It may not be the biggest, but it's certainly one of the most interesting. With its sumptuous profile, affordable price tag and especially its dynamic performance worthy of a larger displacement machine, the CBR250R has been turning heads and creating quite a stir since its debut. I got the chance to test it out last June. The verdict? I immediately rushed out to buy one of my own.
Borrowing the VFR's headlamp, fairing and hind end, the CBR250R
is of a sizeable build similar to that of a medium displacement bike. Astride the CBR250R, you don't look like a newbie cutting your teeth on your first bike. This machine's got style, and it shows definite maturity as well as athleticism. Apart from than the slimmer wheels and tires, no one can tell they're actually looking at a 250.
|With its sumptuous profile, affordable price tag and especially its dynamic performance, the CBR250R has been turning heads. (Photo: Kevin Wing)
Though not as streamlined as a sportbike's, the hind end is undeniably attractive with its two large, well-placed and finely moulded seats as well as passenger handgrips. The CBR250R is surprisingly comfortable for such a small calibre bike. You can easily travel 300 kilometres and have enough energy left over to get home again. In fact, I can't think of any other 250 that offers such a high level of comfort.
User-friendly and ergonomic
There's no need to fetch a stool to hop on the CBR250R, and the tall and not-so-tall will feel right at home on it. The handlebars aren't too low and the foot pegs are set neither too high nor too far back, allowing for a non-restrictive riding position. The controls are intuitive, front visibility is good and won't leave you with a stiff neck, and the nicely shaped fuel tank is just wide enough to allow you to hang on tight when braking. However, the foot pegs are covered with a thick layer of rubber that, though designed to reduce engine vibration, gets in the way when stopped or trying to park. Your pant legs are constantly getting caught on the pegs, especially if you're 5 foot 2 like me.
The high-quality instrument cluster is modern and complete, and riding enthusiasts will love the central analogue rpm counter. The liquid crystal displays underneath provide all the other useful information you need.
|The high-quality instrument cluster is modern and complete, and riding enthusiasts will love the central analogue rpm counter. (Photo: Kevin Wing)