Honda CB250N Superdream

The throttle goes both ways - but only one of them is fun!
Back Home Up Next

 

So, my unloved RAT having gone, it's time to look for a replacement....

...this time, one I might not mind actually riding! So it is that I find myself sticking the keys into a 30,000 mile old 250 Superdream. This bike, which has nigh on a year's MoT and one owner these last 15 years, with just 3 owners in the preceding 3 years since it first hit the roads, seems to be held together to a greater extent than I'm comfortable with by jubilee clips, but no matter. First impressions, as I try to let the bike warm up while I trickle away from Keep Biking in Chinnor are that it actually feels like a proper motorbike. More like a proper motorbike than the Benley did on occasions, and a hell of a lot more like a proper motorbike than any 125 I've ever ridden. Once I've recovered from a first gear that redlines at 30mph, I'm comfortable enough with the gearbox, the clutch has feel (unlike the Benley or any 125 I've ever ridden) and the brakes, a single disk to the front, actually appear to do something useful!

As I leave Chninnor, heading for the A40 where I can max the thing out, I'm impressed by how solid the little old nail feels. And I know how risky such confidence can be if misplaced, for somebody like me who once carved a gouge right round a big sweeping bend with the footpeg of an on-the-very-ragged-edge Benley because I forgot which bike I was on and peeled in in VFR mode... but as I counter steer through an open S-Bend which would be taken at 50-ish on the ST, I find I'm not /that/ much slower on the WetDream, and the bike hasn't shown any sign of objecting. I'm not engaged in any heroics here, I'm just riding at a reasonably brisk pace, and the bike seems happy to oblige, although the motor is working hard to keep the pace up. Coming to a 30 limit, the brakes are progressive and competent, which is very impressive when you consider the little disk and skinny front tyre is dealing with a hell of a lot of weight with me on board. If it's OK for me, it'll be great for Sue - the other potential pilot of this rat.

When I hit the A40, I find that the bike will make an indicated 75 with me aboard, in the room available, without demonstrating any tendency to weave, wobble or otherwise misbehave, even when corners are introduced. Unsurprisingly, grabbing a handful of clutch and shutting the throttle to get the next cog seems to disturb the plot a bit, but the gearbox seems more than up to clutchless changes, I'm amazed to say. I reckon there's a bit more there for me, and a fair bit more for somebody with less... presence... than myself. The engine isn't making the sort of terminal noises I'd expect from a 30,000 mile WetDream yet, but after my high speed hi-jinks, there was a whiff of hot oil after I parked up which gave away the fact that it had been working quite hard. Finally, as I attempted to give this thing a proper work-out, I decided to try braking to a stop from flat oot, hopefully without crashing... this was a mistake, I think. The bike stopped just fine, without a hint of brake fade, and sufficiently quickly as to convince me that WetDream brakes aren't all that bad in the great scheme of things. R1 it isn't, but plenty adequate. Unfortunately, having been used to 15 years of old giffer commuting (said old giffer chopped it in on an XV535 a week or three back - for year round commuting. Methinks he was in for a shock the first time he even parked it outside...) for about 3 miles each way each day, half an hour in the hands of a grossly overweight hooligan seems to have explored parts of the fork travel that have never been explored before - it appears to have done a fork seal during my test ride. Can't imagine how that happened.. etc etc...

Anyway, pointing out the jubilee clips, the cosmetic dents here and there (very important, don't you know), where it is in the Wetdream lifecycle, and of course the slightly leaking fork seal, I got it down to 250

That sounded about right, so I went and bought the damned thing...

 

 

Copyright 2003 Ken Haylock. All rights reserved.
Last Revised: June 12, 2003 .