Author Topic: Am I expecting too much?  (Read 1131 times)

iansoady

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Am I expecting too much?
« on: July 30, 2022, 02:48:40 PM »
I've now put a few miles on the Honda CB250RS. It's light, manageable, handles well and now at least has decent brakes. However it's a bit on the sluggish side. I was expecting it to be a bit down on the Norton but whereas the ES2 accelerates, the little Honda could better be described as gently gathering speed. Theoretically they have similar power outputs but I do appreciate the Honda develops its 26bhp around 85000 rpm whereas the Norton's quoted 24bhp is probably at around half that. Actually both have similar "real world" top speeds around the 70mph mark but in a drag race the 30 year older Norton would leave the Honda in its dust.

I understand that it may be working quite hard to lug my 110kg or so around but was hoping for a little bit more. Talking to my younger brother, he tells me that when he was an apprentice one of his mates had a 250RS and he wheelied it everywhere - there is little chance of mine achieving that.

So as I say, am I just expecting too much from the poor little thing? I do like it otherwise......
Ian.
1952 Norton ES2
1986 Honda XBR500

themoudie

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Re: Am I expecting too much?
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2022, 03:19:26 PM »
Aye Ian,

Maybe the air filter and silencer are strangling the wee beastie? !  ;) ;) ;) ;) ;)

Time for some fettling me thinks.

Good health, Bill

xbally

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Re: Am I expecting too much?
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2022, 05:42:17 PM »
Ian-I don't find mine overwhelmingly powerful either. I couldn't ever see mine pulling a wheelie-not with me onboard.

The BHP at the rear wheel is probably quite a lot less.

I have always thought they could do with a 500cc engine to make life much more interesting.

Mine is running standard exhaust and filter.

I bet your ES2 has loads more torque and character.

IMHO the RS's best feature is its very light weight-but yes it does need more power.

Martin
HONDA CB250RSA

iansoady

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Re: Am I expecting too much?
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2022, 08:47:45 AM »
Thanks both. Silencer is a Motad, air filter the standard oiled foam (although I haven't actually oiled it!).

I think I'll probably just live with it and possibly also adjust my riding style - revving it a bit higher will probably help....
Ian.
1952 Norton ES2
1986 Honda XBR500

themoudie

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Re: Am I expecting too much?
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2022, 10:32:00 AM »
Aye Ian,

Revving them is the bit I find difficult, when it comes to mechanical sympathies and having started out with Matchy and AJS longstroke engines.

The SRX and Duke don't appreciate being "plonked" and like being revved.

Good health, Bill

xbally

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Re: Am I expecting too much?
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2022, 04:59:35 PM »
Just been for a 25 mile ride on mine and yes you do have to rev them...although mine manged to get up Hagley Hill (if you know it) in top easily within the speed limit 40 going to 60 easily enough so I'm guessing nothing wrong with the engine-uses no little or no oil between changes but does leak a small amount from the rocker cover-they all do that which is very unHondaish.
HONDA CB250RSA

Itsme

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Re: Am I expecting too much?
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2022, 08:07:03 AM »
Hi Ian

It's a difficult question with smaller capacity bikes. A certain amount of fettling never goes amiss and sometimes will release a smidgeon more go, but the reality is a 250 will never light up like a bigger bike unless it is a Japanese screamer from the 90s. I bet your brother achieved wheelies through the exuberance of youth as much as anything.

What I have found with the Mighty Midget, which has slightly less power than the RS, is that it seemed painfully slow when I first got off the CBF500 and on to it, but now a year or so of just riding it has made it seem quite acceptable. An adjustment to expectations may be necessary I'm sorry to say.

Anyway as long as you enjoy it that is all that matters surely.

Ian

iansoady

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Re: Am I expecting too much?
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2022, 09:19:38 AM »
Yes, I am enjoying it but just felt it could do with a little more oomph. Learning to live with it and use the revs seem to be the solution as well as not riding it immediately after the Norton and expecting it to perform the same. It is much easier to ride which is essentially why I got it in the first place.

I know Hagley Hill Martin - my local test hill is Gorcott Hill on the A435 north of Redditch. The Norton will crest it at over 60.
Ian.
1952 Norton ES2
1986 Honda XBR500

xbally

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Re: Am I expecting too much?
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2022, 05:11:49 PM »
Yes, I am enjoying it but just felt it could do with a little more oomph. Learning to live with it and use the revs seem to be the solution as well as not riding it immediately after the Norton and expecting it to perform the same. It is much easier to ride which is essentially why I got it in the first place.

I know Hagley Hill Martin - my local test hill is Gorcott Hill on the A435 north of Redditch. The Norton will crest it at over 60.

Is that the long hill up to M42 J3 Ian?

