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Honda CBR250RR Easily Exceeds 100 MPH in Early Tests

Journalists are starting to get their hands on the 2017 Honda CBR250RR. The bike is being introduced first to Indonesia, and we expect a 300cc + version to eventually reach the U.S. market (probably, next year). Honda officially claims this 250cc version has a top speed of 104 mph (168 kph), and makes 36 peak horsepower at 12,500 rpm.

In the video below published by an Indonesian magazine, the new CBR250RR actually exceeds this speed (at least, as indicated on the speedometer) on a race track. Honda states the new bike has “class leading power”, so a larger displacement U.S. model might prove quite potent for the category. Have a look.


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140 Comments

  1. adouglas says:

    @auspuff… well, with this bike Honda looks like it’s going to give us exactly what you’re looking for… a TWIN (not a single, as you suggest) screamer with good power (because it’s a screamer) and a more sporting attitude than the competition. That’s a departure for Honda if it comes to pass in the US. I agree that the class is saturated with “safe” bikes and the current CBRs are a prime example. I had (and loved) a Ninja 250 and haven’t seen anything in the current crop that’s a significant improvement on that bike; the RC390 is funky but I can’t get past the weedwacker noise that singles make.

  2. Artem says:

    168 kph is not that much.

  3. Auspuff says:

    Beautiful bike. Of course, being Honda, that machine will never see the U.S. Shores, being American Honda has complete Boobs in their Product Planning Department.

    While Honda could rule the roost with a twin-cylinder (or four-cylinder) CBR250/300/350/400/450, they are always three-steps behind the other manufactures, because Honda wants to be seen as a “Socially Responsible” Company. What that means to us motorcyclists is, “Neat Bikes – Performance Not Included.” The single-cylinder 250, then 300, and neutered 500-twin, proves the point.

    And, don’t give us that old-krap about keeping costs down, because in case no one has noticed, motorcycle prices are far from cheap, already, so may as well give us more than one cylinder, and no drum-brakes, please! Regardless of displacement, give us a bike with performance, a tachometer, no ABS, quit bobbing the tails, and for the Love of God, no more rubber brake lines!

    I’ve been a motorcyclist for over forty-years, and no one yet has asked me what I want in a motorcycle, and I am damn tired of manufacturers making bikes for women. Ask us MEN what we want, build it, and we will come.

    Come on Honda, as a former big customer, who left the brand due to anemic performing motorcycles, step up, give us what you are already capable of building, and watch the bikes sell better than the proverbial hotcake.

    Oh, and fire all of those Boobs in your American Product Planning Department!

  4. stinkywheels says:

    I’m just glad to see some thought and effort being put into the little bikes instead of just putting a MX motor into a budget sport chassis and putting a 4k+ price on it. I still hate the day I sold my VTR250. I loved riding that even when I had a Monster and Buell in the garage. This might get me back on a little Honda instead of thinking of R3s.

    • VEGA says:

      Well, this little Honda is nothing like the classic VTR…

      Parallel twin engine. Likely a 180 Degree crank and lots and LOTS of plastic.

      The VTR was a baby Monster… Light weight weight, cheerful and full of character.

      This one, I’m afraid, is ehat it is…

      A baby CBR…!

      It makes one wonder why sub 500cc motorcycles are all boring singles and twins…? What happend to V-Twins and inline-4s…? Or perhaps those V4s Honda used to make…!

      The smallest V2 is the SV650, unless you want to go The Hyosung way, and many don’t…! And besides, Hyosung has recently replaced its V2 250 with a single…!

      • MGNorge says:

        The answer I believe is that these are in a very price sensitive part of the market. Just go back a few road test reviews and count the number of negative comments concerning pricing, on all bikes. Those V’s, and I4’s would certainly up the price of entry so consideration by the manufacturers have to be made. Are there enough potential buyers waiting in the wings to get their hands on an even more expensive 250 or 300? If not, they’re looking at too many sitting on dealer’s floors and possibly warehouses full of them. Will they ever come back? Hard to say, if the economy picks up and enough potential owners find a few extra rocks in their pockets the manufacturers may oblige. By the way, I have nothing against singles or twins at all.

      • Dave says:

        Re: “It makes one wonder why sub 500cc motorcycles are all boring singles and twins…? What happend to V-Twins and inline-4s…?”

        The VTR250 continues to be sold in “baby monster” format (trellis frame, naked) in Asian markets. Small I4’s have gone away because they’re more expensive and were never as good as twins for street bikes. Too much frictional loss and poor torque.

        Here in the US there was never a value proposition that would get a customer to but an I4 400cc bike when 600cc was often less than $1k away.

  5. John says:

    Sounds like a screamer, but that’s not remotely what I’d ever buy. How about stroke this out to 350cc and put it in a “TransAlp” or a scrambler?

  6. Tommy D says:

    The number of comments exceed this things max speed. Isn’t that GREAT?

