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CBR250R for USA Market

After almost 20 years of being absent in the USA 250cc sportbike market, American Honda is coming back with the aggressively styled liquid-cooled CBR250R and CBR250R ABS. Although pricing hasn’t been released, there are plenty of details that may make Kawasaki — makers of the outstanding $3999 Ninja 250R — nervous about its USA sales (which have been tremendous).

The new CBR is clearly aimed at the smallest Ninja. The motor is a 249cc, liquid-cooled, four-valve dual-overhead-cam Single, smoothed out and sophisticated with fuel-injection and a counterbalancer. The frame appears to be tubular steel, and the bodywork — love it or hate it — seems heavily influenced by the controversial new VFR1200. Wheels are 17-inchers, shod with radial tires (the back tire, a 140/70-17, is 10mm wider than the Ninja’s), and braking is handled with a two-piston caliper and 296mm disc in front. ABS is available. Seat height is .4 inches higher than the Ninja’s at 30.9 inches, but the seat looks very narrow at the front, negating that difference. Curb weight is a claimed 359 pounds, 15 pounds lighter than the 250R (add 9 pounds for ABS). Tank size is smaller than the Ninja’s 4.8 gallons at 3.4 gallons of dino-milk, but I’m guessing the FI Single might best the parallel-twin Ninja on range thanks to better fuel economy.

The theme in the moto-press for 2011 will be how the two bikes compare. It looks like the Honda will be a more nimble performer (both bikes have monoshock suspension and 37mm forks) thanks to its lighter weight and shorter 53.9-inch wheelbase. However, the motor could fall short in performance — it’s not the zesty, big-power mill out of the CRF250R motocrosser, but an all-new unit with lower compression and longer stroke, probably tuned for torque and newbie-friendliness. If the Ninja puts around 26 horsepower on the ground, expect the CBR to do somewhat less — although it may best it on torque.

But the main issue will be price. Honda usually prices its products at a slight premium over the competition, which means the base model could be $4500 or more and the ABS-equipped version could be over $5000. But will the sporty styling and Honda nameplate be enough to lure customers away from Kawasaki’s best-selling sportbike? Whatever the results, 2011 will be doubly interesting to small-displacement sportbike fans.

136 Comments

  1. Colleen says:

    Too bad it’s not a twin cylinder! A little single won’t compete with the Ninja 250.

  2. jimbo says:

    I see nothing negative about the overall styling, and in fact I approve of it first glance and over the past 24 hours. Actually, it’s more than acceptable and looks quite attractive the more I see it.

    Me being so large I’d love something larger but not necessarily heavier (impossible I know). More cylinders for more power, maybe a 400-500cc package.

    For me personally it’s way underpowered and likely too small.

    Again, I dig the styling! Modern but not too much overdone. Great job in that department!

    • Tim says:

      If Kawasaki gave their 500 Ninja the same restyle that the 250 got recently, that might be just the ticket, no?

      • jimbo says:

        Yeah, good point…except…

        The problem I have is this: I’ve owned about 75 bikes at my ripe ole almost 57 years. I’m old, cranky, and extremely picky. The best mid-size in the universe of my many rides is a modified ’83 (sans fairing) Yamaha XZ550R, whose motor is a more highly tuned version of a V-Max motor cut in half. Smoothness, ultra-wide-and-good-peak torque, peak power, and smoothness are it’s forte. None of this applies to Kawi’s 500 parallel twin, unfortunately (yes, I’ve test ridden them a few times).

        Power wheelies hitting the speed bump on the XZ, on the Marin Sunday morning ride, are a fond memory.

  3. peter says:

    If this was meant to be a true little brother to the cbr600 and 1000, then why not use the original 4 cylinder engine that was in the cbr250rr from the 90′s. This engine produced 45 horsepower and revved to a real 19,200 rpm redline. 45 Horsepower is a huge advantage over 25 or 30 horses with a single. Even a slightly premium price would still justify its purchase. It was/is one of the best motors Honda ever made. The new bike should have been brought out the same as the old bike except updated with the EFI and possibly updated lighting and electrics. The original bike also had the twin spar aluminum frame. I own an old cbr250rr and it is an amazing bike in every way. It will do just under 200km/hr, handles like a dream and is super reliable. All it really needs to bring it into the modern age is what I mentioned above. Needless to say, there is nothing out there that could even come close to competing with it in the 250 market or maybe even the 500cc market.

