MotorcycleDaily.com – Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Hero Unveils EBR-Influenced 250 in India

012914top-i

Hero MotoCorp, a strategic partner with Erik Buell Racing, has just unveiled the HX250R Sport model to the Indian press. This single-cylinder 250, which naturally competes with the Honda CBR250R and other similar models, was heavily influenced by Erik Buell Racing, particularly with regard to engine and suspension design.

The published specifications for the HX250R are below, and a couple of interesting facts stick out. First of all, the single cylinder has a very large bore and short stroke in comparison with the competing Honda 250 (soon to be a 300 in some markets). Additionally, although both bikes appear to have the same fuel capacity, the Hero HX250R has a curb weight that is claimed to be 53 pounds lighter than the Honda! The Hero also has a fairly large 300 mm front disc brake squeezed by a three piston caliper in a combined braking system with the rear 220 mm disc. Tire sizes are similar to the Honda, although the front tire on the Hero is a taller 80 section, while the Honda front tire is a 70 section.

Of greater interest to the U.S. market is whether EBR will distribute this Hero 250 in the United States in the near future pursuant to its distribution agreement with Hero. Seems like a logical fit given the popularity of 250s here.

HX250R specifications

ENGINE
Type 4-stroke, single cyl., DOHC liquid-cooled
Bore and stroke 81.0mm X 48.5mm
Displacement 249cc
Clutch multi-plate wet
Gearbox 6-speed constant mesh
SUSPENSION
Front Telescopic Hydraulic shock absorbers
Rear Single shock, 5 step adjustable preload, shim valve damping
BRAKES
Front 300mm disc, three piston caliper, combined braking with optional ABS
Rear 220mm disc, combined braking with optional ABS
WHEELS & TYRES
Front 110/80 R-17 tubeless
Rear 140/70 R-17 tubeless
OTHERS
Battery 12 V – 6 Ah, MF Battery
Lamps LED head lamp, taillamp and position lamp
Length 2085mm
Width 735mm
Height 1145mm
Wheelbase 1370mm
Ground Clearance 145mm
Kerb Weight 139kg
Fuel Tank Capacity 12.9 litres

 

82 Comments

  1. Rajiv Dhiman says:

    It seems like Hero HX250R can easily beat the Honda CBR250R in terms of acceleration and top speed figures, it is also expected to be priced lower than the CNR250R. Check this out >> http://tr.im/4szkl

    • tyggyr says:

      Definitely good competition.
      I’m curious about something on that link:
      “Honda CBR250R can cross the 60 kmph mark in 3.5 seconds while the company claimed figure of Hero HX250R is just 2.7 seconds from 0-60 kmph”

      First, I just now (after copy/paste) noticed that’s 0-60 *Km*ph and not mph ;)
      But, is there some standard weight person that’s riding these bikes to measure the acceleration?
      A 50kg rider is going to have a significantly different acceleration than a 70kg rider at these weights!

  2. Gronde says:

    People will buy this IF it is competitively priced. EBR can build a great performing bike, but can he build it for a price that riders are willing to pay?

  3. Michael H says:

    Every time an HX250R is sold, an 1190RX gets its spark plugs.

  4. John Bryan says:

    I think we might be seeing a glimpse of just where this EBR/Hero partnership could be headed…with the engine being this over square it really wouldn’t take much to go from a 250CC spec to a 350CC spec. Just a guess but making the Indian market version with these dimensions means lots of room for the bigger valves it would take to let a larger version breath. In other words, the hardest work – top end and bottom end design – is pretty much done. Lengthening the stroke is all about piston speed and rod material more than any additional “harder” design work. Taking just the stroke to 70MM – displacement of 360CC – gives you a reasonable piston speed of under 24mps – closer to 23 actually. If you kept the top end the same, you could tune the 360CC version for good low-end torque and with a top-end change to allow larger valves – and a new cam – make way better mid-range and top-end power. Most of the engine could stay as-is meaning that rings, gaskets, bearings, oil pump, and most importantly cases and cranks could be shared between different displacement and different performance spec versions.

    Good stuff if all these “ifs” are what they appear to be…

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      I am not a tuning expert, but I don’t see how to mathematically stroke an engine without changing the crank.!

      • Norm G. says:

        re: “I am not a tuning expert”

        no worries, that’s what you got me for.

        re: “I don’t see how to mathematically stroke an engine without changing the crank.”

        A: you can’t. maybe he means, the NEW crank and NEW cases could then be shared. you’re not grinding/welding a journal for 21mm.

    • mickey says:

      May win a drag race with a 250 but longevity seems to be an issue. Read down, that thing has major break downs regularly it seems.

