I never thought I will also end up writing this. But I am not ashamed to put some time towards writing about my bike as it would help at least one person to decide upon owning this mean machine. I would say my passion towards biking and my love towards my Baby Fireblade made me write this. This is not a review in my opinion; rather it is my observation on my baby.
To start with, I am Diwagar 28 yr. Old SW Engineer living in Bangalore. From my childhood I dreamt of owning a bike but I never got a chance to own one until I get my first ride from my own earnings. It was 2007 I finally decided to get a new bike (preferably 100 -125CC), but had multiple choices. I personally didn’t like Bajaj & TVS products for its refinement and reliability (No offence taken).
I ended with Honda, Hero Honda and Yamaha. I decided to go for Hero Honda Passion Plus with optional Disc brake in front. But unfortunately I didn’t get one with Disc anywhere which left me to choose something else (Later I realized, it wasn’t unfortunate). I didn’t get convinced with any bike without a front disc. So I landed in 125-150CC mill and finally decided to get Hero Honda CBZ Xtreme.
I would like to thank my friend Nizam who deliberately wanted me to go for 150CC or more after seeing my passion towards biking. I went to the showroom and booked the bike without even taking a test drive, having trust on Hero Honda’s reliability, and of course the name ‘CBZ’. It was 31 Mar 2007 I got my first ride and I was with me for 4 years until I sold it to give way for my new baby.
It got a huge impact in my life towards biking. It brought the true biker in me out. Topped 120+ Kmph several times, made multiple long drives (from Bangalore) to Mysore, Salem, Chennai, and Madurai. It never let me down. Even after riding it for more than 33K Kms and owning it for about 4 years I never thought of upgrading it until I came across the legend.
As I keep going to blogs, I came across news about Honda CBR250R launch which was yet to happen worldwide and to my wonder in India too. I would say it was Love at first sight. I was totally obsessed by its beauty. Wow I never saw such an attractive bike which is affordable. I know many of you reading this article won’t agree with me in this regards, still looks are dominated by one’s individual taste.
I started digging more about the beauty. 26 Bhp power (Indian version degraded to 25 Bhp compromised for mileage), 22+Nm torque liquid cooled engine with fuel Injector, fatter rubbers. Can I expect anything more in a bike for this price, that too from Honda?
Days passed, I started thinking about upgrading my ride, meanwhile I learnt more about the bike and it was announced officially and in India Honda started taking pre-bookings. Few more days passed, finally I decide, Yes am going for this baby, I immediately went to the showroom along with my roomie and made a pre-booking for ABS version as I already knew about ABS technology.
Like everyone out there it was one of the toughest parts of life when I was waiting for delivery of my bike. Meanwhile I sold my Xtreme and waiting for this bike with fervent. As everyone I used to call the dealer once in a week to check if they got my ride. It was very frustrating the way Honda responded. They didn’t have any deadline for my bike delivery and no one took responsibility to answer.
Finally after 4 months of long wait I got an unexpected call on 25th June when I was in office saying they got one Black ABS model on that day’s lot. I was literally flying to see it in flesh. I returned home early, and made quick arrangement for cash that day and finally the next day me and my friend went to pay the remaining cash. We opened the entrance gate of the showroom and astounded for a moment.
A Repsol edition FireBlade was in the central display welcoming us. For few seconds I forgot my baby FireBlade seeing the massive machine. After few mins of observation we moved on. Saw 3 different coloured CBR 250R’s on a side, couple of people staring them. I had a big smile after seeing my baby. Wow, what a beauty. I didn’t expect someone to tell me that “Sir, this is your bike”.
I knew it. No gimmicks, It was the only black Honda CBR250R that too ABS version. It was not cleaned that time. Still I saw the inside beauty. Paid all amount, finished all formalities and left it there itself for registration. But I was not happy to leave it there after seeing it. It was Sunday the next day, so registration got postponed and on 28th June I got a call saying, my bike is ready for delivery.
It was morning when I got the call and I was in my office. Oh no it was the longest hours I had in my office. Finally in evening I got back home, picked up my friend again and went to the showroom. Oh man it was real beauty this time, cleaned and polished. I did all regular checkups and looked for scratches and ready for delivery.
The mechanic was trying to explain me about the bike and functionality of parts. I interrupted and told him “Boss I know everything about this bike, please get it out to the road, I don’t have patience anymore”. He got it out and now my baby is in my hand. What a beauty and what a pleasure to sit on it. Every onlooker’s eyes were on my bike.
I was in a dream land. Brought the engine to life for the first time after I got it. What a grunt. It was pleasing to my ears, engaged to first gear and started to move it slowly for the first time. It was a different and pleasing experience to me though riding two wheelers is nothing new to me. I returned home and in the same night I removed the saree guard with the help of some roadside mechanic.
