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Will they ever make awesome little bikes like they used to again?

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by ad91on, Jul 14, 2012.

  1. It's like the market for premium sub-600cc bikes is pretty much non-existent these days.

    Bikes like the CBR250R/RR, Suzuki Across, original Ninja 250, the various grey-import 400cc bikes and etc.

    They don't make these awesome, often 4 cylinder bikes anymore. Why? I know the demand is always more size and more power but it sucks! Anyone who has owned any of these type of bikes knows how much fun it is to be so readily able to push it to its limits, as well as the lower cost of running and general increased ease of riding which comes with a smaller bike.

    Will they ever make them again? Will i HAVE to get a 600+ if i want a nicer/faster bike that isn't 40 years old? Will there be a resurgence of these bikes as petrol prices go higher and cities become more crowded?

    I am thinking modern day interpretation of the VFR400 and CBR250RR. Not these pansy-ass single cylinder fairing-uped scooters that pass for 250cc sports bikes these days.

    To that end - are there any bikes that fit this bill? Like the Aprillia RS250 etc?
  2. Perhaps the answer lies in Japan's licensing laws?
  3. The premium 250cc class existed for one reason and one reason only - it suited the Japanese market at the time. Now it seems if the Japanese aren't buying a scooter they're buying a 400cc cruiser or naked.

    Problem is that the cost of making a 400cc naked is basically the same as making a 600/650cc naked - but you can get away with a much higher profit margin on the latter in markets like Australia. So this is why Japan gets bikes like the ER-4 or GSR400 - and we only get their larger capacity cousins.
  4. No.

    But you could just buy a Daytona 675.(This is my answer to everything!)

    Nimble, small and a hell of a lot of fun.
  5. I was literally going to post this thread. I dont understand why there are no "good" bikes especially in the low capacity / lams section.

    150kw/t is a fair limit, more then enough to have fun with so long as your not obese.

    All the restricted bikes have compromised brakes, suspension and chassies. You can say that they are "a sport touring bike" but thats just an excuse. What they are really saying is the bike is a half arsed job and you shouldn't push it too hard.

    The CB400 has good brakes and power but quite simply isnt a sport bike, you can still ride them pretty fast in the twisties, but you cant really do the whole race suit, knee down, power ranger at the cafe thing on one because you would just look like an idiot. Its also very small.

    And yeah, the old bikes are getting a bit long in the tooth and also are quite uncomfortable and fairly unreliable and generally clapped out. They are becoming a less viable option unless your willing to pump some money into them, which is money you wont see back.

    Here is what i want:

    Good engine, decent layout: I4, VTwin, V4 none of this PTwin shit.
    Good brakes, from a proper sports bike, branded, gold painted would be nice.
    USD forks that are fully adjustable and rear monoshock that is fully adjustable with a modern rear swing arm none of this box swing arm crap, maybe get some pro arm in there.
    nice looking instruments, and generally a quality feeling all round, thats what really gets me with the brand new LAMS bikes, they look like crap plastic toys that are pretend motorbikes. I want to see quality metal stuff, gauges with all the features of the bigger bikes not just a tiny gauge surrounded by a huge swash of black plastic.
    fairly rear set pegs, so you can lean it over.
    good size tires, maybe 120/17 and 160/170 or something.
    And max LAMS power, maybe a restrictor (just so i can remove and go even faster later on)
  6. Because 250s are good learner and commuter bikes thats it,depends on who rides them as well,theres no more potential in them.
  7. You could do this, but the only reason these bikes existed in the first place was because Japanese licensing laws restricted riders to lower power bikes so the 250/400 market flourished. These laws were changed and so the market evaporated - essentially what Deadsy said.

    At the end of the day, why would you want a bike that is $10+k (which is what these bikes cost back in the 90s, NOT scaled for inflation) when you could get a bike which has the same shit as the others except a much better engine? They're awesome and all, but as alluded to earlier, so are 675's. Just use your wrist less.

