HONDA CBF250 (2004-2012) Review

Published: 24 November 2006

"Peanuts to run and with enough power to get you from A to B"

Honda CBF250 motorcycle review - Riding

"Peanuts to run and with enough power to get you from A to B"

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

The Honda CBF250 is a cracking little motorcycle, marketed towards – and perfect for – new bikers or people who want a cheap town motorcycle. Easy to throw around, forgiving of little errors, peanuts to run and with enough power to get you from A to B with modest speed. Learners or commuters will love the Honda CBF250.

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

Slim, agile, nippy etc… The Honda CBF250's bar/seat positioning, along with the taut chassis, low weight  and sporty geometry make for light handling and good fun. Narrow width makes the Honda CBF250 great for city filtering but it’s more than happy to be thrown around faster roads too, if not at great speed. The brakes are good and gearing’s slick and precise.

Engine 4 out of 5

The Honda CBF250's engine uses its 249ccs wisely with an easily accessible powerband, just where you want it. It’s a revvy and fun motorcycle to ride but has enough balls to get you out of trouble; just don’t try any heroic overtakes. The Honda CBF250 has very smooth delivery and it’ll cruise happily at up to 65mph; beyond that, you’re pushing it.

Build Quality & Reliability 3 out of 5

The Honda CBF250 looks very cute and appears well finished, true to Honda fashion. Reliable commuting motorcycles are sought after so value shouldn’t drop too much. However, there was a recall on some Honda CBF250s after problems with the ignition coil affected engine performance. Check with your dealer.

Insurance, running costs & value 4 out of 5

The Honda CBF250 is excellent value: it’s a great little motorcycle and very competent. With its low insurance group, large tank and tiny running costs, the Honda CBF250 is a wise choice for anyone who isn’t interested in balls-out performance but doesn’t want a mini-traillie or cruiser. Find a Honda CBF250 for sale.

Insurance group: 6 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 4 out of 5

The Honda CBF250's “back to basics” styling works wonders: unpretentious but modern and pretty. The mirrors work well and the seat’s comfy whilst there’s been no skimping on the clocks: the Honda CBF250's clear dash has two large electronic dials (revs and speedo) with a digital readout for the clock, fuel gauge etc. Centrestand, flyscreen and luggage are optional extras.

 

Owners' Reviews

9 owners have reviewed their HONDA CBF250 (2004-2012) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your HONDA CBF250 (2004-2012)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.3 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.4 out of 5
Engine 4.6 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.2 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
4 out of 5

A good bit of fun or secondary transport...nothing too serious!

17 May 2016 by Bobby

Excellent build quality, cheap parts and legendary reliability. The letdowns are the lack of adjustment for the gear selector and the non-adjustable rear monoshock. They are both totally fine for use but I like to tweak things... Being a 250cc it is... Read more excellent for around-town use and it will hold 70mph on the motorway at (a somewhat high) 7800rpm. As a stepping stone on the way to larger bikes its good - the weight and dimensions are only slightly higher than a 125cc and the power is almost exactly double a CBF125. Add in the real size tyres and its spot on!

