If you’re looking forward to celebrating warmer weather by getting into motorcycle riding, Honda may have the bike for you. The company just introduced a new entry-level sport bike, the CBR250R, to compete with Kawasaki’s popular Ninja 250, which we tested (and liked a lot) in 2008.
Previously, Honda’s only entry-level bike this small and affordable was the Rebel 250, a cruiser which we also tested then. All our riders preferred the Ninja for its precise handling; smooth, free-revving engine; and slick-shifting six-speed transmission. Some riders also found the Rebel 250 too small and cramped.
Now the CBR250R offers a sport-bike seating position in an affordable, entry-level package starting at $4,500. Better yet for new riders, the CBR250R is available with antilock brakes, which the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has shown reduces motorcycle crashes by as much as 37 percent.
Consumer Reports would like to see ABS offered on more motorcycles, especially affordable models aimed at newer riders. We welcome Honda’s introduction of the CBR250R as a first step in that direction and consider the $500 premium for the optional antilock brake system to be money well spent.