Looking across to the snow capped alpine mountains seen from the back seat of a motorcycle

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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
01/01/2000 00:00:00 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 :-)
01/01/2000 00:00:00 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.
01/01/2000 00:00:00 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 :-)
01/01/2000 00:00:00 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!
01/01/2000 00:00:00 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,..
01/01/2000 00:00:00 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Those cars are spooky! Why are those cars there in the middle of a forest?
01/01/2000 00:00:00 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"
01/01/2000 00:00:00 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.
01/01/2000 00:00:00 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.
01/01/2000 00:00:00 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.
01/01/2000 00:00:00 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.
01/01/2000 00:00:00 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
01/01/2000 00:00:00 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
01/01/2000 00:00:00 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.
01/01/2000 00:00:00 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!

01/01/2000 00:00:00 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.
17/03/2017 18:25:25 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
17/03/2017 22:41:47 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.
19/03/2017 21:54:43 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.
20/03/2017 07:23:59 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.
24/04/2017 14:26:03 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.
24/04/2017 14:29:58 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!


19/08/2017 20:58:02 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.

20/08/2017 07:59:56 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

21/08/2017 18:06:38 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.
21/08/2017 20:09:05 UTC
david said :-
my cbx250 twister virbrating , sound like marbles in bottle,with high pitched whining sound like turbo .
10/02/2018 11:54:06 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.
10/02/2018 18:10:31 UTC
silversurfur said :-
can any one tell me the headlight size dimension of the Honda cbf250 2006 please ,. doriongry@live.com
16/06/2018 10:24:24 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.
02/07/2018 18:08:42 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Cheers JB. It is really hard to diagnose a problem via the internet but we try our best.
03/07/2018 07:51:37 UTC
Ben said :-

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?

03/03/2019 11:30:20 UTC
Ben said :-
Opps, Sorry I have just read your review and its answered the question...lol.....Great review BTW
03/03/2019 11:35:16 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.
03/03/2019 11:43:56 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.
and this page for getting your certificate.
Certificate of Conformity - Owners - Motorcycles - Honda

Hopefully this will save someone some money.

03/03/2019 11:49:33 UTC
Ian Soady said :-
I must ask Norton for a certificate for my 1952 ES2.....
03/03/2019 11:53:15 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.
03/03/2019 12:05:06 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....
03/03/2019 13:54:49 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.
03/03/2019 14:13:55 UTC
Rod said :-
Ian, I think the 1952 ES2 Norton is exempt as a classic motorcycle?
03/03/2019 16:17:36 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.
03/03/2019 16:56:27 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.
04/03/2019 07:57:07 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.
04/03/2019 10:05:38 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!
05/03/2019 11:18:06 UTC
Ian Soady said :-
Well spotted Pete. I can burble happily along the (to be) traffic-free roads!
05/03/2019 12:26:11 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.
05/03/2019 12:30:24 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!
05/03/2019 12:36:12 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Exemption... for a 2 stroke... ?? When I am king 2 strokes will be charge DOUBLE!!
05/03/2019 15:50:58 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?
30/04/2019 17:29:21 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Afraid not Jeff. Was very happy with my Givi rack though.
30/04/2019 19:53:58 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.
04/08/2019 13:53:22 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.
05/08/2019 09:12:34 UTC
David Barwick said :-
Sadly, the Givi rack for the CBF250 is no longer available ("discontinued")
however, Shad offer something similar;
Posted Image
05/08/2019 10:37:15 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.
05/08/2019 11:02:16 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.
30/08/2019 20:05:25 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.
01/09/2019 07:55:07 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.


Posted Image
01/09/2019 09:57:52 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.
01/09/2019 16:29:35 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?
02/09/2019 10:47:48 UTC
madbatt said :-
Keep fingers crossed.
02/09/2019 18:56:45 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.

04/09/2019 00:59:01 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!
04/09/2019 12:30:08 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.
04/09/2019 13:22:31 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....
05/09/2019 09:48:08 UTC
Bob said :-
Madbatt - how many miles has the bike done?
You may be ready for a new needle and needle jet.
05/09/2019 09:50:44 UTC
madbatt said :-
05/09/2019 11:13:37 UTC
madbatt said :-
PS Look what I found, after few servicing in a local garage ...
Posted Image
06/09/2019 13:51:26 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.
06/09/2019 14:08:01 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
I can't imagine the dirty filter will help matters.
06/09/2019 21:03:33 UTC
madbatt said :-
In my opinion it's the original one.
Unfortunately, I paid for service maintenance - oil, filter, etc...
08/09/2019 22:41:27 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.

