Hello fellow riders, It’s me Diwagar again who shared my ownership review of my CBR250R here in BikeAdvice site earlier. It’s been long I spoke about my bike in any blogs. To be precise it was one and half years back I submitted my ownership review of my bike here when it was new both to me as well as in the market.

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Now am giving my 20,000+kms ownership review of the same. Since I have shared my biking history and how I ended up choosing this bikein my earlier review, let me skip that part and directly come to the facts you guys are looking for after 20000kms of ownership.

In this one and half years I have toured a lot may be more than my daily commuting. The destinations covered vary a lot covering Chennai, Madurai, Kodaikanal, Trichy, Mysore, Gobichettipalayam, Hassan, and so on.

The longest being Bangalore-Dindigul-Kodaikanal-Madurai-Bangalore covering more than 1200kms in total and the longest for a day being Bangalore-Kollegal-Anthiyur-Gobichettipalayam-Mettur-Krishnagiri-Bangalore covering 555kms in less than 20 Hours which goes via a deserted route inside a forest. Since my bike being an ABS variant I always love to push it to the limits.

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For top speed figure, I was able to reach only 154kmph on Krishnagiri-Chennai stretch and couldn’t do more being short of good stretches and free road with lot more acceleration left out. If am not wrong I would have reached 165kmph easily if I had given a free stretch further. Till 125kmph it is very quick and after that there is a small lag to reach top end compared to initial acceleration, but in general not sluggish though.

Engine& Gear box

You all know its power and torque figures, so let me not bore you with those figures. I haven’t done any performance modification yet and it is completely in stock condition. I change my oil as per Honda’s recommended duration of 6000Kms interval and I always use Honda provided Full-Synthetic oil and I have no complaints against this oil so never thought of changing to other brand.

Oil filter too I change once in every 12000kms as per Honda’s recommendation. I do the same for air-filter as well and still using the stock paper filter. Many recommended me to go for a performance air filter like K&N, but I am against it. Performance filters got bigger pores than stock paper filter, so it allows more air to get in at a given time, which means bigger dust particles too which is not good for engine life on longer run.

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Also heard from my friend who has installed K&N filter on his CBR250R that it gives better acceleration but reduced his top end considerably. My engine is still butter smooth, gives same acceleration and top end like when it was new. Gears are still Honda smooth and precise. Never felt false neutral even once till now.

I always use normal petrol and never filled the so called premium petrol which contains additives; neither have I used any additives to fuel or oil. Till now the only work done on engine is changing one of the outlet shims before 2000kms on odometer which was one common issue with first lot bikes.

After changing shim, I never had any issues thereafter. Till date I never faced any startup issues even after keeping the bike idle for more than 2 weeks. Also even with continuous riding for more than 2 Hours in 140kmph speed, engine heat was normal and bearable. Performance didn’t decrease even a bit.

Brakes

Mine is ABS variant. Entire braking system is provided by Nissin and the pads are patented for the materials they use. They are pricey compared to STD model pads, Front pads – Rs.1800 and rear pads – Rs.1200. But the hefty price is really worth for what they offer.

My front brake got 3 pot calipers which give more pad area than the standard Bybre which got only 2 pot calipers. I have compared both brakes myself. Even if you eliminate ABS technology, still Nissin brakes are way ahead of Bybre. STD model brakes are spongy and don’t give quick response. Wish HMSI have provided Nissin to STD variant too like the one from Thai factory.

Nissin brake byte is excellent and gives perfect feedback. With additional ABS, I bet none of the Indian manufactured bikes could even come close to this. I have tested brakes on almost all performance bikes like Ninja250R, R15, CBR150R, Duke 200, etc… Though all got wonderful stopping power, It is ABS in my bike which makes it a step ahead of the rest.

