Wednesday 15 January 2014

CBF at 40k

My Honda CBF250 passed 40,000 miles at the end of last year. For a small bike this a significant landmark. In the past this would be expected to be about the life of a 250, but the CBF is still going strong.

The bike was registered in January 2007 and I bought it July 2009 with 5,000 miles on the clock to use as a commuter/winter bike. Its job was to carry me to work across town and give me transport when the weather was too bad for the big bikes. For this it had to be light, manageable, economical and reliable. Nowadays it's my daily runabout and my sole transport from October to March.

The CBF lives a fairly hard life. It's used in all weather so gets exposed to the all the rain, salt & muck the Scottish climate can throw at it. Being of modest performance it works hard too. It runs at 6-7,000 rpm and its normal cruising speed of about 60mph is a good proportion of its 80 mph top speed.

So how's it done? Reliability has been 100%. Never once has it let me down on the road or failed to start. It doesn't burn oil or make any strange noises. The finish has held up fairly well. I've touched up some areas of the paint on the frame and replaced a few bolts with stainless when they became corroded. When the weather is bad I give the bike a regular jet wash. The weak part has been the exhaust. It rusts if exposed to salt. My solution was to get a damaged exhaust system from a breaker cheap. I painted the silencer with heat resistant paint and fit it for the winter.

As for parts the main expense is the usual expendables - tyres, chains, brake pads etc. Even then things are good - 20,000 miles out of a front tyre, for example. The list of non-service parts that have failed is short - the front brake switch, the horn, a speedo cable and one battery and that's about it. An unexpected failure was the front brake caliper that had to be replaced because of metal chipping off at the seal - a blessing in disguise because the replacement (CBR125 unit £20 from eBay) had more power & feel. The wheel bearings were a slight problem. They had a habit of ingesting their dust seals and failing. I replaced the lot to be on the safe side.

The bike is well used. I currently do about 8,000 miles per year on it. I guess that if can get another two or three years out of it I'll have more than had my money's worth.

40k on the clock
The bike soon after I bought it, 2009
Back from work in the snow, December 2010

Loch Awe, May 2012


  1. Yeah, running a wee bike through a Scottish winter can take its toll, but its amazing how well they cope.

  2. It's not been too bad thus far. Wet, but very little frost so not much salt. I jet wash it regularly which helps. And days are getting longer…..

  3. Its a fab bike and looks good too. Wonder if you could pick up a second hand stainless silencer somewhere that might work with it, save you changing between summer and winter exhausts?

    1. Stainless would be good but after-market parts for the CBF are rare. It must be possible to make any silencer fit with a bit of work. I found a carbon fibre silencer for the CBF on eBay years ago, maybe I should have bought it.