Honda has just released its new CBR250RR in Indonesia. The Honda CBR250RR is based on the Light Weight Super Sports Concept shown at the Tokyo Motor Show earlier. The Honda CBR250RR is powered by a parallel twin engine making 38PS. The new Honda sportsbike is not expected to come to India anytime soon. Honda officially only plans to add the Japanese market this year. Europe and the US market introductions are widely expected, most likely, in 2017, but there is no official word on this.
The Honda CBR250RR is wonderful to look at. Instead of the usually restrained designs that one expects from Honda, this little sportsbike is aggressive. It uses a very Italian mix of flat planes, sharp edges and intricate details to achieve this impressive look. The highlights include the quad LED headlamps that look wonderful, the macula design of the table and the superbly crafted tail end.
The engine, says Honda, is all-new. It is a liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, twin-cylinder unit that displaces 249.7cc. The engine uses a high-ish 11.5:1 compression ratio and an oversquare configuration. The combination allows the 8-valve DOHC motor to produce 38PS at 12,000rpm. Peak torque is 23Nm. The bike is not lacking for technology either. As with most motorcycles preparing to meet Euro-IV norms, the Honda CBR250RR also gets ride-by-wire which allows Honda to offer three riding modes. Given that the CBR250RR does not have traction control, one can only assume that Honda will offer a range of throttle response and perhaps power settings with these modes.
Honda says it used a number of ideas to package the engine and that’s its new twin is no wider than a conventional single. They’ve placed the primary drive gears inside the cam chain and the oil pump is integrated on the front right. Finally the water pump is placed in the cylinder head just like on the RC213V. To improve air flow into the engine, Honda also moved the air filter from behind the engine to directly above the cylinders to cut intake resistance. Honda says this arrangement offers more linear throttle response.
The basic chassis is a light steel trellis frame made of steel tubes. The engine is a stressed member and Honda says many decisions like the 37mm upside-down forks were introduced to balance performance needs with mass centralisation needs. That’s also the reason for the all-LED lighting. The front fork is supported by a preload adjustable monoshock at the rear. The swingarm is now aluminium with a pinch on the right side to allow a closer exhaust pipe placement. The brakes are a 310mm disc up front with a 240mm disc at the rear. ABS is optional.
All told the motorcycle weighs 154kg and sits on a compact 1,390mm wheelbase. Seat height is a rider-friendly 790mm.
Coming to India?
If Honda brings the CBR250RR to India as it is, it will be hard to sell. The primary reason is that the twins in the space are all 300s. The 250cc class gets tax breaks in multiple SE Asia countries – which is why the KTM RC250 exists.
It is expected, however, that Honda also has the CBR300RR under wraps that will probably debut later this year at Intermot, Cologne. And it is the CBR300RR that will be expected to do business in most markets.
This is not dissimilar to the strategy that Yamaha used for its YZF-R25 and R3.
If the CBR300RR debuts at the end of the year, we wouldn’t be surprised to see the motorcycle go on sale towards the end of 2017 at the usual Rs 3.8-4 lakh mark. In Indonesia, the CBR250RR is expected to be priced at the equivalent of Rs 3.5 lakh for the ABS model, approximately Rs 20,000 more than the non-ABS model. This is a fair bit more the YZF-R3 which starts at Rs 2.7 lakh. The Kawasaki Ninja 300, however, is Rs 4.4 lakh equivalent.
But can Honda pull one out of the hat by locally producing the new CBR and getting a huge jump on the multi-cylinder small sportsbike in India? Let us know in the comments.
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Launch images: iwanbanaran.com