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Long Term CBF 250 Review

By Ren Withnell

Review Date February 2015

I purchased my CBF 250 second hand, the vendor made it perfectly clear it had been a "Cat D" insurance write off. In simple parlance it had been crashed and aesthetically damaged beyond economic repair but not bent enough to make it dangerous. Someone had restored it to a serviceable status. On my test ride the tickover was set high and I knew something was amiss. Other than that the bike was a delight to ride so I purchased it thinking I'd be able to sort out the tickover.

Honda's CBF 250 next to a parked car
It's not a bad looking machine overall.

Well the tappets were tighter than cramp so I sorted them out but that didn't sort the tickover. I cleaned the carb but that didn't sort the tickover. I changed the pilot jet but that didn't sort the tickover. As of this day the bike will tickover when completely warmed up. That said it will still often stall if I don't give it a blip before letting it idle and occasionally stall just because. Something is still not right. Should you worry if you're thinking of buying one? The forums suggest it is a common problem but then I have a friend with a CBF 250 and his starts and idles on the choke till warm then ticks over as sweet as a modern 4 cylinder fuel injected machine. If you're thinking of buying check the tickover.

Inside the cylinder head and tappets on the CBF 250
Bucket and shim tappets, never done these before. I have now!
The carburettor in pieces on my window sill
Stripping the carb is easy enough. Didn't find the problem though.

Then there's the front disc. It was fine when I got it but after a while the front brake came on and off with each revolution. This is most noticeable at slow speeds and is a sure sign of a warped disc. I purchased a used disc from a breakers and fitted it and all was well once again. For a while. Then the same problem came back. I have since fitted an expensive new EBC disc and I am getting the same problem. I suspect the front wheel is warped where the disc is bolted on although the rim is only very slightly out of true. Damn.

These 2 recurring problems spoil what is otherwise a most excellent motorcycle. I have ridden large motorcycles and I still use a 125 as everyday transport. The 250 sits right in the sweet spot between the 2. Larger bikes have stable, solid and confidence inspiring handling whereas small bikes can be twitchy and track over road imperfections. Large bikes however are cumbersome to move around, heavy and if they start to fall there's no hope of pulling them back up. Small bikes can be spun around with confidence, easy to park, easy to keep upright and if you do drop them they're easy to pick up. 

At 151 kilos the CBF 250 is not so light as to be twitchy and not so heavy as to be cumbersome. Out on the road it feels as steady and balanced as a large machine then on a car park or driveway it's no more work than a 125. For once when it comes to handling and ease of use it gets the BEST of both worlds and none of the worst bits. When riding the narrow tank makes it feel small but the seating/riding position is easily comparable in comfort to a big bike. 

250 Honda at the Point Of Ayre, Isle of Man
Took the 250 to The Isle Of Man. Didn't win any races though.

There's no fancy adjustable forks and the shock at the rear has no rising rate linkage and only preload adjustment. And yet this is one of the best handling motorcycles I've ever had the pleasure of riding. It is light and nimble, easy to turn and throw around a bend. It takes in bumps and lumps with aplomb, feeding feel and sensation back through the bars and the pegs without jarring or surprise. I often hear riders of yore extolling the merits of the old Honda CB250 single's handling and yet no-one gives credit to it's grandchild, the CBF 250. I think this is a sad oversight, this ride deserves some credit.

The motor is a peach too (subject to working tickover and correctly set tappets). No, no it is never going shred tarmac, provide 3rd gear wheelies and see more than 100mph. However it is a torquey little beast. At legal speeds it will pull you up any hill, put a grin on your face and with some work keep you close behind mates on large bikes. Around the countryside there's grunt coming out of the corners then in the town it's quite happy to grind along with the traffic. After 60mph it all slows down quite a bit. It will hold 70 on the motorway even with some headwind but the engine sounds strained and the fuel consumption plummets. 

It has proven to be a comfortable beast. I expected the narrow seat and slightly head down riding position would make for a numb bum and sore shoulders. However on a 260 mile day and 1.300 mile week across Scotland I barely suffered any discomfort. Single cylinder engines can produce a lot of vibration and while the Honda is not as smooth as a 4 cylinder motor I've never found the vibes to be a problem. I often do 40 mile motorway runs with no ill effect either. 

