With a shot across the bow of former-partner Honda, Hero recently unveiled its flagship HXR 250R small-displacement sports bike this week.

Aimed at young enthusiasts in developing markets and newer riders in general, the claimed power of 31 hp, coupled with the svelte 306 lbs curb weight, make it both more powerful and lighter than the current Honda CBR250R and putting in more in line with the CBR300R.

We are told that the Erik Buell Racing (EBR) had a hand in helping design and develop the bike but it is unclear what specifically EBR contributed towards the design.

Hero currently holds a 49.2% stake in EBR and plans to use EBR’s distribution network in the United States to bring Hero’s bikes to our shores.

The bike itself looks modern by current generation standards, neither pushing the aesthetics game into new territory nor looking dated on delivery.

The power-to-weight ratio, while not at KTM RC390 levels, is highly respectable and more than adequate in this bike’s role as a world market small displacement sport bike and as a beginner friendly bike.

Expect to hear more about this bike any others stemming rom the EBR-Hero partnership in the coming year when the full US lineup is revealed.

Source: Hero; Photo: Motoroids

  • Wow, looks really conventional, like a Japanese bike… from about 17 years ago with the steel swingarm and that upper brace. I assume it has a modern rear suspension setup, though I can’t see it here.

  • proudAmerican

    Looks more like a rival to Hyosung, not Honda.

  • JoeD

    You would need 3 times the amount of aluminum for the same item made from steel. Way too chunky for a small bike. Call me Luddite but modern non-steel frames are ugly.

  • Ian W

    I’m going to stick my neck out and say EBR had bugger all to do with this. If they did, hero should ask for their 25 million back.

  • Doctor Jelly

    Eeeennnnteresting… Not bad looking. Maybe sort’ve looks a bit Buellish in the tank area and what appears to be venting for the radiator in the top of the side fairings. Can anyone tell if that’s an underslung or left side exhaust?

    I’m curious to see the price point stateside with those numbers.

  • Hugh

    ~50 lbs less than the Honda CBR250 and ~5 more HP? I guess that puts it out of “rival” territory. :-)

    Several articles in the Indian press last year stated that this engine was designed by EBR.

  • Well looks like Erik sold out ! This thing is not was Buell was all about!

  • KSW

    Interesting bike. After seeing the Chinese CF Motors 650 at the Isle of Man last year I’d say the devil is in the details. Component details like shocks, bearings, exhaust etc. In emerging economies local and inexpensive is key especially if the replacement parts are also inexpensive and readily available. Being successful globally however requires a higher standard. The CF Motors race bike was highly upgraded.

    Offering that much bike is a really good offering from Hero.

    Some here need to be less “proud…” and less critical without knowing details. Consulting on technical issues while providing a retail outlet is not wholesale designing of parts/bikes but rather sharing of info that is used however the partner chooses to use it. That’s not selling out that’s actually business relationships and Eric is moving forward. See A&R’s story on Hero Racing running EBR’s by team EBR.

  • paulus

    It will probably retail (in India) for less than a US aftermarket exhaust system.
    For the market price point, it is a step forward.
    Way to go Hero.

  • buellracerx

    KSW – well said, completely agree. armchair engineers are everywhere…including me here in a few lines…

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Hero handed them a sourced powertrain and EBR built a bike around it. A few things that tip me off…

    – styling; especially the windscreen and tank/airbox cover, appears heavily Buell influenced
    – cooling air flow routing through frame, pulling in extra cooling air through side panels to alleviate rider discomfort
    – structural design (aluminum brackets for footpegs, etc.) is very Buell-esque; flowing lines good for stress flow, not as great for edgy industrial design
    – wheel design – while not ZTL, still an anorexic cast Al design w/ a cross-section designed for lateral stiffness
    – engine isolation – looks like a isolator bar under the exhaust, allows engine to move in planar motion, similar to XB & 1125

    The only thing that doesn’t jive is underseat exhaust…oh well, come out with the MSRP, I’ll still race one!

  • Good Lord, that last comment ‘buellracerx’ (Seriously? Did you come up with that pseudonym on your own? Are you like 12? If so I’m sorry for crackin on ya.) was like reading some kind of fawning fan boy techno love poetry. Looks like a few of you guys have a serious man crush on Erik Buell (I hope that’s all it is anyway, Christ knows Erik has his share of groupies). Y’all must know he reads these comments.

    Actually it’s more likely these are people who work for him, or were foolish enough to invest in the company. I just hope it’s the fan boys and not investors, those poor schmos are likely to find yourself in the same boat with the last group of investors in Buell. Sitting around late at night looking at a pile of those worthless stock certificates.

    Hero is a serious moneymaking company, no doubt they invested in EBR in hopes of jazzing up their designs and breaking into new markets. Mr. Buell is damn lucky they decided to invest in his company, since they’re basically Financing EBR by dropping 25 million in Erik’s pocket. Obviously he has some good friends in investment circles that helped him finagle that deal. Let’s hope the Indians don’t wind up with nothing to show for their investment, like so many others who have gone down this road.

