Honda CBR250R vs Kawasaki Ninja 250R : Comparison

After ruling the 250cc territory for over two decades, the Kawasaki Ninja 250R has finally got a challenger in the form of the new Honda CBR250R. Will it be possible for the old hand Kawasaki to hold...

 

 


 

 

Round One
Let’s take a look at the new CBR’s design, which is largely borrowed from the big Honda VFR1200F with its chunky front fairing and curvy lines. Honestly, it’s a bit bland from the front, but the CBR certainly has one of the best looking rear-ends in the business. The Ninja on the other hand does not break any new records in styling but still carries a big-bike feel along with its sporty appeal of a middleweight supersport. The Kawasaki is roomier and feels plusher than the Honda, while the CBR is compact and easier to ride thanks to its 5kg deficit over the Ninja and shorter wheelbase. The size and weight difference amongst the two quarter-litre pocket rockets is instantly noticeable and the Ninja definitely feels also bigger one out of the two.

For the street it is important that the ergonomics and seating is comfy for daily use as well as hard-riding and both the bikes do a fantastic job at it. Ninja’s roominess and bigger windscreen make it a worthy long distance tourer but the CBR’s small dimensions and light-weight physique make it that more manageable in the city limits for everyday commute. City is where most of the Indian bikers will ply in and keeping that in mind, the CBR definitely is a better suited product for a larger audience. The Ninja is for the elite motorcyclist who will get on the saddle to enjoy the open roads than commute to work in style. There is nothing wrong with either of the choices – to each, his own. In simpler words, a city biker looking for a 250 will be happier with the seating on the CBR while the long distance rider or the weekend sport-rider will find the ergonomics on the Ninja that much suited.

 

 


 

 

Round Two
On paper, the two bikes might not be very closely matched with the Ninja 250R clearly outshining the CBR20R with its twin cylinder engine layout, 33PS of power output (7PS more than the CBR) and a solid top whack of 160km/h plus. But take them to the streets and the CBR250R lives upto to Honda’s traditional engineering prowess and is quite up there with the old geezer Ninja. The 0-100km/h times on both the bikes are quite closely matched with the Ninja clocking 8.1 seconds while the CBR lacking not too far behind with a 0-100km/h time of 8.6 seconds. Although there is marginally extra torque on the CBR250R – 23.8Nm as against the Ninja’s 22Nm, the Ninja still manages to outrun the Honda in the in-gear acceleration test with the green mean machine taking just 10.9 seconds in the 30-70km/h dash in sixth gear while the Honda clocking 11.5 seconds for the same test.

So on the streets in real world Indian road conditions, both the bikes are quite evenly matched and the only real place where the Ninja outdoes the CBR convincingly is in the top-end performance with an impressive top whack of over 165km/h while the CBR only managing about 152km/h. Both the bikes possess good grunt to cruise at about 100km/h but the CBR definitely feels like its doing more work there than the Ninja which doesn’t feel like its running out of breath till about the speedometer needle touches the 160km/h mark. Both motorcycles employ a six-speed transmission to put down power and the feel from the gearbox is crisp on both the machines with precisely smooth and confident gear shifts. But the clutch on the CBR does feel a bit weak to handle all the clutch-use that is needed on our Indian roads as against the Ninja’s clutch, which feels competent to tackle the oppression due to traffic and later even allow a few burn-outs to vent out the frustration and scare the poor commuters!

 

by Varad More Photography by Kunal Khadse Posted on 30 May 2011