    • jimbo says:

      I envy you and anyone having the privilege of riding/owning such a fantastic ride as the CBR250RR, about which every comment of the many I’ve read comprises virtually identical praise.

      Me being well over 200 lbs and 6-3 I’d likely prefer similar qualities in a 400-500cc package.

    • todd says:

      It’s more likely to have 15 or so HP. If it had 25 or 30 horsies like the Ninja (or an Enfield 500) then it would be completely acceptable. Their Nighthawk made less than 20 and the CRF230L makes 14.

  4. NICK says:

    COOL IDEA, LEAVE IT TO HONDA TO BE THEIR OWN WORST ENEMY, AS SOON AS HONDA CHANGES THE TBA PRICE TO WHAT EVER IT MIGHT BE, IT WILL NOT EVEN BE TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION BY THE CONSUMER. IT IS MUCH CHEAPER TO BUILD A SINGLE THAN A TWIN, BUT HONDA WILL PRICE THIS THING TO THE MOON, I BET 1500 MORE FOR THE ABS VERSION THAN THE NINJA. LOOKS LIKE IT IS A GOOD TIME TO SELL ANYTHING BUT HONDA’S NOW A DAYS…

  5. Scott says:

    Finally, competition! The question to me is how will Kawasaki react? I hope they bring the fuel injected bike to the U.S. without raising the price. Did they not make the U.S. version carbed to “keep price down”, only to raise the price to European levels after sales went through the roof? The free market forces allowed that, but likewise the same market forces should force Kawasaki to lower prices again, or give us what we’re paying for; fuel injection. If Honda really did miss the mark and these bikes collect dust on showroom floors, then Kawasaki will just shrug it off. I do hope more selections show up from other manufacturers. I would be excited to see a sporty 250 triple with comfortable ergonomics, at a good price.

  6. Tim says:

    I’m thinking that all of the nit pickers and cry babies are NOT Honda’s target demographic with this bike. Yeah, I think a 4 cylinder CBR250 would be awesome although, personally, I’d rather have the VTR engined naked bike that Japan gets. Guess what? This isn’t either of those bikes. Get over it, I already am. It’s a beginner bike intended to get more folks riding motorcycles. As such, it’s not going to be a 50HP fire breather. It’s going to have soft power delivery and probably make its peak torque number, however disappointing that may be to experienced riders, at a fairly low RPM. Criminy! Some people need to go get a job, or a hobby, or something and quit bitching about Honda so much.

    • Philip says:

      Props to Tim!

    • jimbo says:

      Quit bitching about us bitching. This is a public soapbox. If you don’t like reading bitching complaints start your own motorcycle forum titled, “No bitching motorcycle forum”. Every one of your own complaints applies to you. Look in the mirror. You are complaining about you.

      • Tim says:

        How do my complaints apply to me? I am not the one with childish, unrealistic expectations of a bike I haven’t even seen in the flesh, let alone ridden. By all means, if it makes you feel young again, cry all you want. While you’re at it, find stories about scooters and complain that they aren’t good open road tourers. Or, how much that new sport bike is going to suck moist buttox on logging roads.

      • MikeD says:

        Make that a “No Bitching AT Honda Motorcycle Forum” Only type H(onda) blood Minions need apply.

        They say the empty can rattles the most but then again the squiky wheel gets lubed {sometimes}…lol.
        Seems to be working, Honda is doing something.

  7. JB says:

    Honda should have took the nighthawk 250
    Added twin carbs, tac, and a disk brake
    and some benly styling from the 1960s
    and then brought back the 450 rebel motor and stuck it in the
    nighthawk for a larger size.
    that would be cheap and easy to do.