  • gabe

    Begun, the clone wars have.

  • BBQdog

    @Aaron B. Brown: even the Duke 125-390 series had straight suspension at the back, no levers.
    And this Hero, how many gears ??

  • Mike P

    I just threw up a little. Have you seen the Yamaha 125 they sell in India? and then this? It can’t actually be a product.

  • LanceBoyles

    “it is unclear what specifically EBR contributed towards the design”


  • Chaz Michael Michaels

    just don’t make mention of the buell-designed wonky front brake rotor (I can’t quite make out if this bike has it or not). Fanboys will feed you to starving mutts, like Kim Jong Un did to his uncle for calling him “fatso.”

  • KSW


    Design theft, design similarity is nothing new. After the investment it would make sense that young designers in India seeing all those Buell photos would pen similarities. Especially if you want to take advantage of “similarities” to the race bike which is all EBR now running in WSBK when you start your marketing campaign. This stuff is business 101 nothing more.

    At 25 million that isn’t so much an investment for many as a decision to spend a little bit of money on EBR rather than a new house on another continent and get a couple cool bikes out of the deal. People have to readjust if they haven’t what the value of money is. Hell to a Brit 25 million U.S. isn’t really much as houses in London sell for more.

  • Huff1050

    If I was Yamaha I would ask for cash for stealing the upper fairing from the old FZ1

  • TexusTim

    still no word on what E.B. had to do with this ? other than they gave him a ton of money to “say so”.

  • avsatishchandra

    I think the EBR Hero connection in the creation of the HX 250 R is being overplayed, and most of that is due to the ignorance of the Indian media, who seem to think that Eric Buell Racing is a high tech company. In my mind the synergies between Hero and EBR have more commercial implications than technological ones. Hero’s strategy seems to be to get exposure to the name and brand Hero and associating with EBR in AMA and now in WSBK seems to be the route they have taken. In this bargain EBR gets bank rolled for the racing activities. EBR does not have engine technology and uses Rotax for engine supply. So there is not much EBR can contribute in terms of a ground up design.

    Hero also partners AVL and Engines Engineering. I think the brief given to Engines Engineering is to create a motorcycle that looks like it has some lineage from EBR products. The engine I am sure is the old 223 cc Honda lump that has been used in the Karizma model for aeons. It could be bored/stroked out and with FI and an ECU that has been tuned for more power. AVL must have contributed to this. Hero will be quite happy if people were to associate it with EBR, because Engines Engineering and AVL do not have any brand value among the buying public. So Hero and EBR have a situation of Win-Win but it is also something that can turn Lose-Lose. But Hero is very savvy with its marketing and money investments and I believe that the former situation is more likely than the latter.

  • Grey Matter

    So, all of these companies doing the joint venture thing (Subaru & Toyota) , I suppose they’re are all a bunch of morons too right? Sorry folks, you need to study more… like the laws about business in India and what EBR actually did on the HX. I bet you didn’t even know that the hybrid scooter that HERO is putting out was an EBR design did you? There’s so much more to this than any of you may think. EBR assisted in getting more power from the HX’s water cooled power plant and that’s really about it. All of the styling ques were HERO’s call. Think it looks like a rip-off? It’s supposed to be as to say “we can do it too, only cheaper and faster”. If the price point is right, I’m sure they will sell although it will be tough to shake the bad image that the Indians have gotten for bad manufacturing through bikes like the Royal Enfield and the industrial sector.

  • buellracerx

    @Aaron B. Brown “fawning fan boy techno love poetry” haha. I really enjoyed that, thanks! Your in-depth behind-the-scenes insight blows me away.

    @KSW could be a copy, who knows right? Some engineers have signatures, much like artists. Not to say you can’t forge a signature.

  • avsatishchandra

    Wow man Grey Matter, you compare EBR to Toyota and Subaru. In India, Toyota is a part of joint venture where it controls 74% of the capital holding and decides entirely on what product portfolio to present to the market. Subaru is not in India so I will not comment. EBR does not have the same wherewithal that a Toyota, Honda or Yamaha have. Studying Laws of business of India? What for? If you have the money come set up your own company, no Indian collaborator is required. So Ford, Honda, Hyundai, GM, Yamaha and Suzuki (two wheelers) and now Kawasaki have 100% Indian subsidiaries. There are at least 4 companies in India that are putting out hybrid scooters, not all of them have EBR. What Hero has to do with EBR I don’t know. What I do know is even when Eric Buell was with HD, he needed their engines. The chassis innovations were his. After HD said no to him, he went to Rotax for engines. So I cannot see him designing engines from ground up. Anyway the HX-250R engine is based on the old Honda engine and whether it is AVL or EBR doing the tuning after giving it FI and an ECU does not matter. There are many companies making motorcycles and scooters in India and they have been able to design them from ground up.

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  • Great stuff !!
    King is always king—————— “HERO” Is back
    Aakash ji Thanx for sharing an article !!

  • Anand

    there no way a this engine is based on 223 cc oldi …..
    rather it might b a better vrsn of current cb250r’s engine … thats the closest 1