CBF loaded up with panniers and top box, ready to ride to Scotland
Touring bike sir? I recommend the Honda.

Build quality is up to Honda's usual standards. Everything works as it should, the gears are fine, the clutch is light and the headlamp is straight off the CB 600 Hornet so works a treat. The tank holds 16 litres which means 200 miles is easily achieved and there's still plenty in reserve. I'm finding fuel economy to be between 75 and 90mpg, depending on how I ride. Typical commuting and running around gives me about 83mpg.

The CBF's downfall is that it came at a time when 250s here in the UK were very much out of vogue. Mine's a 2006 model, they started in 2004 and ended in 2008. It is only recently that Kawasaki's 250 then 300 Ninja has caused enough stir to re-ignite interest in this market segment. Both Honda and Kawasaki are about to or have released twin cylinder and single cylinder 250/300's Suzuki has the Inazuma workhorse with an optional sporty fairing and Yamaha has unleashed the R3. The CBF 250 never sold much in the UK, as such there's very few aftermarket spares. I'd suggest if Honda fitted it with Fuel Injection and modernised the look a little it would make a great addition to the range again.

I've put 13,000 miles on my 250 now. Apart from the tickover that drives me nuts and the warping disc(s) I think it is marvellous! I love the way it handles and I revel in the determination from the small motor. I can scream it around the twisties then relax and chug through the quaint villages. It will take me to work without bother then carry myself and my adult son to see Grandma with ease. And all the while it doesn't drink too much of the fuel budget. And the problems I've had? They're not the bike's fault, they're due to my inability to fix the tickover and the bike having had a hard life.

Ren's girlfriend looks inside the top box of his motorcycle
Oiii! You! Get out of there.

Reader's Comments

Sean said :-
Do yourself a favour Ren and buy a used front wheel to sort out the warping problem, I bet there as cheap as chips.
Looks like a right nice little bike, get your RTW trip organised !
I suspect the 250 to 500 market will be the big growth area this year.
Regards Sean
1/1/2000 12:00:00 AM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Hi Sean.

If I do set off on a big trip it will be on a 125 or less. The 250 serves it's function as 2-up transport, a plaything and a work hack when the 125 is in need of repair. It's a smashing bike but the fuel runs at 80-odd mpg which is OK but nothing compared to the 125's 140 mpg. That's a big saving over many miles.

I am not spending any money on a new front wheel until I can get the blooming blinking accursed tickover sorted! I'm beginning to suspect because the valves were tight when I bought it that there's a oh-so-tiny leak on one of the valves in which case I'll have to remove the head and lap the valves. If that sorts it THEN I'll buy it a shiny new front wheel.

Good to hear from you :-)
1/1/2000 12:00:00 AM UTC
John said :-
It's awful when an otherwise great bike has issues like that. I still feel like I'd love a 250 to replace our Vstrom (which really isn't needed anymore). It's just that I'm unconvinced there are any really rock solid and common 250s in the UK market. I've had the YBR250 and a Hyosung Gt250 in the past. The Yamaha handled really well. The Hyosung had a brilliant engine and was really comfortable. Both were terribly unreliable. The one thing I don't want is unreliable. That's why, like you, I pretty much just ride around on our 125. It never seems to let us down.

Thanks for the review. I'll get round to writing one of my old 250s eventually. Who knows, I may even swop the DL for one again.
1/1/2000 12:00:00 AM UTC
Henrik said :-
Strange to hear YBR250 called "unreliable", after all the YBR125 is known as a die-hard traveler, I vaguely seems to remember two of them on a world-tour a while back, without much more trouble than a awfull lot of tires being weared out :-) look forward to hear how the Keeway will compare over time, fine I guess, anyway many small japan-bikes are from china these days, or thailand, like my honda innova. Finish on my Innova, and a new YBR i just saw in a shop, is below old japanese standards, obviously, and Keeway seems to be on par in any way, so who cares anylonger, its a choice between china, or china :-)
1/1/2000 12:00:00 AM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
John - My CBF has never actually let me down but the tickover and the brake issue are frustrating. It would be unfair to say all CBF 250's are the same because they're not, I think mine has endured a difficult life before it reached me.

