User Review: Hemil Shares His Stint With His CBR250R

Hemil has submitted this review in our Ownership Review Contest No 13, ensuring himself an assured prize. The contest also offers a chance to win Riding Jacket, Helmet and more.. You can submit your review to us as wellHere are all the details.

Hello everyone I am Hemil R.Chitnis from Mumbai, Maharaastra, India sharing my views on the CBR 250R ABS which I bought on 19th November 2013 from an authorized Honda dealer in Bhandup Mumbai. I booked the bike on 14th November and got it delivered in 5days. I opted for the red silver colour from the last batch as I personally didn’t like the new 2013 colours.

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White tricolour was tempting but my previous bikes were white so wanted to change the colour. The dealer gave me the bike with temporary registration and told me that the number will come in 7-10days.I was waiting patiently and everyone can understand the feeling of having a bike in the garage and not able to take it for a spin. Still after work I used to take it out for a 5 mins ride avoiding the main roads. So later after heated arguments finally got the RTO number registered after a wait of 15days and the journey began.

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So before starting with the review (not a review just my personal experience so far) of the bike I would like to give you an idea of my previous bikes. My first bike gifted by my parents after many arguments about safe biking and what not and finally convincing them was the Hero Honda CBZ Xtreme. Still miss it because it was the first bike! So following are the previous bikes owned and would be comparing it with them while writing my experience. Please understand that the things mentioned are my personal experiences with these bikes, it may differ from others experience so please don’t bash me that this is better and that is better.

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  • Hero Honda CBZ Xtreme Black (2008-2010)-10k kms (sold)
  • TVS Apache RTR 180 white (2010-2012)-18k kms (still in office)
  • Yamaha Fazer white (2012-2013)-8k kms (cousin using it currently)

All three bikes were wonderful but I wanted something which would be adequate for our Indian highways and decent enough for city rides. As I had already changed 3 bikes in 6 years of biking my parents told me to get a Ninja 300 and were ready to pay the premium over the CBR fearing after a year I would think of buying the Ninja. Such wonderful parents! But I thought over it and zeroed on the CBR ABS as I wanted to buy it independently (first purchase after I started earning and saving money each month and doing all the kanjoosi wherever possible).

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Running cost of Ninja would put a hole in my pocket. Also as of now while parking the CBR in public places I am worried, imagine parking a Ninja and using it for daily use. It was not sinking in my mind and I had to take a practical decision. So finally after declining the mouth watering deal and getting all the abuses from the friends for not getting the Ninja; got the HONDA CBR 250R ABS!!!

Why NOT the Duke 390?

Many of you will ask me why not KTM Duke 390 which is priced lower than the CBR. Just one answer: I love the CBR 250R!!

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Now everything in place it was time to ride. I completed the running as per the manual which says not to accelerate rapidly during the first 500kms. After 2000kms I have started giving it a bit more gas than earlier while accelerating. Coming to the start up, inserting the key took some time earlier but now it’s fine. After turning on the keys all the lights come and go, rpm needle goes all the way upwards and comes back. The ABS yellow light keeps glowing and it goes off after crossing 10kmph.

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Pressing the starter the engine comes to life and the rpm goes to around 2k rpm, after 10-12seconds the rpm needle settles down at a rock steady 1.5k rpm. This is when I start riding if in a hurry or wait for the 1st bar on the temperature gauge to come up. When the temp bar reaches 3 it means the engines has reached its proper operating temperature and we can use the entire rpm range. On signals I use the engine kill switch to switch off the engine and keep it in off position because turning it on kicks the radiator fan if the temperature is high which can drain the juice from the battery directly.


CBR on Highways

Riding the CBR on the highways is a complete bliss. 80kmph comes up at 5k rpm in 6th gear and the engine is very much relaxed. If you want to overtake, just accelerate a bit and 100kmph comes up at 6.2k rpm very quickly. Perfect amount of power and torque is present. Absolutely suitable and adequate for highways. After 7k rpm the bike sound changes and it doesn’t sound comfortable. May be after putting some more kms it will sound smoother as it was the case with my previous bikes. As of now it has clocked 2400kms on the odometer and the engine has opened up quite a bit in 20days of ownership. Highway rides are more fun and interesting than ever before on the CBR!

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CBR in Cities

Well, coming to city riding it’s a bit tiring as you will have to constantly shift between 1st and 2nd gear in slow moving traffic. Now I have got used to it, still it’s a bit frustrating. The temperature bar is stable at 3bars in traffic but when the fan kicks in hot air starts flowing on your legs. Good in winters but in summers it can be a pain. You can make fast progress in city shifting at 5k rpm. No need to give that extra rpm. As mentioned earlier it reaches 80 quite effortlessly at 5k rpm in 6th gear. I never shift the gears at low rpms leading to knocks. In city I shift mostly at 4.5k rpm for 1st five gears and 6th gear at 5k rpm. The engine sounds the best according to me while shifting this way. I always listen to the engine sound to know whether it is struggling.

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On long straight smooth roads the bike is very much stable. I have taken it to a maximum speed of 125kmph which came up without any effort and wind was not bothering me at that time. I have taken my friends CBR to 145kmph and can tell you that after 135kmph crouching behind the small windscreen is a must because the wind hits you really bad after that. I feel 115kmph can be a comfortable cruising speed on this bike once the engine has opened up.

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Crosswinds did not affect the stability but can’t comment on this front so soon. With a pillion on a not so smooth highway with undulating surface due to soft front it feels like riding a horse. Vertical movement is present. But only with a pillion, while riding solo it was extra planted on the same stretch. May be rear shock absorber is also set at a softer setting. Will check it the next time I ride.