13/10/2019 10:00:33 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 20:40:39 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.
14/10/2019 13:35:43 UTC
John Brown said :-
Delkevic.co.uk sells a range of exhaust pipes for the Honda CBF250. I bought a full system, ref. COM06AK, for only £210. Much cheaper than OEM parts.
27/01/2020 23:23:02 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
COR!! There's some good prices there. They even do a full kit for my CBF125 for £190, but that's race not road legal, the road legal starts at £199. That said it states the silencers are not "E" marked? The blurb implies it's UK road legal but may possibly not meet regulations in other countries.
28/01/2020 10:21:52 UTC
nab301 said :-
I fitted a Delkevic exhaust to a CBF 250 I owned a while back ( the COMO6AK 450mm ) . It fitted well, looked good and was extremely light compared to the original , but in the end I just found it too noisy ( baffle fitted) . The original OE down pipe was very bad and I expected it to be like a colander after rubbing it down and painting, but it survived so I refitted the original ...
29/01/2020 22:08:02 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
That would be my thinking on the Delkevic too. To be road legal they can't be too noisy and while I do like a mildly fruity pipe for a few minutes it's another thing entirely to hear it droning hour after hour on a long motorway trip.
30/01/2020 08:49:48 UTC
Bill said :-
My CBF 250 came with the full Delkevic system fitted but the owner had kept the original which came with the purchase.Although the Delkavic looks good and is much lighter I personally find it too annoying on anything other than a very short ride, so the original was refitted
Posted Image
30/01/2020 09:37:04 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
That's a really clean and smart CBF250 Bill.

Erm... the picture at the top of this page is of my bike in The Isle Of Man. Notice the block driveway then notice yours. You're, erm, you're not in the IOM are you?
30/01/2020 09:59:20 UTC
Bill said :-
No Ren not mine, its the drive of the guy I bought it from. It's very clean low mileage that's why I bought it. Still had bar code sticker on frame.
Posted Image
30/01/2020 14:07:46 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Barcode sticker!! So what age and milage is it? It almost seems unfair to use it, it would certainly have been wasted on me.
30/01/2020 21:57:00 UTC
Bill said :-
Hi Ren,it's a 2008 and had done 6000 mls, when I got in April 2018. The 2nd owner had done 150 miles in two years after buying it from a main Honda dealer who had supplied it to the 1st owner, so its had a gentle life and is a toy not my commuter. I needed a smaller lighter road bike after my TDM 900 due to knackered hips and no longer do long road trips.
31/01/2020 00:58:54 UTC
nab301 said :-
The CBF 250 is probably one of the few bikes I regret selling , mine was a low mileage (5k )when I bought it '05 example . They have a fair turn of speed and decent economy (70-90mpg ) despite not doing economy runs. Had a plush seat and strangely suited my 6'4" frame quite nicely..

Posted Image
01/02/2020 18:59:18 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Sharon's Z250SL is similar in performance and weight although I suspect for you taller riders it may be a bit cramped. With modern crisp fuel injection and sharper handling it feels like a modern take on the venerable CBF 250.

Still to this day here in Blighty we seem to ignore 250s. Too big for learners, too small for those who've passed their test, apparently. I'd say a joyful compromise between the lightweight ease of use and economy of the 125 and the motorway acceptable performance of a large bike.
02/02/2020 07:06:08 UTC
madbatt said :-
Hi, Ren
that on the picture below is the problem of my 4k RPMs. When turn on Res, then back to normal it's getting wrong. So I try to keep the fuel tank more than 1/3.
Posted Image
09/02/2020 16:25:12 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
That sounds like fuel starvation.

Warm the bike up by riding it an get it to the point where the 4k revs starts to cause problems. Stop, open the petrol tank, close it then see if the problem is solved for a minute or two. I would suggest riding without the cap but this could be dangerous. IF this solves the problem temporarily then the breather in the fuel cap is blocked. Simply put, the fuel cap should let air in as the fuel is used. If it's blocked then the negative pressure in the tank reduces, even stops fuel flow. New cap shouldn't be too costly.

If it's not the cap then check for a blockage in the fuel pipe. If that's OK you'll need to safely drain the tank and remove the tap in the image. There's a filter inside the tank where that tap is and that could be partially blocked. If that's OK then check where the fuel goes into the carburettor. If you're not familiar with carbs then get help from someone who is, they can be messed up easily.