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
Ride quality is good provided its used correctly. 70mph cruises on the motorway are very do-able but not too comfortable. Vibes aren't bad but an hour or so of that and you will feel it. its very nimble. People complain a lot about the brakes but they are more than adequate to lock the front wheel in dry conditions (I know for a fact!) so how much better do they need to be? They are what you expect - good enough! Now that the clutch is sorted the gear change is slick and reassuring (makes a light click so you know it did something) and the seat is comfy. I get sore knees after an hour or so but then I am 6'2" and it is a small-ish bike.
Engine
5 out of 5
I'm biased because I love a single-cylinder engine. This one is a right laugh in town and its best to just pin the throttle and sail away. That's why i got it TBH, because you can just lark about on it and it won't complain. Its more than enough power up to 50mph then it is adequate up to 70. power delivery is firm but not forceful which is ideal for what it is.
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
Very well built all round. Good paintwork and a quality feel to most of the bike. There is a solid feel to the switchgear, clocks and tank and the sprocket carrier looks like its made of real metal rather than the rubbish 125cc's have. I bought mine at 10yrs old and 3000 miles in immaculate condition. Sure, its been well looked after but a few others I saw were clearly abused all year round and had little rust to show for it. Reliability wise It had two issues: one the clutch dragged really badly. the solution was new friction plates (£67 for EBC plates, RHS gasket, hex bolt, two oil hose O-rings, oil filter and oil filter O-ring!). Three mechanics told me it was fine and needed adjustments and oil change etc... did all that and it was just the plates had dried out. Don't listen to them! The other was the clocks re-setting themselves, hard starting and sometimes not starting at all. The solution was a new battery (£45 OEM). Both of these problems are a direct result of being laid up for so long - not really Honda's fault.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
Honda want £230 for an annual service. That's theft! do the oil ad air yourselves and get a mechanic to check calipers in the spring. Valve clearances (which is easy on this bike!) are £50-70 privately and need checked every 4-6K. A cover gasket is £8 and shims are a couple each so get some feelers and do it yourselves too! Running costs are very cheap. I have 1yr no claims on a full licence and pay £130 insurance. £38 rd tax and 80-90 mpg (I do put the expensive fuel in cause I find on a small carburettor bike it does make a difference).
Equipment
3 out of 5
Has clock, speedo, tacho and side stand as standard. The side stand is NOT to be trusted so a centerstand is essential (£75 OEM). Speaking of which it is very difficult to install a centerstand (as i found out when I broke a spring) so its not something to undertake without at least asking an experienced person. Next for me is a top box and rack and a cheap screen. Basic commuter type equipment is needed. It does have a very good headlight and a loud horn tho...
Buying experience

I bought it from a dealer. I took a big risk and bought it from just the pictures but it was absolutely fine. I would recommend that you check the clutch action carefully tho. Price was £1895 which is £200 above the book value for this kind of condition. Transit motorcycles (York) delivered it to me for £100 and were good enough to take my word about the clutch and pay for the parts without checking it over themselves.

3 out of 5

Honda CBF 250

02 July 2011 by DavidHondaCBF

Lovely engine, great fuel economy, looks great. Gearbox can be a bit stiff, front brake doesn't do a lot. Had to spend £400 in the last year on bits going wrong: downpipe rusted and got a hole, battery, starter motor brushes... Parts are hard to come... Read more by as it is so rare. Easy to kit out, mine has top box, panniers, heated grips, sat nav, centre stand, fly screen and an optimate cable. Handles really well, quite a small bike but i fit on ok at 6ft 5. Not much equipment to speak of, but what there is works well. Good on longish journeys, I've done 160 mile weekends rides with no discomfort. Fantastic step up from a 125, it feels like a big bike but without too much power. Overall not bad, few bad points though especially the poor quality - problem is this isn't a Japanese built Honda. Built in places like brazil and thailand. And of course the idle problem - no matter how much you warm it up for it won't idle without stalling unless you ride it for a few minutes. This can be a pain...

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
1 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
3 out of 5
-
Equipment
3 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

