About the Bike
There’s a reason why the Honda CBR250R and RR (MC19/22) are the most
popular grey import motorcycles worldwide, bar none. Actually, there
are heaps of reasons. They’re undoubtedly the best introduction to 4-stroke
sportsbikes that money can buy. They’re cheap, reliable, powerful for
a 4-stroke 250 and fun with a capital grin. And they rev to 18,000rpm
(Yes, that’s eighteen with three zeros after it) so they sound like a million
manic mosquitos on methamphetamine.
Technically, the CBR motor is a watercooled across the frame 4-cylinder
with gear-driven double overhead cams and sixteen valves. It’s fed
by four 28mm carburettors and has a compression ratio of 11.5:1. Stock
power output is around 45bhp at the crank. The engine internals are
like the guts of a Swiss watch on steroids, but better engineered and
much more reliable. CBR250 engines regularly exceed 100,000km of hard
use, even with minimal maintenance and infrequent oil changes. They’re
harder to kill than Bruce Willis wrapped in carbon Kevlar and driving a
Richard bought his MC-19 more by good luck than good management
back in 1996. Since then he has kept breathing thanks to more good luck
rather than skill. Don’t get me wrong – Richard is a good rider. He
just crashes a lot. It’s not always from riding like an idiot, though.
A psycho cager in a 4WD ran him over on a roundabout, he tried to combine
sleeping and riding around a roundabout, and then a new rear tyre let
go... halfway around a roundabout. They weren’t terribly major crashes,
but they did leave his bike (and his buttocks) quite road-rashed.
Not so long ago, Richard decided to repair all the various bits
of crash damage and paint the bike a new colour. Preferably a nice
bright safety colour so blind cagers could see him coming. He selected
Crash Test Dummy Yellow. If it didn’t break the roundabout curse, at
least it would make the bits easier to find afterwards.
When he started stripping back the fuel tank, Richard found almost
as much bog as Kakadu in the wet season. It was filling the most impressive
dent that any of us have ever seen. It’s so impressive that Richard has
cleaned it up and left it as a conversation piece. If nothing else, it
explains why the previous owner is now previous. After making a dent like
that in a steel fuel tank, I wouldn’t want to ride again either!
Building the CBRi