  8. Manny says:

    Great, it’s about time!

  9. Roger says:

    Oh man are you guys not getting it… it will not be motorcycle-savvy men buying this thing, it will be new female riders and they will not give a damn about what you speak of. If it looks nice, is comfortable and safe, do you really think they will care if it is expensive? Not so much. How much do they care if a good dress or handbag is expensive? In fact, they kind of prefer it. Ask your wife if they would like to own Prada clothing, for example.

    As for 250cc power, I can personally attest that I rode a Kawi one and it had more than enough juice to haul this big man’s carcass around and through the mountains. Really, the only place it shows any lack of power is on the straights, and if you can learn to pin it in the corners, that makes very little difference.

    Safe, comfortable, snazzy-looking and easy to ride will take Honda a good ways down the road they prefer. With women riders.

  10. PeteP says:

    They’re selling new KLR650s for $3999. Who would even look at this thing for that?

  11. Bob says:

    Well when I first heard that a CBR250R was coming I foolishly imagined it to have the four cylinder CBR250RR engine. I even began to imagine how I would scrape up the money to buy one. While I love singles, I think it would have been more appropriate as a retro-style bike like the Suzuki TU250. As a sporting bike, give me the four cylinder and I would gladly pay extra.

  12. Tom Barber says:

    “… probably tuned for torque … If the Ninja puts around 26 horsepower on the ground, expect the CBR to do somewhat less — although it may best it on torque.”

    This is utterly nonsensical. It isn’t appreciably different from the popular manner of looking at torque and power, but it is nevertheless nonsensical, and I think it is fair to expect more from people whose profession is to write about cars and motorcycles. People who do this for a living should no better than to equate the word “torque” with the performance of the engine at low engine speed, i.e., to use the word “torque” as a synonym for low-speed engine performance. It goes without saying that at least 90% of the public adheres to this simplistic, sophomoric perspective, but that doesn’t make it correct. It is nonsensical. The only way that a statement such as “best it on torque” can potentially make sense is if it is referring to the peak torque per se, not the typical torque at low engine speed, because that is not what it says, but rather the peak torque, because that is what it says. The problem is that peak torque is only slightly better correlated than is peak power to performance at low engine speed. The peak torque often occurs above the midpoint of the engine’s operating range. No way, no how is peak torque a useful, universal indicator of performance at low engine speed. And no way, no how is “torque” a synonym for the performance of an engine specifically at low engine speed. It is utterly nonsensical to use the word “torque” in this manner, and people who write articles of this sort for a living should be held to a higher standard.

    • Tim says:

      Just because you don’t understand it doesn’t make it nonsensical. Besting it on torque could mean more than just a higher peak torque. It could mean a broad spread of usable torque that can be used withour reving it to the moon. I do agree that you need to look at more than the peak number, but the article didn’t limit it to the peak torque.

      I do hope it isn’t to far down on power compared to the Ninja because a bike like this should be able to reach freeway speeds easily. Unless it has a top speed of at least 90 I wouldn’t be interested.

    • Bud says:

      So to sum up, you find that comment nonsensical?

    • vtx1300 says:

      And todays “Word of the day” is…

      Nonsensical

    • ziggy says:

      That has got to be the most convoluted, poorly-written polemic I have ever seen.

    • Tim says:

      Tom’s torqued off.

    • Zuki says:

      I’ve seen Tom’s write-ups before and understand what he is trying to say, but he is a very poor writer. His rantings give me a headache if I mistakenly take the time to read his – re-hashed, nonsensical rantings of re-hashed rantings of nonsensical things people write that are nonsensical and simplistic – but inherently understandable to people with basic reading and “riding” skills.

    • Gabe says:

      The Honda may produce more torque than the Kawi…I think that’s clear from what I wrote. If the Kawi makes 15 ft-lbs, the Honda may make 15. How is that wrong?

      • Zuki says:

        Oh, Tom Barber has whole articles of his rantings elsewhere on the www. He is indeed “torqued off” and it seems to be quite a sore spot for him!