2006 CBF250

01 June 2011 by wrinklytoad

I bought my CBF250 new in March 2006. Since then I've covered a little over 26000 miles, at an overall average of 94 miles per gallon. A tankful is usually good for over 300 miles. Although generally regarded as a commuter bike it's quite... Read more feasible to go any distance on it as long as you're patient. I've had holidays in France, Scotland and the Isle of Man without a moment's trouble. You have to bear in mind it's designed as a city bike when planning overtaking, but the key is in the word 'planning'. Do it carefully and you'll pass all the bigger bikes while they're queuing for their next tankful of fuel. Since fitting a Scottoiler my chains last a bit longer than 6000 miles, which is also the mileage I get from rear tyre. Front tyres last about 13000. I've tried Pirelli (good grip), Continental (longer lasting but not so grippy) and I've currently got a set of Bridgestones fitted. The bike is still on the original battery, disc pads and rear brake linings and the only faults have been a seized ignition lock (replaced under warranty), a snapped speedo cable, and a faulty dipswitch which was successfully cleaned rather than having to be replaced. The headlight is acceptable on main beam but the dipped beam is so poor that you're left wondering where the road is after dipping for oncoming traffic. Brakes are fully up to the performance, but I've fitted a braided hose on the front for extra peace of mind. It's a most forgiving little bike, easy to handle, economical and great fun on B roads. Motorways are not its natural habitat, but even so it'll cope with a steady 70mph in lane 1 away from the faster traffic hogging the centre lane. I ride all year round, and the finish has suffered considerably as a result. Engine case lacquer is bubbling, fastenings have rusted and the exhaust pipe is heavily corroded. The bike is evidently built down to a price and this is evident in the poor quality of the finish and the fact that a centre stand (essential in my opinion) is an optional extra. I had the Honda flyscreen fitted from new but that was a waste of money as it didn't make any difference to the wind pressure at any speed. A larger Givi screen has proven more successful. To Honda's credit, they've done a good job of the instruments, with a clock and fuel gauge incorporated into the dash. Apart from the gripes about the finish I'm delighted with this motorcycle, and if Honda would fit a stainless steel exhaust (and ideally a silencer that made it sound more like a motorbike and less like a washing machine) and use thicker paint it wouldn't be far off perfect for a civilized user-friendly 250. I came to it from a series of bigger bikes, and if you choose you routes it's still possible to have a lot of enjoyment without spending a small fortune on tyres and fuel. Overall, a competent little motorcycle.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

honda cbf 250 2006

08 March 2009 by ragingamp

Stepped up from a honda city fly 125. What a differnce ! Top speed is 85 MPH flat road for me. At 85mph it still isnt at redline, down a slight hill ive had it up to 90mph. Top speed with pillion 75 MPH. It handles very well, it sticks to the road... Read more and you can chuck it about. The bike is asbutly incredibly light. Costs about £12 to fill up and lasts many miles indeed. The accerlation is suprisingly quick, very smooth indeed. It may not have an amazing top speed but i think its better than a restricted bigger bike, its so easy to learn on.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

Fun little bike

18 September 2008 by Lucy86

After riding a moped for a few years, then a CG125, this is my first big bike. I think its a perfect step up from a 125 for riders who are less bothered about speed and posing, and more bothered about ease of use and value. Its great fun in the... Read more twistys and commutes with ease. Stood up well to my first winter with it, im expecting many more trouble free miles!

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

Fun little bike

18 September 2008 by Lucy86

After riding a moped for a few years, then a CG125, this is my first big bike. I think its a perfect step up from a 125 for riders who are less bothered about speed and posing, and more bothered about ease of use and value. Its great fun in the... Read more twistys and commutes with ease. Stood up well to my first winter with it, im expecting many more trouble free miles!

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

My 1st Bike

26 July 2008 by 1222simon

I ride my bike all the time. I live in the sticks and it's my only transport. It's a CBF 250-4, white and it's fantastic. I didn't want to go with the 250 and got told that I should restrict a 500 by everyone. I'm glad I did though. It's taken... Read more months of constant road use to gain the confidence and craft I have now and I have no problem saying i'm still an amature. The torque is amazing and in all the right places, i'm gear happy but the acceleration is better than most cars on the road, it cruises brilliantly and the weight distribution and minimal maintaince makes it the perfect 1st bike. The only faults I have is the 6 gears. I like having load of gears but the 1st, 2nd, neutral and 3rd are so close it becomes difficult to be sure what your in sometimes. And pulling away in 2nd is so simlar to 1st that to be honnest your only moan because your fussy like me. It seems they put the extra 6th gear in because to many critisms about honda's having 5 gears on the 125cc's. If you get this you get forgiveness for errors, lo maintainence, enough power to have the bike experience without too much to kill your self, cheap fuel and tax, a perfect filtering machine and a bit of style. If your looking to learn and become a real biker this is a great bike to go from 125 to beyond. P.S. if you have charging problems replace the battery and not the rectifier 1st. Anyone want to buy my spare rectifier? lol