      • Dave says:

        No way that thing beats a Ninja 250 that’s running while that Blast owner has to push his broken bike. lol

        Cool update of a Blast though, I’m sure it’s fun to ride when it’s running.

    • joe b says:

      this blast comment is just dumb…

      • Edward Z says:

        Hardly – it was the most reliable bike produced by HD. Many have modified it way past it’s intended purpose and have had a world of fun doing so. Americans see this bike – the HX250R – to have similar potential and look forward to it’s arrival.
        EZ

  5. Zoie says:

    I like the attention to more braking power as well as the larger section front tire. I also like the tall-ish windscreen & raised bars in combo with the sportier look than most all other bikes of this size in that market.

    I’m hoping the partnership between EBR & Hero proves to be a win for all.

  6. Larry kahn says:

    Quit being knuckleheads (see what I did there?) and bringing up the B-last. That was just another link to the Sportster engine line. I owned one of the Rotax 1125 Buells and while I eventually found it to be a bit too intense for my old-hippie self, it was a really great machine. I’m confident we will see pretty slick stuff from Buell/Hero. Erik’s pretty damn smart and cool you HAVE to admit. Just got shang-hied (sp?) by boring clowns at HD.

  7. Les says:

    I would be worried about how they made it 50lbs lighter than the honda 250.

    I love how it’s compared to the honda countless times. This bike wouldn’t even be allowed to eat in the same restaurants as a honda.

    That’s some really lovely “heavily influenced by Erik Buell Racing” suspension on the front end.

    I’d rather take the bus.

    • denny says:

      What may be of help is look at the seat. It is decidedly single. If it was twin as on Honda it would require quite a bit bigger and heavier structure. Also, fact of the matter is that all makers tend to make frames a suspension more heavy than it needs to be; probably as precaution and redundancy.

      The frame itself carrying relatively light engine does not need to be as heavy, but two occupants plus shocks (increase with resistance by carried mass) into frame from suspension make quite a bit of difference.

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        I am quite certain that the Hero is a two-seater. It has grab handles and everything. So they are not losing the weight from the sub-frame. I can’t see them employing aluminum or a higher quality steel for the frame, subframe and swingarm that allows for thinner wall thickness on such an inexpensive bike, but that is what it would take to weigh in that much less I would think. That, or the chassis may be as rigid as a dente spaghetti.

      • Jay Craig says:

        If the seat is “decidedly single” what are the extra foot pegs for?

      • Chris says:

        I see two sets of foot pegs.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      Right, because there is huge demand for Ohlins suspension in the 250cc class. :-)

      I get what you mean though. Where can you lose 50 lbs from a 250cc budget bike?

      • Selecter says:

        Aren’t people here usually wondering how hard manufacturers must work to make a 250 weigh 375+ lbs, though?

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          No, 1200cc adventure bikes with full luggage shouldn’t weigh more than 375 lbs. It is insane that 250′s weigh more than 80 lbs. soaking wet.

          • Selecter says:

            Excellent – that made me grin. Thanks!

          • Gronde says:

            It weighs 50# less than the CBR on paper only. We’ll find out what it really weighs when one makes it over to our shores, if ever. Until then it is only over zealous marketing hype.

    • Jay Craig says:

      Why worry? KTM’s 390 Duke, with almost twice the power, weighs 139kg. and seems to be sturdy enough to hold up well enough at what has to be a faster pace than the Honda will ever muster.

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        I believe the Duke 390 rings in at 154 kg (340 lbs.) wet. In any case at almost three times the price, the KTM shed weight and added strength the expensive way. We are all curious how this inexpensive little character accomplished its feat.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “I would be worried about how they made it 50lbs lighter than the honda 250.”

      3 words… carbon fiber monocoque.

      • Norm G. says:

        no seriously, logic dictates the bike is prolly not 50 lbs. not sure what world you guys reside…? but in my world, the human propensity for error explains away like 99% of all things. hell, the missus points mine out to me everyday. could somebody have forgotten to multiply X times Pi then carry the 1 and it’s actually 53 kilos…?

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          I suspect it is more likely the marketing department’s propensity for exaggeration than human propensity for error.

          • Norm G. says:

            if its only 20lbs, saying its 53 isnt exaggeration…? that would be a blatant lie. a lie that would obviously come out in short order. laymen can be fooled, but not the industry. journos would eat them alive.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            If the difference is that drastic, then no, exaggeration doesn’t cover that. If there is an error, I’d think it is a dry vs. curb weight spec.

  8. bikerrandy says:

    I’d love to see EBR have a bunch of India built/US designed bikes to sell here and shock all the other MC brands. I also hope some of these Hero bikes have accomodations for carrying stuff too, something Erik seems to ignore.

