The cheap and cheerful Honda CBR250R from 2011-2013 makes for a great entry into motorcycling thanks to its friendly ergos and reliable mechanicals.
We reckon the 250cc marketplace will blossom in years to come. We have included the Honda CBR250R on the basis of offering an option for those on a budget.
The Honda CBR250R placed a strong competitor into the surprisingly active local 250 market at launch in 2011. Clearly placed to take some of the marketshare that was enjoyed by Kawasaki’s hugely successful Ninja 250R, the bike gets the nod here based around pricing. It really offered a lot for its competitive pricetag, and still does.
The bike uses a 249cc, liquid-cooled, DOHC single-cylinder engine housed in a steel diamond frame. Suspension is a non-adjustable 37mm front forks and Pro-Link monoshock with five-position preload adjustment.
Braking hardware sees single discs front and rear and Nissin caliper (twin-piston at the front, single-piston at the rear), and the CBR250R is the first offering in the 250cc entry-level market to offer ABS (Honda’s Combined ABS) was an option for an extra $500.
That alone puts the bike into a category of its own and will be a real lure for the type of rider that is likely to buy it. We are real fans of ABS and Honda’s generation of Combined ABS of the time was really a quite sophisticated setup.
Another big plus is the full fairing. There’s an analogue tacho and digital speedo, the latter part of an LCD display with a clock, fuel gauge, trip meter, odometer and engine temperature readout.
You can find used examples in Asteroid Black Metallic or Red/Silver (ABS and non-ABS versions) and Pearl Blue Tri-Colour (non-ABS only).
You want fuss-free operation and the class that Honda exudes. The bike is young to the market, but early reports are good in regard to likely longevity.
Give it a miss if:
You are used to more power. It’s pretty and well-executed, but it’s still a 250 and you won’t be going anywhere in a big hurry.
2011-2013 Honda CBR250R
Price new: $5490 (ABS version $5990)
Price now: $2500-$4500
Snag’s career in motoring journalism spans 29 years with stints at major bike mags Australian Road Rider, Motorcycle Trader and AMCN along with contributions to just about every other outlet worth a hill of beans. He was editor of Unique Cars magazine and hosts his legendary podcast ‘Snag Says’ when he gets off his date.