Honda is expected to introduce two new streetbikes for 2011. One of those machines, the entry-level CBR250R sportbike, was announced today. The other model will be unveiled at EICMA in Milan, Italy, next week. A true global model, the single-cylinder CBR250R will be sold in Japan, Europe, North America, India and Australia, among other markets.
“This is really an amazing machine we’re adding to Honda’s list of models for 2011,” American Honda Powersports Press Manager Bill Savino said in a press release. “The CBR250R is specifically aimed at new riders, yet it’s packed full of high-tech features and offers great performance, all in a lightweight, affordable package. This new model expands another segment of the market for Honda buyers.”Powering the CBR250R is a newly developed, fuel-injected, liquid-cooled, dohc, four-valve single-cylinder engine displacing 249cc from an oversquare 76.0mm bore and 55.0mm stroke. Compression ratio is 10.7:1. A fully manual transmission has six speeds. No horsepower or torque claims have been made, though the engine meets Euro 3 emissions standards. Framing the engine is a diamond-shaped steel truss that is said to be compact, light and rigid.
At press time, suggested retail price for the CBR250R had not been established.
Styled to look like the V-Four-powered VFR1200F sport-tourer and featuring sporting ergonomics, the CBR250R is fitted with a non-adjustable 37mm conventional fork and Pro-Link single-shock rear suspension. Disc brakes—a 296mm front and 220mm rear—are standard. Combined ABS is optional—a first for this class of machines. Radial tires in 110/70-17 and 140/70-17 sizes are spec’d. Seat height is 30.9 inches, and wheelbase is a Grand Prix-racer-like 53.9 inches. Claimed full-tank curb weight is 359 pounds; the ABS version will weigh 368 pounds.
At press time, suggested retail price for the CBR250R had not been established. Honda’s last quarter-liter sportbike, the V-Twin VTR250 Interceptor, debuted in 1988 for $2998. When it was discontinued in 1990, the VTR listed for $3398. The CBR-R’s obvious competition, the Kawasaki Ninja 250R, currently retails for $3999. Honda Genuine Accessories will include a passenger seat cowl, carbon-fiber tank pad and cover.
The CBR250R will be manufactured in Thailand by Thai Honda Manufacturing Co., Ltd., which has produced 18 million motorcycles since 1967. Though it will be marketed in the U.S. as a performance-oriented beginner’s bike, the CBR has the largest engine displacement of any vehicle produced by Thai Honda and will be the plant’s first sportbike. The 125cc PCX scooter introduced last year in the U.S. as an early-release 2011 model is also manufactured by Thai Honda.