But Bybre on STD variant doesn’t do justice for this bike which is a big letdown for sure. I use front brakes a lot so ended changing front pads about 4 times and rear twice. During my touring ABS saved my life couple of times. Once I was cruising at 140+Kmph and right in front of me a 2wheeler came perpendicular in my lane and he stopped and turned back to talk to someone.

If it wasn’t ABS I wouldn’t be here writing this. This is just one incident which I could give, but it is truly a life saver. In case if you have an option of choosing ABS on your next purchase, please don’t see the price difference, it is really a peanut cost considering your precious life.

I am part of “Bangalore CBR250R Riders” group (An Admin too) where we have close to 450 CBR250R riders and not one or two, many of the STD owners told me directly “I wish I had chosen ABS, now I repent”. If you are going to buy a bike, please don’t do the same mistake and repent like them.

The only advantage of STD model over ABS is that you can do stunts. Few asked me about turning off ABS in my bike, Honda haven’t provided any such switch, but theoretically there is an ABS controller fuse in the fuse box which should turn off the ABS- ECU and make it work like normal bike if it is passed via a switch externally.

Paint quality, Plastic and Switch Gear

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In general there is no paint peel or fade in my bike as I expected in any Honda product. But have observed in 1 or 2 bikes in my group that paint from engine cylinder head peeled off little bit. Switches in general are good quality and no issues whatsoever in mine yet. But couple of guys in our group reported few failures like headlight button not working, pass light not working, but considering the group strength it is not even 1% failure.

Maintenance

CBR250R doesn’t need any special care. All it needs is general maintenance like other bikes. Service it once in every 6000kms, change engine oil in every service and oil filter and air filter in every alternate service. Since it got an open chain, it needs cleaning and lubrication once in every 1000kms or lesser.

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If you ride more in dusty are it might need care once in every 500kms. You need a paddock stand to mount your bike to do this. Always use a branded cleaner and lube. Many use diesel to clean which is not advisable as diesel will erode the seal between rings. If that happens, the lube inside rings will leak out.

I use 3M 4-way cleaner and Motul lube. Cleaner I found no difference between 3M and Motul, but Motul is almost thrice the price of 3M. But when it comes to lube, Motul really does wonders. It sticks well and lubes better than other. In ASC they used 3M lube. It didn’t last long, more over it sprays all over the rim for 2-3 days. But Motul just leaves couple of dots.

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I always clean and lube once I start hearing chain noise mildly even if haven’t covered much kms. If you care for long life of your chain, maintain it properly and it will really last long. Often check for chain slackness too and set it to right slackness as suggested by your manufacturer. Always keep your bike clean. Wash it with any branded carwash shampoo to remove stains. Don’t use any detergent based stuffs.

To keep the shine in painted area, use wax. For non-painted plastic areas, use Formula1 black Gold or similar product. Before moving on, always give enough warm up to the engine for enough lubrication and engine to reach optimum temperature for best performance. Always keep an eye on all consumables like Engine oil, brake oil, coolant etc. before your start your ride.

Tires

Stock tires are Continental Contigo which is a hard compound tire designed for city use and touring purpose. One of the biggest drawbacks for my bike is that we don’t have many options to go for. Pirelli used to provide Sports Demon model for stock specification of 140/70-17” for rear which is a soft compound tire and well known for its sporty nature.

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But unfortunately due to ISI norms PSD is no more imported and we have to wait for out Govt. to give ISI certification so that it will be available again in Indian market. We do have Dunlop tuffgrip which gives better hold than Contigo, but the drawback being the speed limit.

It is designed for speeds up to 150kmph where in Contigo and PSD goes beyond 180kmph. The same 150kmph speed limit applies for other tires like MRF Zapper Q, MRF Revz (Duke 200’s). Since we can reach more than 160KMPH in our bike in stock condition, I don’t want to restrict the same just because of the tire. Wish Pirelli, Michelin and other manufacturers consider making stock profile size tire for our bike soon.