You're messing with petrol here. I doubt you're stupid but please be careful, it's really really REALLY is easy to set fire to yourself, the workshop and the bike. A local bike shop burned down due to a couple of drops of petrol getting into a nearby heater.
09/02/2020 17:36:07 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
A sample fuel tap image. The white part at the top is the filter and this could be blocked.
Posted Image
09/02/2020 18:04:12 UTC
madbatt said :-
You're fast :)

Already check the cap and filter. Problem appears only when refilling the tank(shame on me, but it happens when it's on RES). Unfortunately the unit isn't available anymore here. Can't find a repair kit too.
I don't know how this Res/Off/On work, so ...

09/02/2020 19:02:39 UTC
nab301 said :-
Maybe try nrp-carbs.co.uk for a repair kit?
09/02/2020 20:51:41 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Ah - "Res/Off/On"

Res = reserve. Normally you'd run in the On position. You'd use Off to store the bike or if you need to remove the tank etc. Now the On position only drains the tank down to say the last 3 litres. Your bike comes to a halt because you've "run out". But no! There's still 3 litres in the tank if you move the lever to "Res". This is enough to hopefully get you to a petrol station.

Then you forget to move the lever back to "On", leaving it on "Res". You ride and ride and ride and you run out of fuel. It's OK, you have a reserve... on no you don't because you're already on "Res". Now you really are stuck - so be sure to move it to the "On" position.

If you're sure it's not the cap but the problem is solved on "Res" even with a full tank that still points me back to the tap. The "On" bit is partially blocked but not the "Res".

The video in this link explains the On Off Res very well - but it does rather treat you as a 5 year old... Be patient it is worth knowing.
10/02/2020 09:01:25 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
I've looked on nrp nab301 and there's no listing for the CBF250. Also as madbatt says I can find the fuel tap but many of the sites list it as no longer stocked.

The link below suggests the part has been superseded (updated) with part number 16950KPF961. These can be found for about £60. I'd be looking at scrapyards... I find it hard to believe Honda used this fuel tap on this bike only.

I'd also take the tap out and see if it can be cleaned!
10/02/2020 09:12:23 UTC
Bill said :-
Is this what you are looking for
10/02/2020 10:49:32 UTC
Madbatt said :-
We have plenty of time here, but I don't have a boat to go fishing, so:
Posted Image
20/03/2020 09:40:02 UTC
Madbatt said :-

Posted Image
20/03/2020 09:40:57 UTC
Madbatt said :-
Just turned the rubber gasket.
20/03/2020 09:43:52 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Has it fixed the fuel flow issue Madbatt?
20/03/2020 16:09:15 UTC
Bill said :-
Madbatt surely you mean replaced not just turned over, both sides need to seal.
20/03/2020 18:21:53 UTC
Andre said :-
But Honda South America has fitted this bike with fuel injection and modernized the look. In Brazil from 2009 to 2015 we had the CB 300R. Same engine, same frame, suspension, bigger tank and Flex Fuel with ABS. They discontinued the street version to introduce the CB 250 Twister. With this engine now we only have the mixed use XRE 300. The CBF 250 in Brazil is known as the CBX 250 Twister, exactly the same bike. I have a 2014 CB 300 non-abs and I love it, I've installed a taller drive set to cope with freeway riding and it does 3.33L/100Km at 72Mph at 6500 Rpm. Imo one of the best rides Honda ever produced.
18/04/2020 01:42:13 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Cheers Andre. Here in the UK the CB300R has the liquid cooled motor updated from the CRF250L, I've googled the XRE300 and my word, that looks like a smart machine! I'd rather like to see that here but I suspect being air cooled it may struggle with the new super-tight environmental controls coming into place. Shame.

I can't comment on your 2014 CB300 but yes even my rather poorly maintained CBF250 had wonderful handling and was a delight to ride. The pleasure of riding is not all about 150bhp.
18/04/2020 09:06:45 UTC
Egidijus said :-
Hi everybody.
I have the issue with CBF250 with gears. When engine warms up it starts more difficult to change gears (you have to push it very hard), especially to find N while standing. Also difficult to change from 1 to 2. But while speed is increased in gear 1, it's more easy to switch to 2. Until the engine is cold it's much better and no stuck from 1 to N or 2.
I have tried to adjust the clutch cable and change oils (10w40 or 20w50). Doesn't help
-Bike has around 60 000 km on the dash;
-Has some long years not in use;

30/04/2020 10:22:45 UTC
Upt'North said :-
First things first.
Is the clutch slipping at all and is the oil motorcycle wet clutch rated?
Second things second.
Have you checked out the change mechanism for wear, rose joints, bushes, shafts and is it all tight and lubed if necessary. Obviously if it goes straight in the gearbox a lot of this won't be relevant.
Third things third.
If it's not oil, clutch or the shift mechanism you're going to need lots of spare time and a Honda workshop manual if you're going inside the box.
Good luck and hope it helps.
30/04/2020 14:11:14 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Agree regarding the linkage.Sharon's 125 had not been used for a while and she complained the gears were "difficult" It turns out the linkage had gone stiff. I'll add an image below. Remove the linkage, oil it up and make sure it all moves smoothly.