Henrik - You're kind of right in the sense that many of the Jap bikes are made in China, India and other such places and the build quality is not quite the same as a bona-fide Japanese machine. I suspect though that Honda, Yamaha and whoever are letting the build quality slip in the interest of cheaper prices to compete with the "All Chinese" machines. Lets face it a youth can find £1500 a lot easier than he can find £3000.

PS I got your email Henrik - great pics!
1/1/2000 12:00:00 AM UTC
Henrik said :-
Thanks, traveling pic's are essential to me, Panasonic FZ200 in a towel, if possible, bonus-gallery, a car-graveyard found in the forest, Ryd, Sweden,..
www.flickr.com/photos/123771123@N05/sets/72157645109542558/...
1/1/2000 12:00:00 AM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Those cars are spooky! Why are those cars there in the middle of a forest?
1/1/2000 12:00:00 AM UTC
Henrik said :-
Link with info, Spooky indeed, stepping back in time, yet post-epocalyptical

Some cars was from crashes, one had to ask: "was this hes last drive"
www.virtualtourist.com/travel/Europe/Sweden/Kronobergs_Laen/Ryd-177830/TravelGui...
1/1/2000 12:00:00 AM UTC
Donovan said :-
Thanks, really enjoyed your write up. In South Africa the cbf sold well, badged as a cbx 250. I ride one myself and use if mainly for commuting, great little bike. Easy to maintain and light on petrol. Sadly Honda doesn't sell them anymore due to emmision laws. I own a cbr 250 as well but still prefer riding my little cbx.
1/1/2000 12:00:00 AM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Hi Donovan. I'm told the CBF 250 is also popular in South America where it's sold as the CBX 250. Dagnammit! Here in the UK we're too obsessed with power and performance rather than sensible and fun. It didn't sell well here. Perhaps I need to ride it to South Africa so I can get some spares.
1/1/2000 12:00:00 AM UTC
Donovan said :-
A cross Africa trip sounds great. We had a husband and wife couple that did a Cape to Cairo trip on a set of chinese 125's. Think they were branded as Motomia. Yeah most of the bikers here are also obsessed by the latest and most powerful machine. Can't see the point of getting into debt for a motorcycle. Really liked the write up of the cbx cat d restoration. Thinking of doing something simular. Spotted an a cbx needing tlc for 200 pounds on gumtree here.
1/1/2000 12:00:00 AM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Hi Donovan. I think 125's are the future when it comes to travel, that or a push bike. Fuel is costly and big flashy motorcycles tend to attract the wrong kind of attention, especially in poorer countries.

There are some cheap CBF (CBX) 250's come up here from time to time and I'm always tempted for spares etc, but I don't have enough space to store another bike here at all.
1/1/2000 12:00:00 AM UTC
AdamH said :-
Hi Ren - Thanks for sharing your insights in such a useful blog!

I'm looking at replacing my 2008 Honda Innova at the moment with a 250cc and I was interested to read both your Inazuma test ride review and this long term review of the CBF250 as these are the two machines I'm most interested in (actually the faired version of the Inazuma is what has my eye).

I do about 12,000 a year on the Innova - mostly commuting 50 miles a day - and while I really enjoy it, the servicing costs are getting out of control. The output shaft broke late last year and I had a valve crack in March which in turn required a new cylinder and crankshaft.

I've recently got back after a brilliant 1900 mile 10-day tour through France and Spain and the crankshaft is damaged again so I want to move on to something else as soon as it is repaired (hopefully under warranty from the repair in March!).

I can't afford the Inazuma except on HP but I'm attracted to the idea of a newer machine with a warranty whereas the CBF I could just about manage if I got a decent sale price on the Innova (I'm near London so it'll make an ideal knowledge bike) and topped it up a bit. My worry is that even a late model CBF250 is now 7 years old, their mileages are all creeping up and as you mention spares are not abundant.

Out of interest, if you were buying today with 12,000 miles to cover a year which of the two would you buy?

Hopefully attached is my Innova on top of the world! (well a good way up the Pyrenees at any rate!)

Honda Innova at the top of the Roncevaux Pass in the Pyrenees, June 2015
1/1/2000 12:00:00 AM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Cheers AdamH!

Firstly I am very surprised that you've had so much trouble with the Innova. I wouldn't have expected so many problems with a Honda, these motors have a good reputation. Before you splash the cash consider buying another motor?

