Honda's CB line of motorcycles has been in production since the 1960s. It's one of the most popular lines of motorcycle ever built. The relatively few design changes to the CB engine, including the CB 250, are a testament to the excellent design and durability of these machines. The most common problems are found in older CB 250s, and they are the kinds of problems likely to be found in any four-stroke motorcycle after enough time and use.
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While the CB 250 is a single-cylinder, four-stroke motor, some CB 250s were fed by dual carburettors and some by a single carburettor. Regardless, in these small-displacement engines, the most likely problem you'll encounter is with the carburetion. By nature, small engines are effected more by slight changes in carburetion. The CB250, like all motorcycles --- especially if they're only used seasonally --- is prone to "lacquering" or fuel residue hardening in the carburettor from sitting.
Modern CB 250s have electronic ignition systems. Earlier models had mechanical, points systems. The breaker points are susceptible to physical wear. As they wear, it changes the ignition timing slightly. So, from time-to-time, they need to be adjusted and, on occasion, replaced.
The biggest engine change the CB250 has seen over the years is the transition from a single overhead cam to dual overhead cams. Each configuration requires periodic adjustment. Valve access and adjustment on most CBs, particularly the single-cylinder CBs, is quite easy. With use, all CB valves require adjustment. Otherwise, the engine will lose power and fuel efficiency. If they're far enough out of adjustment, the engine may be damaged.
While the CB250 has a very simple electrical system, the electrical components are exposed. Older CBs are especially prone to oxidised or otherwise compromised electrical connections. Cables, including clutch cables, brake cables and throttle cables are prone do drying out or getting "gummy". They can often be adjusted and lubricated. Occasionally, they made need to be replaced.
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