    What pains most of us here in the USA is that we are no longer the center of the motorcycling universe. At one time every manufacturer was looking for models to please the USA motorcycle buying public. Our thoughts and comments were taken seriously. Now it seems Honda’s aim is squarely at the Asian/Indian market where a middle class with disposable income is on the rise. As a former Honda guy it is disheartening to see my brand go from Freddie Spencer days producing class dominating machines to today producing bikes appealing to lower price points and ease of use rather than performance dominating machines. I’m now a Yamaha guy. I race an R3 and have an 16 R1 for track days and street. Yamaha is spot on target with their lineup. But I have a feeling Honda is onto something. Cheap and reliable vs performance and features may make them more money.

  7. Vrooom says:

    While 105 mph is certainly adequate for most people, I’m looking forward to how it feels at 75 for 30 miles. I like this bike, and if you had some canyons to carve nearby, or a commute where 55 was the likely top speed this would be great. But I find riding those small bikes at 10,000 RPMs for periods of time exhausting. If I lived closer to the city though, this would be perfect.

    • Curly says:

      A quick watch of the Sepang videos has them getting about 166kph @ 12,000 which would put it at around 85-86 mph at 10,000. That would make 75 at maybe 8,750 which is a lot but not that much for and engine redlined at 14k.

    • todd says:

      How does RPM relate to physical exertion?

      • MGNorge says:

        Not exertion necessarily but fatigue which can be brought about by noise and/or vibration, etc. This is obviously going to vary by bike and rider but fatigue can come from a number of areas while riding. To some, listening to what sounds like an engine droning away at very high rpm on the super slab is not their idea of a good time while some might get a charge out of it. We’re all different and react to inputs in different ways.

        • mickey says:

          not to mention the left hand,right hand, left foot dance to keep it in the range. My RD 350 was a lot more taxing or fatiguing to ride than say, my TX650 Yamaha, which rarely needed shifting other than when taking off or stopping, where every few hundred rpms on the RD required an up or down shift, throttle roll off and back on, clutch in and back out. The narrower the rpm band you have to work with, the more work it requires.

          The R3 Yamaha and the Ninja 300 I rode were both like that, left off just a little bit and you had to down shift once or twice to get it back up to speed.

          • todd says:

            I think these bike’s are being ridden incorrectly. If you always need to downshift that is because you are upshifting too early. In my experience, the bike that I’ve ridden that required the most shifting was a H-D Sportster. I was seriously in fourth gear by 40 mph and it needed a down shift to accelerate (with it not giving much acceleration…). Most other bikes I’ve ridden, 40 mph is usually second gear at a sedate pace, first gear if you’re getting on it, some pulling close to 100 before you need to shift. A bike that revs from 1,500 to 10,000 or more has such a broader range than a bike that doesn’t feel comfortable reving past 4,500.

            I guess MGNorge is right though, fatigue is more of a perception thing. I get fatigued by loud exhaust, open face helmet noise, and a vibrating/lugging engine not by a free reving, low geared, smooth, lightweight bike. To each his own.

          • mickey says:

            you are right in that probably the most efficient way to ride around on a bike where the power starts coming on about 8K and gets meaty about 11K and peaks out at 15K is just to ride around in 1st and second gear all day, but I don’t think that is how the vast majority of people want to ride. If that’s how you have to ride a small bike, I’d rather have a larger bike that has enough horsepower and torque below 8K that I can ride around without all the frentic rpms. Probably why I ride liter class bikes and not 1/4 liter size bikes.

            I’ve had 2 Sporsters over the years, a ’59 and a ’94, and don’t recall having to shift them a bunch to get anywhere. They vibrated horribly and the suspension sucked but that is another issue.

  8. thrus says:

    On a smaller displacement top speed has never been an issue with me it has always been the ability to ride freeway speeds (70-80mph) and not have the engine screaming up at 10,000 RPM. Yes it will do the speed but will I be deaf and numb from the vibration after 45 minutes?

  9. Rayzor says:

    Love to have this bike here in the USA! I would buy it for sure. Unfortunately, I can’t wait another year to purchase a bike so I’ll probably ended up buying a Kawi instead…Why is it that US always get the boring stuff and our Asian and Euro cousins get all the cool looking bikes!?!

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      Because the Asians and Euros buy these things in massive quantities. We don’t even make a blip on the radar in comparison.

  10. Rocky says:

    Still makes less power than the cracking 4cyl 250s from the 90s. Good bikes to learn on because you had usable (scooter level) power below 16k rpm and then a bit of a kick in the pants between 16 and 19k rpm. Sure you have changed gears 3 times before you have gone through the intersection when the lights go green, but that is good practice for beginners too. I had a Kawa Balius, spent plenty of time on a baby blade and rode a zeal, zx2r and a baby bandit a few times and they were all a barrel of fun.

