Never mind the kids, Honda’s scientists have been busy shrinking their boldly-styled VFR1200 into a mini-me version called the CBR250R that will fit any adult-sized rider. Long anticipated, the release of this new model from Honda represents a desperately needed second act in their entry-level motorcycle range and should help to retain CBR125R riders who in the past were upgrading to Kawasaki’s Ninja 250R.
Built in Thailand, the 2011 CBR250R’s design is said to target a wide range of riders, including experienced riders who appreciate a light and nimble handling motorcycle. New riders will be drawn to the high-tech look of the newest CBR and will come to appreciate its amenities, such as the wind protection from its full fairing and its manageable 780 mm (30.7 in.) seat height (identical to that of the CBR125R).
Powering the CBR250R is a newly developed single-cylinder 250 cc engine. Honda claims the 4-stroke, 4-valve DOHC liquid-cooled unit provides strong low-end performance and a broad power delivery through its six-speed transmission and chain final drive. To meet Canadian emission standards, the CBR250R is fuel injected and uses an electronically controlled ignition with an oxygen sensor and an exhaust catalyzer to keep the bike running as efficiently as possible.
Although it’s optional, we’re most impressed with Honda’s decision to offer linked ABS brakes on the CBR250R; this invaluable safety feature is a must-have for inexperienced riders learning the limits of a motorcycle’s brakes. Also impressive is the claimed curb weight of the new bike. At 161 kg (355 lb) for the standard model and 165 kg (364 lb) when fitted with ABS, this lightweight bike will help to build the confidence of new riders. And to keep them on the road longer, Honda fitted the CBR250R with a 13 litre tank (3 litres more than the CBR125R’s capacity).
Honda Canada says the mini-me VFR will be available from every Honda dealer starting in the spring of 2011 in either red and silver or black. For those who don’t read between the lines, this means the new bike won’t be an exclusive offering of their Powerhouse dealerships. You can get more information by directing your web browser to Honda’s dedicated website for the CBR250R: http://world.honda.com/CBR250R.