Isle of Man TT veteran John McGuinness recently got a chance to test the new Mugen Shinden electric rice bike to prepare for the 2012 TT Zero. The test took place at the Twin Ring Motegi in Japan, a world-class racing circuit but perhaps not-coincidentally, a track built and owned by Honda, further fueling the […]
Honda CBR250R Sticking Around for 2014, Getting Facelift to Match New CBR300R
But which one will be coming to the US?
Earlier this month, Honda unveiled a new CBR300R model at the CIMAMotor show in Chongqing, China. The assumption was the 286cc CBR300R would replace the CBR250R as Honda’s entry-level sportbike. The CBR250R isn’t completely disappearing however, as Honda announced the 2014 version will be appearing at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show, Nov. 20-Dec. 1. Expect Honda to offer the CBR250R in Japan while other markets (hopefully including the U.S.) will instead get the CBR300R.
The 2014 Honda CBR250R receives a new look, matching the CBR300R. Gone is the VFR1200F-inspired Y-shaped headlight, replaced by twin headlights to match the larger CBR models. The fairing is also new, with the body panels extending down to the belly pan, closing the gap that existed in the original CBR250R’s fairing.
Honda will likely offer the 2014 CBR250R in Japan and other Asian markets, while other areas will get the CBR300R. Honda adopted the same strategy with its CBR500R, CB500F and CB500X, offering those models in western markets while offering smaller displacement versions in the CBR400R, CB400F and 400X.
Kawasaki did the same thing when it introduced the Ninja 300. In western markets including North America, the Ninja 300 replaced the previous-generation Ninja 250. In Asia, however, Kawasaki continued to offer the Ninja 250, updating it with the same technology as the Ninja 300 minus 47cc.
American Honda hasn’t yet announced whether it will offer the new CBR300R or the updated CBR250R for 2014. We suspect American Honda will opt for the CBR300R to compete with the Ninja 300, but we won’t know until there’s an official announcement.
Incidentally, the revamped CBR250R for Japan does bring added credence to an allegedly leaked document that surfaced in September. The document allegedly lists several new models for the Japanese market including an updated CBR250R as well as a CB250F, a CBR650F, a VFR800F and a CTX1300 that has already been spotted in public. Time will tell whether the other models will also become reality.