Long Termer – CBR250R – 2


The CBR250R will soon be heading into the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

What a pleasant surprise. Getting on the CBR250R the first time wasn’t exactly what I was expecting. Having ridden the CBR125R and knowing the power it lacks, I was expecting a little more gusto from the 250.

But my feelings changed the more time I spent in the saddle. The 250 is physically bigger than the 125 and feels like a full-sized motorcycle. I own a Kawasaki Zephyr 550 so I felt right at home on the 250.

After taking the bike for a ride to the Ben & Jerry’s factory in Vermont for ice cream, I was following Costa on his KLR650 and had no problem passing cars and keeping up with him on the bigger bike. And when we gassed up at the end of the day, I found the bike had only used 2.2 l/100km. Amazing!

Although it looks like a sport bike, the seating position is much more comfortable. The clip-ons are above the tripleclamps so you’re sitting more upright, and I use the bike occasionally to commute and it’s nice to have a light clutch for the traffic I encounter on the 40-km round-trip. I also notice a lot of people looking at it when I ride by.

Whenever Costa and I go for a ride, I don’t even question which bike I want to take – I’m really enjoying the 250 and will be sad when it moves on to someone else.

Next weekend we’ll be taking the CBR250R into New Hampshire for a tour of the White Mountains. We wanted to bring the Kawasaki Ninja 250R along on the trip but couldn’t co-ordinate a Toronto pick up.


  1. I thought about buying a CBR250R this year but it took forever before our local dealer had any on the floor. I was itching to ride so I bought a leftover 2009 KLX250SF instead. I like my KLX and have put nearly 5K on the odo since May. Maybe next year I’ll sell it and pick up a CBR. Gotta love 250’s. Lots of fun. I like the comment made by someone else about big bore bikes being well, a big bore. I’ve owned larger displacement bikes but my little 250 has been way more enjoyable. Only mod made to my bike: the seat. In stock form it was like sitting on a 2×4.

  2. Update:

    Anybody want to buy a Ninja 250? I bought a CBR mit der ABS last week. *MUCH* nicer bike than the Kawi (keep in mind the Kawi is a 94 with 11K on it).

    First tank netted 90mpg (UK) in mixed riding. Not babying it at all, but kept the revs under 7 Thou. *Great bike!*

  3. My ride for the last 3 years is an FJR that I’ve put on almost 100K in that time. I was looking for something small for running around town. The CBR was at the top of the list but I had a heck of a time finding an ABS model.

    When I finally did find one the dealer wanted full pin for it natch. So on the way to go look at it (150km away) I stopped and looked at a used Ninja 250 with 9K on it.

    It was hard to justify spending $6 thou on a bike that I don’t really _need_. I ended up buying the Ninja, hey, my Ohlins suspension on the FJR cost more than the Ninja did! I didn’t know if I could live with such a small bike. Other than the sweet burple chick gfx it has and the constant ribbing and head scratching from the guys I ride with, it’s been a no regrets deal.

    I still lust after the CBR but I’m happy with the lil bitc.. er, Ninja. Over the last 4 tanks it’s averaging 74mpg (Imperial), and, frankly, is an absolute blast to ride the ever lovin’ hell out of. 😀

    Maybe next year I’ll be able to pick up a used one (no doubt for close to retail…)

    Oh, btw, they (CBR) sound great with a pipe on them!

  4. I agree with you Paul…there is no reason that the Ninja 250 couldn’t be fuel injected…but I think they are betting on the Ninja 400R taking over as the new standard for a starter (even though that bike could do to loose a few pounds), but maybe they will come out with a FI Ninja 250R?? :roll

    As for the bike being tight…could have more to do with me being 40 & fat than the bike…I’m guessing that you are younger and thinner…comfort is a personal thing that can only be found out by sitting on a bike…for me the Versys is just right, for you the 250 works…other guys my age/shape prefer cruisers but I don’t really find them comfortable, I prefer the standard riding position…


  5. Not sure why one has to be “fair” to the Ninja 250. Kawasaki has been resting on its laurels in North America (other than cosmetic upgrades) for many years because they have been virtually unchallenged in the 250 sport segment. Example: the Ninja 250 is fuel-injected in Europe and many other markets. But they haven’t felt the need to do the same here. Why bother?

    Good for Honda for coming out with such a competitive offering. Good for consumers, too.

    As for the 5’11” rider who finds the CBR250R a bit tight; I haven’t had the same experience, and I’m 6’3″. I love the bike.

  6. To be fair to the Ninja 250, it uses engine technology almost 20 years old … secondly it’s a higher revving twin. So, it would be a bad news for Honda if their brand new engine with EFI was not significantly more frugal.

    But Kawasaki Canada doesn’t seem to be much fazed … :eek, good for Honda.

  7. Wow!! 2.2 litres/100km translates to 107 mi/USgal!! Filled up my ’07 ZZ-R250 last evening at exactly 100km and she took 3.6 litres (65 mi/USgal) … not nearly as good fuel economy as the Honda … the little CBR is gonna steal a lot of customers away from the Ninja 250R

  8. Looks like the bike fits Roxanne much better than Costa…

    At 2.2L/100kms, that is better than lots of scooters and would definately have more performance…but the rider triangle is still a little tight for the 6+ footers (I’m 5’11 and still find it tight)…but I find the Ninja 650R tight…maybe I need to work on my flexibility??

    It looks like a nice alternative to the Ninja 250R for a first bike for my daughter (if I can get wifey to not be so worried about it, really not a fan of our daughter riding…but I have three years to work on wifey before our daughter turns 16…unless wifey wants to be my riding buddy :roll )

    It is good to see a woman’s perspective on the bikes, since the BRC that I took had 16 people and only four were guys…


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