    • todd says:

      I’ve ridden a four cylinder CBR250RR. I can recall shifting into second at around 40mph. After three gear changes you’re already over 75mph…

  11. dman says:

    This bike replacing Honda’s 300 single in the US market, feels like a tipping point for small sports bikes. Assuming it does come as a 300 or 300+, we now have a choice beyond just the Ninja and R3 (though both are fine bikes). Plus a potential platform for a Honda competitor to the Versys 300. As someone who’s been riding for 45 years, started on a 175 and crept up to a liter bike, and now have two 650’s, I can see another step down in size but most likely a step up in fun.

  12. PN says:

    Nice scooter. I say a 350 Ninja’s coming.

  13. silver says:

    50lbs heavier than it should be, just like all new Hondas these days

    • Provologna says:

      Cutting 50# from this bike would result in SRP of about $15k. How? Honda projects to sell many thousands of this bike. Every several hundred dollars increase in SRP lowers unit sale projection and increases SRP to make a profit.

      I estimate cutting 50# from the bike would increase SRP $1500 to $2k if sale numbers stayed constant, but they won’t, so the net bike would be an ultra low production, ultra high cost collector bike instead of this mass market model.

      Honda has made less than a half dozen such collector bikes. It’s not their wheel house.

      • Mick says:

        How do you arrive at the cost figures? I have a hard time believing them. This bike weighs at least 120 pounds more than a CRF450 and probably won’t sell for a whole lot less even though the CRF has MUCH higher spec suspension.

        Honda specs the weight of this bike at 363 pounds. 370 for ABS. The CRF specs at 243. Dirt bike pounds are usually a LOT closer to reality than street bike pounds as well.

        As someone who has been riding sub 300 pound street bikes for over thirty years, all bikes that would catch more wind than this one at that. I have lived to tell that no you wouldn’t get sucked in the wind wake of an 18 wheeler.

        • Tom R says:

          Why does it weigh more than a CRF?

          It has a headlight.
          It has a tail light/brake light.
          It has turn signals.
          It has wiring and switchgear for all the above.
          It has a rear seat, foot pegs, and frame/sub frame to support a passenger.
          It has bodywork.
          It has a side stand.
          It has mirrors.
          It has a speedometer.
          It has a chain guard.
          And other street-legal stuff that a CRF doesn’t.

          • Dave says:

            ..and two cylinders durable enough to promise that it won’t need a top-end overhaul every ~40 hours.

            Road/Street engineering and dirt/race engineering aren’t really comparable.

    • Dave says:

      Where is this bike’s weight published?

    • Tom R says:

      50 POUNDS?? For THIS bike? Exactly where would this reduction come from?

      And if it were 50 pounds lighter, you would be sucked into the wind wake of the first 18-wheeler that you passed on a two lane road.

  14. Gary says:

    Actually, Honda had to do something after Hyosung spanked them but good a year or so ago in a race in Korea where there were all CBR250’s except the one Hyosung GD250, and the Hyosung won handily- and that was the naked version of the Hyosung 250, not the sport version they are coming out with.

    • Dave says:

      That sounds like exactly the kind of incident that encourages a mega-company like Honda to alter a global platform strategy (eyes rolling..).

    • Provologna says:

      Honda shaking in their boots! hahahahahahhahaha

    • Chris says:

      Ah. Yeah. Sure.

    • ONE UPPER says:

      Honda has been cutting corners for years with thier sportbikes! Big bad Honda got beat easily!!Benelli is also working on a 300cc sportbike and will cost less $$$. A naked spanking thier sportbike ! EBRs new naked is no joke either but thats another story

      • Dave says:

        We anxiously await Hyosung’s entry into Moto3 and MotoGP. Honda must know their days at the top are ending soon..

      • PABLO says:

        “Honda has been cutting corners for years with thier sportbikes!”
        Just wondering which corners they cut on the $215,000 RCV213VS?

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        I’m not a Honda guy, but every Honda motorcycle I’ve ever ridden has head a very premium feel. I’ve ridden two Hyosungs and one Benelli, and I can’t imaging why anyone would choose one of them over a comparable offering from any other mainstream manufactures.

  15. My2cents says:

    I say bring it as a 250 and some squid will pipe and tune it so they can hit 200 kph (125 mph) BUT ONLY ON A CLOSED COURSE cause it would be naughty to try that on a lonely stretch of public pavement.

  16. Grover says:

    Nice bike but not much different than the R3 which is available today. My guess is not many on this website will buy this new Honda, especially if they have to pay a premium price for it. Just say’in.

  17. jabe says:

    I’m trying to be excited about this bike, but it’s not happening.

    • MGNorge says:

      No bike is for everyone.

    • nickst4 says:

      You aren’t the only one! In my book, bikes don’t get to be satisfying to ride unless they have at least 500cc capacity and preferably a deal more, because that gives them a relaxed capability that matches my riding style. The top speed is totally irrelevant compared with the ability to make decisive moves with the minimum of fuss, not to mention revs!

