Easily one of the most anticipated motorcycles to be launched this year, Honda Motorcycle has finally lifted covers off the highly awaited 2017 CBR250RR at a special event in Indonesia for the world. Honda’s entry-level performance motorcycle has been in the news for over a year now with enthusiasts closely watching every little detail that emerged every now and then. With the reveal done, the red wing has officially entered into the ring against compatriots Kawasaki and Yamaha, which have been offering products like the Ninja 250 and R25 in the segment globally. The 250RR though will also lock horns with the pocket rocket – KTM RC390 that is due for a generation change next year.
The Honda CBR250RR started life as the Light Weight Super Sport concept unveiled at the Japan Motor Show in 2015. The performance offering shouldn’t be seen as a replacement to the single-cylinder CBR250R sold currently in many markets and instead will co-exist with a higher price tag of course, as a more powerful and sportier version in the entry-level performance segment. Unlike the CBR250R which is a sports tourer, the CBR250RR aims to be an out-and-out super sport offering drawing power from a 250cc 8-valve, liquid-cooled, parallel-twin DOHC engine. Power output is yet to be undisclosed by Honda but the output is expected to be in the vicinity of 36-40bhp. The Japanese bike maker does say that the motor is easy to handle for urban riding, while it is just as comfortable on the circuit, with smooth output characteristics across the entire rev range. A 6-speed gearbox will be sending power to the rear wheel on the big red.
Honda has also confirmed that the CBR250RR will also get a segment first Throttle-by-Wire (TbW) as speculated previously, and will be offering for 3-way engine mode settings. So expect linear power delivery for urban/city mode, sport mode to exploit the top-end of the power band and possibly a track mode that beefs up all settings for optimum performance. Details on the same though can be expected closer to the commencement of sales.
Talking about mechanicals, the 2017 Honda CBR250RR uses a newly developed steel truss frame, while the swingarm are aluminium gull type with the right-side swingarm shaped to reduce exhaust pipe extrusion. This allows the bike to have a slimmer profile while retaining the bank angle. True to the concept, the CBR250RR features a USD suspension setup at the front and Pro-link suspension featuring 5-step preload at the rear. Braking performance comes from 310 mm front and 240 mm rear wavy disc brakes with dual-channel ABS available as optional.
The design on the 2017 Honda CBR250RR remains close to the concept and is a big step up for the bike maker that is otherwise known for its conservative styling. The lines are sharper, aggressive and certainly adds to the sporty quotient on the offering. The front retains its CBR roots with the dual-LED headlights with the new and stylish LED eyebrows, while the nose down-tail up design keeps it authentic to the sport bike styling. Lastly, the slim profile is accentuated by the double barrel exhausts on the model, which look very European and also reminscent of the new Ducati 959 Panigale.
We also see an all-digital instrument console on the CBR250RR in the first video that reads up to 14,000rpm, while other goodies including a lap timer, trip meters, and possibly a high speed recorder as well. The bike gets clip-on handlebars, so unlike the front forward yet relaxed riding position on the CBR250R, the 250RR will be a lot more aggressive with rear set foot pegs ensuring a track oriented riding stance. The cowl like rear seat is also something that we have really liked on the new CBR.
The new 2017 CBR250RR will be manufactured in Indonesia, making it the largest displacement Honda motorcycle to be produced in the South East Asian country. The Japanese bike maker plans to begin sales in Indonesia by the end of 2016, while the company says that sales in Japan will commence on a later date. It is likely that Honda will choose to make the Indonesian facility, its global manufacturing hub for the new CBR250RR, much like what Yamaha has done with the R25/R3. Not only will it help the company achieve higher production, but better economies of scale.
This brings us to the 2017 Honda CBR250RR making it to Canada or not. The Japanese bike maker is yet to confirm if it plans to bring the model in the country at all. In either case, we don’t see it coming anytime before 2017-18. This is because reports are rife that Honda is also developing a 350cc version of the new CBR that will be targeted at European and American markets, since unlike the Indonesian tax norms, we don’t have heavy taxation on bikes above 250cc. Should the 350cc version make it to production, the new CBR will be one of the more sought-after offerings in the entry-level performance segment attracting an equally sought after price tag.