Touring Capability

If you are thinking of touring in a bike in India, you will never find a bike better than this as of today. Wonderful riding posture for comfortable long rides, doesn’t strain your back, elbow or wrist. Comfortable seats for pillion too. Headlights provide ample visibility in dark.

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Tubeless tires give enough confidence even riding in uneven roads, liquid-cooling doesn’t strain the engine even continuous high speed cruising, tall gearing and over drive 6th gear gives good economy even in high speeds. What else can you ask for to tour in a bike?

Modifications

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I haven’t done many, but let me list whatever I have done in mine.

Headlights

I have changed it to Philips Diamond Vision 5000K of same wattage (60/55W). This one gives HID kind of bluish white beam and looks really cool. But the drawback is less visibility during fog. You can get Philips Extreme Vision of same wattage if you just want better visibility and not a white beam. This is the best I could find in the market for high visibility, even better than Osram Night Breaker.

Position Lamps

It got no great function other than making the bike look beautiful at night. The stock light is just normal yellow beam bulb. We can change it to local make LEDs which starts from less than Rs.200 and goes all way up to Rs.600+ depends on number of LEDs and power. But these really doesn’t last long and not worth it.

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Because of this modification my fuse got blown off once. Philips Ultinon is the only branded LED which is available as replacement, but too pricey (Rs1200 for the pair). So either go for branded one or stick to stock bulb, or you can change it to other normal bulbs of different colours but not local make LEDs.

Horns

This bike comes with active type of horns which really a big letdown. I have installed Hella dual waterproof horns with a relay. Am using this setup for more than a year and have faced no battery related issues. If you are going for dual horn setup, I strongly recommend using relay to avoid over load.

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Also don’t go for windtone type of horns. I have installed them earlier and it failed as water went it and refused to come out. Those are designed for cars and need heavy care if installed in bikes. Now I have normal horns which are waterproof as well.

Mirrors

This modification I haven’t done on purpose but it really enhanced the look of the bike. Stock mirrors are plain and lengthier. Long back my bike fell off in a parking and one of the RVM broke. I was hunting for stock mirrors which weren’t available in any ASC for long time. One of my friends was using ZMR mirrors on his bike so I thought of giving a try and got Karizma ZMR mirrorsand installed it.

It is a direct fit which is something like as if it is designed for CBR. Perfect fit, looking beautiful, no vibration at high speeds and really cheap (Rs.430 for pair along with holder) wherein the stock mirror costs more than Rs.300 for a piece. The only drawback is, due to its short stem length, the coverage area is little bit less, but good enough coverage.

Seat padding

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Stock padding is good enough and on par with other bikes and the pillion seat comfort is best when compared with any premium segment bikes in India, still being a frequent tourer I felt I need more cushioning. I have added an inch of cushion and covered with a non-slip material, which not only gives padding, but also enhances look, covers gaps between seat and side plastics.

Tank Pad

Being a sports bike, the rider seat is low and tank is higher than commuter bikes. Moreover the forward leaning posture makes us lean on the tank a bit even for commuting. Because of this our pant/jacket zipper will get into contact with the tank and make scratches. To avoid this you need to install a tank pad which not only prevents this, but also enhances look of the bike.

Key

You might think what is there to modify in a key, YES there is room for improvement here. We got the big daddy Fireblade’s blank key from ebay.com and made a duplicate for our key which costs Rs.200 in total since we made a bulk order.

Radiator Guard

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It is available in market for a steep price, so we crafted it locally and got it for a reasonable price. This one is really helpful at least in India. It prevents all small stones and pebbles reaching the radiator, because the front fender is short. The radiator fins are too delicate that it will bend even if you keep your finger over it. Also the guard doesn’t block any air flow.

Parts Changed and Reason

Outlet shim: Changed it once before 2000kms on odo reason being poor quality shim which came only in first lot of the bike. Changed it under warranty.

Chain & Sprocket set: Changed it once after 16000kms on odo. Reason: Chain worn off and no more room to tighten it more. Sprockets were fine, but it is always recommended to change it as a set else the old sprockets will damage the new chain after a while. Spent about Rs.1800.

