Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Kawasaki Ninja 250 VS The Honda CBR 250R

This article was taken from Xbhp.com. There are more news about bikes all over the site you will also find the original review over there but if u dont want to waste time searching then i got the Complete Review Between The Ninja 250 and CBR 250R right here. ;)

When Ninja met its Winged Brother : Ninja versus CBR250R

With first impression reviews from SunilG and Old Fox to follow
Having ridden the Ninja for over 10,000 kays in India on all sorts of terrains I was still happily in love with it. But then the news of a Honda 250 came along, then the first pictures of it. And I must admit, I was blown away with what Honda did with it, at least in the pictures it appeared to be a more desirable machine.

Then slowly the tech specs of the 250, or the baby blade trickled in. Every one knew it was a 250CC. But single or twin? Single it had to be. How many Bhp?, that was the final spec that everyone was looking for. For a long time this figure evaded, even the omniscient internet could not accurately pin point to a single figure, until now that is…

To me, the three key things, which actually make these two bikes different, are:

Power: xBhp

The magic figure finally stood at 25 Bhp @ 8500 rpm for the CBR against the 32.5 Bhp @11000 rpm for the Ninja.


The Ninja is a parallel twin, the CBR is a single.


The CBR non-ABS version costs 1.43 Lacs ex-showroom Delhi and the Ninja is 2.74 Lacs ex-showroom Delhi.

The first two, Power and Cylinder are very objective to evaluate – the Ninja is better. If you notice the third parameter – Cost, I have not labeled it as VFM since Value For Money is a very subjective and relative thing. Before the CBR250 there was no question that Ninja 250 is the only way to go in this segment. However post-CBR250, you and me now have a choice.

If you want uncompromised performance, the best 250CC track tool money can buy, then the Ninja 250 it will be. However if you are on a budget and would like to have a machine which will turn heads and make you feel right at home amidst a weekend superbike run to the nearest “McDonalds” then the CBR will be just right. Not to say its not a capable track tool, but the superior performing and revving Ninja will leave the 250 visible only in the rear view mirror at best.

Time to break down my first impressions:

Baby, I like the way you look…

The CBR is a great looker, but the Ninja looks sharper.

The CBR profile looks as big as the Ninja, though its nose is not as mean.

The Ninja looks overall bulkier and bigger, especially from the front.

The CBR looks massive from front ¾ owing to its clever fairing design and the VFRish headlight, but the Ninja also equals it if not betters.

The rear view mirrors are much better on the Ninja, looks wise and from a usability perspective. After trying to figure out what was odd in the CBR it finally struck me – the mirrors have an unusually long arm, lending it a comicish / inset like look. The Ninja mirror arm is much shorter and the mirror housing itself is much angular and sharper, in line with its name, almost looks like a weapon in the armory rather than a tool (in CBR’s case).

The Tank of the CBR is too small for taste, the tank on the Ninja feels longer and bigger. The CBR tank is a two piece assembly lending it a more modern look, Ninja’s is to the point and not that contemporary.

The Ninja console is analogue and retro, will not please the modern day biker. The CBR’s console is a delight to see and is futuristic.

The Ninja feels bigger from the pilot position.

No grab rail on the Ninja, the split grab rail looks good on the CBR.

The split seat looks better on the CBR.

The rear of the CBR looks better than the Ninja due to its sharper tail and wider tyre (140 on the CBR opposed to 130 on the Ninja)

Overall the Ninja looks bigger, while the CBR looks more contemporary. The lime green Ninja still takes my vote (against the maroon CBR that I have seen in flesh until now).

Baby, I like the way you move…

CBR Ninja
249 CC 249 CC
Single Cylinder Double Parallel Inline
25 Bhp@8500 32.5 Bhp@11000 
23 Nm@7000 22Nm @8200

It’s quiet clear now. Compromises are there with each bike, though in outright performance Ninja will win hands down. Off the red light, in traffic and on the hills the CBR will be merciful to the calm and cool rider. It will not require as much throttle twisting as the Ninja. In fact I was pleasantly surprised to feel the torque the first time I rode the CBR today. That was right off after my Ninja and an immediate an accurate ‘feel factor’ comparison was done.