I suspect though that perhaps you're ready to move on and have a change. Which one would I choose? Oh golly gee...I dunno! Another reader was asking the exact same question and after much deliberation he plumped for the 'Zuma. See the link below to read his report, it is most informative.

As I said to Rory - The Honda is a great bike and at 25,000 miles mine has been reliable but it has been an absolute BITCH with the tickover and this is a common issue with the CBF 250. It always gets me to where I am going but it is annoying. It is like the little girl with the little curl, when it's good it's very very good but when it's bad it's horrid. The first thing to check is that it all ticks over happily and should only require a short blast of choke.

The Honda and the Suzuki both handle well but the Honda is lighter. If you're a big chap the 'Zuma might be more roomy, it's a larger bike.

General spares on the Honda are available but anything like an aftermarket exhaust pipe is nigh-on impossible to come by in the UK. They are much more popular in Portugal and Brasil...apparently. The Suzuki is proving fairly popular so bits for that are likely to come along.

In my OPINION...hmmm...12,000 miles per year for work...I'd spend the extra and get the 'Zuma for no other reason than it is newer. That said I've not seen any high mileage 'Zumas yet. It's your choice and it's a tough one.

I would love to read about your Pyrenees trip. I don't suppose you'd write it up and let me publish it? You can contact me on renwithnell@hotmail.com
www.bikesandtravels.com/biker.aspx?ride=755...
1/1/2000 12:00:00 AM UTC
Henrik said :-
A second-hand Zuma, 2013 or 2014, with very low milage absolutely makes sense, by private trade these can be very cheap now from someone who needs the money quick. Digging a little on the net MIGHT reveal some reports on 2013-models with relatively high milage by now. Workshop manuals can be found on the internet as far as I remember, service can be done one self with a minimum of struggle. Even though my endgoal is not a Zuma I would consider it in case I needed a reliable and economical solution for next years long-distance touring, and not had the finances or time to ready with anything else before spring 2016.
1/1/2000 12:00:00 AM UTC
said :-
Hi Ren - thanks for the reply!

I'm genuinely sad to be looking at moving on the Innova - I've done 21K happy miles on it but to be honest I've lost my trust in it. The local garage that has fixed it twice now have said both times they've no idea why the parts have failed so I've now spent £800+ on repairs in the last 9 months plus the expensive train tickets in the meantime! All the other maintenance I've done myself and it's been great to cut my teeth on with servicing as well as learning to ride more generally.

As it's my sole transport though I've got to the point where I want something that'll still do the miles cheaply but with a bit more power for times when 60mph (conditions permitting) isn't enough, requires slightly less intensive servicing and (hopefully) won't incur huge engine repairs that are way beyond my spanner skills!

I think for peace of mind the 'zuma probably has it too - especially with Suzuki offering 0% on it right now. Unless a mint condition CBF250 shows up very soon I'll be ordering a new black one by the end of the month! I certainly wouldn't want a madam to have to deal with :)

I'll email you about the tour report!

Henrik - I'd consider newish 2nd hand but the 'F' model is what I want and it's too new. I really like the idea of a screen and some fairing to keep the worst of the weather off on a cold winter's morning - the difference the big Puig made to my Innova even at potter-along speeds was huge and I wouldn't be without one again!






1/1/2000 12:00:00 AM UTC
Rob said :-
Just downsized to a CBF250. After a few rides, I can't see why I didn't do it sooner! Enough power to cope with a short run along the motorway and up Welsh hills, but light enough to manoeuvre around town. It's brought back the fun.
17/3/2017 6:25:25 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Yip! You're spot on Rob. 250 is more than enough to have fun and small enough not to be a constant battle against weight and massive power.

Glad you're enjoying the CBF
17/3/2017 10:41:47 PM UTC
Rob said :-
Thanks Ren, Now all I've got to do is wait for the rain to stop and persuade the better half to go on the pillion. Should be easier for her to get on than the Transalp.
19/3/2017 9:54:43 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
I don't know where you live Rob but I think you're going to have to wait for the rain to abate. The forecast ain't so good.

