Honda GB 250 TT


Pete Monks



    I was intrigued by the advert for this bike, "rare Honda GB250TT".  "TT ??" since when did Honda make one of these?  I knew about the 400 and the 500 courtesy of Ian, the owner of this site and a few lads in the local VJMC with them, but a 250?  A conversation with the owner revealed that it was a Jap only bike, a search of the net revealed not a lot of information but enough to get me intrigued.  It turned out that the bike was actually a Honda GB250 Clubman not a TT although I suppose to all intents and purposes it could be said to be the fore-runner of the 400/500 concept. This model was released in 1983 in the Japanese market only and it utilised the CBX250 single cylinder engine with a double overhead cam, radial 4 valve head, twin exhaust outlets leading to two separate pipes and silencers (mufflers) much like the XBR500 would be in 1985.  In addition, it had twin carbs!  Well, as it turned out, these carbs are more of a twin choke operation with the first carb operating to about half revs and then the second carb chiming in after that. The engines reputedly develop over 30hp, not bad for a single cylinder of the time and it revved to 10,000rpm.

       It had standard spoked alloy rims, the same speedo / rev counter / headlight and indicators of the 500TT setup but unlike that bike it had standard type bars not clip-ons or lower style bars mounted on a conventional headstock / top yoke.  Some of these bikes came with different style mudguards, some painted plastic like the XBR500, some alloys, some full chrome guards with either chrome or black plastic chain-guards. Seats seem to vary as well but most having a dual seat similar to the 400TT with with a small ducktail piece of plastic on.

    The tanks and side panels are totally different from any other bike, the tank appears long, with a Monza Style filler offset to the right-hand side of the tank top and the panels are metal or plastic. The tank is not a TT tank, nor an XBR one, or for that matter, a CB250 RSE version. The latter bike being the cooking version of this GB250 Clubman albeit with exactly the same engine.  From what I can gather, there seemed to be a big aftermarket catalogue of goodies for these bikes in Japan and so many of them have been modified. Whether they were available with the different bits already on from the dealers I do not know. 

    Anyway, enough of the history lesson, back to this one. Having already got a Honda XBR500, one of the first 1985 versions and really enjoying it for the last few years I decided to add the 250 to the stable on the basis that it was a similar sort of bike but looked good in the pics - don't they all!  It looked good when I collected the looked good when I got it back home..............until I took off the rose tinted specs.  (I've told you before about driving in those rose-tints - Ed.) Hmmm, a lot of these bits aren't right - wrong indicators, wrong headlight, no main stand (real drag!) wrong seat, wrong side panels (turned out these were home made metal ones) no grab rail, wrong tail end/light, wrong mudguards, silencers (mufflers) were reverse cone meggas lashed to original Honda header pipes. No tool box (under the side panels) plus other little "faults".  But hold on, all the pics I had seen of all these bikes seem to be different, what do I do? change some things, modify others, perhaps? Spares as it turned out are virtually none existent with the exception of the engine which is all CBX250 spec so I decided to follow the Japanese inspiration and subtly modify it but find some of the original bits if possible such as indicators, headlight and grabrails etc.

And so it begins.....................

A quick wash and I can now see what it's all about (I like the balanced look of it compared with the single can 500 - Ed)




Part 2

Part 3 



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