Rear tire: Changed it once after 16500kms. Reason: Worn off completely. Spent Rs.2800 for Continental Contigo.

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Brake pads: Front 4 times and rear 2 times. Front costs about Rs.1800 and Rear about Rs.1200. This time I have imported Galfer pads which am yet to install and test, but tested it on my friend’s CBR and it really makes a difference in braking.
Chain slide rubber (The rubber in the swing arm which prevents the chain sliding over it).

This is one of the biggest complaints I have over Honda for designing such a poor mechanism to hold the rubber in place. I have changed it 5-6 times and it is only me who is facing this issue in our 450 members group. Couple of them has changed it once and 99% of them never changed it even once. But I keep losing this rubber whenever am on a long ride and it really irritate without this rubber as the chain keeps on rubbing the swing arm and make noise.

Also it will reduce the chain’s life considerably. This is one of the main reasons for my early chain change. I had set my rear suspension to point 4 (Harder) and was told by a good friend of mine to switch it back to 2(Softer) considering my low weight. It solved the problem as of now as it holds good for past 2000+ kms but can’t accept this as a permanent solution. Costs about Rs.120.

Clutch cable: Changed once as the string started breaking off. Costs about Rs.150.

Few Positives to be Considered

Bike fell down 3-4 times in parking but never broke anything except my RVM once. The handlebar weight takes the bike weight which prevents the brake/clutch lever to bend/break. Also even once the fairing touched the floor since the surface was rough and faced mild scratch but didn’t break.

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Even if it breaks, the part costs about Rs.1200 for the middle cowl, which is the biggest part of the fairing. Though am a sensible rider, am not the one who rides polite like a commuter. I rip my bike a lot. Still it returns me at least an economy of 25kmpl. And people in my group get even beyond 35kmpl when ridden like a 150CC bike.

Niggles

Chain slide rubber issue which I spokeearlier in detail. Honda engineers should take full responsibility of this issue and fix it.
Tire options which I mentioned earlier. Though Honda is not the one who is supposed to be blamed for this issue, one should consider this to some extent when going for a new bike. Since I have ABS never felt bad hold of Contigo, but I felt it when I rode a STD model CBR.

Mild vibration from front fairing area when am riding close to 5-6K RPM which was never fixed. ASCs tried a lot but couldn’t fix it. It never comes in low or high RPMs. Even the vibration too is mild and not much to worry about. Though it is not a big concern, I didn’t expect this from Honda’s stable.

Safety First

Always give importance to safety first. Am not saying don’t speed. Instead speed only on good stretch and be well within your limits. More over know your bike’s limits. Don’t race with anyone on public roads. Be sensible and alert on road. Don’t use High Beam any day inside city limits. If you are sensible I don’t have to say this.

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High beam is focused for far and it won’t help us in any way during commuting. Also keep in mind you are not the only one on road to be as you wish. Invest part of your money to get some basic safety gears. First and foremost a good full face helmet. Open face helmets are half protective, you chin area is till prone to danger.

Don’t buy a helmet to protect you from cops, instead look for a helmet to protect you from accident. Get a clear visor as tinted visors will hamper your vision during night. Next go for a riding jacket, if not at least a good thick jacket to prevent bruises if happens to face a fall. Same applies for a pair of gloves. Also wear good strong shoes and if you can afford, go for a pair of riding boot. For legs, get a riding pant or knee guards, again to prevent bruises.

Conclusion

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To summarize, even after owning this bike for 20K kms I still recommend this bike to anyone who give a second thought. Also I strongly recommend ABS variant over STD variant. If you can’t afford for the premium price tag now, please wait for few months and get ABS variant. You can wait for few months but your life won’t wait for chances. Ride safe and always enjoy your ride. One life, let us live it happily Riding till the end of our life.

Regards,
Diwagar




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