Also ensure the clutch cable is smooth and free moving. Ensure the cable is adjusted with a little free play.

Otherwise as Upt' said you're inside the motor which is a whole world of pain. I'm 80% sure it will be a sticky linkage
Posted Image
30/04/2020 14:59:17 UTC
nab301 said :-
I had a mild version of this problem (difficulty selecting neutral when stopped) ( clutch drag) the dealer I bought it from said that originally the bikes were recalled for new clutch baskets. He told me this before I bought the bike , It wasn't really that bad for me but for other reasons I traded the bike back to the same dealer after 18 months. I worked around the problem by trying to ensure that the bike was in neutral when I came to a stop.
30/04/2020 16:37:07 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Yes it could be warped clutch plates or possibly the clutch basket slots have gotten grooves in them. Actually replacing the plates and even filing the grooves out of the basket are simple tasks for a moderately competent home mechanic. But start with the linkage and cable!
01/05/2020 08:47:23 UTC
madbatt said :-
I use 10w30. Why 10w40, 20w50?
11/07/2020 06:20:31 UTC
Mike said :-
I was interested to read your CBF250 review because I'm thinking getting one as a second bike to play around with on country roads. A 2004 example would actually qualify as a Japanese classic and even at that age I'd expect it to better than the Chinese built Suzuki based retro bikes, which don't seem to last long enough to be available second hand.
Being a bit of a plain Jane I'm looking to customize a CBF even if that's only adding some contrasting coloured trim.
Although, I've had big and fast bikes I've always prefered 250-500s because they're more fun. I don't know how any one could put up with a modern 125 because most of them are no more powerful than the CB100 I passed my test on 50 years ago.
25/08/2020 15:22:48 UTC
ROD said :-
That has just ruined my plans to buy a Chinese 125!
25/08/2020 20:35:51 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
You're almost preaching to the converted here Mike. We love small bikes because they are more fun but I shan't have a bad word said against 125s. They're every bit as fun in my own experience.

With regards the Chinese options I'll admit there are still some rough ones out there BUT there are good choices too. Sharon's 125 is still fine with 24,000 miles on the clock. I suspect as part of the problem is cheap bikes are also run on the cheap and not looked after properly. I'd like to hear from owners of Chinese models that have taken good care of them.

ROD - you could be my R&D department to prove of disprove the quality of a Chinese bike. Obviously I wouldn't help financially because I'm tight but I'd help emotionally. I'd laugh at you if it all goes wrong and laugh with you if it turns out well.
26/08/2020 08:39:01 UTC
said :-
Mike said :-" I don't know how any one could put up with a modern 125 because most of them are no more powerful than the CB100 I passed my test on 50 years ago."

Burn the heretic!;) (sorry Mike)

Have you considered the Suzuki Inazuma 250, Mike? Chinese made for Suzuki but reliable and available used for not too much money and plenty of info' here-abouts on them. I had one for 5 years and no regrets and was sorry to see it go in a lot of ways.
26/08/2020 11:37:22 UTC
Ross said :-
Oops, that previous post was from me but I forgot to put my name in! :/
26/08/2020 11:39:47 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
My CBF125 was made in India, I think the later models were made in Thailand. The CB500X is from Thailand. It matters not where it's made it matters how well it was made.
26/08/2020 20:41:07 UTC
Upt'North said :-
I wouldn't lose sleep over where something is made but just how it is made.
My last bike a CBF was made in Spain I think, or was it Italy?
After all what about all those lovely British Triumph Bonnevilles which are made in Thailand.
They're impressive figure from Sharon's bike, a credit to her smooth riding.
I know my current ride is a shaftie but I can't understand the paranoia over chains, in one 3500 mile ride on the CBF it needed nothing and in 9000 miles was maybe adjusted twice and all this loaded and two up. Modern drive chains, well at least the good ones, need little maintenance.
26/08/2020 23:27:06 UTC
Marv said :-
Mike said :-" I don't know how any one could put up with a modern 125 because most of them are no more powerful than the CB100 I passed my test on 50 years ago."

I'm sure the manufacturers could make a 125 with far more power, but to be CBT compliant they have to produce less than 14.75bhp and as such, the vast majority of riders who buy 125s want something cheap to buy and run, so a relatively expensive 125 with a trick engine might not sell in great numbers.

