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Honda CB250N Questions

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' at netrider.net.au started by GnomeOomps, Dec 15, 2008.

  1. Hey guys,

    Just doing some reasearch up on this bike and from what i have read, there is much in the way of bad things said about it. (like most things it can get the same amount of bad)

    I am looking for a learner legal bike to use and found this one on ebay cheap. (for the moment that is)

    As i cant post the link directly cause im still new, just add the fullstops and slashes where needed.

    http cgi ebay com au/Honda-CB250N-CB-250-N-Super-Hawk-11-MONTHS-REGO_W0QQitemZ260331972965QQcmdZViewItemQQptZAU_Motorcycles?hash=item260331972965&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=66%3A2%7C65%3A2%7C39%3A1%7C240%3A1318

    I have a mate who is a spraypainter that should be able to get the f you out of the tank. (the owner really must of pissed someone off).

    So what are your thoughts? yay or nay?

    Thanks again!
  2. The good - It wont break down if looked after.
    The bad - Pretty gutless and slow on the open road.

    May be ok for inner city commute though.

    I didnt check the ad.

    Edit: ad checked HERE up to $800 could be ok if it meets your requirements.
    According to the ad its 26 or so years old and that means old rubbers and parts issues.
  3. Don't even think about it.

    The worst of the worst from a company that once specialised in the manufacture of complete turkeys, using only baked bean cans, cheese and the engineering skills of the work experience kid.

    A truly loathesome bike. Only the 400 was worse.

    And yes, I have owned one. I thought it was pretty bad. However, it's only since becoming a proper engineer that I've realised the depth of Honda's contempt for their customers back in the late 70s.

    Seriously, the only reason I'd even consider buying one would be for the satisfaction of chucking it in a crusher.
  4. HAHA!

    Thanks patb, i guess i should look at something else then.
    Should i be looking at the zzr250, gpx250 or cbr250s that are listed on there instead? most seem to start around that price, but slide up quite quickley.
  5. gold pat. i sent that to a mate who has almost finished a verry lengthy resto of an old cb400
  6. It all depends on what you want a bike to do and how you intend to ride.
    If covering distance there are much better 250's around.
  7. Yes. The little Kwaks in particular are a vastly better bet than a CBN. Well worth the extra dosh.

    Then again, so is almost anything that wasn't made behind either the Iron or Bamboo Curtains (and i'd put up a pretty stiff argument even then).

    If it's the 400/4, it's not a bad little bike and probably almost worth what people ask for/spend on them. When it was designed, Honda hadn't quite worked out that they could sell any old crap with a Honda badge on it as long as they made it shiney, so they actually put in some effort to make sure it worked and didn't have major engine components made from toffee.

    If it's the twin, I'd recommend that you persuade him to see a professional.
  8. I haven't heard anything good about them.
  9. I owned one not so long ago. I liked it. Very comfortable and smooth. Not a sporting or stylish bike, but it's good fun if you understand it's limitations. Admittedly, quite a few of the bolts were stripped, so I was lucky I didn't have to work on it. But at 27 years old, and 98'000km's, I never had a single mechanical problem- quiet, smokeless motor. A mate ran over it with his 4wd, and I only needed a new clutch lever.

    400/4? yuck. Sure they look and went nice when they were running, but how many of them do you still see going? Camchain and tensioner problems tore them to bits, piston and valve problem were endemic. Top ends could be trashed in as little as 50'000km's iirc. It's no GS550.
  10. A lot more than I've seen CBNs recently :p .

    Each to their own I guess. I've owned both and wouldn't touch either, or any other Honda over 200cc, again.
  11. There's always running CBn's and T's for sale, compared to pretty much only non-runners for 400/4's. Although that may just reflect relative sales... and the fact collectors would be holding onto a lot of 400/4's, and even a wreck is worth some cash, compared to a non-running CBn, which is scrap.

    idk, I'm still suspicious of 400/4s.
  12. I don't get it, why is a bike that goes and goes, needs little work on it if looked after a bad thing. Yeah, I own a '79 CB 250 T. It's done 48000 km's. I enjoy riding it (it is the only bike I have so why wouldn't I :p ).
    If it's a first bike and your pretty damn sure of it's condition then it ain't that bad.
    I've pulled into the servo and immediately been accosted by some guy who beleive it or not got all drooly and sentimental over it; they have their place and their fan's it seems.
  13. Haha, i looked at this bike and was considering it, i saw he wrote someone scratched the words in the tank, then i clicked on the photo to see :LOL:

    At least they didn't scratch a penis over the tank lol.

    It looks like a good bike nonetheless.
  14. Heavy.
    Ugly (subjective I'll admit).
    Terrible engineering design.
    Appalling materials.
    A 400 version, every single one of which destroyed its crank at an astoundingly low mileage.