I rode the CBR for around 10 kays today and couldn’t really push it in during the run in period but it did feel powerful. However I sincerely doubt that it will be able to match the fun factor of the Ninja, especially in the hills and the track where you can hear the sweet inline twin humming at 10000 rpms or thereabouts.

The Ninja also has a slightly lower height at 30.4” compared to the CBRs 30.9” giving it a better CoG (Center of gravity) and lean ergonomics. I also felt the same while soft leaning the CBR and the Ninja in some city corners.

No doubt Ninja is one of the best bikes I have ever ridden around corners, cannot say the same for the CBR because I have yet to take it to the hills, but I am sure it will be a wonder.

The CBR, which I rode, was a non-ABS, fair comparison then to the Ninja then. The ABS equipped CBR will be definitely much better however 20k too costly.

Truthfully, I had always said that the Ninja’s brakes are not only the best in this segment but one of the best that I have ever experienced in any bike – including the litre class.

The CBR is equipped with the BYBRE brakes. Bybre is a sub brand of BREMO, hence rest assured should be good.

The stock CBR and Ninja essentially sound the same, truth be told I have kind of forgotten as to how the original Ninja sounded after putting the Two Brothers racing slip-ons (which I have come to adore by the way). 
So who is the big daddy…

After all this ranting, I think this comparison is not justified; the two bikes are completely in different sub-segments under the 250cc umbrella. The CBR will suit the biker who is upgrading from a 180 CC or thereabouts and is looking for some unadulterated touring and city fun on power packed package.

The Ninja is for the very discerning motorcyclist, who knows what he wants, and of course if he has that extra money. He should be a track junkie, maybe a tourer (the Ninja has been taken to Khardung-La, if that’s any bike-o-meter), and of course if those 7 odd ponies matter (which they do both in brag fests and on the highways).

If I hadn’t got the Ninja earlier I definitely would have considered the CBR-ABS model to be in my stable. That said I own the best 250CC out there so I feel no need to make any such move, but I do feel extremely happy that finally we have a bike which has the go with the show.

Two thumbs us for the CBR. And remember there is no comparison between these two different bikes for different people. Peace.

The CBR – is it the correct title for such a machine?

The CBR evokes a sense of adrenaline laced sharp machines. The best known being the Fireblade and the lesser knowns like the CBR1100XX Blackbird.
I ask why does a bike which looks like the VFR is named under the CBR brandline, not that it matters but in the long run I think it might hamper the CBR’s legacy. The current product would have been perfect with a name like the VFR 250. That would have lent it a very serious tourer ‘feel’ to it and would have been to the point.

However I am not complaining just conjecturing on what I see. In the end it is the product which matters, and that is so yummy…

Comparison with the R15

A more suitable comparison would be the R15. The size is a tad bigger than it, the power is 8 Bhp more, a similar gap which exists between the CBR250 and the Ninja and the price difference is lesser than that between the CBR and the Ninja, making it a more viable upgrade or option. The great torque of the 250, added power, bigger and better looks and of the latest bike out there all make it more worthy of being in someone’s garage instead of the R15. And all that with just an additional 50k which will pay off by itself during the long happy years of torque drenched ownership of the CBR.

So whatever you decide and go for remember to come and introduce yourself to the xBhp and join us on rides across the country and in your city.

The Tech Crap…

Old Fox's Review

The Bonsai VFR

Well, it is almost that…a bonsai version of the VFR1200. The proportions, the red and silver color scheme and even the sitting posture. But then as comparisons go, both I and Arnold Schwarzenegger are men. The CBR250 is a looker all right. Tilted a wee bit on its stubby side-stand, it has a strong visual appeal, something that does not diminish as you go a full circle around it. But a bike becomes a bike only with the rider on top and to that, it looks quite a presence with the rider in place. Fully attired of course. Anything less than full riding gear for a bike like this would be an insult to its purposefulness. 