    • PeteP says:

      I agree 100% with your point, Tom. Power is power. Toques is the measurement we use to calculate power. They are two completetly different things.

      However, to try and get millions to change terminology at this point is a Brobdingnagian task, akin to asking people to understand the different between classical definitons of “motor” and “engine” .

  13. vtx1300 says:

    I started out on the 250 ninja, be hard to beat it, that little twin was peppy for it’s size and reved high as well. Style, the honda has a little more fit and finish to it, the ABS gets high marks too in my book. I think the motor will be where the ninja will beat it though.

    • KC says:

      The Ninja, making all its power above 8,000 rpm, is not as useful on the street as the surely-wider powerband of this fuel injected single will be, especially to a newbie (the CBR is said to make just a bit more peak torque).

      • todd says:

        but, alas, the CBR will need to be geared higher to achieve the same road speeds since it doesn’t rev as high. Higher gearing equals less torque at the wheel. You can throw all the torque you want at a motor. If it doesn’t end up making any HP it won’t be going anywhere fast.

  14. MGNorge says:

    Back in the day I rode an XL250 and went everywhere. It had less power than this has. I don’t see the power problem at all and I don’t equate a great bike with just class leading power. But I sure know that’s what lots of people do. The only true way to know is to throw a leg over it. Personally, I’m not in the market for this size bike but I like its styling which I think is fresh. If the engine is willing and responds well to the throttle it won’t matter what peak horsepower it makes. Hondas by the way, usually always sold for a premium over their Japanese competitors, even way back then. To be honest, Hondas seemed to offer a bit more content and looked to be better built. But yes, competition is tighter nowadays.

  15. Mike says:

    I don’t understand the appeal of this bike for a beginner. If that advertised dry weight is correct, it’s pretty ridiculous that a 250cc single weighs as much as a 600cc sportbike. 30% of the power, and ALL of the weight? No thanks.

    For that reason alone, a dual-sport 250cc or even 400cc bike is a better option for a beginner as long as they can handle the seat height, IMO. A DR-Z400SM would run rings around this thing, and while it’s probably more expensive, you get the added benefit of not outgrowing the bike in a month… if ever.

    • Chris says:

      The lightest 600cc sportbike weighs about 410-415 lbs with a full tank of fuel. So this CBR250R will be about 50-55 lbs lighter that a 600cc sportbike.

      • Mike says:

        Yeah, I know. As far as I know, though, manufacturers advertise dry weight, not wet weight. So if that article says it weighs 365, I’m assuming that means dry.

    • PeteP says:

      I agree, Mike, but beginners don’t want DS bikes, they want cruisers and sport bikes.

  16. Randy Singer says:

    When I saw this article I got really excited because I thought that the VTR250 was finally coming to the U.S.:
    http://www.motorcyclespecs.co.za/Gallery/Honda%20VTR250%2097%20%201.jpg

    Alas, it looks like we don’t get that 90 degree, liquid cooled, V-twin beauty.

  17. Frank says:

    The reason you won’t get the VTR is production cost in Japan and emission laws. The CBR is going to be produced in Thailand and possibly India, local price is around 3000 US dollar so don’t expect any miracles on the US price. The 250 Ninja is also produced in Thailand, BTW.

    Honda should not have closed their US motorcycle factory as the strength of the dollar now precludes bargain priced bikes.

    • John Dalhart says:

      The very nice Bajaj Pulsar DTS-fi goes for like 90,000 rupees in India, and that’s about $1900 US. If Honda prices this new CBR250R over the equivalent of $2000 US in India, they’ll sit in warehouses.

    • jimbo says:

      “…Honda should not have closed their US motorcycle factory as the strength of the dollar now precludes bargain priced bikes….”

