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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey CBR250.net :D

I am a potentially brand new rider; never ridden a motorcyle and looking into possibly riding. I live in Pittsburgh, where the roads arent so great and the weather is really only suited for riding about 6 months/year so I am looking at affordable entry level bikes.

I am not afraid of popping the front wheels up, but as a beginner I would greatly prefer to have less HP so I am looking at 250s. Honda, as MotoGP world champion constructor really appeals to me because of their motorpsorts heritage. Also, because I am looking at a 250, I have to choose basically between a Ninja and a CBR. The question is - what are the pro's and cons of the CBR?

I like that the CBR is fuel injected, has optional ABS (especially for rain riding, which can crop up around here for sure) and is lighter/gets better MPG. However, even though its got a punchy torquey engine, its lower on power and higher on vibration than the Ninja.

The Ninja on the other hand is outdated carburetor, but has more power and is easier to ride, but heavier. I read some reviews that showed the Ninja was alot more planted and stable under braking than the CBR, possibly due to the weight - but the Ninja has been tried and true and still ranks to be the best of the 250's.

Basically, I just want to see if anyone who has bought a CBR250 has really wished they got a Ninja, and vice versa. Happy owners, content owners, and perhaps some malcontent owners, chime in!

also, if anyone has the optional ABS, what do you think of it? Too invasive? Just right?
 

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Love my CBR and, as I just found out, it handles pretty good in the rain. **** rain.
 

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Used pregen ninjas(< '07) are all around and can be had for less than $2k, and most of the time around $1500.

I never wanted to learn on a brand new bike though.
 

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I don't know of ANY CBR owners that went to a Ninja...
I *do* know of a few Ninja owners that have switched to the CBR...

... Right Frank?

My riding buddy and I:

Then:



___________________________________________________________________

And, Now:




(Yeah, ok, the Ninja got squashed by a semi... but look what he replaced it with...)
 

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I am a big fan of the ABS. Great safety feature, not invasive at all. If you get the Honda and can at all afford it, get it.

I would highly recommend the Honda. It is the ultimate commuter, easy to ride, much fun.

My younger brother had a 2010 Ninja 250. He hated the carbs. My last bike was a 1999 BMW F650 with carbs. After moving to the Honda, I would never consider buying another bike without EFI.
 

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My vote went to the Honda as I wanted a new bike (touchy subject here, but it's what I wanted myself), and didn't want a carbed bike plus ABS seemed like a good idea.

Although I've seen some of the points you made mentioned before, I've also read that the Ninja vibrates/buzzes a LOT more than the CBR250R. As for power, maybe it is down a bit, but at least riding my bike I don't think it would make a huge difference between the two -- as neither are really built for speed.

Anyhow, just my 2 cents (and not regretting my CBR250R at all)
 

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I felt like the Ninja vibrated more.

Least my hand thought so, lol.

ABS is a safety feature, but isn't any replacement for good braking skills. Already plenty of threads here about that. Most bikes don't have ABS.
 

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Where did you see that the ninja is easier to ride and ranks best of the 250's???? I'd like to know because through my month of researching them almost everyday before I made my decision it was always the opposite. Pretty much every magazine review or online review I saw always had the CBR250 coming out on top and one of the main reasons was almost always because it was easier to ride. The CBR has a lot better low end power which makes it much easier to ride in town and for beginners. Plus the fuel injection is fool proof and very nice along with the ABS as you mentioned. I never rode either bike before I bought but I sat on each and read every review that google could find me and ended up with the CBR and I LOVE the bike and it has been a GREAT beginner bike. Plus around here the idiot kawi dealer wanted more for a 2011 ninja before anything thing else added on than I got my CBR out the door for! Also to me the looks are a tie because they're both beautiful bikes but the ninjas dash is HORRIBLE and looks straight out of the early 80's.
 

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I would ask, what is your ultimate goal in motorcycling? Are you into sportbikes, or are you a commuter? Do you intend to do your own work, or does having a factory warranty appeal to you?