One note regarding pillions. I hope your good lady has small feet! The space between the rider and pillion pegs is small. It's easily sorted, just ask her to move her feet back a little.
20/3/2017 7:23:59 AM UTC
John Halfpenny said :-
I have a 2004 CBF250 and had the same idling problem - valve clearance adjusted , carb cleaned, new exhaust air injection reed valve etc. etc. didn't fix the problem. I'd always thought that the choke lever action felt a bit 'wooly', so I dismantled it and found that the choke cable was virtually seized with rust & crud. The result was that the choke valve connected to the cable at the carb. end wasn't shutting consistently when the choke was closed after a cold start, so when the engine was warm it just woudn't run right. A new cable (~£20) fixed this - starts on choke fine and idles perfectly when choke off. Approx. 10 minutes to fit. Otherwise a great all-round machine.
24/4/2017 2:26:03 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
You lucky lucky boy John Halfpenny. I did consider a choke problem myself and completely bypassed the choke cable, making it manually operated. Regrettably with wasn't my issue unlike yourself.

Glad you've given the bike the once over though. It ought to serve you well now that it's all be done. Cheers.
24/4/2017 2:29:58 PM UTC
Andy said :-
Sorry if this insults your intelligence but have you considered these points-

Is your brake calliper seized up causing the brake discs to warp?

Do you have an air leak between the carb and the cylinder causing an erratic tick over?

I'm sure you've already looked for these problems but I thought I'd mention them.

By the way I've just purchased a Honda CB250 (Two fifty/nighthawk). It's tatty but I love it! I prefer riding it to my CBR650, it's funky and just the right size!

Regards,

Andy.
19/8/2017 8:58:02 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
You're quite right to Ask Andy

I had stripped and cleaned and copper-slipped the brakes into oblivion and save for the gentle "shhhhhhhh" of the pads gently rubbing the disc there was no seizure. I suspect the wheel was out of true.

I did finally fix the tickover. It was worn valve seats. I lapped them with much gusto and rebuilt the head and all was well. Check out the link below.

The CB250 Nighthawk - that's the Benly and CMX250 engined model. Oh my...what a great engine in a fab bike! Good economy and I ran my Benly engine up to about 70,000 miles. I can't comment on the CBF650 as I've never ridden one.

Cheers
bikesandtravels.com/biker.aspx?ride=822...
20/8/2017 7:59:56 AM UTC
Ehsan Murad said :-
Dear Ren,

Is the CBX250 a good bike for long distance touring on Asian roads?with some travelling on gravel roads? I am worried about the reliability.
I bought a KLR650 for that purpose but the thing is too heavy.Dropped it a couple of times , getting it upright totally drained me. Also I tried changing the rear tyre by myself but gave up. I weigh in only at 62kg.
Also have you ever had a puncture? Was repairing easy?
I am considering the CBX250 (almost brand new at half price) or a CB160 for the trip

Thanks in advnce

21/8/2017 6:06:38 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Hi Ehsan Murad. The motor is a good motor - so long as it has been well looked after in particular the shims being checked and adjusted. As for riding it off road, well it was never designed for off road but light gravel roads should be OK. I never took mine off road so I can't be sure there.

The tyres are tubeless. As such they are as easy and as hard to repair as any other tubeless tyres.

We don't have the CB160 in this country so I can't compare them.
21/8/2017 8:09:05 PM UTC
david said :-
my cbx250 twister virbrating , sound like marbles in bottle,with high pitched whining sound like turbo .
10/2/2018 11:54:06 AM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Marbles in a bottle! That doesn't sound good at all. The first thing I'd look at is the camchain and in particular the tensioner.

Check out the link below.
bikesandtravels.com/biker.aspx?ride=714...
10/2/2018 6:10:31 PM UTC
silversurfur said :-
can any one tell me the headlight size dimension of the Honda cbf250 2006 please ,. doriongry@live.com
16/6/2018 10:24:24 AM UTC
JB said :-

Pinging or pre-ignition sometimes sounds like marbles shaking in a bottle.
Especially evident at low revs driving uphill in a high gear lugging the engine..
Head may need a de-coke if engine's been running over-rich and getting carbon build- up.

High-pitched squeal can be from a head gasket leak, should show oil seepage if leaking slightly.
2/7/2018 6:08:42 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Cheers JB. It is really hard to diagnose a problem via the internet but we try our best.
3/7/2018 7:51:37 AM UTC
Ben said :-
Hi,

I'm thinking of getting one of these due to the imminent ULEZ coming to London.

