Honda CBR250RR: Who the hell cares?



Everything hurts.

Last week I drove to Bangalore. I was tired of motorcycles, tired of riding them, tired of thinking about them, so I thought this would be a nice change of scenery. My wife was with me, my sister was on the way, and I was sure The City of Gardens was going to show us a good time.

Fuck that fucking garden of garbage.

As soon as we entered, my sister caught some sort of superbug. Somehow we managed to make it back to Hyderabad, before I was taken down. I couldn’t spit, couldn’t swallow, and my eyes hurt so bad I was ready to gently take them out with a wooden ice cream spoon. Temperature never went below 102, couldn’t lie down because of the pain, couldn’t get up because of the headache. In those 4 days I completely understood the concept of suicide, and how evil it is to outlaw it, and how cowardly to fuck with people looking for euthanasia.

And then I saw people shoving the photographs and videos of the Honda CBR250RR into each other’s faces, being happy, being optimistic, and I knew it in my heart that duty had called.

I hate to sound negative, or maybe I love it, in either case, the CBR250RR does not matter. There’s no reason to start running naked across the streets, nor any logic behind weaving dreams of owning one in the future. Here’s why.

The CBR250RR isn’t coming to India

Or maybe it is, who knows, but ask yourself this:

Do you actually expect a company, that hasn’t updated its lineup in India since before the Dinosaurs went extinct, to bring in a brand new motorcycle, just like that?

All Honda cares about is the Activa, end of story. They do not give a single shit about anything else, and why should they? We are still buying the grandpa of that CBR250R like it’s 19-year-old with breast implants, all Honda needs to do is put a few new and worse stickers on it, and we all run barefoot with cash falling out our pockets.

I don’t know what’s so special about Indonesia that every motorcycle company launches everything there first, and then here, if they feel like it. Living on top of volcanoes and earthquakes and tsunamis doesn’t seem to be adventurous enough for these people, or maybe they are just showing off, but whatever their secret is, I think it’s about time we found out.

All the updates to the CBR250R and the 150R went to Indonesia. The CBR300R went to Indonesia. What the fuck are they smoking? And what’s wrong with this little piece of land?

If it is coming, it’ll be a while before it does

Let’s assume, by some miracle of Japanese ignorance, that the new bike does make it to our shores, when do you think that will be so? It’s still not launched in Indonesia, only showcased, with tentative delivery dates towards the end of the year. Let’s assume, since we are already in so far, that it’s available to buy in India at the same time as Indonesia, that’s still about half a year from now.

And then all you have to remember is the Yamaha R3, and the Himalayan, or any other new bike that has ever been produced. It takes 6 months more, if not a full year, before everything that’s wrong with a new bike gets fixed, before all the issues are ironed out. The R3 is facing 2 recalls in the US, even if the situation in India might be a bit different.

So what you’re basically looking at is roughly 1.5 years, if not more, of time before you might actually get to slide your hairy ass on this thing. Too far away in the future to get your panties in a bunch don’t you think?

When it comes, it’ll be nothing special at an exhorbitant price

I’m sure it’ll be brilliant, ultra-smooth, reliable like all Hondas are. Twins are exiting, so is the ride by wire throttle, and the riding modes, and the good looks, and all that stuff they’ve done to the engine, and the rest of the package. But at this point, let’s talk about one slightly important point.

Who the fuck will buy one?

Look at the sales figures of the R3, a similarly positioned motorcycle targeted at track enthusiasts. Yamaha has had a hard time getting into 3 digit sales per month till now, and a total of just about 1000 have been sold till date. The reasons for that are rather obvious.

Barely anybody goes to the track in India. Those who do can be divided into 2 types:

  1. Cheap fucks like me who’d rather pick up a KTM at half price, put some M7s, maybe even an ECU upgrade, and still have enough money left to buy a Navi.
  2. Rich fucks unlike me who can’t decide if they should take the R1, the H2, or the S1000RR to the track this time.

If you do appreciate Japanese engineering and have the money to pick up the CBR250RR, why won’t you buy the tried and tested Ninja 300? Or something in the 600 range? The 250RR certainly has some features that none of the others do, but all that means is that Honda is going to make you pay out of your ass for it.

Honda’s biggest problem is Honda, they’ll probably price it at something around 4 lacs, and then just stop giving a shit. Buy it, don’t buy it, they don’t care, as has been proved by their weird strategies over the years. They seem happy enough to sit on old stock, not worry about updates or improvements, and give the middle finger to all of us from time to time.

I know there are a lot of people who’ve already decided that this is going to be their next upgrade, they’ve already made up their minds. The only thing I can say to you is that you are a moron. You’ll end up not riding for 2 years, telling everyone that you are waiting for your dream bike. You’ll sell your old bike to get cash for the new one, but while waiting for that new item, the cash will slowly slide away into other little things, and by the time the new bike is launched, you’ll be so frustrated of the wait that you’ll get one on loan, that too from the first lot.

You’ll then spend the next few months crying your heart out to the service people, shouting on social media, writing angry mails to Honda management. Your 1 issue would be solved, and 3 more will begin. You’ll then print out a banner that says “HONDA SUCKS BALLS“, and stand in front of the showroom, where people will think you are a hobo and try to avoid you. Finally, after even the threat of a case in consumer court wouldn’t help, you’ll sell the bike at a loss, and keep paying the EMI for something that you hated all along.

