[Editor’s Column]Test Ride Express HONDA “CRF250L”


At the end of last year (2020), HONDA announced the revised CRF250L and CRF250 RALLY, and immediately held a media test ride event. The author is also honored to be invited to participate, so this time I will come to chat with you for a comprehensive revision of 2021 Annual style CRF250L/CRF250 RALLY, what are the differences in riding.


Improve off-road performance and easier handling

▲CRF250L

First of all, the R&D concept of the new CRF250 series is that while improving the riding performance on the road, optimizing the output characteristics also reduces the weight of the body, while maintaining the easy handling of the current model on general roads.

The engine basically uses the current 249cc water-cooled four-stroke DOHC single-cylinder engine, but through the improved intake/exhaust system, while strengthening the low and medium speed range commonly used in urban and off-road areas, the operating burden of the clutch is also reduced. 20%, while using an auxiliary slip clutch to ensure stability during downshifts.

In addition, by adjusting the gear ratio between the various gears of the six-speed gearbox, the new CRF250 series can be easily ridden in urban streets, comfortable high-speed cruising, and can also obtain sufficient acceleration when off-road.

In terms of the body, HONDA has introduced a new design designed to improve off-road performance, with an optimized rigid balance and a reduced weight frame. Compared with the current model, the installation position of the engine has been increased by 20mm, and the shape of the crankcase has also been modified to achieve a minimum ground clearance of 30mm higher than the current model, thereby improving off-road riding performance.

In addition, the new CRF250 series are equipped with ABS system as standard, but the rear ABS can be turned off independently to correspond to off-road riding.

STD for urban roaming and S for off-road

The headlights and direction lights of CRF250L all use LED light sets, and there is also a body painting similar to the commercially available off-road vehicle model CRF450R, and the body weight is 4kg lighter than the current model.

In addition, there are two versions of the new CRF250L, namely the STD version (minimum ground height 245mm/seat height 830mm) that requires easy operation in daily life and better foot contact, as well as extending the actuation length of the front and rear suspension. S version to improve off-road performance (minimum ground clearance 285mm/seat height 880mm)

▲CRF250L S

▲CRF250L S

On the other hand, the CRF250 RALLY is equipped with large goggles and front fairing, inheriting the design concept of the CRF450 RALLY participating in the Da Kala Rally, and installing left and right asymmetrical LED headlights on the front fairing.

In addition to using an enlarged fuel tank with a capacity of 12L, CRF250 RALLY also adds rubber and other details through heavier handle terminals and pedals to achieve a more comfortable cruise performance.

In addition, CRF250 RALLY also has STD and S versions. STD has a minimum ground height of 220mm/seat cushion height of 830mm, and the S version with extended suspension travel has a minimum ground height of 275mm/seat cushion height of 885mm.


Transform from off-road “style” into a real off-road vehicle

This time the test ride is the CRF250L S with extended suspension travel. Due to the extended suspension travel, the body looks slender and narrow, and the overall design is closer to that of an off-road motorcycle.

Although the suspension stroke has been lengthened, the soft suspension is added to the car after straddling the car, and with a slim body, even if the seat is as high as 880mm (50mm more than the STD version), the grounding performance of the feet is not as bad as expected. In addition, the position of the handle is also closer to the rider, which not only makes it easier to control the handle, but also makes the rider have the urge to stand and ride.

Easy-to-handle engine power and clutch

When the engine is started, it will immediately make a pleasant single-cylinder exhaust sound, and then use an index finger to pull the clutch and enter the gear, it will start with a strong torque that can be exerted at a very low speed, and the throttle response is quite soft and intuitive. The whole exudes a sense of power that is ready to cross-country at any time.

Although it can provide sufficient power in a short period of time, it does not feel that the power is a sudden burst of instability, so even when riding on a muddy road, even in corners, you can safely turn the throttle.

Not only the engine has undergone substantial evolution, but the rigidity of the frame also emphasizes lateral bending and provides a smooth riding feeling. In addition, the sliding clutch allows the rider to boldly lower the gear without worrying about the jump when entering a curve, and the lighter body makes it easier to control the body posture.


Long suspension and high ground clearance super suitable for flying

CRF250L S’s extended suspension stroke and high ground clearance, coupled with torque output characteristics, as long as the venue allows, it is very suitable for jumping flight.

The long suspension stroke makes the landing very comfortable and does not touch the bottom, and although it is equipped with front and rear ABS, it is a system that can be used for off-road riding. On normal roads, the ABS system can really slow down and brake, but it only needs to be turned off on off-road conditions. The rear wheel ABS can give full play to the skill of locking the rear wheel and sliding the tire to change the direction of the rear wheel.

Compared with cross-country motorcycles and other racing vehicles, CRF250L has a lighter, smaller engine and a softer suspension, so it is easier to operate even for beginners or riders who are inadvertently familiar with off-road vehicles, so I think it is very suitable Light off-road rides on forest roads.

Recommend CRF250 RALLY to travel enthusiasts

As for the CRF250 RALLY with large goggles, fairings, large-capacity fuel tanks and wide seats, it greatly improves the comfort and convenience of high-speed cruising, and the weight is 12kg more than CRF250L, which makes RALLY more suitable For long-distance riding, although the suspension stroke is slightly shorter than that of CRF250L, it has quite good stability. Overall, it is more suitable for long-distance riding than CRF250L.

▲CRF250 RALLY

▲CRF250 RALLY

There are four different configurations of CRF250L and CRF250 RALLY, so the rider can choose the one they like according to their own purposes and preferences. This is a new car with good versatility and well-made. The most impressive thing is that the author can get on and off the car comfortably without worrying about bad grounding.


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Kenny Sagawa, Chief Editor of “Webike Moto News”

“Webike Taiwan” editorial department compiled

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