  18. WSHart says:

    100 mph is nearly 150 feet per second. People crack me up. They have no business doing that on public roads but since bench racing is a form of Priapism it’s not surprising.

    And one cannot help but notice the whiners already clamoring for this 250cc bike to be a 300cc or a 350cc bike. Perhaps tiered licensing should be mandatory and not just based on age but upon years riding and your record along with the age factor.

    People that are older are not above behaving like irresponsible children.

    • Scott says:

      ^ I want to party with this guy.

      • Randy in Ridgecrest says:

        Why? Seems pretty grumpy to me

        • WSHart says:

          Please…The truth must hurt, eh? Another priapic bench racer. People whine about what they want and if it shows up, damn it with faint praise (look it up) and avoid buying one for vague and/or ridiculous reasons.

          When a bench racer is involved, nothing is ever enough for their ego.

          Have a nice day. If you can.

          • Scott says:

            To be honest, the first time you used the word “priapic”, I actually had to look it up. But now that I know what it means, it’s quite remarkable how often you use it. I wonder what Freud would have to say about this?

          • Randy in Ridgecrest says:

            Well, if it were warmer than 43 degrees I’d go for a ride on my Street Triple, definitely EXCEED 150 feet per second in 3rd gear, and possibly all other gears, have a blast. But this cold weather is killing my priapic!

        • Curly says:

          Yep, that’s grumpy alright. I’d recognize that anywhere. Heck, at least part of the fun of motorcycling is the expectation of new models and how they will perform. We would be a sad lot if no bike went over 84.9 MPH and the reality of modern traffic pretty much demands that you have a bike with a bit of squirt in reserve. So yeah, let us have the 350 version for here.

          • Stratkat says:

            its all semantics in the end. you live long enough and youve seen this before. theyll up it to 350cc (gee where have i seen this before?..) then 500 then oh wow 600cc and its just fantastic, oh wait didnt we discontinue the CBR600 last year? then it starts all over again, 250cc… gee id buy it if it were a 350cc bla, bla bla…

      • Aussie M says:

        Sorry Scott, that won’t happen. WSHart does not party. He is totally against anybody having any fun.

    • Dino says:

      Darn kids… stay off my lawn!

    • Brian says:

      Because, as we all know, you’re required to ride at the bike’s top speed whenever possible…

      Heck, there are places in the US where it’s legal to do 85. I’d consider a bike like this pretty much the minimum requirement for safe riding on a road like that. Especially when you consider that the average American is probably a fair bit heavier than the average Indonesian motojournalist, and won’t be riding a brand-new machine.

      • WSHart says:

        It looks like a very small section of Texas allows 85 mph. Of course being the internet, there could be more. Texas.

        An itsy bitsy piece of Texas. Probably bigger than all of Rhode Island. 😉

        Bragging rights have been going on within motorcycling for decades and that is primarily what most owners buy their bikes for. It soothes their ego.

        • My2cents says:

          What…………oh sorry I was stroking my ego and lost my thought train. Truth is many times per year I exceed 100 mph on the street and usually on two lane roads. I like to zip past slow moving traffic quickly and then return to something say 15% above the legal posted limit. Modern day motorcycles of even mid level displacement are very quick and very stable at speeds above the limit. Met a fellow in Australia somewhere between Alice Springs and Coober Pedy who claimed to cruise across the vastness at 220 KPH (137MPH) just to eat up the miles, thats something around 200 feet per second. Anyways try more fiber in your diet.

        • The_undecider says:

          That little stretch of road with an 85 mph limit happens to be in my neck of the woods. Most stretches of toll roads range from 75-80 mph limits. People routinely exceed 10-15 over with little consequence from law enforcement. My 650 cc Suzuki struggled to maintain speeds needed to stick with the flow of traffic. It had very little reserve. My BMW 1200GS feels just about right mixing with 90 mph traffic. On surface roads, the bike is downright boring, unless I wanna do a 3rd gear power wheelie. Fun is fun!

          • todd says:

            A 650cc Suzuki (S40/Savage) has quite a bit less power than the current crop of 300cc bikes. These bikes won’t struggle as much with traffic.

      • paul246 says:

        Who cares about riding at 85 mph on an Interstate highway? You shouldn’t be riding a motorcycle on those roads anyway… they are boring, boring and boring. Stay off them and enjoy the secondarys and back roads, that is where the fun of riding is to be found.

        • Scott says:

          If all I wanted to do was smell the fresh air, enjoy the scenery, and stay under the speed limit, I would just buy a convertible. It would be lot safer, more comfortable, and have better luggage capacity than a motorcycle.

          However, I ride motorcycles for different reasons. I enjoy the speed, the cornering, and the skill involved in making a bike do what you want it to do.