On the corner also it performed quite well but the Yamaha Fazer scores here with its awesome grip in corners provided by the MRF Revz. No second thoughts about it. RTR was nimble and a great traffic cutter but Yamaha is a delight in corners. On the CBZ Xtreme I was learning to ride a bike so while cornering I was scared initially but this bike helped me become a good rider. It taught me how to rely on the front disk, how to respect other bikes and cars, how to obey the rules, and also how not to ride.

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Coming to the CBR it took me a little while leaning into a corner. But I have used the chicken strips of the tyres quite well. Tyres grip well after warming up and you have to show some trust on them while leaning and they don’t disappoint, this is what I have experienced. Have no experience with them in the rains so can’t comment on it. Now that the tyres have had their run in, concrete road grip is OK but dry tarmac grip is awesome. Recently riding in the Ghats I did not even once miss the Yamaha Fazer!! And I am quite happy with the tyres as of now. May be in the monsoon I can comment about the overall experience.

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Engine is a gem in itself. It’s not got the refinement of the Unicorn and yes it does vibrate a bit but the torque it develops is great. Vibrations are not much and should not bother you while cruising at 80-100kmph. After that minute vibrations creep in if you notice very carefully but not a deal breaker. Coming to the engine response the story starts above 3.5k rpm when it actually starts pulling a bit.

Below that it is miserable to say the least. After 5.5k rpm it strongly pulls and till 8.5k rpm the torque and power continues and slowly it tapers off. Simply mind blowing midrange. Top end is okay nothing to talk about. It reaches 100kmph in third gear and should take approximately 10 seconds I feel, never checked the exact timing. But the way the engine behaves even after riding 500kms at a stretch is awesome. It is as fresh as it was in the morning. The exact same sound with the same crisp throttle response even after working for so many hours. There was an unnerving sound coming from the engine while accelerating at 4k rpm which I informed to the service centre during first service and after that it has been quite smooth.

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One word awesome. The front dives a bit too much while hard braking but the suspension smoothens out most of the bad patches with ease. As speed increases the suspension absorbs the bumps really nice but only on some extra engineered rounded speed breakers the rear seems a bit hard.

I opted for the C-ABS version and it has been the best decision I have made so far. The brakes are progressive and stop the bike with ease. The Combined ABS system work flawlessly. Applying just the rear brake also activates partial front brake for better control. If the rear starts locking it releases the pressure on the rear brake and there is a mild pulsation felt at the pedal. The front lever is not linked with the rear brake and applying the front brake will apply pressure only on the front brake and if it locks it releases the pressure.

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But having ABS on a bike we shouldn’t be careless, take things for granted and brake late thinking it has ABS it will definitely stop. Just ride it as a normal bike ABS will kick in if we slam the brakes hard in emergency situation or the surface is not good. I would advice to put in the extra cost and opt for the Abs version as it is really very useful. Prevention is always better than cure!

Seat is of a firm material but after the long rides I did not find any flaws in it. Mirrors offer great visibility and you know exactly what is happening behind you, they do not vibrate much giving a clear picture always. Clip on handlebar are good but the paint quality should have been better. Headlights are really bright and have good spread in both low and high beam. Factory adjustment is for the headlights spot on and I have no reasons to upgrade the headlights as of now.

Saree Guard looks awful. Pillion seat is placed a bit high (mom always complains) and is good for city rides. For long rides it is not comfortable as I was not able to sit on it for more than 50kms at a stretch. Tank gets scratched easily so a tank protector is a must. Lower plastic in black which covers the engine should have been better as it appears very lightly built.

Also panel gaps are uneven but the bike doesn’t rattle or make any weird noise in pothole roads. Rear side panels also have some movement when a little force is applied. Clutch action is light and a big positive point for city riding. Front windshield is very light and it vibrates at low rpms but it holds quite good against wind at high speeds. Service experience was good and they have separate bays for servicing CBR. Got the bike back on the promised time after servicing.

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First service – Rs1350 consisting of oil and oil filter change. Cleaning the bike takes some time and Sunday mornings are well spent!

Summing it up:

Positives according to me which I have observed

  • Great pick up.
  • Good Torque
  • Powerful headlights.
  • Reassuring brakes with ABS
  • Awesome cruising capability
  • Great Suspension
  • Perfect riding posture
  • Great Fuel efficiency for a quarter litre bike
  • 2yrs standard warranty + 3years extended warranty for engine, transmission, electrical, suspension.

No negatives to mention just I wished it had the following

  • Proper gearing for city ride
  • Two Tripmeters ( Has only one and it resets after 1k kms)
  • Better Handling
  • Better Plastics and fit
  • Side Stand interlock

My Long Rides on CBR250R & Fuel Efficiency:

I have done Two Long rides on the Ceeber

  • Mumbai-Pune-Kolkapur-Amboli Ghat-Goa- Total 556.7Kms- FE-40.82kmpl
  • Goa-AmboliGhat-Kolhapur-Pune-Mumbai- Total 556.7kms (Return Solo ride)- FE-38.87kmpl
  • Mumbai-Thane-Shirdi-Thane-Mumbai- Total 511.9 Kms- FE-37.86kmpl

Hope everyone enjoyed going through my short experience with the CBR and hope it’s not a bit lengthy. Thanks BikeAdvice for giving an opportunity to show my respect towards the bike.

Keep riding! Always use helmet! Put up maximum kilometres on the bike not Kmph!
Respect others! Ride Safe!


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