I'm with Ren on this one though, I still enjoy bombing around tiny little country lanes on my 125 (and even the majority of my commute to work is smallish country lanes with a few miles through town)
27/08/2020 20:53:59 UTC
Marv said :-
When I say "I enjoy bombing around tiny little country lanes on my 125" I may actually mean bumbling!
27/08/2020 21:05:22 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Bumbling Marv!?! No you were right, bombing :)

When I owned my most powerful bike, a 95bhp Fazer 600, it was laughing at me. As I like my licence I do try to keep to the limits (although I do make mistakes). A 600cc bike capable of 140mph travelling at 60mph on country lanes is barely even trying. The motor is on part throttle and is always chomping at the bit to get going.

A 125 at full chat, screaming with head down on the tank is still only doing 60, maybe 65 or even 70. And yet it FEELS like you ARE riding to the max, full on, all in, totally committed. On a 125 you really have to focus on momentum and keeping every mph going that you've worked so hard to achieve, you don't want to slow too much for that bend otherwise you'll be slow on the next straight too.

We're all different individuals. I totally understand it is lovely on a larger bike to NOT have to work it hard, to slow down for that bend because you can power out of it, to hear the motor casually running beneath you and also to know if you did wish to travel at 140mph you could. I also enjoy dawdling on the 125 at 20mph down empty back lanes, taking in the sights, sounds and smells of the countryside.

For myself I can thrash or bimble on the 125 and I can thrash or bimble on the 500. I'm fortunate to have the choice. I thoroughly enjoy the contrast between the 2 machines and the contrast between how I ride each one on that day.
28/08/2020 08:39:21 UTC
ROD said :-
Ren, You have just highlighted one of the problems I see with riders of 125cc machines (please note I am referring to the riders, not having a go at 125cc bikes).
I have seen many of the close calls and crashes on youtube, and many of these close calls in my opinion are caused by the rider trying to keep momentum, as you say :-

"On a 125 you really have to focus on momentum and keeping every mph going that you've worked so hard to achieve, you don't want to slow too much for that bend otherwise you'll be slow on the next straight too."

When you slow down on a small bike for safety reasons, you pay a penalty in having to work back up to speed.

28/08/2020 10:52:22 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
I reckon you're quite right ROD. The desire to keep the momentum is, when I'm in that mindset, a danger. Rather than simply slowing down for the corner, junction or other danger the temptation is to try and keep it pinned. And one thing I've learned over my many miles is speed makes difficult situations exponentially more dangerous. There is no substitute for slowing down and giving myself and other road users time to see what is going on and being able to do something about it.

On the other side of the coin with a bigger bike speed can be deceptive. If your 1,000cc engine is purring softly with the tiniest twist on the throttle it can feel like you are merely cruising when in reality you could easily be doing 60. So I guess the key is to learning to just slow down, on a 125 accept it'll take a few seconds to get back up to speed, on a big bike beware that you may be going a lot faster than you feel.

Good point ROD.
28/08/2020 13:01:44 UTC
madbatt said :-
Hi Ren,
after 3 years of use 24/7 and approximately 15k miles:
Things I've changed - tires, battery, oil, filters, speedo cable, tensioner, fork seals(twice), and oil.
Problems - mainly eclectic: starter motor, meter comp, almost all the switches at the handlebar (starter, direction pointers, lights, horn, kill switch), petcock, carburetor.
Fuel economy 3,1 - 3,3 l/100km
CBF 125 is the new one. Still can not reach 660km with a tank, but will see. There is a significant difference between the present model and the previous one.
19/12/2020 20:48:10 UTC
harjay said :-
Hi Ren, have seen your posts on these bikes for a while, and have proved useful over the years. I bought mine in '09, with only 12500klm on the clock. She's an '06, and has had a hard life. Not long after I bought it, I outgrew it, and it really did cop quite a flogging. You can feel like a GP rider without breaking the speed limit on this size of bike! After a long time together, she's had a few of the usual problems, except idle... mine's always idled fine, but does need choke for a few minutes when cold to this day. Also had an issue of it hunting and being very slouchy at highway speeds, until giving it a bit of choke... Took the carby apart a few times, no obvious issues, replaced carby, still no change. Continued to ride it, and just accepted I needed to choke it (giving it more fuel) at higher speeds. One day I went for the choke and it REALLY struggled, turned off the choke and all good...has been ever since...that was almost 5 years ago! The only problems I've had apart from routine stuff was really only the clutch, which started slipping at 45000k, when going up a mountain with me and the missus (both about 85kg at the time). Changed the plates and springs in the clutch and good as gold, even neutral was easy to find after that. Have mostly commuted on it for the last 5 years or so, and nothing has really gone wrong other than routine stuff. Had the valves shimmed at 20000klm, and it started to get very rattley, and thought cam chain tensioner right away. Had the valves reshimmed recently (at 96000klm) and was all sweet after that. Despite her age and milage, it just refuses to die, and has never once stranded me, and continues to be a real workhorse. After all the dirt roads, off road, sand, overloading, over riding, twice being hit by cars, and only ever having basic maintenance (oil and filter every 5000klm, and everything else as its needed), the old girl went over 100000klm (60000 miles) last week! all zeros on the odo. The plan has always been to ride it until it dies, as these aren't worth much in Australia, but by the look of it, I'll have her for a while yet!
08/04/2021 10:12:09 UTC
Upt'North ¹ said :-
Harjay, impressive stuff.
It's amazing how much a small engine can endure.
Well done friend and we shouldn't forget it was all done upside down.
08/04/2021 13:49:53 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
My CBF125 has 92,000 miles, that'll be 148,000 km so I'm afraid you're going to be riding the 250 for quite a while yet. If you keep on top of the servicing unless you're unlucky they should last a long time. Whereabout in the land of Oz are you harjay? I'm told that Australia is just a tiny bit bigger than England so, you know, give us a clue?