          I’m glad the motorcycle industry still gets it. Even if some of its customers don’t.

        • Brian says:

          Um…did I say that I personally did a lot of riding on interstate highways? Just making a point :-/

        • mickey says:

          You all do realize that motorcycles are just mechanical devices destined to do the duty of the person who purchased them, whether that be ride on the interstate, ride on the back roads or ride around a race track. There is no right or wrong only different. Riding on back roads does not make 1 motorcyclist superior to another motorcyclist, either does riding on the freeway..either does riding at the speed limit or riding far above the speed limit.

    • Provologna says:

      Yeah, sure, doing the ton on public roads is right up there w/illegal foreign military excursions to enforce regime change, resulting in a half million innocent deaths, three million refugees, starvation, thousands of refugee deaths fleeing the carnage, etc, etc………..

      Nice to see the 2017 rules change allow access to the net in your “facility.”

      • mickey says:

        Well technically I suppose one is illegal and the other immoral, but in any case hard to compare the two

  19. ONE UPPER says:

    Beautiful bike Honda has here almost as nice as the 2017 GD 250R and they are already in the dealerships and one dealer is selling them for 2995.00 and the turbo charged unit around 5490.00 about the price of the KTM 390.The turbo charged unit will be in Dallas around Jan 13th at the Expo!

    • Dave says:

      I don’t think the gd250r is going to generate too much excitement in the US with a 27hp single in the company of 35-40hp twins. It’s price sure is compelling though.

  20. Mindspin says:

    Notice they are still mounting IRC RX-01 Roadwinner tires? Same as the CBR250/300. Even Kawasaki realized they suck and went to a better tire for the Ninja 300, and a different tire still on the Winter Test Edition 300 (150 rear). There are so many better choices now for radial 110/140 series tires.

  21. rapier says:

    That is a lot of HP for a 250 but it isn’t a lot on a hp/liter basis, that being 144. Myriad high displacement bikes make that much or more at the rear wheel but it is’t clear if Honda is claiming RWHP or crank or output sprocket HP. Anyway all the HP and resultant low RPM torque barely matter in a liter plus bike. On a small bike it means commitment by the rider to work the gears clutch and throttle to keep moving in a manner that is fun and safe on open and busy streets and roads. I’m not dissing it I think it’s great.

    • Mindspin says:

      144 hp/l is pretty damn good for a 250cc twin if you want any longevity out of it. Remember these are more street/commuter bikes than the mini race replicas of old.

    • Curly says:

      The manufacturers never quote net rwhp. So this bike is rated about the same as the YZF-R25 version of the R3 which makes around 32 at the rear wheel. The Yamahas are doing a bit over 110 MPH in video tests which may be a touch optimistic on the speedometer. So 104 is a very believable number for the Honda. A 350 version for here could easily be close to 40 rwhp and over 110 mph.They should do it.

  22. Mindspin says:

    Very excited for this one! I really hope we get a CBR350RR for the North American and Euro markets.

    Better video: https://youtu.be/csRabjUdPxE

    Sounds so smooth! Doesn’t have the buzz of the Kawasaki and Yamaha. Add an electronic quick shifter and it’s perfect.

  23. Randy in Ridgecrest says:

    There is no doubt the first gen EX250 can go faster than 100 mph, and it will get there in under a mile. I watched my wife slowly pull away while going 103 on my GPS – I was all out on a dog of a NC700X.

    I’m sure the frame and suspension will be better on the Honda then the noodlely EX. And if it has 6 or so more RWHP it will probably top out 5 or 10 mph over the EX250. I say yeah, way to kind go Honda!

  24. Scott says:

    Everyone seems so concerned about the “top speed” of this bike – or lack thereof.

    Keep in mind, this video was shot on a closed road course. At the point the bike hits 170k, it was STILL ACCELERATING. Then the rider has to shut off for the upcoming turn. All this talk about 250 Ninjas and such is immaterial, because those top speeds were acheived on straight roads with a couple of miles to wring them out. I’m sure that given enough room, this CBR could easily hit 180k or more.

    If it matters.

  25. Deoulan says:

    The bike has 3 riding mode. On this test he uses second mode that is the sport mode. Another blogger achieve a top speed of 179kmh using sport+ mode on the bike at the same track that day. http://iwanbanaran.com/2016/11/22/tes-top-speed-honda-all-new-cbr250rr-tembus-179-kmjam-di-12500-rpm/

  26. fred says:

    That will make a great starter bike for a 14 yr. old. maybe they won’t ride it over the speed limit if there parents tell them not to do so.

    • Tim says:

      Your comment brings back memories of riding my 1972 Kawasaki 90 street bike, as a 12 year old, at it’s top speed of around 80 mph. My friend had a 125 Yamaha enduro. My Dad said to him, “Eddie, that looks like a really fast bike.” and Eddie replied, “It is, but not nearly as fast as Tim’s Kawasaki.” I recall my Dad not being too pleased to hear that.

