Review by : Deepak Dongre
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The CBR is available at Vihaan Honda in Thane (Ghodbunder road), just before the left turn to Tikuji Ni Wadi.
To start off with the test ride wasn’t long i.e. 2 kms and the poor bike had rolled just 303 kms to push it to the limits.
Following were my observations:
The bike looks great, specially the front and rear view gives it that big broad bulgy look. But sideways it looks smaller than the Karizma or the P220.
It had just come back from a test ride and I was eager to hear how it sounds. Well on idling it sounds like a typical smooth Honda engine. I had to make an entry before the test ride about the driving licence details etc. Came out plugged in the key- started the engine and contrasting to the smooth idling noise, the engine feels grunty. I expected it to be typically Unicorn-ish feel. Looks a rev-happy engine- feels nice.
Even with the showroom representative as pillion- the bike pulls really well. As mentioned above it feels grunty- the engine feels pretty much like an R15. Not too smooth as to not to grab your attention that its running and not too noisy either to irritate. Though I couldn’t push it beyond 80 kph- but you can feel its eagerness to be revved harder. The grunt of the engine doesn’t transform into vibrations to the handlebars or the pegs. Feels pretty smooth at both places. The plastics don’t squeak or rattle a wee bit- the only thing you can hear is the engine. This is one of those bikes which will make you feel at what speed is running unlike the ZMA which feels 40ish being at 80. I guess its a good sign.
Climbing up the slope in as high as 6th gear- it showed no signs of knocking and the power can be felt in all gears. I didn’t feel the need to downshift to get it going- was already doing a decent 60 kph by then- it pulled well even in the 6th gear till 80. Gear shifts are smooth as butter smooth.
This was a C-ABS bike and though didn’t want to brake that hard to throw the pillion off the seat, but tried braking well within limits and it was AMAZING! No fuss- very very tamed and equally smooth. The rear brake too felt much better as compared to the R15/P220.
Riding position to be frank is not very comfortable- considering from the touring point of view. Slightly better than the R15, but I would say the P220 feels much comfortable. I am 5.8′ and I found the pegs higher than my liking. The seat is pretty firm and during riding I found myself more towards the tank rather than being back on the broad part of the seat. The pillion seat too doesn’t seem comfortable.
The suspension at both ends feels stiff- surprisingly even with pillion, the rear was too hard on the damping. Might be the rear would have been adjusted to stiffer settings- but then the front was no different, being in bent-forward position- the jerks ride upto your shoulders.The switchgear is good quality and very very smooth to operate. The horn is punny- typical Activa type.
To sum it up- I would say its a nice bike- well built, good quality, great engine, awesome braking. But looking it from the comfort level- I have my doubts if it’ll be as good as a sports tourer. One might get adjusted later- after all we have people doing Leh on R15s/ Apaches etc.
Though I was expecting an out of the world experience, which I feel is wrong to. Its a single pod 250cc after all If I had the money- would I buy it??? Yeah certainly! But I would sorely miss the comfort of my ZMA.