The world knows the 250RR as the Baby Blade, a reference to big brother, the Fireblade, which rewrote the book on sports bikes back in the early 90s. And while a 250 version might seem like cashing in on a legend, it's not that simple.
True, the Baby Blade has just a quarter of a litre to propel it, but everything else is razor sharp. Initially, Honda Australia didn't want to import the 250RR, but after a wave of grey imports, it buckled and the Baby Blade entered new Honda showrooms. As Australia adopts a new learner-approved motorcycle scheme, the relevance of 250cc machines is coming under question. But the CBR 250RR is so brilliant, it'll always be relevant.
The Honda CBR 250RR on the road
The first thing you need to do when riding a CBR 250RR is forget everything you thought you knew about motorbikes and mechanical sympathy. With super short gearing, even in top gear, the little Honda will be revving at 10,000rpm at 100km/h. But don't fear, because the little liquid-cooled, four-cylinder engine can rev safely to about 19,000rpm, so it still has heaps in reserve. Still sounds like you're caning it mercilessly, though.
While it mightn't be blindingly fast in a straight line, when the corners arrive it's up there with the best of them. Light weight, sophisticated suspension and sticky tyres all add up to a great handler.
Big folk won't be too comfortable on the Baby Blade as it's physically quite small. Neither is the seat designed for long days on the highway, but if that's your agenda, there are better bikes anyway.
What to look for when buying a used Honda CBR 250RR
Normally, the sight of an L or P-plate attached to a bike would give a buyer second thoughts. But in the CBR 250RR's case, nearly all of them have been owned by inexperienced riders at some stage. The big worries are worn out mechanicals because kids often simply don't understand the importance of maintenance. If in doubt, check the condition of the chain, brake pads and the condition of the tyres. A slack chain, worn pads and bald tyres are likely to mean the rest of the bike has been neglected, too.
Crash damage is the other worry and, since many kids can't afford to insure a motorbike, repairs are often of the gaffer-tape and zip-tie variety. At least they're easy to spot. Less obvious are grey imports which are still worth considering, but are worth less than a locally-delivered example.
Honda CBR 250RR Verdict
+ A proper sports bike in three-quarter scale
+ Revvy engine is fun
+ Handling and grip phenomenal if the tyres are good
- Many have been crashed and maltreated
- A bit narrow-focus for many owners
Honda CBR 250RR Standard Specifications
Model: CBR 250RR
Engine Size: 250cc
Fuel System: Carburettors
Standard Transmission: 6-speed