I currently have a Honda CB250 nighthawk wick I use all year round. It's a brilliant bike and gives me over 350 miles before I have to use the reserve tap.

What does your bike do to the tank?

Cheers
Ben
3/3/2019 11:30:20 AM UTC
Ben said :-
Opps, Sorry I have just read your review and its answered the question...lol.....Great review BTW
3/3/2019 11:35:16 AM UTC
Upt'North said :-
Re. the ULEZ this link may be useful, apparently there's a loophole.
Don't pretend to understand it or even want to.
Upt'North.
https://www.honda.co.uk/motorcycles/my-bike/certificate-conformity.html...
3/3/2019 11:43:56 AM UTC
Upt'North said :-
A BIT More on ULEZ, pinched from elsewhere.
As you may know, the London Ultra Low Emissions Zone is coming soon.
Ultra Low Emission Zone
In central London from 8 April 2019, vehicles will need to meet new exhaust emission standards or pay a daily charge
tfl.gov.uk tfl.gov.uk
On top of the congestion charge, there is a £12 per day charge, 7 days a week, for older vehicles. It also applies to motorcycles older than 2007, unless you can prove that their emissions are below the Euro 3 spec for Nox - 0.15 g/km.
My A4 ST1300 is too old to automatically be excluded from the charge, and the V5 doesn't list the emissions. However, if you email Honda and ask for a certificate of conformance, they'll send you one in the post free of charge. That, together with the V5, should get you exemption from the charge. My A4 ST1300 has emissions of 0.088 g/km, so well within the limits. Sending the certificate and the V5 to TFL via their ULEZ form should mean I am exempt (just submitted today). See this page for more information:-
Loophole means older motorbikes may still qualify for ULEZ exemption | Biker and Bike
A loophole in the ULEZ regulations will allow some pre-Euro 3 motorcycles to qualify for exemption from charging. Here's how to do it.
www.bikerandbike.co.uk
and this page for getting your certificate.
Certificate of Conformity - Owners - Motorcycles - Honda

Hopefully this will save someone some money.

3/3/2019 11:49:33 AM UTC
Ian Soady said :-
I must ask Norton for a certificate for my 1952 ES2.....
3/3/2019 11:53:15 AM UTC
Upt'North said :-
My thoughts exactly, blummin nonsense.
France have a Crit Air system. I tried to apply for the Pan and the computer said no. Apparently I'm barred from every built up area in France with punishment by flogging for infringement. Won't be the first time.
Upt'North.
3/3/2019 12:05:06 PM UTC
Ian Soady said :-
Don't know why you couldn't get a CritAir - I got one for my 2001 LR Discovery with no problems. The only issue is it's category 4....
3/3/2019 1:54:49 PM UTC
Upt'North said :-
There was a cut off date, I'm guessing in between 98 and 2001. Strangely the bike takes no notice anyhows. It goes where it wants like an unruly young adult.
Upt'North.
3/3/2019 2:13:55 PM UTC
Rod said :-
Ian, I think the 1952 ES2 Norton is exempt as a classic motorcycle?
3/3/2019 4:17:36 PM UTC
Ian Soady said :-
Ooh, I'll have to go down there and irritate people!

Birmingham is due to have a similar scheme in the next couple of years. While I applaud the intent, they have gone about it in a very foolish way by including the whole of the city inside the Middle Ring Road. That means that north-south traffic, instead of using the A38 with its tunnels and sparse residential population, will be trekking round that ring road which cuts through heavily populated areas and passes close to several schools. I did contribute to the consultation but my suggestions (which included exempting motorcycles) were ignored.
3/3/2019 4:56:27 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
I suspect we'll have to accept that city centres at least will be off limits to fossil fuel powered vehicles sooner or later. It's already too expensive and indeed way too confusing to warrant going into London on anything other than public transport.

For myself as a certified city hater this is not much of a problem. Here in Manchester if I'm unfortunate enough to need to "go into town" then I'll park at one of the out of town tram stations and get the tram. It's really not worth the hassle otherwise. My sympathies lie with those that have to take a vehicle into town, like builders or engineers who need tools etc.
4/3/2019 7:57:07 AM UTC
Ian Soady said :-
The problem I have with the design of the Brum zone is that those of us who live south of the city centre and want to travel north on the M6 (but who would want to do that?) won't be able to use the direct and less polluting route but will be forced onto the inadequate ring road. The same applies to travellers from the north needing to go to places like the QE hospital (the midlands major trauma centre) or Birmingham University.

