FIRST 1000KM RUN-IN REVIEW: HONDA CBR250RR KL-PENANG-KL

FIRST 1000KM RUN-IN REVIEW: HONDA CBR250RR KL-PENANG-KL

A new motorcycle’s recommended running-in period, lasts for about the 800-1000km on the road. This procedure is typically what manufacturers call breaking-in period or running-in the engine. This technique for operating the new bike.

We did just that for the all new Honda CBR250RR. We clocked 120km around the city for 3 days at at speeds of around 80-99km/h. Never once over 110km/h. (the first 3 days was heavy rain showers in the late evening)   

Why we all should do this is, as the internal friction in the engine is at its highest since the components are new and have not been “run-in.” Once the motorcycle reaches its first 800 to 1000 km, the reduction in friction is significant. Manufacturers believe that a properly break-in motorcycle will have lower emissions and better fuel economy, performance and engine longevity. In addition, other key components will also work better and longer.

Our first stop for coffee, the road was quite wet as it had shower early according to the food truck operator. He was the first person I met, on the this road trip to Penang at Tg Malim.

With any new motorcycle, riders should use the proper technique for running in their bike.

Since tolerances are close, metal parts wear off and make their way into the engine oil. Running flat-out for a long time could clog your oil filter with metal shavings that might migrate into the engine.

On the fifth day with our “Baby” we took a road trip to Penang Island to cover an event. We took this opportunity to run-in the engine. The trip up to Penang started at 9am, with an average speed still remained under 110km/h. (KL-Penang is approx. 360km) for the first 800km, Its advisable not to go over ¾ of the top speed of a new bike.

We gradually increase the speed when we reach 450km mileage we rise the speed gradually to 120-130km/h.

So this trip up to Penang took us around 5 hours with multiple stops to rest “Baby” and for us to take photos along the way. The weather was really breezy with light drizzle all the way pass Taiping. Really cooling ride. But by noon, the sun heats up as we approach Bukit Merah all the way to Penang Island.  

The Honda CBR250RR is the highest spec 250cc bike you can get in Malaysia, launched end 2020, its quite a sporty and aggressive looking sport bike, boasted by top class performance components,  one of the features of the CBR250RR, is a “throttle-by-wire” system that is the first adopted for the 250cc class. The “throttle-by wire” makes it possible to change the riding mode by electronic control, as the throttle operation is now controlled by electric signals instead of the mechanical wire structure, the CBR250RR has 3 ride modes, Comfort, Sport and Sport+.

Comfort mode: allows the rider to enjoy more relaxed riding, and smoother ride, hence it should be more fuel economical. Our ride to Penang 360km distance took only RM25 of Ron 95, that’s during the run-in period (KL-Penang approx. 350km distance total distance approx. 700km) CBR250cc has a 14 litre capacity. With just one full tank I could reach the island and still have fuel to go round island twice!

Sport mode: for all-round linear acceleration

Sport+ mode: emphasizes on the response and a more powerful acceleration (but actually between Sport+ & Sport mode, we didn’t feel much difference, but at over 170km/h there are white light appearing on the dash, we could see the white lights gains faster in Sport+ mode)

The riding mode can be switch by closing the throttle fully while riding. If you don’t shut the throttle, the mode selected will blink. The ride mode button is on the high beam flash button on most of the other bike models.

Simpang Pulai R&R: The stall owner who owns a H-D Street Glide was impress too with "Baby"
been quite some time we came here for a quick selfie since the pandemic started

CBR250RR Engine

Power for the Honda CBR250RR comes with a two-cylinder, 249.7cc power plant that claimed to produce 40hp at 13,000rpm and 25Nm of torque at 11,000rpm

Max output: 40.2hp @ 13,000rpm

Max Torque: 25Nm @ 11,000rpm

This is newly designed engine 250cc water-cooled 4-stroke DOHC 4-valve inline 2-cylinder engine boasts the highest horsepower output in its class. Only the 2018 Kawasaki Ninja 250R is the CBR250RR’s closest rival with 39hp. (We had review the Ninja and the top speed we got was 192km/h).

The high-speed engine, which can revv to red zone up to 14,000rpm. The engine has a 62.0 mm × 41.4 mm bore x stroke ratio but comes with an aluminium cylinder sleeve and molybdenum coating of the piston, which are lightweight and claimed to reduce friction loss.

Along with the newly designed engine, contributing to the highest output in its class is the downdraft intake layout that improves intake efficiency by making the intake flow nearly vertical. It is an intake layout that has become popular in the 250cc model now, but until then it was mainly adopted in the large displacement sports model. In order to increase the output, Honda are generously introducing such technology.