  27. My2cents says:

    That’s awesome news indeed funny how the discussion side slips into what could be done by 1960’s era air cooled twins and 1980’s liquid cooled two strokes. This little Honda is reported to get above 40 horsepower at the output shaft. This makes it quite likely that speeds of 110 real world mph can be possible. All this from a 250 and not a 296 or 321 which belong in a 350 class.

    • MGNorge says:

      “All this from a 250 and not a 296 or 321 which belong in a 350 class.” Well yes, but the laws of physics still apply. Twist the little guy into making more peak power will mean the torque spread through the mid-range will narrow. That’s fine as long as prospective owners realize this could make it more of a “keep it on the boil” type ride, even considering its displacement, compared to a bike with similar peak power but larger displacement. A good track bike for sure.
      But exactly why it may come stateside as a 300.

  28. downgoesfraser says:

    My 250 Ninja would go 91 according to GPS, 100 on speedometer.

    • xLaYN says:

      Yes.

      So probably this Honda would in the best of the cases be on par with the ol’ Ninja 250 or the new 300.

      The good news is that Kawi doesn’t have an edge anymore on the class and maybe they can build the Ninja 300 RR.

      I see the parallel 500-700cc the next boom and after that a return to the 4I 600cc class.

  29. Fivespeed302 says:

    My 2002 Ninja 250 would do 106. It was a fun little bike. Honda set the bar too low.

    • Tank says:

      After I added a Corbin seat and changed the sprockets on mine, it was even more fun. 4.8 gal. of fuel and a center stand helped make it Kawasaki’s biggest seller for several years (lack of competition didn’t hurt).

      • Fivespeed302 says:

        I wish I had never sold it. They are rather plain looking but they are a blast to wring out. Incredible gas mileage too.

  30. Provologna says:

    Damn! Sweet Honda!

    Think about this: this pint sized 250 breaks the ton, but it takes four times the cylinder displacement for a little less than double the top speed! Air drag is a beach, no?

    Forty-five years ago, Cycle World measured 104.6mph top speed on Honda’s naked and glorious air-cooled CB305cc Superhawk twin: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honda_CB77

    In defense of the 250, the ‘hawk required something called “leaded fuel” (for the kiddies here) and likely had 100x as many emissions except for possibly SPL.

    The 250 can never match this, though (per Wiki): “…Elvis rode a CB77 (Superhawk) in the 1964 movie Roustabout…”

  31. Tc2wheel says:

    For a thumper (single cylinder) engine, that’s pretty impressive.. but how long can it sustain operating at that rpm? and why would you want a 250cc thumper to travel 100 mph when plenty of other bikes at similar cost can perform at that level?

  32. Jonny Blaze says:

    Guess the 100mph breakers of yesteryears don’t pass emission standards anywhere now.

    If a 250 can safely and reliably exceed 120mph, it would’ve been done already- no need for us to tell the manufacturers so.

    • Dave says:

      Moto3 bikes go 155+ on a 250cc single. 120 would be attainable, but not very streetable.

      • Stuki Moi says:

        “120 would be attainable, but not very streetable.”

        It could be done and still be streetable. Existing 600 Supersports tech would get there easily. Just not very affordably. Especially for the Indonesian target market.

        • Dave says:

          I suppose, but I’d argue that 600’s aren’t very streetable either. They barely move below 6-7k/rpm. I can only imagine how much worse that would be in a highly tuned 250. I think the apec of this model is clearly aimed at a premium customer(usd fork, ride modes, alloy swing arm) , compared to the Ninja 250 and r25 sold there.

  33. Kyle says:

    Internet God is very pleased with the lack of music and plethora of engine noise in the video. If only I could understand what was being said. Putting music in a motorcycle video makes as much sense as putting engine noise in a music video. Bike sounds great!

    • Mr.Mike says:

      +1 on lack of music!

      • Jonny Blaze says:

        He was merely describing his lap of the Sentul track in West Java- how he accelerated and brake to take the corners, T1, T2 etc.

        “S-besar” means big chichane,T8/T9 right/left, then brief mention of suspension stiffness, then he WOT on the main straight to reach 166kmh before he brakes into T1.

        Entering T3, he mentioned he was in the wrong gear- should be in 3rd instead of 4th. You see the bike exiting T4 and accelerating slower due to this.

        “s-kecil” is small or tight chichane, T6/T7 right/left, down shift to 3rd around 60kmh.

        Then it was back to S-besar.

        In the end, as he accelerates down the main straight, he mentioned he was overtaken by a CBR1000RR.

        When you view the video again, you will see through the cockpit cam, a fireblade overtaking and outbreaking him into T1.

        Other than the suspension stiffness, there was no mention of any characteristic or specifications of the bike.

    • Provologna says:

      I’m in the entertainment business.

