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The all-new Honda CBR250R Challenge


by Pascal Bastien ,

Honda Canada announced a brand new racing series for 2012 starring the CBR250R, a newcomer to our shores. Following in the tire prints of the highly successful CBR125R Challenge series, the CBR250R Challenge will pit novice and semi-professional riders between 15 and 25 years old against each other, as well as 13 and 14 year-olds who have completed at least three races in the 125-cc class.

Honda CBR250R Challenge
Photo: Sébastien D'Amour/

Bring on the talent
The main goal of the single-spec series is to present fiercely competitive races that highlight rider talent. That’s why modifications will be kept to a minimum. Honda Canada is only allowing the addition of the official CBR250R Challenge Race Kit, which includes lighter race trim, an Akropovic exhaust, the Dynojet Fuel Control Module, adjustable footpegs, a rear shock and  racing valves from Elka, and frame sliders.

There will also be a spec tire and a maximum of one tire change per race weekend. The rubber of choice is the Pirelli Supercorsa SC, the same tire used in the Supersport class. No word yet on the eligible compound, but Honda Canada will likely decide on a medium SC2 compound or a long-lasting SC3 hard compound to keep costs down to a minimum.

A strange first race got the chance to compete in the first race, organized for the inauguration of the CBR250R Challenge series at the St-Eustache complex last September. Honda Canada had prepared a few bikes for the occasion, calling on the expertise of Accelerated Technologies’ John Sharrard.

Yours truly clinched the pole position after winning the first event – which consisted of travelling from Gatineau to St-Eustache with as little fuel as possible. Some of my rivals said I had the featherweight’s advantage with my 143 modest pounds, but I alone know how hard I had to work to accomplish the feat, repeatedly killing the engine when going downhill or rolling up to stop lights, for instance.

A good start, but…
On the grid for the qualifying round, my lack of experience in standing starts cost me three positions. I took a lot of risks to fight my way back into second place on the first lap and then to take the lead on the second lap, which I managed to hold onto until the finish line. Yikes, I made it!

Honda CBR250R Challenge
Photo: Sébastien D'Amour/
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