Honda CRF 250L Motorcycle

At long last a motorcycle manufacturer has appreciated that there are an awful lot of riders who want to have fun and are not enamoured by the power surging, race replica motorcycles that seem to be the norm. Honda with the introduction of the CRF 250 L have reintroduced the fun aspect in to motor cycling with this single cylinder 250cc motorcycle, writes Bob Hickman.

Honda over the years have honed the off-road marketplace and their racing pedigree goes before it, I remember many years ago the sheer enjoyment that light weight trail bikes, especially Yamaha with their 175cc, could give to the motorcyclist. They were brilliant for commuting but then if you had the opportunity to venture off-road and go down a few green lanes a whole new world was there to be examined.

Honda with the CRF 250 have reintroduced this element, it is a motorcycle that blends true off-road performance with style and the opportunity to have a street legal commuter machine as well, so you really can have your cake and eat.

The bike is powered by a free revving 249cc single cylinder DOHC 4-valve engine. This liquid cooled engine produces a reasonable power output and has a torque factor that whilst not overly excitable enables the engine to rev and as most motorcyclists appreciate that is where performance on a motorcycle comes from.  It is fuel injected so has reasonably good fuel economy and certainly you should be looking for at least 60 or 70 mpg from this machine if you are going to be using it for commuting purposes. One of the big features of fuel injection is the smooth power delivery,

The quality of the 250 L shines through and the steel oval section twin spar frame is a work of art. It has 43 mm upside down Showa forks at the front and these are complemented at the back with a single Showa shock absorber and Honda’s proven pro-link suspension. This enables the machine to glide over ruts and bumps and certainly enables it to not be feared by potholes should you be using this bike for commuting. What it does give is a rear end section that is capable of moving with the terrain and finding grip thanks to the pseudo off-road tyres that are fitted.

To ensure that the performance can be adequately reined in when required Honda have equipped the bike with a single 256 mm front disc and at the rear a smaller 220mm disc. The front one has the benefit of a twin piston operated system, whilst the rear one has a single piston option. The wheel rims are aluminium and have spokes for rigidity, and this also helps to reduce the unsprung weight.

The seat height is high and those vertically challenged or with short legs will find it to be a problem but once on the machine the long travel suspension just swallows out undulations, bumps and whatever you may encounter if you venture off-road.

The engine was at all times extremely responsive, the gearbox is an absolute delight to operate and unlike most Honda gear boxes it didn’t clunk when you selected 1st gear.

The bike has very narrow dimensions and it is almost like riding a mountain bike, its manoeuvrability was superb it could be stopped and turned on a six pence, to appreciate the balance and poise you have to ride it to experience it.

Whether you choose to ride the bike on a rough off road adventure or a very busy traffic ride to work the bike will reassure you and adequately reward you.

From a commuting purpose I used the machine several times in and around the busy city centre and it enabled me to thread my way through busy traffic comfortably and easily, the performance of the engine was more than adequate to keep up with traffic flows when out on the open road.

The instrumentation was clear and easy to understand and the digital dashboard really gave you what you needed to be fully aware of, including a countdown graphic for when the fuel level was getting low.

The 7.7 litre fuel tank is not huge, but the economics of this particular machine are not one of a touring bike where you need a big capacity and it was more than sufficient for off-roading and riding to work situations.

With a price of £4,399 I am reasonably confident that the CRF 250 L will be yet another of the successes for the Honda stable and with their excellent warranty and after sales service, I can see nothing but success for this machine.