As I say, no problem with the principle, just the implementation.

And if I personally need to visit the city centre I normally use the train.
4/3/2019 10:05:38 AM UTC
CrazyFrog said :-
Ian, I think your intervention was a success! According to MAG motorcycles are exempt from the Birmingham Clean Air Zone.

Bizarrely, I think I could get exemption for the Jawa in London too, as the NOx emissions from two strokes is allegedly much much lower than for four strokes!
https://www.morebikes.co.uk/52619/mag-wins-clean-air-zone-exemption-for-bikes-in...
5/3/2019 11:18:06 AM UTC
Ian Soady said :-
Well spotted Pete. I can burble happily along the (to be) traffic-free roads!
5/3/2019 12:26:11 PM UTC
Upt'North said :-
Crazy Frog, nice to see Lembit has something useful to do with himself.
Although I can't say the thought of riding through Brum excites me too much.
Upt'North.
5/3/2019 12:30:24 PM UTC
CrazyFrog said :-
Well, no, I agree. Now I ride mainly for pleasure, the last place you would find me is the centre of a city!
5/3/2019 12:36:12 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Exemption... for a 2 stroke... ?? When I am king 2 strokes will be charge DOUBLE!!
5/3/2019 3:50:58 PM UTC
Jeff Green said :-
Hi folks. Just had a mid life crisis at 74 and bought a CBF250, 2005 model, with just 9500 on the clock. Need to get a rear luggage rack, not made any more by Renntec. Anybody out there got one for sale?
30/4/2019 5:29:21 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Afraid not Jeff. Was very happy with my Givi rack though.
30/4/2019 7:53:58 PM UTC
Maggie said :-
I see you have paniers attached. What rack/paniers did you use? I'd be grateful for any tips on attaching luggage. Many thanks.
4/8/2019 1:53:22 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
The rack is a Givi rack, if you google "GIVI 261FZ" you'll find several options. This will give you the mounting kit, you'd also need the plate and a box.

The saddle bags, panniers, are a set of old Hein Gericke of type or origin unknown. I'm quite sure any throw-over saddle bags will work on the CBF.
5/8/2019 9:12:34 AM UTC
David Barwick said :-
Sadly, the Givi rack for the CBF250 is no longer available ("discontinued")
however, Shad offer something similar;
https://www.shad.co.uk/product/5160/honda-cbf250-top-box-fitting-kit...
Posted Image
5/8/2019 10:37:15 AM UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Yes David it's no longer in production but there's a few sites out there still selling them, old stock I'm guessing. The Shad looks like a perfectly decent bit of kit though.
5/8/2019 11:02:16 AM UTC
madbatt said :-
I have 2004 CBF 250, for about 3 years. Recently it loose power at 4000 RPM. Lower and higher its OK. Any suggestions?
Thanks in advance.
30/8/2019 8:05:25 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Morning madbatt. 4000rpm, there's nothing specific that comes to mind as to why you'd lose power at 4k but not below or above. I'd start with a good service - tappets, plug, air filter and carb clean. Also inspect around the carb for air leaks (cracked/loose rubbers). Presently I'm thinking air/fuel mixture but don't rule out ignition just yet.
1/9/2019 7:55:07 AM UTC
madbatt said :-
Morning, Ren

the bike is everything, but powerfool, and here in Malta always go up and down. Down hill no problem, but climbing up then ... with my 110 kg : )
I have just check that two electric wires, connected to the carb. Now it's better, but will see.

BR

Posted Image
1/9/2019 9:57:52 AM UTC
Upt'North said :-
I'm presuming the wires go to a carb heater, I wouldn't have thought fuel icing would be a problem in summertime Malta.
But it matters not, if it's fixed, ride and enjoy.
Well done.
Upt'North.
1/9/2019 4:29:35 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Yip them wires go to the carb heater, something I can't imagine that would be required in Malta. Has it fixed the problem madbatt?
2/9/2019 10:47:48 AM UTC
madbatt said :-
Keep fingers crossed.
2/9/2019 6:56:45 PM UTC
madbatt said :-
I have fuel heater on my Hilux, but it's a diesel. I thought this one is an electric valve or a pump.
By the way, the bike is imported from England, they had never sold them new here.