      The people who produce videos w/the offensive sound tracks to which you refer, could not tell the difference between grating noise and glorious music if their lives depended on it. That’s why they ad such sounds to videos. They think it adds a positive effect, completely oblivious to the fact that it’s worse than nails across the chalk board.

    • xLaYN says:

      “Putting music in a motorcycle video makes as much sense as putting engine noise in a music video”

      Dear Kyle…
      Please comment more often.
      Att.

      da net.

  34. MotoMaster39 says:

    If that’s the case I’ll take one as is, without a big bore treatment. I know it’s apples to oranges, but all the moto mags claim the ktm125SX runs a lot cleaner, and has a lot more over-rev than its 150cc brother.

    With peak horsepower being so high in the revs with this lil Honda, I’d bet they ruin the power characteristics by just bore-ing it out. If we get a stroked 300 or 350 version with totally different bottom end and engine cases, I’m down for that, but I doubt Honda has that planned.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      Boring it out would make more power available at lower rpms while likely having no affect on the rev ceiling. Hardly ruinous IMO .

      • Provologna says:

        The greater is bore increased the more does piston size, piston mass, and reciprocating mass increase, with concomitant decrease in service life @ maximum RPM. For this reason I suspect the term “no effect” is incorrect.

        The nebulous term “ruinous” requires definition before it can be confirmed or denied.

        • xLaYN says:

          …. remember me hacker news.

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          “No effect” is perhaps too definitive. I have bored out many small engines over the years (mostly singles). I feel very confident saying “no material effect.” You just aren’t going to add enough mass with thos two tiny pistons to suffer from any of the ills you mention.

          Plus with 300s being a big thing in both the US and European markets, I suspect that thisb250 is a sleeved down 300.

        • todd says:

          My lightly modified KLX300R with one big piston and fairly long stroke put out 36hp to the rear wheel on the dyno and had extra pulling power throughout the entire rev range (which was really wide up to approx 10k). A twin, with its shorter stroke, smaller pistons and easier breathing, will have no problem having an even wider power band even when bored over or stroked. A multi always wins in torque and power for any given displacement.

          Now if this CBR weighs anything close to my 230 pound KLX that would be the best bike money can buy.

          • Martin B says:

            Ha! When I was 18 I went on a 400-mile tour with my 16-year-old younger brother. I had a Honda XL350 single, he had a Honda CB350 twin. We both cruised around 65 to 70 mph when there were no cops around (speed limit 60 mph). But on mountain roads I walked away from him, mainly sticking to third or fourth gear, whereas my brother had to tap dance from 2nd to 3rd to 4th just to get around EVERY corner. After leaving the mountain roads he had to stop due to a sore left foot. Plus my bike had much greater ground clearance and I could lean further over than he could. When it came to mid-range torque for overtaking, I was up and gone much faster than his bike. To be fair I had a couple years more experience than him, but I thoroughly enjoyed my ride while he couldn’t wait for it to end. In fact, we left separately to go home. I still miss that XL350…

          • todd says:

            I had a ’75 XL350 and, though it was a blast to ride, I do remember my friend’s CB350 being noticeably faster. Yes, you had to keep the CB spinning a bit higher RPM to access the power. That was likely your brother’s problem; he probably kept shifting up a gear before he got most of the power out of it and then had to down-shift to accelerate. Just like you said, he kept shifting up to 4th. People with revvy bikes always seem to shift too early and fail to make the most out of their wide power bands and high rev ceilings.

      • Dave says:

        Boring has been Ducati’s path to success forever. Big bore x short stroke = lower piston speed for a given displacement. This change alone wouldn’t increase the rev ceiling, but it would allow for larger valves. Honda more than other brands adheres to efficient manufacturing ethos, making an alternative engine full of unique components unlikely.

        • MGNorge says:

          “Honda more than other brands adheres to efficient manufacturing ethos, making an alternative engine full of unique components unlikely”
          It’s called saving money and they all adhere to this in their manufacturing. I’m sure the possibility of bringing out the boring bar is factored into almost all designs. Which makes me marvel at all the distinct engine designs Honda used back in the day for each displacement bump.

          • SDave says:

            Re: “Which makes me marvel at all the distinct engine designs Honda used back in the day for each displacement bump.”

            Likely the period when they realized they would need to become more efficient.

            I think in the case of the 250 class, I think they design a 250 and then squeeze more out of it if they {they = whoever designed the thing) for other markets. Ninja 300, Yamaha R3, were clearly designed to be 250’s, or they’d be 350’s since the US has no displacement restrictions. The KTM? There’s the benefit of single cylinder architecture and an existing catalog on dirt bike engines.

  35. gt08 says:

    My 1987 Ninja 250 R Aka EX-250, as 40 HP less than 300 Lbs and go much over 170 kmh
    All original and stock.
    Hey Honda, it been 30 year of fun with my Kawasaki you re late to the party !

