Throughout the CBR250R press intro, press was able to ride in areas where I, admittedly, thought the single-cylinder machine would be out of place and begging for mercy. But low and behold, the bike never came up for air. Instead, the Honda took on every obstacle with relative ease and asked for nothing more than a few additional gear changes.
To my surprise, the lightweight machine felt stable at highway speeds and even crossing large grooves failed to initiate any type of squirm. At cruising speeds, the motor runs at a consistent 7500 rpm without hesitation, and that’s a decent ways away from the 10,500 rpm redline and 8500 rpm point where peak power is made. Rolling the throttle on at 60 mph does however remind you though that you are on a 250cc machine and additional speed is hard to come by without a downshift.
Also apparent on the freeway were the transmission ratios. While the lower gears we ran on the side streets were slightly short and more apt for bottom-end power, the slightly taller sixth gear was perfect for the highway speeds. Also prevalent on the freeway was a slight vibration through the CBR’s handlebars. At lower speeds however, the vibrations died down and were never a concern or nuisance.
Thanks to the great fuel economy of the 250 and decent-sized 13-liter fuel tank, we were able to put just over 100 miles on the bike without using more than half of the full tank of gas we left with in the morning. That being said, riders should be able to hit the 200-mile mark before hunting for a gas station.
Though already apparent that the lightweight machine was plenty capable on the highway, whether or not it could take an abuse on tight, twisty roads was still in question. So that’s exactly where we took it.
In the hills of Southern California, the 37mm non-adjustable conventional fork and Pro-Link rear shock did an admirable job of absorbing the larger bumps and providing stability and comfort through corners. On sections of road where rough patches were more prevalent, the suspension package provided a welcomed feel and unlike the suspension of most sportbikes, the CBR’s conventional fork absorbed the bumps without juddering your insides. However, in some of the tighter sections, where the riding style turns to slightly more aggressive, the suspension feels rather soft.