A friend got the delivery in Faridabad yesterday and so I had a chance to get up close with this small ceeber and ride it around a little. Sit on it and it gives you the feel of a clean purposeful machine. Hands fall naturally on the clip-on grips. The tank feels meaty though for someone who has owned the earliest two iterations of the Pulsar, meaty fuel tanks have a ‘big’ benchmark and this is nowhere close to it. Switch on the ignition and the electronics make their presence felt. The yellow MIL (Malfunction Indication Light) needs to go off before you punch the starter and the engine thrums to life. The idling is initially high and settles down to a steady 1400 rpm or so shortly. Blipping the throttle shows good engine response. Pull in the exceedingly light clutch, shift it into first gear which latches on with a soft and muted thunk and you’re ready to roll. The clutch is progressive and the bike picks up effortlessly from standstill. Upshift into second comes smoothly, in fact surprisingly smoothly for a brand new bike but then I’ve sampled both big and small Hondas before and it was nothing new. 

Through the gears, the engine pulls well; the torque is progressive but nothing earthshaking or sharp about it. The bike was new and I wasn’t going to push it. So the hard acceleration through the gears thing will have to wait till it is run in. At speeds till about 60-70 kph, steering was very responsive and exceedingly precise. I liked the light and flickable feel of the bike, something that allows inch-perfect placement of the bike. Whether this is the case throughout the speed range of the bike remains to be seen. The suspension is taut but not harsh as I did ride over some bad tarmac and it felt acceptably comfortable. The headlamp is bright with good controlled throw and beam-spread. The handlebar switches are in the place where you expect them to be and operate with precise clicks. Good on the touch and feel front. 

This bike is pretty compact, belying its true dimensions. Feels wrapped around you once you begin rolling and get your feet off the ground. Probably has to do with the narrow clip-ons or maybe the slightly high-set foot-pegs. But it felt comfortable being in the cockpit. The brakes felt very nice and both feel and retardation were impressive for the non-ABS version I rode. 

I my opinion, there’s nothing path-breaking about this little Honda but it’s a pretty functional machine that delivers what it apparently is expected to. It feels well put together, the engine is smooth and refined, the gearbox and clutch seem well mated, the brakes are spot on, the handling very confidence inspiring and the ergonomics pretty well in place. A likeable package though I just need to see what it does when the pace it upped. Because the true calling of a sports-bike, even a small one like this, is when the twisties begin appearing as a blur. 

Rossiter's Review of the CBR250

Secured a test ride of the CBR250R this morning. I had a good half hour ride with the bike, and here are my findings:

Pre-ride observations:

1) The size or the lack of it, surprised me. It does not look that big or bulky. Compact dimensions and presence.. maybe a carryover from the Fireblade? 
2) Plastics quality top notch.
3) Access to basic areas like headlight removal (big headache in the Zma for me), oil/oil filter change may still be an issue. The sales guy could not immediately locate these areas for me, but I could figure out to an extent by myself. 
4) Basic storage areas, enough to keep a small raincoat, or a portable air compressor and tools. 
5) The bike seems well proportioned in general, none of the complaints that the R15 had initially with a so called thin rear tyre 

Styling, comfort:

The VFR inspired front and the CBR1000RR inspired fairings come together in an unholy mix that actually somehow works for the 250R. It isn't an eyesore or blasphemy that I initially found it to be. 

I tried to get the seat and fairings off to have a look at how easy it is to do so, and also to have a look at how the cables are routed underneath. To me, these little things matter, because I like it to be all tidy and easily identifiable when am working on it. The fairings came off fairly easily (the sales guy was doing it, again not too familiar with the bike so struggled a bit but got it off in the end). It looked nice and well laid out. Everything was dripping with quality. No loose tape ends, and cables/wires well secured. 

The battery is positioned horizontally, so that was a first for me. The fuse box was located next to it. All in all, it is a very compact area and guys with dexterity issues like me will find a bit painful working in the small space. This brought back nightmares I had with the Zma. 