  9. Yoyodyne says:

    I hope it succeeds so demand for 110/80-17 radial tires will go up!

  10. Jeremy in TX says:

    So I wonder if EBR would distribute this Hero 250 or if they would stroke the engine, massage it, bling up the components a bit and offer say an EBR 325RX as an upscale offering to the small bike market.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “stroke the engine, massage it, bling up the components a bit and offer say an EBR 325RX as an upscale offering to the small bike market.”

      take it ez greezy, we’re getting ahead of ourselves. let’s first see if we can register/title a single unit…? before we go setting fire to a stack of the new blue benjamins.

  11. denny says:

    Good try, but this is still a “speciality” bike, obviously driven by racing passion. But, is RACING all that necessary for most people (I sure understand it is for Mr. Buell)? Where is machine for masses in between 400 and 500cc nor burdened with stylish plastic cloak and unnecessary(for most part) liquid cooling? I have not seen it yet.

    • Selecter says:

      No. This is not a “specialty” bike.

      This is a bike that will be built, probably in the six-figure-production range. Hero sells 300,000-350,000 bikes… a month. In India. That’s more than what the “MoCo” builds in an entire year. Worldwide.

      Inexpensive 250cc bikes are THE mode of transportation in the sub-continent. Sporty models are becoming more and more popular all the time with younger Indians.

      The American market is barely a blip in sales for motorcycles worldwide. China and India are where the action is where sheer numbers are concerned. That being the case, this is a very important model. Making it 400-500cc would make it too expensive for most of its potential customers in more ways than a few. Not cloaking it in plastic won’t appeal to the youthful market they’re looking to sell to. Oh, that’s right – India already has a “machine for the masses” (even if it’s a bit of an aspirational brand there) of about 500cc, unburdened by fairings, and without liquid cooling! Can you guess what it is?

      This, to me, is a pretty slick move. I am interested to see how well it does, and if it makes it to the American market!

      News flash – the world doesn’t revolve around the United States motorcycle market. We should expect to see a lot more “world” models on our shore, given our reluctance to spend a lot of money on things these days…

      • denny says:

        You are referring to Enfield obviously. As my reading goes they do very well in India and elsewhere including England. It comes to style, need and taste preference after all.

        Somebody (perhaps youth) will prefer “racer” and someone else more “utility” type with decent ergos. All matter of choice, as it should be. On my part, even with my curious criticism, still wish Hero-Buell success.

    • k-kid says:

      The 250 capacity is actually due to licensing constraints in markets out of the US, just about every other nation you have to progress up to a litre bike, where US riders can just jump on any bike. This US is a niche market of bigger=better when looking at sales; until recently with the re-introduction of the small capacity bikes.

      • denny says:

        As you say, the trend might have bounced off the ceiling and will continue more towards original intent of motorcycle and away from 2-wheel luxury car. The size restrictions in some countries are funny and break to progress. In addition China does not want motorcycles in cities at all (not in Beijing).

  12. MGNorge says:

    Seeing as these bikes are viewed and generally purchased by new, younger riders it will be interesting if this makes it to the US and what kind of reception it gets. While longtime riders certainly know the name Eric Buell and he’s rather viewed as a maverick is fine. But riders new to the sport may very well draw a blank. I was also thinking of that quite over square engine design. Those type of extreme dimensions can lead to extra valve area and power but at the expense of anything down low? It’s all conjecture now until we find out in person what has been wrought.

    • denny says:

      “I was also thinking of that quite over square engine design.”

      You are correct: with this approach they box themselves into design which needs high intensity attention. Definitely not for so much advertised “relaxing ride”. In contrary, Honda was wise to proportion bore and stroke to produce lot more versatile and enjoyable engine. Who would argue with their experience?

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      I suspect the very over-square parameter of the engine may be intentional as part of a multi-displacement platform. 250cc is still an extremely important displacement, but 300+ ccs is growing in importance in the US for sure, and I suspect in other large markets as well. That’s a stroke away with this engine.

      • denny says:

        Increasing stroke substantially means different crankcase which means everything must change. That kind of defeats the purpose.

        • GearDrivenCam says:

          But didn’t Honda do just that with the upcoming CBR300R? Just a change in stroke (286cc) to the CBR250R’s engine. A nice and cost-effective increase in performance.

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          If the design was engineered with multiple displacement options in mind, production changes would be relatively minimal.

          • denny says:

            Yes, “if”. In any case, to facilitate longer crank needs more space. To make this into 350cc with same bore requires to increase stroke by 19mm or enlarge case to 38mm across. Not an easy task without blowing everything up.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            Yes, well my post was an “if” statement afterall. :-) And if they are planning that large of a stroke for other markets, then the case is already built to accommodate. But yes, that is an “if”.

