The 6-speed gearbox is, like in Honda’s cars, slick and easy to operate. I wish there was a display in the instrument panel that would indicate what gear I’m in; then again, after a few days, I’m getting used to remembering it.
Light and nimble
The 296-mm front and 220-mm rear disc brakes provide plenty of stopping power. The vast majority of racier bikes have dual front discs, but one is enough for matching this steed’s performance. An extra dose of safety can be had with the CBR250RA, which adds anti-lock brakes; it’s a useful feature for novice riders, especially in an impromptu rainfall.
|The 296-mm front and 220-mm rear disc brakes provide plenty of stopping power.
Like the Ninja 250R, the Honda features a 37-mm telescopic fork, although wheel travel is 130 mm versus 120 for the Kawasaki. The 104-mm travel of the single rear shock would make it seem stiff on rough roads, but it’s actually pretty tolerable.
With the ready-to-ride weight of 357 pounds (or 162 kg), the CBR250R isn’t as light as the 125R
, but undercuts the Ninja slightly. It feels nimble and for beginners, I must say it’s easy to keep standing straight at stoplights, one of the concerns I had after not touching a bike for so many years. Maybe it’s because I’m stronger (um, and heavier) today then when I was a twenty year-old celery stick.
As for looks, the 250 obviously isn’t as menacing as its larger-displacement brethren. However, it doesn’t look as scrawny as the CBR125, which has actually gained some plumpness this year. The instrument panel with its giant tach wouldn’t look out of place in a Honda Fit subcompact, and includes a digital speedo, a bar-graph fuel gauge, a clock and a trip odometer.
Speaking of trip, the 13-litre fuel tank is a little on the small side; Honda claims a 320-kilometre range, but the competition can go farther per fill-up thanks to their 17- and 18-litre reservoirs.
|The instrument panel with its giant tach includes a digital speedo, a bar-graph fuel gauge, a clock and a trip odometer.