Honda CRF 250L

Tswhit15

Member
Both my father and I are vstrom owners and have done several long-ish type trips on them. I definitely love my strom but it's a bit heavy when it comes to the off-road type of stuff. We are planning to do several of the back country discovery routes in CO/NM/UT this September and after some long debate and several trips to the the dealership we decided to purchase new motorcycles. Not getting rid of the stroms by any means. He bought the Yamaha WR250R and I bought the Honda CRF250L. I looked closely at the rally and decided that the "extra" it came with was not necessarily the highest quality and not worth the money. So I added my own windshield, skid plate, lowering links, bar risers, and swapped out the seat and put LED lights on it to reduce my power draw in order to facilitate my heated gear connection. So far I've been very impressed with it. Rides ok on long trips. We took it for four days through PA and they did quite well. Been on some single track and it seems to hold up nicely. I plan on lowering the gearing slightly because it's just not as much torque as needed on the steep hill climbs in first gear. Even the highway was ok, though you're not ever getting in the speed lane.
 

Tex68w

Beach Bum
Congrats on the new bike! They are great bikes for the money! They aren’t a dual sport in the true fashion of the word and they aren’t enduro or mx bikes, but they tend to be great for trying all of it especially for those new to the game. I’ve torn around town on my buddies and I had a great time in that element which wasn’t expected. Shed some weight, upgrade the tires and suspension, add some protective bits and maybe a pipe and enjoy.
 

Tex68w

Beach Bum
Covered 98 miles on the bike today, the weather was flawless. I did my best to make as many of them on gravel roads as possible and I'd be willing to bet that 70% of it was off pavement, it took a lot looking at Google Maps/Earth and back tracking though.

 

Recommended books for Overlanding

Tswhit15

Member
Congrats on the new bike! They are great bikes for the money! They aren’t a dual sport in the true fashion of the word and they aren’t enduro or mx bikes, but they tend to be great for trying all of it especially for those new to the game. I’ve torn around town on my buddies and I had a great time in that element which wasn’t expected. Shed some weight, upgrade the tires and suspension, add some protective bits and maybe a pipe and enjoy.

Just curious, what would you consider a "true" dual sport?
 

Tex68w

Beach Bum
To me a true dual sport is a DR/DRZ, XR, KLR. Bigger singles with plates that aren't really true dirt bikes but aren't adventure bikes either. At least that has always been the segment for a number of years. 400-650cc's with decent range and so-so suspension haha. Now I am not saying that the definition is fixed and that it can't mean something different to the next guy or that it can't grow and change. I think if other Japanese makers follow Honda's lead and build a similar 400-500cc style bike then we could see that segment of bikes shift and morph into something new. The 450L may be the beginning of this shift as the older 400's and 650's are either no longer made or they have gone unchanged for decades which to me signals the end of that segment for the mainstream. Who knows where it will go from here, but with a larger tank and some bolt-on protection I see this 450L as the new Baja trip style bike to replace the old XR650R, at least that's what I intend to do with mine this fall.

I didn't leave the 250's out on purpose, they have their place, no doubt, but for a long range dual sport I think the 250 lacks the power and top end to compete with the bigger bikes as a better all-around option.
 

Tswhit15

Member
To me a true dual sport is a DR/DRZ, XR, KLR. Bigger singles with plates that aren't really true dirt bikes but aren't adventure bikes either. At least that has always been the segment for a number of years. 400-650cc's with decent range and so-so suspension haha. Now I am not saying that the definition is fixed and that it can't mean something different to the next guy or that it can't grow and change. I think if other Japanese makers follow Honda's lead and build a similar 400-500cc style bike then we could see that segment of bikes shift and morph into something new. The 450L may be the beginning of this shift as the older 400's and 650's are either no longer made or they have gone unchanged for decades which to me signals the end of that segment for the mainstream. Who knows where it will go from here, but with a larger tank and some bolt-on protection I see this 450L as the new Baja trip style bike to replace the old XR650R, at least that's what I intend to do with mine this fall.

I didn't leave the 250's out on purpose, they have their place, no doubt, but for a long range dual sport I think the 250 lacks the power and top end to compete with the bigger bikes as a better all-around option.

Interesting. I always thought of the bigger bikes 650+ as more adventure style riding.
 

Tswhit15

Member
Also, just to add, I've set my 250 up in similar fashion to the 650 regarding seat comfort (seat concepts seat) and heated gear/chargers ect. Awaiting delivery of my IMS 3.5gallon fuel tank which, with my excellent gas mileage, will give me exactly the same fuel range as my vstrom.
 

Tex68w

Beach Bum
Interesting. I always thought of the bigger bikes 650+ as more adventure style riding.
I agree, the 700+ bikes are to me true adventure bikes.

Also, just to add, I've set my 250 up in similar fashion to the 650 regarding seat comfort (seat concepts seat) and heated gear/chargers ect. Awaiting delivery of my IMS 3.5gallon fuel tank which, with my excellent gas mileage, will give me exactly the same fuel range as my vstrom.
Seats Concepts is easily one of the first changes that should be made on a new bike, good call. I wish that there were already a 3.5-4.5 gallon tank option out there for the 450L, I'll have to wait a few more months unfortunately. I just can't justify dropping $300+ to add one extra gallon with the currently available IMS 3.0 gallon tank.

Glad to hear that you aren't wasting any time in modding the bike, be sure to post up some pics soon.
 

shade

Well-known member
Since I was going to run this by @Tex68w anyway, and this is a fairly recent thread on the bike, I'll ask here. @Tswhit15, I see that your bike is the non-Rally version, but it's still similar, so I'd appreciate hearing how the bike has worked for you.

I've been shopping for a 250cc dual sport and am currently comparing the Yamaha XT250 and the Honda CRF 250L Rally. I've found a new XT250 for $4k, and a new 2018 250L Rally for $4400 - maybe $4k if a rebate is available. I've seen the Yamaha lauded for its stone age simplicity & reliability, and I find that appealing in a bike that I plan to use on Southwest U.S. trails & backroads. Otoh, the Honda sure seems like more bike for the money, since the Yamaha lacks any crash protection, or even a fuel gauge. I know there are better aftermarket components, but at least I wouldn't feel the need to spend more money right from the start with the Honda.

This will be my first bike, and while I appreciate that the seat height is lower on the Yamaha, I'm tall enough that I don't believe the Honda's extra 3.3" seat height or extra 25 lbs will make a huge difference. Fuel capacity is about equal, but the Honda has a 6th gear, and a better dash. I'll have to drive a few hours to get the Honda, but it seems like the better option, even if it's a little more expensive.
 

Tswhit15

Member
4400 is a pretty good price for a new rally. I went with the L vs the rally because I was going to go with a bigger tank regardless plus I wanted a real skid plate and the other perks I could add for less than the difference of the rally. I do like the Honda quite a bit. Very sturdy and dependable so far. Lasted the NMBDR, COBDR, and UTBDR as well as several other trips. Loaded it can still do 65 on the highway though not super comfortable as high speeds. I originally went to a 13t sprocket in the front which helped but then eventually changed the rear to 42t which makes the bike generally much more usable. My father has the WR250R which has a taller seat height, better off road but not as great as the honda on the street. The yamaha dash is not as nice as the honda unfortunately but there are some aftermarket options out there.
 
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