2011 Honda CBR250R | Doin' Time

Staffers' Rides

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WRIST: Ari Henning
MSRP (2011): $4499
MILES: 819
MPG: 62
MODS: G2 Ergo quick-turn throttle

No, I'm not being punished for something—I chose the Honda CBR250R on my own! I'll miss wheelying past Joe Neric on our way to work, but what the little 250 lacks in power, it makes up for in cornering prowess and practicality.

Admittedly, I had a bit of “borrower’s remorse” the first time I rode the 22-horsepower Honda home. To see if I’d made a mistake, I took the CBR on a 200-mile tour of the Santa Monica Mountains and had a blast! When the roads got tight above the legendary Rock Store I was being held up by bigger sportbikes, and even on stock tires could fly into turns without letting off the gas.

Because this is a relatively new model, there isn't much aftermarket support yet, so tracking down compatible parts is a challenge. Gary Gibbs at G2 Ergo helped me determine that his company's Yamaha YZ250F quick-turn throttle ($69.95; www.g2ergo.com) would fit the CBR. The tube is a drop-in replacement and reduces throttle rotation enough that I can get to wide-open without having to re-grip. Even at WOT, the bike still gets over 60 mpg!

The CBR has potential, and I look forward to exploiting it. I intend to modify it for—you guessed it—track days and as much club-level roadracing as the boss will let me get away with. The local WERA, AFM and WSMC 250cc classes are populated almost entirely by Kawasaki Ninja 250 twins, and I’m curious to see how the Honda single stacks up. I’ll do the usual intake, exhaust and fuel mods first, but later on I’d like to get into the engine for some serious tuning. Can we get 30 bhp out of the “Babyblade”?

I intend to find out...