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Discussion Starter #1
1990 CBR250RR vs R3 vs RC390

Bike HP Torque 0-60mph 1/4 mile Weight Wet
CBR250RR 45hp @ 15000 15.6lbft @ 12k 5.2 sec 13.8 sec 346lbs
YZF-R3 42hp @ 10750 21.18lbft @ 9k 5.1 sec 14.15 sec @ 90mph 368lbs
KTM RC390 43hp @ 9500 26lbft @ 7250k 4.6 sec 13.67 sec @ 92.6 mph 366lbs

Makes me more interested in the KTM than I was before. I would have expected a better ¼ mile on the 250RR. All that said, if you consider the 250RR is an inline-4 250cc, the R3 is a 320cc parallel-twin, and the RC390 is a 373cc single, look what the other guys had to do to make a bike around as fast as the Honda – a lot more CC’s and 20lbs more weight. And this is 25 years later. Then again, if Honda made a CBR250RR today, it would cost far more than the R3 and KTM, and probably nobody (except me) would buy it.

Disclaimer: there’s a lot of data on the net – I did my best to research multiple sources and get what I thought were the most reliable numbers, but it’s still the internet.

Bottom line, of course, is fun factor.

250RR: With the ‘faddy daddy’ pipe on it and the 19k redline, it screams like an Indy car. You can easily keep it in its power-band and cruise around at 15k+ RPMs. The fun factor is high, and it has better brakes (2 disks), etc. The downside is that it’s carbureted with 4 tiny 62.5cc cylinders and micro-carburetors. I have to ride mine all of the time or it’s off to get its carbs cleaned. The ethanol in our gas now only makes this worse. You let it sit, and it isn’t going to start.

R3: Haven’t ridden it hard enough yet now that I have sticky tires on it (the stock tires are a joke) and that it’s been broken in, oil changed, etc. That said, the fun factor is definitely there. You sit more upright than the 250RR, making it more comfortable, but you can really lean the bike too. The additional torque over the 250RR is nice, especially going up Palomar. Brakes are not as powerful as the 250RR. Overall I don’t get the excitement factor that I do on the 250RR. But, especially because I have so many bikes with carbs, the fuel injection and easy start and better tolerance of current gas sure is nice & convenient.

KTM: Haven’t ridden one yet. Very curious as to how it being a single feels – wondering if it’s similar at all to my 4-stroke dirt bike singles. From looking at it, it seems that you are more bent over and that it has a more ‘racing’ profile and ergonomics than the R3. I’ve also heard it rattles and vibrates and such, and is not a good bike if you’re not on the track. But that’s just some people’s opinions on the net, and I don’t trust that so much – numerous magazines back in the early 90s said the Ferrari F40 was a bear to drive, very difficult to shift, etc. When I rented one in 2001, I found it very easy to drive, shift, control, etc.

In summary:

Glad I have two, would like the third (KTM). 250RR definitely more exciting, especially out in the hills. R3, however, I would rather daily ride (especially in traffic/around town). KTM is unknown until I have the chance to ride one.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Just took the R3 out into the hills for the first time with it broken in and wearing power 2cts. Total blast -- very happy with this bike. Seems to handle great, although I certainly wasn't knee dragging on the street. Nice to be able to bring it up to redline, but what I liked most about it vs. some of my other smaller bikes is the mid-range torque -- you can really feel it when you are accelerating after the apex of a corner. Good stuff!
 

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I own an MC22 and R3 (both are racebikes)
my R3 would hose it round the track until Major suspension and tuning is done to my MC22.
 

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Dude, I would love to see small 1-4's in the USA, but you're right, they probably wouldn't sell well. Also, I believe the R3 has better MPG than the two.

I also love the looks and feel of the KTM, but as a daily, I wouldn't want the vibrations either and I don't know what the maintenance is like on that type of engine. I saw some passing through KTM dealer in Ramona the other day and they look awesome. But practicality wise, the R3 fit the bill and it's built well.
 

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The Bandit 400 lasted 2 years. As did the Honda CB-1. '89-91 covers both I believe.
 

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Nice Campero, Sig. I really wish that North America could get the smaller displacement 4-cylinder high revving engines. I've never seen a 250 RR here personally. Haven't seen the really cool older ninja either. I have an '05 track bike and '06 daily driver ninja 250, but they are the ex250 models. Americans feel like you need to "go big or go home".
"What, you don't got a ZX-12 or a 'Busa?"
Having worked at two local dealerships (one of them 2 times) I've ridden several hundred motorcycles, different displacements, different styles. I really prefer a smaller bike these days. I am 40. Maybe my pansy hormone is kicking in. Lol. But I still rock crawl jeeps and race motorcycles. I'm getting off track now. Just wish NA got all of the cool bikes that the rest of the world gets.
 
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