4/9/2019 12:59:01 AM UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
No, it is the Carb Heater. When petrol mixes with air everything gets cold. If the air is heavy with moisture and already cold then it is possible for ice to form in the tiny passageways of the carburettor. This causes poor running usually at tickover. The tiny heater does not create much heat but it is (hopefully) just enough to keep the ice from forming.

If Honda had sold the bike in Malta I doubt they'd have fitted a carb heater!
4/9/2019 12:30:08 PM UTC
Ian Soady said :-
There was one of those on my NX650 Dominator which I used year round and TBH I don't think it did much at all. It's quite exciting when you try to shut off when approaching a roundabout on a snow covered road and the engine just stops - or when you try to gather speed and it coughs and splutters then catches just when you have a handful of throttle. Silkolene FST in the petrol was far more use.
4/9/2019 1:22:31 PM UTC
Bob said :-
I had a BMW F650 which didn't have carb heaters. Icing was a constant problem. On the forums people talk about plug caps shorting on a damp morning, ECU maps and all sorts of nonsense.
I tried FST and it helped but didn't cure the problem.
In the end I mounted a 20 Ohm 10W resistor to each float bowl and wired it to come on with the ignition, not only did the icing go away but the bike ran smoother in all conditions.
I was glad that Honda fitted a carb heater to the various Vigors and SLRs I owned.
I guess that's another plus for EFI....
5/9/2019 9:48:08 AM UTC
Bob said :-
Madbatt - how many miles has the bike done?
You may be ready for a new needle and needle jet.
5/9/2019 9:50:44 AM UTC
madbatt said :-
18k
5/9/2019 11:13:37 AM UTC
madbatt said :-
18k
PS Look what I found, after few servicing in a local garage ...
Posted Image
6/9/2019 1:51:26 PM UTC
Upt'North said :-
Was that an air filter at some time in the distant past. You may have cracked it.
Regular maintenance is usually best.
Well done.
Upt'North.
6/9/2019 2:08:01 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
I can't imagine the dirty filter will help matters.
6/9/2019 9:03:33 PM UTC
madbatt said :-
In my opinion it's the original one.
Unfortunately, I paid for service maintenance - oil, filter, etc...
8/9/2019 10:41:27 PM UTC
Ian Lupson said :-
Having just taken my full licence, on Direct Access, I opted for one of these little Hondas as a first bike. Being " of a certain age " I was not restricted to A2, but nevertheless was happy to start off with a modestly powered machine - and I must say I'm very happy with it.
I'm 6' + tall, but still find the bike comfortable and it has sufficient "go" for me, holding 60 mph + on the motorway quite happily ( despite my being no lightweight ! )
Most of all ( and without wishing to tempt fate ...) it's a confidence inspiring little bike, which is fun to be out on.
Whilst such views are obviously personal I agree with you that the CBF250 is a good looking little bike, and I'm also attracted to the simplicity of an air cooled single.
I found your review very helpful - not least in looking out for the tickover issue.
My machine ( an '08 model which only had 9k on her when I got her, and came with a full service history ) doesn't suffer - thankfully - starting first push of the button and coming fully off choke after a couple of miles or so.
Once again, thanks for a very helpful - and very readable - review.
Best,
IFL.


13/10/2019 10:00:33 AM UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Cheers Ian. I'm glad you're enjoying the 250 and that it's running well. If you take the time to search this site using the dropdown menu you will eventually find I eventually sorted the tickover issue - it was the valve seat being buggered due to overtight tappets. I don't know what your mechanical skill level is but either check them yourself or get a trusted spanner monkey to do them.

Got me thinking now... hmmm... if only I had space for another.
13/10/2019 8:40:39 PM UTC
Ian Lupson said :-
Hi Ren.
I did spot your point about the valve seating, and have squirrelled the advice away in case my own bike develops the same issue !
If it does it'll be a trip to the local bike shop for me tho, as I'm no whizz with a spanner....
Thanks again for the Review.
Best,
I.
14/10/2019 1:35:43 PM UTC

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