HONDA CB250 (1992 - 2003) Review
- Sturdy, reliable workhorse
- Easy to ride and maintain
- Cheap to run, great commuter
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£60|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
Never were the words "trusty little workhorse" so apt as to describe the Honda CB250.
The latest incarnation, launched in 1992, represented the swansong for a motorcycle with a history going back to the 1970s. Trusted, reliable and entirely without pretence, the Honda CB250 is a cracking little motorcycle that’s given long service to bikers everywhere.
- Related: What happen to the 250 generation?
At one time, the roads of the UK were packed with 250cc motorbikes but as the 250 racing category disappeared and licencing restrictions evolved over time, they began to disappear.
The CB250 was replaced by the Honda CBF250 in 2003 but eventually the whole 250 class was dropped in favour of 125s for learners.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
The Honda CB250 is very basic but honest and competent, nonetheless. The suspension’s adequate, ditto the disc/drum combo braking system.
The gearbox is typically crunchy, and the gear lever’s a bit small for chunky motorcycle boots, whilst the clutch lacks absolute precision. A doddle to ride, though, and the handling’s not bad either. Light and turns easily, the Honda CB250 is also very forgiving of little mistakes.
EngineNext up: Reliability
The Honda CB250's engine began its life in the old 250 Superdreams of the 1970s. Despite it’s modest power and torque figures, it performs its duties without complaint, unless you thrash it, of course. There’s plenty of go for town riding; aim for the top speed, though, and the Honda CB250 will soon start to complain
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
Unquestionable. Thirty years on the go enough for you? The Honda CB250 may not be flash but it’s a honest and well built motorcycle, just getting on with the job without glamour or glitz or loads of modern gadgetry, so what little does go wrong is easily fixed.
Used motorcycles may well be ex-learner models: treat with caution although Honda CB250s can take a good battering without too much fall out.
Our Honda CB250 owners' reviews state that this bike is very reliable, but you do need to watch out for corrosion, particularly around the exhaust.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
The Honda CB250 is excellent value. Cheaper alternatives may be available but the Honda CB250's staying power means you don’t have to ditch it along with the L plates. Loads of Honda CB250s were used for daily commutes. Insurance is dirt cheap and the fuel economy is phenomenal. Easy to work on, too, saving garage bills.
The Honda CB250 is a budget, basic motorcycle with the accessories to match. The clocks are straight out of the '70s with large, analogue rev counter and speedo. The seat and pegs make for an upright riding position which doesn’t cripple the rider too much but carrying a pillion over long distances could be a chore. Grabrails and bungee hooks are handy. Parts for the Honda CB250 are easy to find.
|Engine type||4v parallel twin, 5 gears|
|Frame type||Tubular steel cradle|
|Fuel capacity||16 litres|
|Front brake||240mm disc|
|Rear brake||130mm drum|
|Front tyre size||90/100 x 18|
|Rear tyre size||120/90 x 16|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||75 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£45|
|Annual service cost||£60|
6 of 17
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Two year unlimited mileage|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||20 bhp|
|Max torque||15 ft-lb|
|Top speed||80 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||17 secs|
|Tank range||265 miles|
Model history & versions
1992: Honda CB250 launched as a “traditional roadster”.
2003: Honda CB250 Discontinued to make way for a new model, the Honda CBF250.
Owners' reviews for the HONDA CB250 (1992 - 2003)
8 owners have reviewed their HONDA CB250 (1992 - 2003) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£60|
Version: CB Two Fifty
Annual servicing cost: £40
Best feature is definitely it's reliability and simplicity there seems to be very little to go wrong. It is light and easy to handle. I would recommend it to anyone who wants a willing lightweight bike. More versatile than you would think. It is too quiet! Even with an aftermarket exhaust it is still the quietest bike ever made this side of an LE Velocette. It might be a little out of it's depth on a track day but on the bright side it would have no trouble passing the noise test....
