Monday, December 17, 2012

Ride to Pokhara on Honda CBR250R '12 -- Dec 13th-15th, 2012


Ride to the Unknown.

That’s how Honda CBR250R got launched themselves.




With having difficulty in day to day riding on a 600RR, I thought I would definitely love to get a smaller capacity commuter bike. With wide range of options available in the market of Nepal, I finally narrowed down to Duke200, Pulsar NS200, CBR250R, Hyosung GT250N, R15v2.0 and even Hero Karizma. It was choices that were definitely going to spoil me.
Then came the hardest part of choosing and test driving the bikes. I was pretty sure that except for Duke200 and NS200, I wasn't opting for a brand new bike for obvious reason, the dough. Luckily both Duke200 and NS200 came into the second hand market with Odometer reading of 0 KMs with mouth watering price.

Duke 200. I went to check out the Duke first. It wasn't even out of the showroom which was even better for me. I had it test-ridden once before. The initial acceleration is mind boggling and I was pretty much happy with the bike. But then, it was the advice from fellow RiderzNepal G-MOD, i-Uze, which left me thinking. I was not only planning to do commuting but touring as well. With the small rear seat and the huge amount of heat it throws on the leg, it was definitely going to be PITA. Duke200 left out with heavy heart.

Pulsar 200NS. The only brand I haven’t ridden yet the whole of my life. I was reluctant to even try. But positive feedback all over the Internet and our own fellow member, Shashwat, I thought of giving it a try. Once again in HamroBazaar.com, there was an AD with fresh bike on sale. I gave him a call. But unfortunately or rather fortunately (which I will describe later) he didn't receive the call. I thought aah what the hell; I am not going to call him again for his bike. Later I found out that the price he quoted NRs. 250,000/- was rather exaggerated price. He got discount of NRs. 20,000/- and with the market price of NRs. 264,000/-, I would have been duped.

R15v2.0. I love Yamaha, no doubt about it. My first bike with my own income was v1.0. My first superbike was Yamaha XJ650. I love how they think outside the box and put the best technological input on their bike. But sitting on the bike, I left it out of my options without second thought purely due to its ergonomic reasons.

Hyosung GT250N. This was the bike I was long gunning for. As most of the fellow members know, I have test ridden this bike more than a couple of times. Each time though, I came to fault some parts of the bike. Initially it was tires which offered virtually no grip at all. Second time, it was the inadequate headlight and the seating position. This also again came up in the local AD bazaar and I immediately called him. To my dismay, the seller wanted a huge price for a used bike and I in turn had to disagree on the price and leave it too.

Hero Karizma. This was the perfect bike for my choice of daily commuting and occasional touring. Spares were also readily available. It has been years it has been serving many of the ZMA faithful and there were nothing but positive feedbacks. I was definitely going to get it and all the decisions were made on the head till this happened.

Honda CBR250R STD 2012. So, I was going to buy the ZMA and was preparing myself with the updates on my bank account status. As a habit, I checked the AD site once more and popped up a brand new Honda CBR250R STD 2012 with very few KMs done. The owner was willing to part it at the earliest and was eager to get a Kawasaki Ninja instead. I have personally seen the baby CBR on its launch day and the test drive with fellow RiderzNepal members on Chobhar was itself very informative. Though I wasn’t quite sure then about the VFRish looks of the bike (some of the RN members might remember I detested this bike). I called up the guy and test rode the bike. It was as easy as Honda Twister for me. The bike was light and maneuverable in the tightest of the traffics. I have been reading that CBR250R has gone touring on the hardest of the area where previously only dedicated tourers have gone. The decision was made. I immediately told him that I was taking the bike. Then came the pleasant surprise. I came to know that I would be the first person to get my photo attached on the BlueBook as the bike was previously on a company’s name. Thanking my luck stars, I took the bike home with the widest grin on my face. Riding 600RR, 250R seemed like riding a scooter with gear. It was that easy.

Along came the testing. So, getting the bike, 2nd servicing done, I had been quietly thinking of doing some long distance travelling on it. On last Thursday afternoon, feed up with the workstation, I sent a text to my brother if he was willing to do a tour then. The reply was position. So, preparing myself, I picked up him and tanked up the bike. The tour to Pokhara was ON.

Comfort. The bike is pretty comfortable. The padding is good, the riding position spot on. Only thing I didn’t like is the grips of the bike. They seemed to be cheap and are quite hard. After spending few hours, it starts to hurt in and around your right hand thumb.

Performance. This is what I liked. The bike can lazily cruise around the highway at the speed of 80-100 KMPH in 5500-7500 RPM in 6th gear. There are plenty of RPMs left incase you need to overtake. There was no lagging. But riding on short gears on bad roads was different case. With the roads in Thankot in the sorry state, the bike gave us a hard time. In 1st gear it was okay but as soon as the gear was raised, with low RPMs the bike started to lag.


Mileage. The bike gave the mileage of 29.50 KMPL when visiting Pokhara. The ride consisted of spirited riding all along the highway and some very slow riding after darkness fell. While returning, maintaining constant speed of 85 KMPH at 6500 RPM, the bike returned the mileage of 32.03 KMPL. Had the roads been better in the Thankot area and outside Pokhara Valley, I am sure the mileage figures would be much bigger.

Things I liked most.
  • ·         Mileage – after riding a 600RR, the mileage of anything above 20 seems great. LOL
  • ·         Aerodynamics – no wind buffering in and around the chest area. The ugly and huge windscreen does it work effectively.
  • ·         Comfort – No pain in the ass. The padding is just okay but I think it will need to be re-done if doing anything longer than 200 KMs.
  • ·         Performance- The engine was outstanding. Even being single cylinder, it was refined. No noise once on 6th gear and speed above 60 KMPH.

Things I hated most.
  • ·         Light – Previous owner has put up the white bulb with 35/35w ratings. The alignment was also wrong. Just before reaching Pokhara, it got dark. I had to slow down to speed o f around 20KMPH to safely drive.
  • ·         Horn – The less said the better. It was pathetic. Even scooters today have larger horns. One truck driver even suggested me to horn before overtaking, while in my case, I have been pressing the horn for I don’t know how long.
  • ·         Tires – It took forever to warm. Riding it on cold tires is very difficult. Very similar to GT250N, it offers virtually no grip at all and slips around. Feels like Ken Bates with all those drifting. ;-)
  • ·         Front tire fender – It is there for the purpose of just fulfilling the void. It offers no protection against the water splashes and all the little gravels go crashing on the radiator. It is the gravest mistake Honda made. Already thinking of either extending the front fender or putting up with the radiator guard. Replacing radiator is expensive job and Honda should have thought of it.
SSome Pictures of the tour.
Look so little chicken strip left
Kawasaki Ninja 250R - The Green Hornet
Taking a well deserved rest at Galchi, Dhadhing
Thankot ko Ukalo...worst road ever :(

Post a Comment