      May I add to this? Answers his own question: Yes:

      The fact that the “Governing Elite” (coined by the great author/ex-CIA head of Bin Laden search unit Michael Scheuer) shipped most of the USA’s manufacturing overseas, and thereby imported Asia’s joblessness is one of the root causes of the USA’s present economic misery and pain (that and the fact that Obama refuses to imprison any felonious bankers and CPA’s, among other things). An economy that only borrows from the bankers we saved in the bailout, makes nothing, and only spends money not earned, is the definition of a failed state. You won’t hear that on the evening news.

  18. John Dalhart says:

    You wanna know why the USA is getting this little bike?

    Honda builds their Elite motorscooter in China (yes! the very one they sell in the USA). It goes for about (the equivalent of $1100 US) – retail – in China and $3000 here in the states. The company makes a whoping profit on each one, and American consumers haven’t fused one little bit.

    “Hmmm,” American Honda says, stroking their chin.

    So they build this CBR250R in India (true! google it!) where they’ll sell in the local (Indian) market for maybe (the equivalent of $2000 US) and they’ll MSRP it here stateside for ~$4500.

    Looks like Honda has figured out how to make money on small displacement machines in North America.

    • jimbo says:

      Very interesting and enlightening! I love the business end of marketing and costing.

    • todd says:

      I guess the US regulatory agencies, importers, shippers, and dealers don’t make any more money than they do in India or China either. Do they? It costs nearly as much to move one of these little bikes off their hands as it does a $20,000 bike. Which one is easier to add mark-up?

  19. Brett says:

    A future Gold Wing owner needs to start somewhere.

  20. GP says:

    I am all for the return of the small bikes,…but a single?? Sorry, but most folks will choose the Ninjette over this. I know I would (I have a ’99 Ninja 250). My Ninjette can *easily* carry me down a highway at an indicated 90mph+, I do not believe that this Honda would be capable of doing that, but, we’ll see (Road test, Please!).
    Now, if we could see some 350-400cc multi’s…possibly in “Adventure” configuration…

    • PeteP says:

      The big manufacturers will continue to ignore the 350-550cc market. There is no market for them in the tiered European licensing structure.

      In any case, there’s an Aprilia 250 2 stroke for sale locally. $3000. Think I can sneak a plate on it?

  21. mpolans says:

    Cheers for the willingness to bring a small displacement bike to the U.S.
    Jeers for bringing the wrong bike!!! The current VTR250 that is so popular here in Japan would have been a much better choice! Even the current Hornet 250 or CB400 Super Four would have been much better choices!

  22. Patrick D says:

    A useless machine from the outset. 250cc four strokes are gutless at the best of times, but a single cylinder? expect a bike that wheezes past 60mph. CBR250s used to be 19,000rpm 4 cylinder machines that were entertaining if nothing else. This will be hopeless from the outset.

  23. Joey Wilson says:

    VERY glad to see this: Up till now Kawi has very admirably offered a range of smaller displacement bikes (250 and 500 Ninjas, the 650 brigade (Versys, ER6, and Ninja 650) and the 250 and 650 KLR’s) that were the only choice for guys who did NOT want to have a 600 (or bigger, God forbid) as their first bike. I’ve been wondering how long it would take everybody else to realize they could get in on this goldmine, especially in the face of the current economy.

    Note to you the remaining manufacturers: OK, we are full up on 150+ HP personal cruise missiles and porky cruisers, all with big pricetags. You make great products in the 125 to 500cc range that you sell everywhere else. The money’s already spent. Bring them, and your retro big bikes that are the rage in Japan these days here. We’re waiting.

    And yes, I’d like the VTR250, too.

  24. MotoBum says:

    Oh yeah. Add two to my garage. These things will be perfect for buzzing around town on. I just love the instrument cluster. Too bad the US won’t get the cool looking red/white/blue color combo, but I’ll take what I can get.

    I wonder if Athena will offer a high-compression 290cc big bore kit with a stroker crank option to bump-up displacement to 315cc, like they do with the WR250X supermotos. That’d give more experienced riders a thrill too.