    Even by the very low benchmark set by 70s Jap four stroke middleweights, it was a turkey.

    Every aspect of it screams CHEAP!!! in a way that even the genuinely cheap bikes I've owned didn't.

    Astonishingly, even my MZ250, a bike designed by Communists in 1962 or thereabouts and costing, new, approximately half the price of the CB, knocked seven bells out of the CB250 in every respect except braking.

    Hell, people get all dewy eyed about British two strokes as well, and they were all revolting too.
  15. MZ's were good bikes.

    Having owned both, I think the old CB250n was a better bike to ride, if mabye less well made, than the CB250y sold in the 1990's. The 1980's one was the most comfortable bike around town ever. As a mate of mine described it, it was more comfortable than his new mazda 6.

    Weight also made it reassuringly stable in a straight line.

    With a straight through exhaust, it was a little bit fun.
  16. just a quick one for Pat. Your choices are

    Honda CB250N
    Suzuki GS250E
    Yamaha XS250
    Kawasaki Z250B

    it was a ghastly period for small capacity (by australian standards) motorcycles after the screaming blue smoke 70's where ya didn't care if your bike shat once amonth because it was all about the shit eating grin when things were right.

    which one of this bunch would you ride home on and try to live with if it were your only choice, and why???

    my choice would be the honda because it is the simplest to rebuild, the least stressed engine and the most comfortable ride of the lot. The stories of dead cranks and major mechanical mayhem are almost all atributable to the habit we have over here of believing we can ride commuter motorcycles at high speed (for the machine) for year after year without adjusting/properly repairing anything or changing the oil and filter more than once a year .


    probably better to hang out and throw a few more $$ at a later model 4 stroke 250 unless you have a lot of time, tools and perseverence.

    my 2 bobs worth anyway, good luck
  17. Suzi without a doubt. Whilst I haven't owned any of their 250s, my general experience of Suzuki four strokes has shown them to be utterly bullet proof (apart from easily fixable electrical gremlins) have a proper frame rather than the bent bean can rubbish that lives under the CBN's tank and are made from the best quality steel and ally of any of the big four manufacturers (whilst still falling well short of even the bloody Czechs) of the era. Oh yes, and their engines appear to have been designed by engineers and not accountants.

    The Kwak would be my second choice (was the B the single? Bit slow. Would prefer the twin) for the same reasons but to a lesser degree.

    The Yam was a bit crap to be honest but was still much lighter and mechanically simpler than the CB, and the 400 could be hustled pretty well.

    The abused commuter bike argument would only hold water if (a) the CB had been marketed as such (which it wasn't, at least in the UK, particularly in 400 form), (b) every single CB400N in Britain had not done its crank (yes, I did once phone every breaker in MCN hunting for a useable bottom end and I still remember the laughter) and (c) a zillion CD200s had not survived a decade of being caned for mile after wailing mile at the edge of valve bounce without the slightest complaint.

    Twasn't just the engine either. Brakes, suspension, driveline were all cheaper than cheap in every respect. I still get nightmares about the cush drive.

    Honda made and still make brilliant utility bikes, but they fell majorly out of bed at one point making anything with pretensions to more.
  18. I was told by a mechanic the brakes on my CB250T were 'wooden'. :LOL:
    as in they wooden' work. Single piston calipers, yikes. It's also very pudgy and heavy. It's been great to learn on however and I'll never get rid of it.

    It's a universal japanese motorcycle and I always feel like waving people past saying "nothing to see here, just carry on, move along now" but people stop to take a look and quite often comment on it.

    This bike might be a skeleton in Honda's closet, but this one got out and I'm loving it. I'll be in the Bay to Birdwood Classic next year next to all those triumphs and BSA's, eeeeeek. That's motor-cycling for ya, the good, the bad and the bad and ugly.
  19. Pat,

    I was only comparing apples with apples (or lemons with lemons in this case) and restricting you to a 250 made in 1979, 80 or 81

    you picked the only one worth having , the GSX 250 had a great engine, the only problems with it as far as resurrecting or living with one these days is the 8 valve head and the tendency for the anti-dive (one fork only) to do strange things to your front end at the worst times.

    The Z250B kwak was a bargain basement twin with cam bearing surfaces made of marshmallow, (easily fixed but not cheaply unless you have your own engineering shop) also seems to have been the guinea pig for new robotic welding technology.

    The Yamaha XS250's died the same death as most of the 650's before it, there are a million bottom ends around but the prize for finding a serviceable head is unlimited fame and fortune.

    The Honda is only the most viable to rebuild because they sold so many of them you just keep collecting bits until you have enough
  20. I love that we're having this fierce debate over which is the best 80's shitbox.

    The GSX was great in it's day. I remember reading a test where it killed the contemporary and super advanced Benelli Quattro in every respect.