!
That gorgeous Pearl Heron Blue paint job one more time. Just because -
Honda CBR250R: Rideability and comfort mods! The heron flies easy-h.jpg

And a reminder of what it's like to fly on Honda CBR250R
Honda CBR250R: Rideability and comfort mods! The heron flies easy-i.jpg
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