    • Dave says:

      Re: “While longtime riders certainly know the name Eric Buell and he’s rather viewed as a maverick is fine. But riders new to the sport may very well draw a blank. ”

      We’re in the information era. People who don’t know Eric Buell can use the googles and find out all about him in 10 minutes. We all did it without the internet when Ducati’s 2nd coming happened in the 90′s.

  13. mickey says:

    Man, can you imagine being 16 today? The motorcycles are far more exciting than the ones we had to choose from in 1966. I ended up with an Italian Aermacchi 50cc 2 stroke 3 speed on the handlebar. Still…I was riding! Would have thought I had died and gone to heaven had I had something like this. Although I think most 16 year olds that are interesting in riding these days have their eyes on 600 cc super sports.

    • Stratkat says:

      man have you seen a 16 yr old lately??, they could care less about motorcycles. too distracted by the latest digital/electronic device. its a different world i fear…

    • denny says:

      Hey Mickey…. and how about 60years old? Are you writing them off? )))))

      • mickey says:

        Yea, I don’t see many 60+ year olds running around on these. There may be a few, but I’m afraid most of us old farts are stuck riding liter bikes or better these days…or at least 650 Burgmans.

        Funny, I watched my dad go from riding Indian and Harley dressers down to a 125 cc Honda as he got old. I’m now probably within 6 years of my dads age when he retired from riding and I’m still pedaling around on 1100s and 1300s. Wonder what fate has in store for me over the next 1/2 decade. Who knows …. a 250 may very well be in my future. I may have to take my statement back.

        • Tom K. says:

          “Wonder what fate has in store for me over the next 1/2 decade?”

          Depends.

          I have to sleep in my Nikes so’s I can run for the commode as soon as I wake up. TMI, TMI, TMI.

    • Randy says:

      I was 19 in 1973 when I purchased new a Yamaha RD250 (blue). That bike ripped and about the only modern 250 that could vie with it is a pregen Ninja, but only above 70. Below that the RD would eat it alive.

  14. allworld says:

    This bike will most likely have some variants, allowing Hero to enter into the USA market with a few bikes rather than just one model. If successful, then this is only the tip of the iceberg, with more offerings from Hero. It would be wise for dealerships to add EBR/Hero to their showrooms.

  15. Norm G. says:

    re: “Seems like a logical fit given the popularity of 250s here.”

    right now, you’re standing in New Delhi, yes…?

    • PatrickD says:

      The Kawasaki 250 has been a massive seller in the US for many years. Maybe there isn’t one outside your window, but so what?

    • Blackcayman says:

      Norm is today’s winner…

      I’m just sad I wasnt the first to reply :(

  16. todd says:

    Pretty interesting for sure. It would probably spank a Blast, being so much lighter with similar power. I’d love to see these here to reduce the monotony of seeing little Kawasakis and the occasional CBR250 everywhere you look.

  17. Gabe says:

    Also big news: a hybrid scooter and a diesel scooter concept.

    Couple key facts about the HX250R: It will be priced around $2500 in India, which is right around what the CBR250R sells for there. It also has a claimed 31 bhp output, 5 more than the India-market CBR250R.

    Hero must have shown Erik B. the CBR and said, “build us a better bike we can sell for the same price!” And he may just have done that.

    I think the super-short stroke has performance benefits, but more significantly, could allow a range of larger engines based on this one, maybe for the US market. We know Erik likes big Singles, right?

    • Selecter says:

      I’d link to another blog where I’d seen it referenced, but I think that might be bad form. But, the price in India being the equivalent of $2080 from what that said.

  18. Montana says:

    Great, more competition always results in better products at better prices;
    exactly the opposite of what one gets from centrally controlled economies.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “Great, more competition always results in better products at better prices”

      you sure…? wow that’s a lot of win. but is that all it does…? or might there be some negative repercussions that a “me first” 24/7/365 consumer mind might cause one to overlook…?

  19. kawatwo says:

    Wow 307 pounds full of gas would be nice! Yay more small bikes! Maybe they could call it the Blast! :)

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      That would be akin to calling it the Albatross.

    • Hair says:

      I am not sure just how you can make the jump and compare this bike to a Blast.
      I hope that Eric designs a full line of bikes for the Hero company. If we can’t build them here then we can design them here. That is good enough for now.

      • Kawatwo says:

        That was a joke :)Thus the smiley face. They do entertain the same market niche though.I would love to see Erik use Hero to bring in some affordable quality bikes!