A twin-sided exhaust with a unique design air filter sound makes the CBR sound racy, that makes you want to open the throttle more in the medium and high rpm ranges.

The aggressive and sporty appearance in the design and the unique twin exhaust give the CBR250RR attract a lot of heads to turn even from a distance.

Reach the Penang Bridgeaftewr 4 1/2 hours on the road

CBR250RR features performance components  

Nissin Brakes

The front and rear wave-shaped disc brakes are adopted for the brakes, and the disc size is 310mm at the front and 240mm at the rear with 2 channel ABS as standard.

Showa Front and Rear Suspension

The front is equipped with non-adjustable 37mm Showa inverted forks. At the rear, a five stage adjustable preload is mounted on a Prolink mount.

Evening Ride around the Island checking out the road condition with the stock IRC Roadwinner tyres
Beautiful Sunset nearby Telok Bahang

 Race Style Digital Meter

Equipped with a racy-designed full digital meter. The speedometer is displayed in the center, and the bar-type tachometer goes up along the top of the meter. Various information such as gear position indicator, clock, water temperature gauge, fuel gauge, riding mode, and the switchable trip meter are arranged for easy viewing.

It is also equipped with functions that were considered circuit ridding, such as rev indicator that informs shift timing by LED lighting, and LAP timer (still cant find where can operate this function!)

Okay enough with the specs, let go back to the ride, as you know this is a very special Honda to us as we had made this “Baby” our very first personally own Honda! Few reason why I choose the CBR250RR…. I been waiting 3 years, to since its worldwide launch, and finally the CBR250RR is launched in Malaysia by Boon Siew Honda, MD after MD, I ask when will the CBR250RR arrived in Malaysia, all I get was a smile from the Japanese big bosses. Then when Boon Siew Honda preview the CBR250RR race version and I finally got to sit on it (MSBK race spec) I partly fell in love. Just partly…… but thanks to my Youtuber friend Ricsky who last minute rented his new CBR250RR for Ee Tiong Motorsports New Year New Confidence iRide Sports Riding Course which I conducted, I was amazed how easy is to ride this 250cc bike on the Sepang Go-Kart Track. Loaded with Quickshifter as standard and the easy handling. I asked Chong Kien, Ee Tiong Motorsports how long I had to wait if I want to get one? (There was a 3 month wait for a new CBR250RR) few days later Chong Kien said to me if you want one, I have a few units arriving and I could get one unit! So that me calculate the budget and I took the offer! So here we are with “Baby”. Few more reasons why I choose the CBR250RR is of course the performance and the component package that comes with “Baby” and the maker was the design, and I could fully custom her and upgrade her to perform to my riding character, without really go overboard with budget as I did with my MT09. My last new big bike purchase was back in 2015 (MT09) and last superbike was in 2018, an RSV4 Factory which I sold it end of 2020. The CBR250RR wasn’t not all perfect but the performance and ridebility and handling covers its imperfection. I only have 2 things I wasn’t really happy about “Baby” is the ride-by-wire throttling at gears 1,2,3 2-4krpm seems to have a little lag and QuickShifter also in 1,2,3 gearing feels rough but at 4,5,6 is butterly smooth.

I did ask Honda tech guy about this, he told me at the 2-4k rpm mark, the High Cam and Valves is yet to open, It’s similar to a TZR125 power valve opening so there is a lag time before its fully open. So he added cos this bike is targeted to new riders and my throttle control seems to be for bigger capacity so I could feel the lag. For normal riders they might not notice.

Handling and agility I get from the Showa front and rear is excellent but the iRC Road Winner stock tyres really wasn’t on par with CBR250RR performance and handling. I kept the stock tyre just for running-in the engine while waiting for Bridgestone RS10 to arrive (rear size I up it to 150/17 while front size remain 110/17. Once the new tyres arrive I would head to the go-kart track to set up the suspension.

On our way back from Penang, we clocked 800km mileage, we full throttle the CBR250RR from Simpang Pulai to its max speed 185km/h (there is a speed cut…. I notice when it hits 185km/h the speed will drop one km by one km to 180km/h and it goes up again to 185). The CBR250 feels stable at that speed.

With some upgrade and ECU tweaking I sure we can get it to 200km/h.  Perfect enough for a new rider and the performance is good enough for an old rider like me i can full throttle anytime I want!    

Nice clean background just had to take a snap here

When I reach back to home from Penang the mileage just hit 1030km. 1 week for “Baby’s” first service. Bigwing Setapak recommended to change the Oil Filter and use 240ml (3 bottles) Honda Genuine SL 10W-30 Fully Synthetic engine oil. That 1st service cost RM245.

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