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
I'm hoping some of the other companies get in on the small-bore motorcycle fun and sales, and I'd love to see some standard versions of these bikes something like the Suzuki TU250 with a more potent engine like in the Honda or Ninja 250. The Hyosung 250 (both faired and unfaired versions) looks interesting, but they seem to suffer from quality control issues.
For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move. Robert Louis Stevenson