I used to work in Redditch and had a friend with a small bike shop in Astwood Bank so I do know some of the local area. I'm also quite interested in the history of Royal Enfield as I've owned a few-nearly all Indian models though. Lots of nice countryside. I was at the Feckenham open gardens with SWMBO in June too!
HONDA CB250RSA

iansoady

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Re: Am I expecting too much?
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2022, 09:01:44 AM »
A little bit further south but on the way to the M42 junction. It's the one just north of the 3 garden centres clustered around Mappleborough Green.

As you say, lots of pleasant roads although cursed at the moment with road works. We moved here (about a mile from the garden centres) just before the pandemic struck and really like it - quite rural and bosky but walking distance to everything you need. A bit like the 15 minute city concept https://www.15minutecity.com/about. The new part of the town was very carefully designed to separate vehicles from pedestrians / cyclists and this has been largely achieved although can be frustrating when driving!
« Last Edit: August 02, 2022, 09:04:36 AM by iansoady »
Ian.
1952 Norton ES2
1986 Honda XBR500

xbally

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Re: Am I expecting too much?
« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2022, 05:49:39 PM »
I only  know of one garden centre at Mappleborough Green-it's just off the island at the start of the Henley In Arden road-at the end of the dual carriageway from Bromsgrove. Used to go that way quite a lot-mainly when they had Wednesday bike night at the Waterman at Hatton. Happy days back  in the 90's........... I used to work for the council at the Town Hall-Walter Stranz Square-those dual carriageways around the town can be quite a race track........Used to go on my CBR600 in those days and you could park a bike in a designated place on the car park.

Back to the RS it would be good if there was a cheapish way to perk up the performance a bit ......
HONDA CB250RSA

CrazyFrog

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Re: Am I expecting too much?
« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2022, 06:39:17 PM »
It's probably an age thing isn't it? Back in my 20's I'd wind the throttle to the stop on whichever particular MZ 250 I happened to be riding at the time in a desperate attempt to get the needle round to the PAL makers symbol at the bottom. I hadn't a thought of mechanical longevity or fuel consumption. At wide open throttle most piston ported 2 strokes send large amounts of unburnt fuel straight out the tail pipe. I never blew an engine, though I did nip one up. The fuel consumption hovered around the 45mpg mark 😳

These days, on my Jawa, I cruise at an indicated 60 - 65, with the occasional jaunt up to 70 - 75 to pass slower traffic. I've never bothered to try and reach the theoretical top speed of around 80. I can't see the point! I get around 80mpg on a run, riding within the bikes limits. I guess my miss spent youth is long gone...
2016 Suzuki Gw250 Inazuma
2021 Honda CB125F

iansoady

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Re: Am I expecting too much?
« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2022, 09:00:35 AM »
Maybe I'm revsiting that mis-spent youthyou mention. Martin - it's still a racetrack and from our back garden you can hear bikes really pushing it. Occasionally followed shortly afterwards by sirens. There are often speed camera vans but they're only there during the day not late evening when the mayhem usually happens.
Ian.
1952 Norton ES2
1986 Honda XBR500

kevberlin

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Re: Am I expecting too much?
« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2022, 08:24:59 AM »
I've now put a few miles on the Honda CB250RS. It's light, manageable, handles well and now at least has decent brakes. However it's a bit on the sluggish side. I was expecting it to be a bit down on the Norton but whereas the ES2 accelerates, the little Honda could better be described as gently gathering speed. Theoretically they have similar power outputs but I do appreciate the Honda develops its 26bhp around 85000 rpm whereas the Norton's quoted 24bhp is probably at around half that. Actually both have similar "real world" top speeds around the 70mph mark but in a drag race the 30 year older Norton would leave the Honda in its dust.

I understand that it may be working quite hard to lug my 110kg or so around but was hoping for a little bit more. Talking to my younger brother, he tells me that when he was an apprentice one of his mates had a 250RS and he wheelied it everywhere - there is little chance of mine achieving that.

So as I say, am I just expecting too much from the poor little thing? I do like it otherwise......
Ian,
Just picked up on your post and saw your nice bike on that Wordpress blog thingy.
I had a couple of 250rs in the past. My current one has a stack of miles on it but was clearly rebuilt.
I always think these little bikes have a sweet spot at around 55mph and frankly I’m reluctant now to thrash it in order to preserve its longevity and the consumables. Gently gathering speed is an appropriate phase for my bike too. It’s no flying machine, just a great bike for loads of other reasons.
All the best,
Kev
Honda CB250RSA
Royal Enfield Custom Chrome 350

iansoady

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Re: Am I expecting too much?
« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2022, 10:18:47 AM »
Thanks Kev, I'm beginning to think the answer to my original question is "yes, I am expecting too much". So much so that I've used the Norton far more over the summer despite the little Honda being handier and lighter.

So will probably part with it in the spring although anybody here might be interested? Looking for £1300 or so to cover costs. Some years ago I tried a Mash 400 and think one of those might suit my "second bike" needs.
Ian.
1952 Norton ES2
1986 Honda XBR500