    • jimbo says:

      That is reeeeally funny you mentioned that! I owned the Yamaha WR250R, bought (but never installed) the best big bore kit available, then had to sell the bike and kit. One of the first things I did when reading about this new Honda is compare it to my WR250R. This Honda is about 70 lbs heavier than and likely has little more power if any. Obviously the Honda is sleeker as a street ride, but beyond that, except for the lower seat (I have no use for such being 6-3), the Yamaha makes more sense (though would likely cost more).

      I wish I could have ridden my WR with the big bore kit before having to sell it.

      • PeteP says:

        I’m betting they’ll cost about the same. It’d be interesting to test a WR250X alongside the CBR250. I know folks who tour on WR250′s and Ninja 250s.

  25. Stinky says:

    Too bad they didn’t revive the revvy little V twin of the old VTR250. They really missed the boat on this one. They had a Ninja beater 20 years ago.

  26. MikeD says:

    EFI but no 180* Revvy Paralell Twin ? WTH?
    Bitching aside, Nice to see Honda trying and bringing some competition to the Ninja 250 owned entry-level segment.
    Hope they don’t try to sell Bicycle performance and looks at RCV211 Prices!

  27. Mark S. says:

    Holy Smokes, Honda! I didn’t see that one coming. I’m sure most of their “new” bikes will be in categories (or price ranges) that will exclude me, but this little guy definitely appeals to me. My wife’s old Ninjette is busted and I’ve been looking for an excuse to get a new 250cc bike. I can’t wait to see more about this bike.

  28. ziggy says:

    At least it’s not a total porkfest like that V-4 snore…

  29. johnny ro says:

    First USA Honda in a long time that I find interesting.

    Make it 280cc without changing anything else except relabeling it. Cheat and beat Kawi.

    And bring on 350cc and 500cc versions. In my dreams.

    I think Kawi should offer EX400 triple. Always have thought so.

  30. A very nice looking single. Love the styling. Should prove to be a great inner city bike or commuter. How about a 500cc or 650cc single equivalent, Mr Honda?

  31. kpaul says:

    More choices for entry-level riders is a good thing. Like the looks of the Ninja better. Lots of young women riding those here in Seattle. Nice bike for the wife. If I could just get her to complete the MSF class :)

  32. Bud says:

    $5000 for a 250 single “beginner’s bike”. Won’t be a shocker if they aren’t moving at that price.

    • Kentucky Red says:

      If their new NT700V (or whatever) sells at $10K, I wouldn’t be surprised if this thing could sell for $5k. People seem willing to pay more for bikes dressed in red.

    • MikeD says:

      I think u nailed the MSRP on this thing.

  33. Cranky Bob says:

    I like it in black. Too bad there’s already roomers that the power will be down compared to the quack. It’s nice to have options at the lower end of the scale and now SUZUKI should follow suit and offer a mini-gsxr. Now that might be a bike I would seriously consider.

  34. Ruefus says:

    If the torque is there, being down on HP won’t be a big deal. Nice looking bike.

    Think of an SV650. Minimal HP, but plenty of torque where it counts to be more than just a little entertaining.

  35. Brendan says:

    Why not use the old four pot out of the CBR250RR?

  36. ohio says:

    I’m excited to have Honda dip their toes in small displacement sport bikes in North America. I hope these bikes do well. That said, I think they’re bull-headed to stick with the VFR design language, which is hideous in full scale, and very clumsily applied to this smaller bike, resulting in massive expanses of bulbous plastic on a bike that should look svelte and fast. I can’t underdstand why they wouldn’t use the perfectly serviceable, aluminum-framed, and VERY affordable CBR150R built in Thailand for the Asian market as their base for the 250R: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:CBR150R_from_Penang_Malaysia.JPG

    And as always, I have my fingers crossed for the re-intro of the four-cylinder CBR250RR of the 90s, which would blow all these bikes away in both looks and performance, but would unfortunately also be priced out of the American market.

  37. Marc says:

    Not a fan of Honda’s styling but it’s cool they are getting into the small bike market we need more options.

