This month, Honda released images of the new CBR250RR. The small, light, and exciting sport bike is a project that stems from Honda’s joint venture with a subsidiary in Indonesia, where the motorcycle is now seeing production. Sales in Indonesia can be expected as soon as the end of 2016. It will be released in Japan, along with other global markets, at later dates.
The return of the CBR250RR name is welcome news with the last one (the inline-four MC22) dating way back to the early-to-mid ‘90s. The 2017 CBR250RR debuted as a “Light Weight Super Sports Concept” at last year’s Tokyo Motor Show.
Unlike Honda’s modern CBR250R—a small displacement single-cylinder bike built as a civilized commuter than a serious entry-level sportster—the new 6-speed CBR250RR will be powered by a 4-stroke, 8-valve, liquid-cooled DOHC parallel twin. It will also boast more technological features including a selection of engine mode settings to complement its Throttle-by-Wire (TBW) system.
The aggressively styled sport bike is built on a newly designed steel truss frame with an aluminum swingarm. ABS will be available with stopping power enforced by a large 310mm disc in the front and a 240mm one in the rear. The new CBR250RR gets high-rigidity inverted front forks and an adjustable Pro-link shock out back. Speculation on power output surmises that the CBR250RR will make around 35-38 hp at a peak of 12000-14000rpm, with almost 23 Nm of torque.
To contend with the 250cc parallel twins of the Kawasaki Ninja 250 and the Yamaha R25, Honda must have been compelled to step up in the small sporting market. The CBR250RR will also stand up to comparison with the KTM RC250. What some have been wondering is how Honda’s new bike will fare, even put up against the 300-400cc market. Honda may even release a version to meet the Yamaha YZF-R3 and KTM RC390 head on.
Borrowing design cues from contemporary sport bike trends, the narrow and angular CBR250RR looks futuristic and menacing. With sharp fairings and a hawkish front, punctuated by quad LEDs for headlamps, the motorcycle’s visual impact commits to Honda’s prestigious Race Replica line.
Homologation plans remain to be seen. Riders have had to modify and use race kits in order to bring the old CBR250R to effective track specifications, with cup versions for one-make competitions. The CBR250RR is expected to vastly improve the street-to-twisties-to-track transition.