Weighing just 162kg/359lbs, making 26bhp and available with optional ABS, this is the 2011 Honda CBR250R entry-level sportsbike. And, miracle of miracles, it looks like Honda heard the cry for more desirable small-capacity motorcycles, it’s coming to the United States!
Like we told when the Asian-market Honda CBR150R debuted last week, this 250 adopts the same Shamu/CBR1000RR styling. That’s a headlight shape based on the VFR1200 and side fairings somewhat close to Honda’s flagship sportsbike.
Power comes from a 249cc single-cylinder, DOHC engine that’s equipped with a balancer shaft to smooth out vibrations. That 26bhp arrives at 8,500rpm and maximum torque of 17lb/ft is at 7,000rpm, likely indicating a flexible, easy-to-use engine. The gearbox is a six speed.
The CBR250R is a little less powerful than the two-cylinder Kawasaki Ninja 250, which makes 32bhp, but the Kawasaki actually makes a hair less torque at 16lb/ft and is slightly heavier at 169kg/373lbs. That means the Honda is slightly behind on power-to-weight with a .160:1 (bhp:kg) ratio to the Ninja 250’s .189:1 and slightly ahead on torque-to-weight with the Honda making .105:1 (lb/ft:kg), while the Kawasaki only manages .094:1. Expect Honda to try and rival the littlest Ninja’s $3,999 starting price, although no official price for the CBR has yet been announced.
The tiny Honda’s seat height is just 30.8 inches which should combine with that curb weight to make it super friendly for learners and the height-challenged. Fuel economy is listed at 63.4mpg (US gallons) in Europe, but hasn’t been run through the official cycle in the US yet. Equipped with a 3.4-gallon fuel tank, that should give it a maximum range of 218 miles at highway speeds.
The tri-color paint scheme you see above and in the gallery below won’t be coming to the US. Instead, we’re getting red or black options. Sorry, American Honda’s press site is being difficult this morning.