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Comparison Review: 2011 Honda CBR250R vs Ninja 250R

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' at netrider.net.au started by Spots, Feb 24, 2011.

  1. Stumbled across this while poking around www.motorcycle-usa.com; a comparison shootout between the brand-new 2011 CBR250R thumper and the parallel-twin Ninja 250R.

    http://www.motorcycle-usa.com/9/9134/Motorcycle-Article/Honda-CBR250R-vs-Kawasaki-Ninja-250R.aspx



    (Poor americans still don't get the VTR250!)

    I don't think there's any major surprises in the review(s). EFI thumper makes more torques through better efficiency, but has less peak-power due to not revving out as much as the Ninja. It's nice to see Honda giving the 250R a more aggressive handling, too.

    I'm surprised/impressed Honda offers Combined ABS as an option on the lil' 250, though let's not get into ideological arguments about whether inexperienced riders should or should not have ABS.

    I'm posting this 'cause it's the first review/comparison I've seen of the new CBR. :)
     
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  2. I'm surprised about the comments from the tester about the CABS though. Saying how using the rear brake will cause the front to dive to the point it can bottom out the forks.

    it's funny watching the guys all tucked up on a 250
     
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  3. They've probably learned their lesson from sales of the CBF vs CBR125.
    Cheap naked thumpers = poor sales in Western countries where they're seen as slow and crap.
    Cheap naked thumpers with fancy bodywork and a hugely inflated pricetag = people queuing up to buy them and raving about how fast they (think) they are.
     
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  4. Well for starters, I don't hate the looks of the new cbr as much as I thought I would when the concept sketches were done.
    It looks pretty much like a baby version of the new VFR1200, which I'm growing to like (slowly.. very slowly)

    The thing about the light clutch and how easy it is to take off would be excellent for a beginner. The most common thing I've seen with beginners is stalling as its just so easy to do when you don't know how to properly work a clutch. Also being a single you should be able to almost stop before needing to pull the clutch in and not worry about it stalling.

    With the CABS, I'm not going to comment on the ABS because as mentioned in another thread 95% of people won't even know its there unless they're in a lockup situation.
    But for the combined brake system, I like the idea of the front lever activating a little bit of rear with the front.. this in my opinion is a great design feature to help the bike stop quicker and safer with an inexperienced rider.
    However I don't think there is any reason for the rear brake pedal to be linked to both.

    When going in a straight line and wanting to slow down, you want both brakes, so the front linked is good. I can't think of a situation where you would only want front.
    During tight corners, uturns and other similar situations some riders may want to trail brake where you want the rear ONLY and to include front with that could throw the bike to the pavement way too easily.

    I would also like to be able to grab the front brakes and have ALL of the front brake pistons activated, not just some.. and a little bit of rear.
    But please Honda, leave the rear brake as just a rear brake.
     
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  5. Burnouts. :LOL:
     
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  6. Mechanical C-ABS? What does that mean? At a $500 premium, it's not going to be anything but a simple package.

    Nice to see the Kwacka still holding it's head high :)


    By the way the Honda's linked brakes are back brings in some front. Front operates front only.
     
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  7. So you are right Rob, I just read it again.

    http://www.webbikeworld.com/motorcycle-news/honda-combined-abs/
    This page explains exactly how the C-ABS was designed to work, although it mentions the ECU as the control module which decides electronically if the other brake should be operated and then does so via a power unit. I'm not sure exactly how a mechanical system would work as it needs something to monitor the ABS.

    On my VFR it has Dual combined braking system. No ABS, but front lever operates both and rear lever operates both. Eg from the front brake lever the line is split with one half going to 4 out of 6 pistons in the front calipers and the other half going to 1 out of the 2 pistons in the rear caliper.
    The rear brake pedal then does the same thing with the remaining 1 piston in the rear, and 2 pistons in each of the front.
    There is another version which just adds an extra piston to the front lever, making it 5 instead of just 4 for the front lever.
    The reason I bring this up is because it IS purely mechanical, just using a T junction and lines directed between front and rear with nothing electronic getting in the way.


    I still don't get why Honda thinks its bad to operate the rear brake by itself though.
    Perhaps they're just worried about the cruiser riders who don't know what a front brake is. :p




    [edit]: Had a quick look around for this mechanical abs thing and came up with nothing, but many many links about the 'brake by wire' system. My guess is it was a typo on moto-usa.com's behalf
     
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  8. Yeah... It's sort of a 'surprise' result, but in my own opinion, having learned to ride on a 34-ish horsepower VTR250, 250s need all the power they can get and the CBR's a bit light-on in that respect.