Oh bad, the worst ever engineering in a bike I will say. An ugly piece of metal not in line with the bike. It was protruding out as it went down. Also I noticed there is no ladies footrest to use along with guard. I was wondering what this piece of crap is for then. It looked really much more beautiful after removing it.
Does anyone bother to have sareegurad in a sports bike like this?
It was again tough time to do run-in when u have so much power left under your belly. Honda doesn’t mention to limit Rpm, instead they advise only to take it to higher rev gently until 500KMs. Now am past 1.6K Kms. I did a single long drive Bangalore – Salem – Bangalore covering about 450Kms. Let me summarize my observation on this mean machine.
I know it is about one’s personal preference. I love it. Am 5.6 feet and lean. My friends told me that, Honda CBR250R suits me well and doesn’t look bulky. I love the layered fairing when compared to the fairing of Ninja/ZMR. Headlight looks terrific with beautiful headlights and 2 park lights making a “Y” shape design from the front and one can easily notice the sleekness of the bike though it is 250CC mill with full front fairing.
I saw many complain about the number plate positioning in the bike. I ask only one question to all of them. “Guys, do you have a better position to fix the number plate in front neatly which abides Indian Law?” I see few doing sticker work of the number in the front fender. In my personal opinion it doesn’t look nice as it condenses the beauty of the fender area and does it abide our law? I thought of doing arrangement like how it is made in Ninja 250R (mounted to RVMs) but that too will not look better.
From rear, ya quick look at the tail lamp resembles old Hero Honda Hunk’s tail lamp, But one can differentiate both with the fatter rubber. Sit on the bike and you can feel its beauty from the sculpted tank, Best in class instruments. It looks great and quite useful. It can’t even be compared with decade old styled full Analogue console of Ninja.
One of my colleagues owns a Ninja 250R. I parked my bike right next to it and found CBR looks bit smaller in size. But very minute difference. What I love in Ninja is only the roto-petal discs. Fairing – CBR looks more attractive because of layering. Ninja’s fairing looks bare but bigger. Headlights, Ninja got twin beam, still doesn’t look as attractive as CBR’s.
Instruments – No comparison here, CBR is the winner. Seat, CBR looks nice, In Ninja I noticed the side fiber next to rear seat is huge in width, doesn’t look good. Tail Lamp- Though simple, it looks best. LED lights would have been a killer. Trust me it got a great road presence, one can see lot of onlookers turning their head towards you when you pass on in a CBR. Also more than 100 of them have enquired me about the bike in signals and parking.
All of you should know about the tech spec of the Honda CBR250R, if not you can get it from official Honda site. It got wonderful pickup, and as the tech specification reads its torque matters a lot when it comes to city traffic. I live in Bangalore and you guys should know about the traffic here. I could easily pull up the bike from traffic in the middle of a gear.
Also When I start from any signal, always I will be in the front leaving every other Indian made bike behind by a huge margin. I never had a head on with Ninja 250R, but do that matter when you get more than 95% of its pickup (as per tech specification) in half of its price? Also if you shed about 2L in total you will get C-ABS version, where in for Ninja you need to pay 3L+ for non-ABS version.
Come on guys if you want that much more power, get a CBR and do modification which in total will cost much less and yield great performance. I reached 148KMPH top speed as of now and when I reached this speed I had few more power left unused. I had to reduce due to traffic in the highway I rode. It didn’t take too long to reach top end.
I weigh less than 60KG FYI. My cousin brother weighs about 70KG and he touched 156 Kmph top end. Pulling heavy riders won’t be a hindrance for CBR. Engine always got a low grunting and I feel this is must to get sporty feel, it is not noisy though. But don’t expect a butter smooth engine as u always find in low powered Honda engines.
This is not a problem at all; instead it is designed that way. Fuel injector does its job well. Never felt clogging anytime even for a second. Honda has set auto-choke at every start, so cold start is not an issue with this machine. Because of auto-choking you need to wait for about 5-10 seconds for the choke to get released after mild warm-up of the engine.
Control & Safety
To start with I own ABS version. When I was doing 148 Kmph, not even a second I had a doubt about the control, engine was growling nice (not too blaring), it was adequate. Rubbers are good enough to control the bike with full confidence (Continental ContiGo). If you take a drive for short one might feel lack of grip to the tarmac. But it is good, and it gets better and better as it heats up.
It sticks much well after a short run-in. And in wet condition, it really jolts me. I even had a thought whether this is a Wet road rubber! Such a great grip in wet roads, I did up to 140 Kmph in wet in heavy rain, great grip to the road, and of course ABS helped me gain the trust to reach this speed in wet. People say if you have ABS you will lose fun. YES you can’t do stunts when you have ABS on.