    I would bet a fair bit of money that if Honda or Kawasaki invested a fair sum of money into some uber LAMS bike they would never make their money back unless a massive market like Japan required such bikes. But then again, the CB400 has done quite well and isn't a cheap LAMS machine...
  8. (Australia is the world's third largest motorcycle market behind USA and France)

    i have the same opinion, except of two stroke sport bikes!!!
    a two stroke 250 RR will eat a 600 RR for breakfast,
    and weigh less than a 250 four.

    i think two stroke has to make a resurgence in the future,
    there have been advances in the technology and if you are after
    a light, powerful, simple bike two stroke is the answer you are after!!

    there are websites that detail these advances 'experimental motorcycles" or something. some of the technology is amazing.
    and it should have a place in the future.

    personally i am looking at getting a 2 stroke 250 MXer
    which are pretty crazy bikes.
    if you set these up supermoto they would whoop a cbr250rr at least to about 160kph.
    they have more power, more torque, and weigh about 40 kg less!
    (there are some 250/300's that are road reg too)

    in the mean time just bite the bullet and get a 600!!
    nothin wrong with a 6er!!
  9. there's more profit in 600's and not a lot in 250's. guess which way the marketing goes.
  10. I've ridden 250 2t's and 600's in road and race guise.
    A 250 2T isn't as fast as a 600. Not even close now days.
    Lets take the Aprilia RS250
    It was the pinnacle of the 250's really. Look at the championships.
    72hp @ 12,000rpm
    140kg dry
    150/60 17 rear tyre
    Good specs. But needs to be down near 110kg and 80+hp

    Your av 600
    600cc I4
    Not many will say but usually 120 hp @15,000rpm
    170kg dry
    180/60 17

    The 250 will get 80hp. Getting more is going to be big $$$$
    A 600 can see 130 ATC easily and cheaply. Who doesn't fit a can.
    Brakes are one of the biggest gains of late. The stoppers on some new bikes are race class stuff. Just change your pads and go....

    So yeah the gap in weight can be narrowed.
    The two strokes were at their pinnacle making power wise back in the early nineties.
    The new 6's just keep getting quicker.
    I think the ultimate track weapon. Nothing becomes a part of you like a well set up 600.

    The 250 is a hoot falling into apex's. That no engine drag is something that takes time to get use too. Honest it feels like the farken things take off when you drop the brakes and tuck into the corner. Scares the crappa out of me but makes me laugh.

    I have been hearing murmur of some boys having bucket loads of fun on vintage proddies tho...now that sounds like fun and affordable
  11. + little 4s are too expensive to make; four pistons, 16 valves, etc etc. Twins are cheaper...
  12. And what, might I ask, have you been smoking?! You're kidding, right?

    Agree about 2 strokes though. Just something about the simplicity and light weight nature which lends itself to small cap, fun, cheap ish bikes.

    I guess the closest bike I can think of to the OP's question is something like the KTM duke 690. I know it's not a screaming little 4 cyl but in terms of light weight, fun, embarrassing sports bike potential I reckon it comes mighty close.
  13. Asian countries have way more bikes and scooters than anywhere. From wikipedia:
    "The four largest motorcycle markets in the world are all in Asia: China, India, Indonesia, and Vietnam."
  14. yep, Australia is probably the 44th largest nation for motorcycle sales :LOL:
  15. Yes, but what they call a "motorcycle" in those places is not what we're talking about on this forum.

    In my experience, it is rare to see a motorcycle in one of those countries which you can recognise from Australian roads. And a sizeable portion of them are made by low-quality, local companies that we wouldn't want anything to do with here.
  16. I think we are the forth largest riding nation per capita, Really not sure but I have heard some schmaltz like that.
    And almost all that is dirties and mini bikes.
    Wr400 led the sales charts here for almost a decade lol
  17. When I rode in Thailand they were impressed by an XR 250 as it was relatively large compared to pretty much everything else on the road.. i would doubt there would be many sales in SEA that are above 150cc
  18. #18 AngryAnt, Jul 15, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2015
    Most countries in SEAsia have a 250cc restriction.

  19. Who could afford it over there?
    A life's wage for a new bike?
    And I think the Po Po would have bad idea about how you make your money if you did ride one..........
    In Lao they have a Loma...I think. A cub basically. 50cc
    The other one I saw a lot of was a 125cc road bike. Chinese I think. They all blew a heap of smoke.
    Even in Europe the smaller bikes are everywhere because of fuel costs and parking.
  20. sorry i misquoted
    from aus motorcycle news vol.62 no.01 page18
    "Australia has been ranked as the third largest market for Japanese motorcycles"

    I must concede to bretto about the 250 vs. 600, but it is still pretty cool that you can compare a 250 to a 600!!
    I was going off PI lap times, but gp 250 times are a bit irrelevant when comparing production bikes.
    (gp250's are faster than moto2 and other 600's)

    just got an R6, and looking for a 250 2t MXer so motorbike nirvana here i come!!
    now winter be gone so i can get to the track!!!