Upt'- I dunno how the carb works when they're upside down, and why do the corks they wear on their helmets not dangle up rather than down?
09/04/2021 09:17:48 UTC
Upt'North ¹ said :-
It's a mystery. And I'm definitely not clever enough to understand or explain it.
09/04/2021 09:36:43 UTC
madbatt said :-
Hi Ren,
12.81 litres per 656.5 km!!!
FYI I'm 110kg.

13/04/2021 21:25:01 UTC
madbatt said :-
It's about CBF125.
: )
13/04/2021 21:29:16 UTC
harjay said :-
Well I don’t mind riding it for a bit longer yet, my commute includes a toll, and in Brisbane they are half price for bikes, and parking is free. 148k on a 125! That is incredible! Gives me confidence in mine, especially since people can’t travel due to covid, so they bought up bikes left and right. Now everything is a couple of grand more than 2019! And yeah mate, Aus is just a tad bigger than England ;)
12/05/2021 23:01:38 UTC
harjay said :-
Well I don’t mind riding it for a bit longer yet, my commute includes a toll, and in Brisbane they are half price for bikes, and parking is free. 148k on a 125! That is incredible! Gives me confidence in mine, especially since people can’t travel due to covid, so they bought up bikes left and right. Now everything is a couple of grand more than 2019! And yeah mate, Aus is just a tad bigger than England ;)
12/05/2021 23:01:41 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Brisbane huh? You're just up the road from my brother. He lives in some dusty little town in the middle of nowhere, I think it's got a pretty little harbour with a fancy bridge, what's it called, Sydney or summat like that. I'm told they have running water and the telegraph too.

Near where Sharon lives they've built a new bridge across the river Mersey and that's a toll bridge. In the interest of saving money the tolls are collected by cameras recording your reg plate. You then have about 24 hours to pay £2 online otherwise they send you a £30 bill for not paying. Clever huh. All very well and good for the informed locals and while there are signs explaining this it catches a lot of otherwise good honest folks out.