In CBR there is no such option to turn off ABS as in RTR. According to me it is right, when you pay about 30-35K extra for a safety feature, why do you need option to turn the feature off? Doesn’t that make any sense? Breaking is precise and C-ABS makes it BEST. Honda provides Nissin brakes for C-ABS version with 3 pot caliper in front and single pot caliper in rear, For standard model you will get Bybre (Indian subsidiary of Brembo brakes) Dual pot caliper in front and single pot in rear.
The extra piston in C-ABS is for the Combined system, which will get activated when rear brake is applied. Many of you may argue saying it is fun to do stunts and people like me won’t understand. I understand what such guys think, but according to me it is my hard earned money, I don’t want to spoil my life/bike, many will do that when money comes from their DAD’s pocket, Few do that from their hard earned money too. It is finally one’s personal wish.
I am having fun too. Driving fast, but am safe too. My bike is 100% under my control; I can do emergency braking in both dry and wet condition. First, I want my life then only I can have fun. Risking life for fun is stupidity, as you might lose the fun once for all. I recommend C-ABS for any who choose CBR. It is really worth for its price. Few might argue that “am perfect in braking why I need to spend such a huge amount”.
Remember something, no one is perfect in this world, you can never be on par with a computer controlled mechanism acting about 10-15 times per second. The more speed you go, even milliseconds matter while braking. When you can spend 170K on a machine to have fun, why not 30K more for your precious life? Everyone say “wear helmet. Ride safe”. But unless you got a helmet which really protects you, it is waste wearing one.
What I mean hear is always use a full face helmet. If you can’t pay more for a reputed brand, get a decent, good quality helmet with ISI embedded in it. If you look at the pictures I posted, my helmet will look like a motocross helmet with full face cover. This is best looking according to me. But it got its own drawbacks. It is prone to turn your head sideways if crosswind is more. Also while tucking in for racing posture it hampers the vision. So a simple full face helmet without the top plastic fender would be the great choice for this bike, for looks, safety as well as comfort.
I am 5’6” tall and it is much comfortable for me. I feel the sporty posture, still not leaning much which may lead to back pain. But my roomie is 5’10” and he feels he has to bend more to reach the handles. He owns a Classic 350. Am not sure the erect position of that bull made him feel so. So Tall riders, please have a check on this part before booking one.
But a 250CC bike should be felt like that in my personal opinion. There is enough cushioning in the seat, far better than many bikes out there in the market. I never felt the need of taking a break during long drive. I did take break for a cup of coffee and not to give rest to me or my machine because the coolant which is circulated really reduces this pain.
Here comes the most important factor of the observation. It started with 16Kmpl and it gradually increasing. Now it looks like it got saturated. The final recorded mileage is 30Kmpl. I take the bike daily to 3 digit speed, as my office is located in outer ring road; Do a quick pull from signals. I do speed but not a rough drive. So if you are not going to take the bike as hard as me, you should be getting 30+ Kmpl depending on your driving style. Obviously you can’t expect more from a performance machine. I am happy getting 30Kmpl for my driving style.
- Front mud flap is tiny and in rainy season it gathers more mud into the radiator grill and in our shoes too.
- Horn is so feeble, it does sound as if it is for a 100CC scooter.
- Front fender transparent plastic is very light and prone to vibration even in bit higher revs (but doesn’t make any rattling noise till now).
- Though it looks beautiful, the tail lamp assembly resembles Hero Honda Hunk. At least a LED tail lamp would look better.
- Helmet holder really sucks, almost unusable as it is under the rear seat.
- Storage space is very puny. But adequate to keep standard tool kit and few documents and a small piece of cloth.
If you ask me “can I get a CBR?” My answer to you is a big “NO”, Because if you know about bikes and if you love bikes, you won’t be asking me this silly question. Instead you would have booked one by now. Please don’t buy this machine if you are just looking as a commuter. This won’t satisfy your requirement of mileage or leisured posture. This machine is for guys who know what biking is all about.
Honda really didn’t let me down in anyways other than the delivery delay, in particular this Baby Ceeber. Even am very much satisfied by the service done by the Honda engineers, they did use original oil filter while changing and used full synthetic oil as per the recommendation in the manual. Go for it if you want all in one package. This is not just economical, it is best in class.
Adding another cylinder and extracting a bit more juice doesn’t make Ninja excel this excellent piece of engineering. To be frank, even if Ninja is made in India and if it is available in same price bracket, my vote is still for CBR. Also guys please don’t compare this with R15 as it is entirely a different piece designed for a different purpose. After all it is just 150CC mill. Would you see it to be fair comparing CBR 250R with the FireBlade?
Hope I didn’t bore you guys much. This is my first ever blog, So please excuse if you don’t like it. Please leave your comments below. You could also ask me anything which you might want to ask about my Baby. Thanks for reading and enjoy your ride as much as you can, but well within your safety limits.