Honda's 2011 product launch event under the palm trees of Savannah, GA was full of surprises. As one of the journalists on hand, I got the opportunity to test-ride the all-new 2011 CBR250R, a small yet serious sports bike that bridges the gap between the revised and improved CBR125R
and the larger CBF600SA/CBR600RR.
|The CBR250R finally arrives in Canada in a segment dominated by the Kawasaki Ninja 250R. (Photo: Kevin Wing)
This new CBR is sure to please with styling derived from the VFR1200F as well as a more mature attitude. Designed as a global product (emerging countries are fond of 250-cc bikes), it finally arrives in Canada in a segment dominated by the Kawasaki Ninja 250R
. Get ready for some fierce competition!
Modern, clean and efficient
Unlike its twin-cylinder rival, the Honda CBR250R
uses an all-new, 4-valve DOHC single for lower weight, production costs and maintenance (now every 12,000 km). Clean and efficient, this little engine is fed by an electronic fuel injection system and spits out exhaust gases through a new catalytic converter that exceeds environmental standards. According to the company, fuel consumption is rated at just 3.5 L/100 km (city-highway).
The liquid-cooled, 249-cc powerplant features an offset crankshaft allowing the connecting rod to drop more vertically after the ignition. Such technology reduces friction during the all-important power stroke, making the engine cleaner and more efficient while limiting wear for the main components. Molybdenum-based anti-friction coating for both the piston and cylinder helps as well.
Using a 6-speed transmission designed to get the most out of the small block, the CBR250R feels smooth, linear and spirited enough during accelerations to propel experienced riders all the way to 160 km/h. Neatly tucked behind the diminutive fairing and windshield, you will enjoy surprising wind protection. On the other hand, the typical single-cylinder sound effects will give you the impression of riding a dirt bike.
|The liquid-cooled, 249-cc powerplant features an offset crankshaft allowing the connecting rod to drop more vertically after the ignition. (Photo: Kevin Wing)