1983 Honda CD250 from United Kingdom




Cylinder head seized, chain came off.

General Comments:

The Honda 250 comes from a long line of models. All CD models are parallel twins with single carburettor and four speed gear boxes. Built as commuter bikes, they have no sporting pretension. All the bikes have a low seat, so are good for people with short legs.

Performance is sluggish on all models. 17-20 hp @9000rpm is hardly interesting. A 65mph cruise is possible. Given the speedo error, this is around the 60, the limit on most UK roads, but it will slow right down on hills, and if the wind is blowing hard at you, but the wind with, you may see 80mph.

The twin seat is OK for small people.

No rev counter is fitted, but a fully enclosed chain is.

Brakes are drum so poor, but as it is such a low performance machine, they're adequate.

Do not travel on motorways as the draught from lorries will blow you all over, and you will struggle to keep up with them. The slip stream of a truck is not a place to be on a motorcycle. Truck brakes are better in comparison, and when you start skidding the tyres, it will be a shock for you.

Overall, a nice bike for around town. It will do 70mpg easily, and cost next to nothing to run. The CD250 has electronic ignition, but the older model do not, they still have points. This is a bike for the roads of India rather than 21C England. It would be better to buy a scooter and get a bit of weather protection.

A best seller in its time due to mad laws. The 250 Dream machine was introduced in a fanfare of publicity to an unsuspecting public. A shock replacement for the previous 250 Dream machine, so ugly no teenager wanted it, so replaced after only 1 year. This bike was designed for teenagers back in the days when L plates allowed you to drive a 249cc machine for as long as you like, as much as you liked.

It has an upright riding position, quite comfortable over long distances.

Electric starter and a two cylinder 4 stoke engine, with 3 valves per cylinder, giving 27 hp @ 10,000 rpm, which meant it was sluggish.

The top speed of around 85 mph was not easy to reach - it took a long run.

A good 70 mpg was possible within legal limits.

Alloy com-star wheels were the modern look way back then in the late 70's, early 80's.

Most would be thrashed into the ground, so not many left now. I saw one recently however, and it still has the dullest exhaust note.

A far superior machine was the 400cc version, good for 110mph on a good day. The 400 version will not have been thrashed, as it was bought by older men, and is the way to go if a cheap Honda is wanted.

A little bike ridden by me over thousands of miles, it comes in two versions, with or without electric starter. Always go with an electric starter, as kick back from the cylinder is possible.

It has a twin seat, and speedometer.

It has adequate 3 gallon fuel tank, as it is good for 65mpg.

Performance is 90mph tops, but do not spend too much time there. These bikes will seize at that speed, as it is on the red line anyways. This is due to poor lubrication of the cylinder head. If you are short of oil, it is going to happen, the engine frees itself right away however, but will need a rebuild. I was eventually banned from riding them and given a VT500 instead.

These are old fashioned bikes with a single cylinder, and are very simple to maintain. The single cylinder means they will eat chains. Not good for motorways then, as they do not like high speed travel. Good around town and the open road, as it is light, at around 280lbs minus rider, so flickable around corners.

If you can find one, it will be very cheap, and spares will be in the scrap yards, not at main dealers. It will keep up with the traffic as it has 26hp at 9000 rpm.

Last of the line was a 33hp version. Nice little plodder that will cost 'nothing' to run for a someone able.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th July, 2006

10th Jun 2009, 03:08

The CD250U (which we have) is not a single carby, it has dual carburetors and it came standard like this. This does help with the power issues and it is quite reasonable (for a light cruiser 250).

2nd Sep 2009, 16:00

Your review of the Honda CD250 is in many places wrong, I think you would do well to take a look at one of these motorcycles and even better ride one.

I have owned one of these little bikes for a year with a full Rickman fairing and it still reaches 70mph every time but tops at 85mph, it has a 5 speed box not 4 as you said.

It has a front brake disc, not drum as you have said.

Chain guard covers the top of the chain only, not as you said fully enclosed.

These motorcycle handle motorways easily and overtaking trucks wind drag is the same as all the motorcycles I have owned up to 650cc.

Twin carbs not single.

The CD 250 was made in 1988/94 and is a great little commute bike, easy to handle, quick enough off the mark, up to 90mpg and bullet proof engine, which is the same engine as the CB250 but different carbs.