  38. todd says:

    What? I thought the CBR250 was a 40hp inline 4? And 359 pounds for a two-fifty is lardy. I have a 500 and 650 that weigh less than that (GB and XRL). Don’t get me wrong; I’m all for lightweight, low cost, approachable bikes but this one might not cut it compared to the segment holder Ninja. As far as torque is concerned, being the same displacement as the Ninja means it will be nearly the same torque but it will lack the high RPMs and associated low gearing that would allow much pull through the gears. This will be slower than a mid 70′s XL250 – which you can still pick up cherry for less than a grand.

    I’ll wait a couple years and get a used one to slot a 450 motor in.

  39. Vrooom says:

    I like the looks better than I like them on the VFR. Too bad they couldn’t have gone with a paralell or v-twin design to get a few more ponies. I doubt the Honda will have more range being down 1.4 gallons on the Kawi, that equates to a 30% difference in capcity, so the Honda will need to get close to 100 mpg to make that up (presuming my buddies estimate of his girlfriends ninja 250 getting 70 mpg is correct). Less weight is good. Now let’s see 400cc inline 4 in a similar chassis.

  40. Tim says:

    I agree that it looks better than the VFR1200. However, if the report of less power than the Ninja is right, this isn’t the right answer…I’m all for small bikes and doing more with less etc, but the N250 is at about the lower limit of real-world usability.

    It’s definitely true that the US needs more small-bike choices, but they need to be a little better than this, especially for the price Honda will want. Hence, I’m afraid the market may well end up rejecting this, and dooming many better 250s from even getting a shot here.

    • jimbo says:

      “…I agree that it looks better than the VFR1200…”

      Absolutely! The VR1200 definitely suffers from ugly curse! All proportions seem way off.

  41. Kawatwo says:

    It’s about freakin darn time. We need more beginner bikes that aren’t boring. I have owned all three generations of 250 Ninja and loved them all. I think the Honda version could actually be quicker with the less weight. The ninja still looks better but this ain’t bad considering some of the ugly stuff Honda has been doing lately. Can’t wait for a comparison. I think I’m ready to move back up to a big bike again though but would love to ride the new Honda.

  42. Steve says:

    I like it but as others & the article pointed out… it’s down on power. I would have preferred a V-twin 250…. or the 450 single motor….

  43. rob says:

    Yeah… Ill pick one up for fun. Will match my cbr125R nicely.

  44. Austin ZZR 1200 says:

    The design language is growing on my as well (handsome in black)…but why a huge silencer on a 250? Sure it aesthetically balances the top-heavy look of the faring but why not reduce weight even more with a smaller unit? As usual (at least in the US), Honda misses the mark (price, power) while Kawasaki is consistently nailing it.

    • stone916 says:

      LOL. Really..single against the rev happy Kawi twin. Good luck with that one Honda…o sure its got those passenger pegs standard and that huge underseat storage for um..o ya..for a map. Honda misses again in a big way.

    • MikeD says:

      Indeed, that muffler is Blimp Size and Shamu heavy possibly.

    • John Dalhart says:

      Because the “muffler” is a three-way catalyst with oxygen sensor, and when you fire up the bike butterflies will come out the exhaust.

  45. bushead says:

    Love it. Now let’s see a 450cc single version. It shouldn’t cost that much more.

  46. Kevin White says:

    Gearing and speed will be an issue, if it’s intended to be freeway-capable.

  47. PJW says:

    Another website listed the Kawi +8 h.p. over the Honda. That is a huge difference.
    A dealer close to me has 2010 EX for less than $4000 out the door. I’m not going to wait to see the Honda price.

  48. roadrash says:

    These might actually sell, if gas prices go back up.

    I agree with Chris, price will decide a lot.

  49. ABQ says:

    I like the looks. As commuters go, I would prefer the larger gas tank that the kawasaki has. I don’t know why Honda would use a lower horsepower motor. It’s just a 250cc. Give it a little bump in power. If only to get across town on the freeway.

  50. Chris says:

    Not bad. For some reason I think this looks much better than the VFR1200. I think I’d have preferred a VTR250R.

    As always, pricing will be an issue.