The rear seems to well thought out, and the massive exhaust reminds me of the FZ16 for some reason. All chunky with a dash of silver on it.

The only bit that didnt work for me is the tank. I didn't particularly like the oblong-ish shape and the size of it. And 13 litres is on the lower side.


The seat is well made, although the comfort over a long ride will only be known over a 10 hour ride. It seemed firm enough not to cause any issues though. I was on the saddle for 30 minutes and I didn't have any issues with it.

The seating height was not too unlike the R15, (maybe a bit higher even), with my feet on the ground comfortably. It isn't going to pose a problem for shorter people and also women (I hope I don't sound misogynistic 

The pegs and the clipons are a bit awkward for me. It is neither a full on aggressive track racing position, nor a sitting upright position. It took a bit of getting used, in the process I cramped up in the hip area (not a reflection on the bike, I do cramp up easily on bikes with a different riding position last being a GS1200R). 

The switches, levers, shifters and brake pedal come easily within hand and leg, with the quality of levers and switches again top notch. It is comparable to the best of the switchgear units I've seen on big bikes, and am sure will last a long time. I love the alloy levers, although it will be a wee bit pricier in case of a crash. 

The clutch lever isn't adjustable, which is possibly one place where Honda could have had an edge over other bikes. 

The instrument cluster is very Honda Civic. Blue tinge with neat fonts and easy to read digits. Standard output parameters on the display, but I'd have loved a distance to empty/real time mileage indicator on show. Isn't this already being offered on the Glamour PGMFi? Not sure.. 

The RVMs are sufficiently large enough, and didn't throw up any major issues for me. On most bikes, when I am geared up, the edge of my shoulder blocks out the periphery of the bike and I can't see a very frisky fellow rider sneaking up my flanks in traffic. It was the same with the 250R as well. 

I tried to toggle the screen while riding it, and the buttons came easily under my glove but I could not feel the toggle action under my gloves prompting me to slow down and make sure of it. This happens to me on the R1 as well. It would be nice if a manufacturer paid attention to these little things. I mean, how hard is it to plonk a bigger more tactile button in there?

Ride observations:

Start from zero:

The bike had 122 kms on the odo, and so still not even close to opening up. It had been ridden about 20 minutes ago, about the time it took for me to look it over. So it was warm enough, and the engine came to life without a major fuss, and it was puttering away at idle. The exhaust note reminded me vaguely of an FZ16. 

I checked the tyre pressures, and the rear was slightly underinflated by about 5 psi. I had it brought up to factory spec.

It got away cleanly with a light clutch action. Gearshifting is pretty slick, at times too slick. 

There wasn't much any wheelie inducing performance below 3-4000 RPM, but it does gain speed very rapidly, and once past 4000 RPM it was quick enough and I began enjoying the roll-on performance. For me, the way the bike behaves in roll ons is what gives me a lot of indication towards actual street performance. This bike will do the job superbly on the streets. Also noticeable that the fueling in the low end is just spot on, with no jerky business.

It picks up the revs fast enough, but that only necessitates more shifting. It did seem geared a lot lower than my 180 V1.

Beyond the mid-range, I picked up some vibes in the top end and on throttle roll-off. it almost achieves a resonance transmitting it into my arms. Probably would be a lot worse and more noticeable in the low and mid had the counter-balancer not been there.

Bottom line for the engine: Good low-end, great mid-range, and the top end is frantic enough to necessitate regular shifts in case you want to live in that end of the RPM range. Probably would deliver a bit more real-world torque after the running in, and quite vibey at the top-end.


The brakes are honestly a let down. I was riding the non-ABS version, and even so, it was kind of a let down. The braking seems to have not improved beyond the Karizma, which in itself isn't so great on the braking front. The feel was a bit spongy, not too progressive and I didn't really get the hang of it in terms of the amount of brake pressure required to scrub off certain amounts of speed. Still, it is not a disaster, because it does scrub speed quickly enough, but it is definitely not confidence inspiring. 