I do not carry a pillion. Rear shocks are probably past their best. As I am old (born during the war) I stop frequently for comfort breaks (every 2 hours sometimes less). I have ridden 270 miles in a day with only some minor discomfort in the last 50 miles. I was able to walk the next day ! A bit more comfortable (although slower) than my GSXR 1000. Brakes are very good , much better than I expected although I have yet to use them in an emergency stop from high speed.
The engine is a larger version of the cb200 engine, nothing to do with the earlier CB250 engine whatever MCN says. It is willing enough and surprisingly smooth at higher revs. Inevitably you have to wind it up to get past trucks on the motorway. Flat out is something between an indicated 70 and 85 depending on conditions. Sometimes faster in 4th than 5th if conditions (wind and slight gradient) are against you. Cruises easily at an indicated 60/65 in benign weather. For solo riding first is probably too low (25mph max if you have any mechanical sympathy). Mine has a nice quiet positive gearbox. Best Honda gearbox I have ever used. Very economical I have seen 90mpg, 75mpg in everyday use and uses very little oil. Mine is fitted with a Motad exhaust.
Nothing has broken. It has scabby wheels, tarnished engine cases and forks. Some minor rust on chassis. Nothing that wire wool and Hammerite will not put right. Until I bought it I suspect it had been left outside a great deal. In the end it is 20 odd years old and the problems are purely cosmetic.
Do my own basic servicing. Oil change, new gasket after oil gauze clean, chain lube. Done about 6500 miles in less than 2 years.
Not much standard equipment. Centre stand is useful, mirrors are good. Could do with a clock. A luggage rack would be useful but I am too tight to buy one. I manage with an old tank bag and a rucksack. I bought a louder horn a Denali mini snail? horn, bike now sounds like a car!Pirelli tyres were new when I bought the bike and appear to be wearing well and seem ok to me in the wet.
Buying experience: Bought privately for £675 a couple of years ago. I think it was advertised at £700.
Annual servicing cost: £100
I cant fault my CB250, I bought this one in May having not been run for four years. Starting at the front I replaced front tyre, brake disc and pads, handlebars, carb jets, air filter, seat cover, battery, mirrors and rear tyre. I fitted it with a full Rickman fairing, Rickman panniers and a large top box. Just today I fitted heated grips. It is now a year round machine in almost daily use.
The ride quality is good, I also have a Yamaha Majesty 250 which although totally reliable is nowhere near as comfortable as the Honda. The brakes are adequate for the speeds i do.
Can't fault it, I find the single carb engine smoother than the CD250u I had a few years back, same engine but the 250u has twin carbs which seem to get out of balance easily. Where I live the max speed limit is 60 apart from about 400 yards of dual carriageway. It gets up to 60 quick enough even with a pillion.
I had a Suzuki GN250 before this one. It was good but I think Honda tops them all for build quality and reliability.
Since recommissioning this bike at a cost of about £400, all i have spent on it is an oil change every thousand miles.
Easy starting in any weather and the low seat height allows me to sit flat footed on it. The wife loves it because of ease of getting on and off.
Annual servicing cost: £30
Read all the reviews and agree with them all, it's a cracking little bike that keeps me sane now I'm retired.
More than adequate.
A lot of vibes if used quickly.
keep an eye on the exhaust balance pipe, it has a hard life, I have removed the exhausts ,cleaned and spray the corrosion with ceramic exhaust manifold paint, its silver and cannot be seen from above.
Just oil basically, 75MPG, buy a manual, easy to work on.
Buying experience: bought on ebay, well pleased.