    • Dirck Edge says:

      Cycle World test of that bike yielded a top speed of 94mph.

      • mickey says:

        Optimistic speedos combined with inflated egos have made many bikes much faster than they are truly capable of.

      • Martin Owings says:

        I still think Cycle World had a dud back then or a really HEAVY test rider as Cycle magazine got 5.75 seconds 0-60 while CW had like 6.6. I have owned two of the 87’s and they are magic. 350 pounds and really great brakes and suspension for what it was (at least for me and my then 105 pounds :). I personally took the second one I had to the dragstrip and ran a quarter mile in under 15 seconds which also beat CW ‘s time. Cycle mage got 14.76 I believe. This new CBR looks like a freaking blast. I can’t wait for the 300 to come to the USA! It would make an awesome back-roads scratchier and it looks mean. This is the bike that can finally recapture the magic of the 86-87 250 ninja.

        • mickey says:

          Martin, Why do you think it was that yours were more than 50 pounds heavier than gt08’s?

          • Dave says:

            A quick search shows that the 1987 EX250 weighs 355lb wet, and makes 26hp at the rear wheel. Must be lower gravity and much more oxygen where gt08 is from. 😉

  36. MGNorge says:

    This poses the question of whether Honda will bring to the US the same bike/engine, a 300 perhaps with the same state of tune as the 250 or perhaps relax the tune some, providing better torque throughout the mid-range?
    Anyone with an ounce of motorcycling in their blood should like the sound this 250 delivered.

  37. Jeremy in TX says:

    It is exciting to see the small class heat up. I’d hope it would revive the club racing scene, but it probably won’t.

  38. devo says:

    Some 250’s were doing over the ton 35 years ago. And they were naked’s. Big deal!!

    • Dirck Edge says:

      Two-strokes?

      • Bud says:

        My Kaw 250 triple did. Maybe. 105 indicated.

      • gt08 says:

        Yes and no.
        There was my 250 Ninja on four stroke. And some Honda 250 that was not in the game VTR 250.
        The other two were two stroke, the Yamaha 250 (dont remember the name) And the Suzuki RG250. At least here in Canada.
        The Ninja is the sole survivor of this era.

        • Scott the Aussie says:

          VT250 was a great road bike once you learned to rev it. My first decent road bike…..though mine was a “tired” example. Rumoured to be able to do 100mph….

    • MGNorge says:

      Top speed indicated here is simply showing that it pumps out quite a bit of horsepower for its displacement. If top speed is of such concern for you you’re looking in the wrong class.
      Going back a number of years, a quick glance showed several 250’s topping out in the 80-90 mph range, a couple a bit more. So which “some” are you referring to?

      • Tim says:

        I took part in a similar discussion on here a few weeks ago. To me top speed is of some importance on these small bikes. Not so much because one would necessarily ever go that fast on them, but it does provide some comfort knowing this little bike could keep up with 80-85 mph highway traffic, especially going uphill or against a strong wind, without feeling like it was on the verge of exploding.

        • MGNorge says:

          Sure, but what does it say when one bike does, say 105 mph, while another does 95?

          Maybe when I was young would I run a 250 out into 80-85 mph traffic but if that was my typical mission a 250 wouldn’t be my pick.

          • todd says:

            I believe I’m nearly your age. I recently borrowed a friend’s Ninja 250 for commuting for a week. Never once did the bike feel it was lacking anything in 80-85 mph traffic. It could easily attain those speeds and zip around like it was built for that scenario.

            You must be thinking about that time you rode that 250 Nighthawk.

          • MGNorge says:

            Never rode a Nighthawk. To each their own but if 80-85 mph was the order of the day a 250 wouldn’t be the first tool I picked up.

  39. mickey says:

    Well it did flash 170 km for an instant at 3:35 which is 105.6 mph (and pretty fast for a 250cc.)

  40. Pacer says:

    I think Honda is coming out of hibernation. Africa Twin, CBR1000RR, CBR250(ish in the US)RR. Not that they have been doing anything wrong, just so boring.

  41. Doc says:

    All right Honda! I’m sure someone will dog it for something. Let the bashing begin!

  42. motocephalic says:

    got lots of fairing for me. But glad to see them making smaller bikes that can go. Why don’t they do something with the rear fender? That look really sucks.

    • VForce says:

      That’s simply due to DOT regulations. You will see a similar look to other sportsbikes. When you have a short “stubby” tail section which is en vogue and fashionable at the moment, the only way to mount a rear fender is with the erector set sticking out as you see here. Some of the adv bikes like GS and Multistrada use a swingarm fender to get by these regulations.

      It doesn’t really matter as most buyers take these rear fenders off immediately with a tail tidy kit.

    • joe b says:

      It allows them to be sold in the country they are meant for, meeting gov’t regulations. Are you that ignorant?