2019 Honda CB250R Test & Review – “Simple Yet Fun”

  • The 2019 Honda CB250R is aimed at both beginners and experienced riders.

  • It is part of Honda’s Neo Sports Café line-up.

  • It brings back the fun of something simple, easy to understand and accessible.

We always crave for more power, of course. Power, power, power, but it never seems to be enough, does it? However, the 2019 Honda CB250R may just change your mind.

Honda aims the CB250R at both entry-level and more experienced riders alike, featuring all the basic needs of virtually any rider.

Introduction to the 2019 Honda CB250R

The CB250R is styled like its bigger brother, the CB1000R, as part of the Neo Sport Café lineup. The three words Neo, Sport, and Café points to the mix of classic and modern styling cues. In a nutshell, the line-up’s designs aren’t modern retros like the CB11000F, yet not wholly contemporary like say, the VFR800.

So, you have the round LED headlight and steel tube frame combined with multi-angled lines on the fuel tank and modern elements. Consequently, the bike looks unmistakably “Honda CB” but with a twist.

Hard Parts

The engine is a 250cc, DOHC, four-valve, single-cylinder unit. It produces 27 bhp at 9,000 RPM and 23.3 Nm of torque at 8,000 RPM.

Suspension duties are handled by a pair of upside-down forks up front and a monoshock at the back. ABS is standard.

The instrument cluster is fully LCD, while lighting is LED all-around.

Riding the Honda CB250R

The engine started quickly and was typically Honda quiet and so was the exhaust. The tapered handlebar is rubber-mounted, isolating the engine’s vibes from your hands.

But it was quick-revving. A blip of the throttle sent the bars leaping up the tachometer.

Thinking that since it’s a small capacity bike, I gave it lots of throttle and slipped the clutch to get going. It was totally unnecessary because the engine was surprisingly torque for a 250.

In the city, the CB250R’s acceleration was one of the most important points. However, it never seemed to run out of breath and we never hit the rev limiter, either. One usually needs to possess a left foot like the Riverdance dancers when riding small capacity bikes, but not so on this bike. All you need to do is choose a gear and give it throttle.

Speaking of the throttle, the PGM-FI controlled fuel-injection provided smooth and linear response. That’s a boon especially for newer riders and an advantage for veteran riders to apply gas much earlier while cornering.

The suspension action was pretty good, too. Of course, you’ll feel the deeper potholes and sharper bumps, but that’s because the bike is light at just 145kg (kerb weight).

A good suspension test is by charging into sharp corners at high speeds. The chassis never once protested. Full throttle blasts through sweepers? The suspension didn’t wallow.

This is when you discover the joys of riding a lightweight bike like the CB250R because you hardly need to concern yourself with neck artery popping hard braking. Just charge toward the corner, brake earlier, let go earlier and yell BANZAI!as you turn in. And don’t forget to slam on the throttle on your way out.

Being lightweight also means the bike reacts quickly to braking. The radially-mounted front brake caliper gave plenty of feel at the fingertips.

Out on the highway, we were also surprised at how easy it was to maintain a 120 km/h cruising speed without the engine threatening to grenade itself.

Last but not least, it’s one of the very few bikes that our rear seat reviewer (i.e. my wife) liked. She found the seat and suspension comfortable, besides being easy for her arms to reach the fuel tank.


“Aimed at entry-level and more experienced riders alike” may sound like a misnomer, but the 2019 Honda CB250R does exhibit that kind of attribute.

It’s very simple for beginners to understand and you won’t outgrow it quickly too soon because it can perform whatever you command it to. As for experienced riders, this is one bike which reminds you of the fun and convenience of riding a lightweight bike.

Priced from RM 22,999 (basic selling price and not on-the-road), it’s a worthy buy.



ENGINE TYPE Single-cylinder, 4-stroke, DOHC, 4-valve, liquid-cooled
BORE x STROKE 76.0 mm x 55.0 mm
POWER 27 bhp @ 9,000 RPM
TORQUE 23.3 Nm @ 8,000 RPM
FUEL SYSTEM Electronic fuel injection with ride-by-wire throttle
CLUTCH Multiple-plate wet clutch, cable actuation
FRAME Steel tubes
FRONT SUSPENSION Upside-down forks
FRONT BRAKE 2x radially-mounted 2-piston calipers, single disc
REAR BRAKE 1X single-piston floating caliper, single disc
ABS ABS standard
TIRES FRONT/REAR 110/70-R17; 150/60 R-17
WHEEL BASE 1,355 mm


Wahid's lust for motorcycles was spurred on by his late-Dad's love for his Lambretta on which he courted, married his mother, and took baby Wahid riding on it. He has since worked in the motorcycle and automotive industry for many years, before taking up riding courses and testing many, many motorcycles since becoming a motojournalist. Wahid likes to see things differently. What can you say about a guy who sees a road safety message in AC/DC's "Highway to Hell."

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