Luckily it's free for motorcycles. Probably because the cameras appear to be front facing.
14/05/2021 08:18:22 UTC
Upt'North ¹ said :-
Ed, do you feel just a little smug when you ride over it without having to pay. I know I would.
I don't ride through the Tyne Tunnel that often but when I do and the barrier rises without me even having to put my feet down its extremely pleasurable. Almost makes south of the river bearable. Almost.
14/05/2021 09:54:37 UTC
harjay said :-
Sydney has running water now? I dunno, I still wouldn’t trust it to drink! Yeah a lot of parking garages have boom gates, but even if they do try to charge, as you say cameras are on the front of vehicle, is Aus at least there’s no front plate. Had one place try to charge me $20 for an hour, so simply rode around the boom gate haha. And yeah just up the road from Sydney, only about 1000klm... give or take. Had an interesting issue the other day for anyone who’s interested. The headlight wasn’t always coming back in after start up, and I suspected headlight bulb, or fuse, or wiring :(. After quite a long time trying to find the issue, it turned out to be the starter switch. Basically when I turned they key on, the light might come on, then after start, May or may not come back on again (hope this makes sense). Anyway, it got to the point the headlight just wouldn’t come on, only the parking light, but, if I pushed the starter switch juuusstt enough (so it didn’t engage the starter), the light would come back, with high and low beam. A tempo solution was to cable tie the pass switch on and have only high beam, and just point the headlight down, but that was not ideal. Turned out to be the starter switch just being worn out to the point it was returning too far. A bit of a faff to change the switch block, but only cost me $5, and all is good again.
Again for what it’s worth, big fan of your work. Always great to see people appreciate bikes that aren’t top tier, but just as fun, and in some cases, more loyal than more complex designs
14/05/2021 10:45:43 UTC
harjay said :-
Oh, and don’t think Sydney has telegraph anymore, but does have the national broadband network (NBN), which I’m sure your brother will agree, in some areas at least, is far slower and less reliable than the telegraph, and is why a lot of us have to use our mobile data because it’s often faster. Progress eh?
14/05/2021 10:49:10 UTC
Ian Soady¹ said :-
The Pont de Normandie has a special lane (free) for bikes.....
14/05/2021 11:42:03 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
harjay - I'm guessing there's no light switch to turn the lights off? To assist an ailing battery the main lights are switched off when the starter button is pressed thus leaving more electrickery to power the starter. Obviously this aspect is in the wiring of the switch and your switch must have been past it's best. Did you replace the whole switchgear unit or did you manage to get just the starter button? For a fiver I'm guessing just the starter button.

I like all motorcycles, big and small. I personally prefer small simply because I'm tighter than the lug nuts on a land train. While I thoroughly enjoy the CB500X I own I also gain a lot of pleasure from my CBF125. It's so light and easy to manage, I'm not fearful of it suddenly taking off into hyperspace and I can thrash it to within an inch of its life without breaking the UK's national speed limits. It's all very well and good having 100bhp and more on tap but unless you're on track you can never really make the most of it.

As for Sydney's internet access, my bro tells me they've got something daft like 500 meg connections. If I had that here I'd be setting up my own server farm.

No special lanes in Merseyside Ian. I don't recall the special lane when I crossed Le Pont de Normandie but then it was, what, 2011. Sheez, 10 years ago. I was only 39 then.
14/05/2021 12:16:41 UTC
Upt'North ¹ said :-
The starter button can and does cause issues whether you've got an on/off light switch or not.
It well worth cleaning and lubing it on a fairly regular basis to prevent the lights not coming on after activation of the starter. You could use WD40..........what have I said!
14/05/2021 13:12:04 UTC
harjay said :-
Mate 500 meg is really good here! As for the light, no switch to turn it off as such, it’s all in the starter switch. I’ve lubed it periodically, but it had just worn beyond lubing. I bough a whole rh switch block for the fiver, but the kill switch was had it. I figured to replace the starter switch required 4 wires re soldered, and the kill switch only 2, I opted for the later. Nadia rlly I cut my good kill switch off the original loom, and soldered it into the salvage loom (with the good starter switch). I put the solder down the wire a bit so it wasn’t right at the plastic switch to avoid melting it (if that makes sense). I totally agree with upt’north...a bit of wd40 or inbox makes a world of difference for sticky switches and cables. Also agree with you ren, having a heap of power is fantastic, but most of the time isn’t needs and can be a bit too much around urban areas. I had a street triple for a few years, and when I had to get rid of one, the triumph went as it was a bit cumbersome around the city, as good of a bike as it was
17/05/2021 10:15:03 UTC
harjay said :-
Well after a long run together, the poor old girl finally drew it’s last breath over the weekend. Went for a decent ride and on the way home it lost its compression. Haven’t taken it apart, but I suspect a ring or something :(. Am looking around for a replacement engine, but they’re getting hard to find, and the ones I have found are far too expensive. Very sad to see it end this way
16/08/2021 21:43:17 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
ARGH! harjay, you've killed the unkillable? Surely it's got to be worth at least looking inside the motor to see what's what. There's always a chance it could be an easy fix - stuck valve or as you suggested, a broken ring.
17/08/2021 12:54:57 UTC
said :-

07/05/2022 02:27:34 UTC
bentonius said :-
Just picked up my 2005 CBF250 this afternoon. Almost 14.000 km, some rusty spots that i am looking forward to polishing them away. Had to lease the choke on a little too long for what I like, but after a few minutes had tge tickover... i am still in doubt about it but i will keep my eye/ear on that. The tips you guys gave here, will help with that a lot. Looking forward to giving it a good wash and polish and lubricants and filters.

