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Honda CB250

Road Test

Light, low and nimble, the CB Two-Fifty is a fuel-sipping commuter bike bought by people who wouldn't be seen dead on a twist'n'go scooter.

What keeps the parallel twin's top speed down to 80mph is a single 26mm Keihin CV carb. That's the bad news. The good news is an average of 75 miles to the gallon, giving the Honda a useful 275-mile range for longer trips at the weekend.

Derived from the 194cc CD200 twin of 1980, the Two-Fifty's power unit is a single overhead camshaft design. This ancestry means that there are no balancers to smooth parallel twin vibration at high revs and just two valves per cylinder. But maintenance is cheap, and undemanding enough for mechanical virgins. Maximum torque is delivered at 6500rpm, helping the 234cc twin to zip through its five gears around town.

Styling was vastly improved for 2000 with a US-style CB250 Nighthawk makeover in which the tank and bodywork flow together, helped by plain red paint. A 16 inch rear wheel reduces seat height to 745mm. Weight is just 132kg. Brakes are a single disc and drum combination well matched to the engine's performance.

The Honda's frame is a classic steel tube diamond design open below the engine, with basic suspension. Adjustment is limited to spring preload on the twin rear shocks.

A close competitor is Honda's own CMX250C Rebel cruiser. Look for an example owned by a careful older rider who bought the Two-Fifty because it reminded him of his old CD200.

Honda CB250
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