Hero HX250R vs Honda CBR250R: 250cc Bikes Comparo

What started off as a normal Wednesday with many of us fighting midweek boredom, I see my Facebook page stormed with pictures of this new bike. And what baffled me was what the rubric read – A Hero Motocorp bike! I rubbed my eyes till they hurt and yet the news was true. True, an indigenously developed quarter liter bike which did look the part. What news! The bike in focus is the Hero HX250R. Inside my heart, as I read more, I just got happier. The bike looks big, the specs on paper seem grand, and the expected price…well, mouth-watering to say the least.

Hero unveiled the HX250R with 4 other new launches on 29th January. The spec sheet they revealed tells that the HX250R is set to take on the Honda CBR250R, and hence this comparo was undeniable.

Hero HX250R

Hero HX250R

Honda CBR250R

Honda CBR250R

Looks

Let’s begin with the established Honda CBR250R. The baby Ceeber, knowing that it is inspired heavily from the odd-looking VFR1200 was never going to win any beauty pageants. It was styled to look futuristic et all but I feel Honda went a little too overboard. Nevertheless it is no ugly duckling. The looks did grow over everyone as time passed. Now the CBR250R can almost be termed ubiquitous with so many around. The HX250R, since is fresh off the block, it definitely catches the fancies of everyone’s eyes. The HX250R with its twin headlights, split seat, and big tinted visor definitely has more sporty elements to appeal to the enthusiasts. But the biggest attention grabber has to be the under seat exhaust, akin to big Yamaha bikes, which just steals the show. The fairing look sleek and not overdone. The swing-arm section does look a touch shoddy however. Overall, if looks are anything to go by, the HX250R shod in its full body fairing may be a couple of paces ahead already. What’s more? The HX250R design received a dose of Eric Buell Racing.

 

Full Body fairing, Twin headlights under-seat exhaust, all add to big bike feel

Full Body fairing, Twin headlights under-seat exhaust, all add to big bike feel

Specifications

Honda CBR250R

Honda CBR250R

Honda CBR250R

  • Displacement: 249 cc
  • Engine Type: DOHC, 4 Valve Single cylinder, Liquid Cooled
  • Power: 26 BHP
  • Torque: 23 Nm
  • Braking: C-ABS (optional) 296 mm Front Disk, 220 mm Rear Disk
  • Transmission: 6 speed
  • Tyres: 110/70X17 ( Front )  140/70X17 ( Rear )
  • Kerb Weight: 167 Kg
Hero HX250R

Hero HX250R

Hero HX250R

  • Displacement: 249 cc
  • Engine Type: DOHC, 4 Valve Single cylinder, Liquid Cooled
  • Power: 30.5 BHP
  • Torque: 26 Nm
  • Braking: C-ABS (optional) 300 mm Front Disk, 220 mm Rear Disk
  • Transmission: 6 speed
  • Tyres: 110/80X17 ( Front )  140/70X17 ( Rear )
  • Kerb Weight: 139 Kg

 Performance

When the CBR was launched, its prime competitor was the twin cylinder bomb – Ninja 250R. The CBR with its modest power figures proved slower than the Ninja but only slightly so and at the price the CBR was offered, its sub 9 seconds 0-100 figure was drool worthy! Fast forward to the present and the Duke 390 just laughs and makes a mockery out of the baby CBR’s numbers. Even with a top speed of about 150 Kmph, the CBR is now outclassed by the bigger Duke. The HX250R has to at least level, if not better the CBR’s performance to stay in the game. Going by Hero’s claims and the spec sheet, the HX250R has the gut and will to take on the CBR and even race ahead. Its low kerb weight of just 139 Kg and a power rating of 31 BHP can help it run close to the Duke 390 and keep the CBR biting the dust in terms of outright performance. If Hero’s claims are anything to go by, a 0-60 time of 2.7 sec is spectacular. The much more powerful Duke 390 does the same run in about 2.3 sec while the CBR does it in about 3.3 sec. Even top speed of the new Hero is expected to be on the happier (right) side of 150 Kmph.  Don’t write off the CBR just yet. The CBR till date remains a tourer’s delight. Its excellent highway manners and spine friendly ride have earned it loyalists. A thorough road test of the HX250R only will reveal the entire story. But for now, the CBR is left in wake of the HX250R in sheer numbers. Good job Hero.

The CBR came equipped with the C-ABS which thoroughly helped boost sales. Until the launch of the Duke 390, no other bike besides the Apache offered ABS. But now, the HX250R comes equipped with the same, proven C-ABS. It will be provided as an option but this little system will help the HX250R go a long way in terms of sales. The CBR comes with Continental tyres which received quite a bit of criticism. The HX250R on its launch day sported the excellent, grippy Pirelli Sport Demons. News just keeps getting better! The Hero also came with steel-braided brake lines on its launch bike.

Both Bikes come with excellent and proven C-ABS

Both Bikes come with excellent and proven C-ABS

Conclusion

The CBR remained a tourer’s darling until now. The Duke 390 caught everyone’s attention with staggering numbers but regular tourers still prefer the CBR thanks to its reasonable size fuel tank which equates to decent range and most importantly a fairing which keeps wind blast at bay. Also the CBR has a more usable back seat. The CBR is priced close to Rs 2.2 lakhs which is quite some money for the bike. However, the HX250R seems to have all the pros the CBR did and a lot more. Being a Hero, after-sales service also wouldn’t be much of a bother. And at an estimated price of Rs 1.3 to 1.5 lakh, the HX250R has every possible ingredient to be the next big thing. So my vote goes to the HX250R going merely by its spec sheet and preview. The bike is expected to launch mid-2014. Keep following ICB for more information.

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