Typing this, I feel that there may have been air in the system, which can lead to these symptoms. I would say that this requires an additional ride after making sure the hydraulics are bled properly, so I would like to reserve my opinion on this.


Decent enough. Nothing extraordinary, except that there was some amount of dive when I hit the brakes, front and/or back. This can be easily fixed to an extent by adjusting the suspension. It soaked up the potholes well enough, nothing extraordinary, and had decent ground clearance while clearing the bigger craters. 

Handling and stability:

Another area which I didn't particularly find enjoyable. Slight hesitation to lean in, and my awkward riding position didn't help me shift weight which would have probably helped things a bit. The front seemed light and I couldn't really tell what was happening. Maybe a change of rubber will move things in a positive direction, at least with respect to tarmac feel and tyre feedback. The tyres were also struggling in variable road conditions (eg. gravel on tarmac). Am not too sure about these Continentals. I'd be looking at the M45s if they come in this size, and/or the Pirellis. 

But what did make things nice was the compactness of the bike. I found that I could slot in and be nimble enough in traffic and narrow gaps that we often have to squeeze through in traffic. The turning circle seemed just enough to do this, although I think I would have to still execute a 2 point turn to turn around in my driveway. 

One last observation I had was when I was parking the CBR250R. The side-stand seemed almost impossible to snag under the heel of my boot. Minor, annoying point which can be resolved by welding a piece of metal at the right angle. Minor, but it did leave a niggling impression of the bike in my head when I got off. 

PS: Cannot comment on the lighting as I rode it in the day.

Bottomline: I would say 8/10. It is the right evolution from a Zma, and will rule the roost in this price point. Will be able to give some kicks on the street with ease, and touring less so, with that funny riding position (for me at least). 

Personally, I will be booking one, after trying the ABS one as well. And after getting it, I'll be getting some aftermarket rearsets, tyres, master cylinder for the front (if I find my second ride to be the same), sintered pads, and braided lines. That would make for a very well-sorted out CBR250R, and one which I can tour with ease and use as a commuter.

CBR's Track review by Killer original post here 

Got to put the CBR250r through its paces around the kari race track. In stock form the bike is a dissapointment on track, this isnt a surprise coz the bike was clearly intended to be used as a tourer. I'm sure it would fare quite well for that purpose. 


Chassis felt tight enough and on par with what you might expect from any modern motorcycle, however not as precise as the R15's. Suspension was too soft for aggressive corner carving. The rear could probably be jacked up to maximum preload for a slightly better feel however the front is too soft as well and cannot be adjusted, the result is a very pogoish feel on corner entry and that quite destroys your entry speed. Once done with the pogo dance and you steer the bike into the corner another flaw starts to make itself apparent. There is the distinct feeling of sluggishness from the rear. It simply doesnt want to drop to max lean with the speed you would expect it to. Personally i feel this is due the ultra wide 140 section rear tire. The ninja uses a 130 section rear and i simply dont see the need for anything more on a 250 like the CBR. Bottom line the bike isnt sharp enough to be considered a good machine for the twisties. The ninja and r15 score way higher on that scale


This is a bit confusing because considering what its built around, the engine is pretty out of place. I'm not sure why honda decided to put a short stroke rev happy motor into a tourer. As with all things honda though the powerband is neat, linear and unexciting. There isnt much uptop and most of the rush is concentrated in the midrange. This ofcourse is ideal for touring but seems to defeat the purpose of putting in a short stroke motor when its obvious strengths lie in the upper rpm range. All said and done though they've done a convincing job of making it feel like a tourer. Engine is fairly smooth, nothing exceptional and well... just does its job. As opposed to the feeling you have when you ride a ninja250r and go 'oh hey thats not a bad powerband' you might take a run on the CBR and not have anything in particular to say about the engine, its not involving enough to engage your attention, you simply enjoy the ride, thats it

Not much else to say about the bike. I personally dont like its looks though fit and finish seem decent enough. Good value for money for the tourer folks? yes...good for anything else? in my opinion...not really

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