    A strong midrange and bottom end is wonderful for rideability and acceleration around town, but so often freeway travel was less-than-pleasurable simply because the VTR couldn't generate enough top-end power for decisive overtaking or (more embarressingly) some of the headwinds along the Geelong-Melbourne M1.
     
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  9. For a somewhat sportier cbr250 the vtr250 engine would hace been nicer. The trend of pretty body work and yawn inducing commuter motors is a shame after the 90s 4cyl baby rockets. Oh well, wheres this getting made? Not thialand like the cbr125?
     
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  10. Did you see the the fuel consumption compared to the kawasaki of the CBR in that test?

    Hugely lower.

    And yes, it's made in Thailand, where Honda has been making bikes since the Sixties. They have electricity and schools and hospitals and stuff there too.

    How much was the Yamaha 125 they've just dropped from the market? About 7 grand?

    Nothing yawn inducing about a single as a commuter either, unless you just love having to rev the clappers out of your bike to get anywhere. Look at the torque and how much lower in the revs it's produced, and also the hp.

    This is a cheap, economical little bike for many different countries, and it looks right on target for what it sets out to achieve.

    But your comments are the standard ones being posted all over bike forums. One American forum is even arguing over how it compares to a Harley 883 Sportster, FFS.
     
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  11. ROFL, relax. I wasn't saying it's useless or pointless or even that it wasn't what they set out to achieve! I was just comparing the "commuters that look like race bikes" that we get now to the "actual small race bikes" (like the original CBR250RR and ZX2, TZR250's etc) that were around in the 80s and 90s. I have no problem with a commuter, I just said it's a shame that we aren't getting any real performance bikes in this smaller category anymore, it's all a thing of the past - in favour of cheap bikes that LOOK like the big brother race bike. Also you can't argue that Honda produce all their premium models in Japan so I was not criticising the fact it was made in Thailand, I just assumed it probably would be as it's a cheap/low end bike... (And again comparing this to the sports 250's of yesteryear which were premium models and priced as such). Just thinking out loud.

    I'm probably the wrong person to talk to about fuel consumption too, I'm a bike mechanic with plenty of fuel guzzling toys - as long as it's fun it's worth riding!

    I'm sure this thing will sell like hotcakes, I just stand by the fact that it's a shame we don't have real sports bikes this size anymore and probably never will.

    EDIT: Also seeing as you brought up the R125 I thought that thing was ridiculous... It was also a cheap commuter engine in fancy bodywork - it's just that Yamaha forgot that and priced it like it was a premium model like the rest of the R range. ;) Surely you don't think it would be horrible to see something cool like a R125 sized bike with a WR250X motor in it? Oh well, it doesn't actually bother me as I'd never buy either, I just miss the days when manufacturers built something to prove they could.
     
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  12. Fixed that for ya.

    Up until now the largest bike they've made has been the Honda Phantom 200 - and that was not a quality motorcycle (even by Thai standards).

    Of course even Kawasaki has quality issues with their Thai sourced Ninja 250s (shit chrome and poor quality bolts/screws).
     
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  13. i think the real question is
    US$ 4k
    Baht$ 100K (= approx AU$3.3k)

    AU$ ???
    How much will we get jerked around from honda?
    AU$7-8k.. most likley

    Though, I still cant fathom why people buy less than $5k worth kawasaki 250
    for around $8k here...

    It is a good review and a tidy little bike
     
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  14. Two models will be offered, the Honda CBR250R at $5490 and the CBR250R ABS model, which costs $5,990 plus on-roads.

    Honda is also doing a special deal for early adopters of the new 250cc sports bike, offering a free first service to buyers who purchase the CBR250R between its late March release date and May 31, 2011.

    There are three colour schemes available: 'Asteroid' black metallic, red/silver, and pearl blue tri-colour.

    There are two colour schemes available in ABS: 'Asteroid' black metallic, red/silver.

    for more : http://www.cbr250r.com.au/
     
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  15. I am really thinking to get Non ABS version. I don't see a use in having CABS for 250cc bikes.
     
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  16. If honda is placing this at $5990 for CABS, these things will sell like hot cakes. I wonder within the next 1-2years how much Kawasaki will need to bring the Ninja down to compete with these prices and how much will the price of a cbr250rr drop. They are still fetching some pretty high prices.

    Its a shame that the specs of the older cbr250rr ain't being produced again in learner legal bikes. They things are great plenty of power to have fun with an many are still running today.
     
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  17. Yes, 250cc bikes never have to stop in a hurry or on a crappy road surface, that only happens to superbikes!
     
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  18. i know the test was probably unbiased, but its hard to think that when you have 'sponsored by kawasaki' everyhwere on the video and the webpage.
     
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  19. A crappy road surface is the last place you want ABS.
     
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