Hi there, I have a Honda CB250 Super dream 1997 which I purchased last October as a winter hack. It had 28000 miles on the clock. My BMW K750S is a great bike, but getting a bit expensive & heavy for the commute especially in snow/ice. The little Honda is an absolute cracker. Its like a motorised push bike! Great for use in the winter in the snow/rain/ice (I didn't see many big bikes used during that time!!) Good points:- 1) Cheap to Insure & tax 2) Approx 110-130 mpg for my commute of 13 miles each way to London & back from London Suburb.(keeping the chain lubed aids this)easily get 350+ miles before reserve tank needs to be used. 3) Parts are inexpensive & readily available from non Honda outlets 4) Light (approx 130 Kg)and easy to maneuver in the rush hour & around pot holes. 5) No expensive oil/filters required..simple gauze that can be cleaned and replaced. 6) Doesnt use any oil. 7) Fun to ride & can park almost anywhere without fear of theft 8) Easy to maintain by novice rider. Can find plenty of maintenance tips on YouTube. 9) Air cooled. Bad points:- 1) Chain to clean/lube (guess i am used to the shaft drive of my K75s) 2) Feels a little under powered for my 95Kg body :)..or maybe its my bike? 3) On the motorway, you can feel large vehicles overtake. Max speed is approx 70mph..but not a great idea to do this type of speed. 4) No windshield on my bike as standard. 5) No cig lighter socket for GPS/ heated grips. 6) TOO quiet!!...cars/pedestrians cant hear you coming!! If you want a solid reliable bike to commute on or just get around, I would highly recommend the CB250. (try and get one with a top box..soo useful). I might consider a scooter as an alternative, but thats only because I dont like to lube the chain.(assuming that it gives me the same MPG). I hope that this helps. Safe Riding Regards Ben
I've just started training as a motorcycle instructor so I got this 1995 model for £400 so I don't wreck my Z750S and I've got to say for a 250 it's a right laugh, yes you've got to rev it and use the gears to get up to speed and the handling isn't as good as some others but it just gives it a bit of character and for town use it's got plenty of go and is light and nimble for nipping through traffic, probably easier than my Z to be honest, so over all don't take it on dual carriageways or motorways and it'll be a good little bike for you.
This is the ideal commuter bike. I've changed from a Sprint RS to this for commuting and it is an absolute hoot. Light, easy to service and very little maintenance to carry out. Do check that the caliper is in decent condition though as they do corrode. Valves are accessible and apparently a 45 minute job to check. Oil service is a doddle. 1.5 litres of 10W40 Halfords Motorcycle oil every 4K. To clean the oil screen, drain oil, take off the clutch cover - right hand engine case - remove oil pump and then remove the screen to clean it. Put all back together for a further 12K miles of riding. Tyres are 29 psi front and rear - but I run it with 31psi rear as I'm 115kgs and 1.96m tall. I cannot fault the bike as a reliable commuter. I've put Fazer 1000 bars on as they are more comfortable and a nice Airblade screen. Bike came with a Motad 2into1 exhaust, which is nice. Braking power is adequate, but putting a new disc on as the current one is worn. So far I am averaging 75mpg on a 28 mile round trip into London each day. No motorway riding - too slow for that... just city riding. The engine is relaxed and easy going, clutchless gear changes up and down the box when blipping the throttle are a doddle. These bikes are a cracking bargain and a sensible tool for getting about cities. Although it only tops out at about 65mph with me on it (gets there eventually) it is happy to sit at 50mph all day long.
This is a fantastic bike, providing a very comfortable, and economical ride (at least 80mpg). It is a perfect commuter bike, especially for cities. It is also the absolute best choice if you have a restricted license. I love my CB250.
although quite slow for a 250 when compared to the modern equivalents i.e. the new 250 by kawasaki, this little bike is alot more fun than you are led to beleive. its down points are that all round the bike is basic, the top speed is small and the handling average, but mix with that; exceptional fuel economy, high quality finish and a low seat for slow riding. this bike isn't all that bad... i've had my little 250 since 2006 and was a step up from a suzuki ts50er. and apart from having to replace the exhaust prematurely after the balance tube snapped due to over corrosion (caused by the previous owners lack of care) ive had little else to replace other than the chain and sprokets and the tyres. this bike however does complain alot with two up riding but will reach its top speed even with a full top box and tank bag. i enjoy riding this bike however at 18 going on 19 my sights are now set for a sports tourer middle weight. but i will say though that i've had more than 80mpg before and 89 miles an hour out of the poor bike (albeit down hill with the wind behind and leaning on the low slung petrol tank.) and with dunlops on the rims its possible to grind the foot rests around the twisties... just remember though that it's not a sports bike by any stretch of the word or imagination... but is a good solid bike...