Do yourself a favour, go to your nearest showrooms, test ride everything, and buy what touches your heart. If the new CBR comes, give it time to heal, and then if you still want to buy one, buy one.

Don’t stop living your life for a motorcycle.

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    1. AK

      Yes, but not for both the items as in US. Indian recall is only for clutch.

  1. MysticFreak

    Ha ha ha ha loved the article..

    Honda suck balls
    Ha ha ha ha ha

  2. GaribNawab

    The CBR 250RR is a good bike. My grand kids will enjoy it a lot.

    1. AK

      Mine will ride the CS400.

      1. Jaideep

        That massage seems to have left its “mark” on you mister.

        1. AK


      2. sabi

        At least BAJAJ is way better than HONDA in case of launch and everything.They even give u test ride of any of their bike that too with chai and biscuit!!!! Although however shitty their product is in terms of quality,bajaj usually upgrade in tech department rather than the decals,with all tht “spark plugs” spread evenly over their bikes…. 😀

        Note tht cs400 will be launched in august,2016 and its official.

        1. AK

          Nothing is official mate 🙂 It’s just news sites jacking themselves off.

  3. Fat Owens Fat

    “I don’t know what’s so special about Indonesia that every motorcycle
    company launches everything there first, and then here, if they feel
    like it”
    Problem is there are more buyers in Indonesia and Thailand in the 250-800 market than there are buyers in India for the 150-250cc market.
    Did you keep an eye out on KTM’s Duke sales? They usually club all Dukes into one when they hand out the monthly figures but split them separately via SIAM or other sources and they’re barely doing the CBR 250R numbers of 500-1000 units a month individually. The R3 for all its hype managed to sell only 900 units so far and that was the first year of its sales. Sales eventually fizzled downwards from 60 units a month peak.

    There are more “prospective owners” on the internet than there are for real. And incase you missed the govt hiked taxes on imported bikes for both CKD and CBU between 3-10%. Its only going to make manufacturers look elsewhere for anything other than 150cc commuters, 150cc since the CBZ days and we’re still there nearly 2 decades later.

    Also the quality of worksmanship in Indonesia and Thailand is very high. It is why Yamaha and Honda and other companies prefer those two nations. Even the local vendors here are bastards who supply inferior quality components which in turn hurts the manufacturer’s reputation. Corruption affects these people too.

    1. AK

      Duke sales are the same as CBR250R? Are you sure? I don’t have access to SIAM figures, but I always thought the KTMs did well.

      Totally agreed with the rest.

      1. Fat Owens Fat

        Yeah they club their models together in their press release. Obviously the 200s being cheaper sell in relatively larger units but the 390 not so much. I’ll see if I can find the SIAM prints i had. KTM exports more models than they sell here.

  4. The Taurider

    I have waited for 2 years for Honda 500 CC before picking up my D390. Its over a year and still CBR 500R is still on the upcoming models. Really bad, However the 250R still sells a a hot cake in the sergment, may be they dont what to disturb that 🙁 .

    Would have loved to ride a 500r, even 650f also disappointed in price department. , but still, if i have the money i ll pick one :D.


    1. AK

      I love the 650F too, would’ve picked it up if I had the cash.

      1. The Taurider

        Me too …

  5. Kiran Siddharth

    Kind of saw this coming, but anyway, they pretty much confirmed it themselves:

    “This news was confirmed by YS Guleria, senior VP, HMSI during the inauguration of Honda’s 100th best deal outlet in Mumbai. The main reason not to launch the CBR250RR in India is due to Honda’s focus on expanding its presence in the mass market segment – scooters and motorcycles. And part of this plan is to upgrade its entire range to meet BS-IV emission norms. The Hornet 160R was the first Honda bike to be equipped with the BS-IV engine late last year. ”

    And yeah, they do seem to only care about the scooters. I made the mistake of booking a 250R, it’s taking waaaay too long to deliver. What I really wanted was a D390, but I wanted a comfortable tourer and I didn’t like enfields, and most D390 owners I consulted mentioned it wasn’t ideal for touring, esp. with a pillion.

    1. Rajendra Prasad K

      Same situation here bro, booked CBR250R in April no news till now…
      Fed up and got a used CBR250R last week.

      1. Kiran Siddharth

        I booked mine in April too. This August 4th, it’ll be 4 months. I’d probably have got a harley delivered within this time period!

        How much did you get your used Ceeber for? And was it ABS? Honestly, if not for the ABS I’d probably consider a different bike. I’ve heard some R15s at full throttle pretty much have the same top speed as a CBR250, but I’m skeptical of that.

        1. Rajendra Prasad K

          Yeah its ABS version, 3.4yrs old 18600km. I got it for 1.3lakhs, ABS is very important.

  6. Michael Connor

    couple of points reg the R3 Akhil, its not a track focussed bike, deisgned as an all rounder that you can commute with tour and hit the track

    Lack of abs on the r3 and ninja has been a turn off for a lot of people I know..

    1. AK

      I think the main focus of R3 is track, others are just side effects.