Targeting emerging markets in South East Asia like India, Malaysia and Thailand was one big reason why Honda put together the CBR250R. The other big reason of course was the fact that the Kawasaki Ninja 250R simply didn’t have competition discounting the slow selling Hyosung GT250R of course. The CBR250R was also targeted at becoming the world’s highest selling entry level motorcycle, targeting young motorcyclists in Europe, where licensing norms mean that newbies cannot swing their legs over anything pumping out over 33 Bhp. Well, at least until they clear the tests to ride bigger motorcycles, that is.
In 2013 though,European licensing norms might change a bit, to allow motorcycles of up to 47 Bhp for newbie riders. This represents a good opportunity for Honda to capitalize upon and hence. you could have the CBR400R being spawned for this very purpose. However, this news remains a story that has appeared in a Japanese magazine and is yet to be confirmed by Honda. So, take this information with a bunch of salt for now. Coming to the other aspects of the motorcycles, the CBR400R badging means that this latest product could be more of a sports tourer than a sportsbike.
So, expect a single cylinder or a twin cylinder layout rather than an inline four engine on the CBR400R. In the 90s, 250c and 400cc motorcycles in Japan were big due to the Japanese government encouraging smaller capacity motorcycles by levying lower taxes upon these motorcycles. So, a slew of manufacturers like Honda, Kawasaki and Suzuki8 had various 250cc and 400cc offerings for the Japanese domestic market. Honda itself had the Hornet 250 which came with an inline 4 engine and so did the CBR400RR, which was in fact a race replica of the bigger Ceebers.
Now though, fuel economy is a greater concern than outright performance, especially amongst small capacity motorcycles aimed at the entry level market. So, expect the CB400r to be a bigger CBR250R more than a high revving inline four. Considering that KTM is all set to launch the Duke 350 in the Indian market come 2013, Honda too might be interested in bringing the CBR400R to India, it it ever decides to build this motorcycle. Over the next few months, expect more buzz surrounding this model to emerge. Until then, keep an eye out on this space as we ceaselessly scour the interweb for any wind on the CBR400R story.
I ride, I blog and I trip. This apart, motorcycles, vintage mechanical watches, people watching, camping and traveling are my other interests. Incidentally, I hold a engineering degree in electronics and work experience in computer networks and professional blogging. I live in Bangalore currently and you could get in touch with me at [email protected]