Keep you all updated here

Grtzz Bentonius
Posted Image
17/02/2024 19:47:54 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Hi bentonius. At 14,000 km be sure to check or get someone to check and adjust the tappets. It's a bit fiddly but you'll be doing yourself a big favour. Otherwise it's a great bike and I'm sure you'll grow to love it.
18/02/2024 20:30:29 UTC
bentonius said :-
Hi Ren, thank you for your comment. Yesterday i got the charge to give it a handwarm, gave me the chance to inspect it a little close. Normal wear and tear but i like what i see. Also started it up and had some problemen getting in tickover. Had to keep it on choke too long for my likings. Do you think this could be the toppers you are referring to? I am no mechanic so i need someone who is to help me with that. What would a normal charge for that be you you reckon? If the bike is in the shop anyways? Other things you think of to go ahead with since it is there and open anyways? Have a good one, Ben
19/02/2024 06:00:51 UTC
said :-
Typo's: chance, handwash, problems, tappets, ?
19/02/2024 06:04:49 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Hi bentonius.

First question - when the bike warms up, even if it takes a LONG time, does it tickover well. Motorcycles, even ones of the same marque and model, all have their own way of warming up. If your own 250 settles to a steady tickover even if it takes 20 minutes, then that's fine. Mine never ever settled to a steady tickover until I did a lot of complex mechanical work to fix the valves and the tappets.

Even if your bike settles to a steady tickover and runs PERFECTLY the tappets are a service item and need to be checked and adjusted regularly, much as you must change the oil regularly and replace the tyres as they wear out. I seem to remember the tappets are to be checked on the 250 every 8,000 miles (12-13 thousand kilometres). Your service manual should have this information.

In the UK I'd expect a tappet check and adjust on the 250 to take, I don't know, perhaps 3 hours from an experienced mechanic. That'd run £200 around here nowadays. As you're talking in KM I figure you're not in the UK bentonius? If there is damage to the valve seats as was the case on my own 250 you would be talking CONSIDERABLY more. The valve seats on my 250 were damaged because the previous owner had NOT checked and adjusted the tappets as they should have done and this caused the damage.

You can do it yourself and save money but checking and adjusting the tappets is something that requires a good level of mechanical skill. I'd certainly not do it myself without the assistance of an experienced and trustworthy friend who knows how to do these things and can help you get it right. Otherwise you need to find a trustworthy garage that can do this for you.

The manual for the bike will have a chart showing when the bike should be serviced. If the service schedule is followed save for sheer bad luck the bike should work just fine for many years.
19/02/2024 07:33:05 UTC
bentonius said :-
Hi Ren, thank you for again such a details answer. For the kilometers, i live in the Netherlands

It does tickover after a good amount of minutes. I will go ahead with the tappets and the needed maintenance.

I'll keep checking here for updates and info. Have a good one!

19/02/2024 18:54:11 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Ah, The Netherlands! Sharon and I spent a week riding and camping around The Netherlands back in 2016. Cheers.
20/02/2024 07:55:46 UTC
bentonius said :-
Hi Ren,

Look here... not happy with how this looks hahah. Tips? Replacement or is something else possible?

June the wife and I are camping in the UK!looking forward
Posted Image
20/02/2024 15:40:29 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
I think you'll have to clean them pipes up to see what state they're in. If the corrosion is real bad you'll have to replace them. If it's not too bad I'd paint them up to slow down the corrosion. They move oil from the engine to the cooler, I'd estimate a maximum temperature of 140 degrees C, you'd need a paint that can manage that heat.
21/02/2024 12:50:18 UTC
bentonius said :-
Cleanin' & pimpin' my ride ?
Posted Image
25/02/2024 16:06:20 UTC
bentonius said :-

Posted Image
25/02/2024 16:07:00 UTC
bentonius said :-

Posted Image
25/02/2024 16:07:49 UTC
Ian Soady¹ said :-
Ouch my eyes hurt! Ren will snip those pics as to be allowed here it has to be filthy and rusty.
25/02/2024 17:27:19 UTC
bentonius said :-
LOL Ian, i assure you time is still to be seen ?
25/02/2024 17:30:25 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Oh my poor eyes! It's far far too clean now bentonius, far too clean. As Ian Soady pointed out I personally prefer rusty and dirty, but alas I appear to be on my own in this regard. Being the gracious and benevolent creator of this website I shall allow your terrible images to remain so that others may enjoy them. I'm off to rub some more dirt into my engine casings to calm my shattered nerves.
26/02/2024 12:48:31 UTC
bentonius said :-
Hahahaha, thanks Ren. I feel truly humbled
26/02/2024 19:05:58 UTC

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