If you're planning on commuting year-round, want ABS, want FI so you don't have to wait while it warms up... the cbr might be a good choice. For pretty much every other scenario, you'd be better served grabbing something used and super cheap (Ninja 250, Honda CB/CM/Nighthawk in the 400 range, KLR650, GS500), putting 10,000 miles or so on that and then trading up, getting back a lot of what you paid. By then, the extra power of a new bike will be an advantage instead of a worry.

When it comes to crappy weather and crappy roads, it's tough to do much better than a dualsport. Get you a used KLR or V-Strom, and it'll tackle Pittsburgh no problem. A year later when you're experienced, buy a 600-class sportbike and it will suit you.

I'm looking at a CBR as a long-haul bike, since it gets fantastic fuel economy and has an impressively long maintenance interval. But, like you, the cost of entry is a sticking point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Totalmotorcyle i think Was the site with the review where the ninja came out on top in handling. I just don't want to get on a bike and find I've got chatter up front since I drive in Pittsburgh commuting downtown every day and fast stopping is a must. The bike is a commuter and weekend fun machine. I don't see myself ever getting anything faster than a cbr600 if I find I like riding and enjoy going fast, or want to try it at the track. So for now, a convenient commuter is nice.

I have a local guy with a 2011 asking $3500 Obo for one with no ABS and 12 miles on it. I really want efi otherwise I'd try out a ninja. Cost of entry is a bit high, but i don't look at it as an investment to get money out of, so buying new isn't a concern either. I just don't want th instant regret which might come from buying something I wish had
More power and necessitating a trade in after a year of acclimatizing to riding.

Thanks for the suggestions :). And as regards dual-sports, that's not necessary since I'm always on pavement, it's just sometimes a bit riddled with potholes!
 

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I'd go with the Honda for the same reasons everyone else is saying. It's easy to get caught up in idealistic and hypothetical concerns on paper, but the reality ("when the rubber hits the road") is that the CBR250R is a very efficient street bike. If you're commuting and doing nearly all of your riding on public roads, it's perfect. I wouldn't trade EFI for carbs, and the low end torque of a single compared to the equivalent parallel twin makes it a breeze in stop and go traffic. The fuel economy is unreal. It's the best I've ever seen without getting into riding scooters.

My disclaimer for my opinion is that my targeted criteria for a motorcycle is how well it's suited as a commuter, i.e. comfort, fuel efficiency, maneuvering in city traffic, etc. The Honda seems to equally prepare a new rider to make a choice at the fork in the road between a street-bike and a track-bike as their next. Some folks here "upgrade" to the CBR-600 while others "upgrade" to 650 class sport-standard bikes (which unfortunately Honda doesn't make at this time).
 

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Thanks for the suggestions :). And as regards dual-sports, that's not necessary since I'm always on pavement, it's just sometimes a bit riddled with potholes!
Exactly ;)

And the huge wheels and ground clearance are great not only for potholes, but sitting up high you can see over traffic. The small fairing is also helpful in the rain.

You can find one for so little that the savings will more than make up for the fuel economy disadvantage.

I'm not knocking the CBR, I just think that in this situation (and here in Philly too) a DS is a better choice. But by all means, get both :D
 

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Whichever one matches your underpants.
 

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Exactly ;)

And the huge wheels and ground clearance are great not only for potholes, but sitting up high you can see over traffic. The small fairing is also helpful in the rain.

You can find one for so little that the savings will more than make up for the fuel economy disadvantage.

I'm not knocking the CBR, I just think that in this situation (and here in Philly too) a DS is a better choice. But by all means, get both :D
Do dual sports get blown around in the wind more due to the high and exposed riding position? My brother has a KLR650 but he never rides it to work because it is just too sketchy at 70 mph.
 

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I won't have any experience on the cbr until next week hopefully after I get my msf completed and get my endorsment but based on the reviews and what i've read and heard the bike is a great beginner machine to learn on and is very competent for commuting, sporty riding, or just cruising. The lower power band is going to be more friendly around town and the fuel injection is a great plus. I've never had to deal with motorcycle carburators but i've spent some time having to work on my boat and jet ski carbs and they can be such a headache. I'd prefer to just avoid all that. It was a pretty easy decision for me to make, I wasn't too hyped for the ninja after comparing it to the cbr.
 
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