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
3 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

Great Step Up :)

28 March 2008 by tj-666

having passed my test and being restricted to 33bhp, i decided (partly due to my parents) to step up from a CG125 to a CBF250, i have never had real problems with Honda so it was a logical choice :) it will hold 70 up and down hill on motorway for... Read more me, the engine is incredibly quiet until you go above 7000 rpm and then... 'What A Sound!' bought it with 180 miles on the clock for 2,000 and also had the optional center stand and flyscreen so i cannot complain about the value has now been run in by me and is great fun to ride :) i look forward to riding it some more for about another year before i plan to step up to a restricted 33.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

Very good

27 October 2007 by mastermaw

I love my white CBF250. I took my DA about five months ago but decided on a 250 as it seemed best suited to my learner abilities, my central london commute... but more importantly to appease my parents who are terrified by motorbikes and cannot sleep... Read more at night knowing i'm driving one. I took my test on an ER5 but genuinely don't feel underpowered on the CBF250. It is incredibly light, will do 75-80mph, can carry two with ease and looks super trendy in white (although i've never seen another white one... i think the red/blue/silver colours look a bit cheap) It does have a frustrating lack of storage space though, and on occasion i do wish i had a bit more power to play with (i've been eyeing up hornets, MC-03s and GS500Fs) but my insurance is already a complete joke (£500) so i'm happy to stick with what i've got. CBF250s are something of a rarity, but i can genuinely recommend one as i've had absolutely no problems with mine and it's perfect for a city commute.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
3 out of 5
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Read all 9 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2004
Year discontinued 2012
Original price £3,500
Used price £1,700 to £2,200
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 6 of 17
Annual road tax £39
Annual service cost £230
Performance
Max power 22 bhp
Max torque 16 ft-lb
Top speed 80 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 16.5 secs
Average fuel consumption 60 mpg
Tank range 211 miles
Specification
Engine size 249cc
Engine type 4v single cylinder, 6 gears
Frame type Steel double cradle
Fuel capacity 16 litres
Seat height 780mm
Bike weight 139kg
Front suspension None
Rear suspension Preload
Front brake 276mm disc
Rear brake 130mm drum
Front tyre size 100/80 x 17
Rear tyre size 130/70 x 17

History & Versions

Model history

2004: Honda CBF250 introduced, taking over from Honda’s twin cylinder CB Two Fifty.
2006: Minor exhaust system modifications plus minor redesign of the shrouds around the fuel tank.

Other versions

None.

Photo Gallery

  • Honda CBF250 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda CBF250 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Honda CBF250 motorcycle review - Engine
  • Honda CBF250 motorcycle review - Brakes
  • Honda CBF250 motorcycle review - Exhaust
  • Honda CBF250 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda CBF250 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda CBF250 motorcycle review - Rear view
  • Honda CBF250 motorcycle review - Rear view
  • Honda CBF250 motorcycle review - Front view
  • Honda CBF250 motorcycle review - Instruments
  • Honda CBF250 motorcycle review - Suspension
  • Honda CBF250 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda CBF250 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda CBF250 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Honda CBF250 motorcycle review - Engine
  • Honda CBF250 motorcycle review - Brakes
  • Honda CBF250 motorcycle review - Exhaust
  • Honda CBF250 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda CBF250 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda CBF250 motorcycle review - Rear view
  • Honda CBF250 motorcycle review - Rear view
  • Honda CBF250 motorcycle review - Front view
  • Honda CBF250 motorcycle review - Instruments
  • Honda CBF250 motorcycle review - Suspension
  • Honda CBF250 motorcycle review - Riding
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