I've been following this thread for weeks. I'm not sure if I'm in the market for a CBR250 but I've always loved small displacement bikes and have owned many over the years.
I believe those who think Honda is off the mark and should have brought a high spec. sportbike to market couldn't be more wrong.
This is not intended to be a sportbike or a beginner bike for kids. It is intended to be a 21st century Cub. Do kids clamor for ABS? No. They aren't smart enough to prioritize safety over speed.
This bike is intended to be on the market when gas is 4 bucks a gallon. It'll be bought by lab techs, accountants and folks who might otherwise never consider riding a motorcycle but who see it as a totally pragmatic solution to high gas prices and heavy traffic. It's a safer ride than a scooter. It's big enough to not have the associated stigma of a moped or scooter. It will keep up on the freeway. It has ABS. It has the backing of the only company who could launch a new rider ad campaign that would really resonate across the age divide.
Most hardcore small displacement sportbike enthusiasts would buy a secondhand FZR400, 600, CBR600 or even a 500 Interceptor for $1500 bucks way before they'd pop 7-8 grand for a new smallbore, high spec sportbike. Regardless, that misses the point of this bike entirely.
It's a modern day C70/Supercub/Passport. Just my .02