Honda crf250 rally review

First Ride: 8 Things lớn Know About the Honda CRF250L Rally

A fun, simple & affordable adventure xe đạp with a willingness lớn explore.

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When Honda first unveiled the CRF250L Rally concept at the Osaka Motorcycle Show in năm ngoái, the idea of a fun, affordable, small-displacement Adventure Bike that looked just lượt thích the factory CRF450 Rally race bike used in the Dakar Rally generated a lot of attention. At a time when there were few options in the small ADV category, most people were skeptical it would ever become a street-legal production model.

But things have sầu changed in the last few years and the cries for lighter, more nimble Adventure Bikes have sầu continued khổng lồ grow. Taking note, Hondomain authority answered the Điện thoại tư vấn, and brought the CRF250L Rally to lớn market with few changes to lớn the original concept. While it may look like a Rally Racer, the CRF250L Rally was designed to lớn be a simple, economical, off-road-capable Adventure Bike — appealing lớn new riders entering the sport or anyone just looking for a more manageable Adventure Bike for the trail.

Last week we got an opportunity khổng lồ evaluate this new Mã Sản Phẩm during the Hondomain authority CRF250L và CRF250L Rally US Press Intro. The sự kiện was held in scenic Murrieta, California at the JCR Hondomain authority Race Team headquarters and home of 11-time Baja 1000 winner Johnny Campbell. We spent a full day testing on both bikes, riding over 1trăng tròn miles on everything from rough fire roads and highway khổng lồ technical hill climbs và deep svà sections. Here are 8 key takeaways from our Hondomain authority CRF250L Rally test:

1. It’s Not Just a CRF250L With a Rally Windscreen



The CRF250L Rally is heavily based on the standard CRF250L but there are some differences between the two models, most obviously in appearance. The clear rally-style windscreen, asymmetric LED headlights, faux-carbon navigation tower, integrated sump protection và HRC graphics closely resemble those of the CRF450 Rally race xe đạp. But the equipment isn’t just for looks, the LED’s provide powerful lighting và a full wrap-around skid plate gives good protection against rocks. The headlight assembly, digital dash & windscreen are all frame mounted instead of on the bars, giving the rider a lighter steering feel.

The distinctive clear rally windscreen design also has a purpose, it gives riders more visibility when scanning the ground for obstacles directly in front of them, và of course it also helps block the wind & reduce rider fatigue. The tank shrouds are also designed to redirect wind around the rider at tốc độ, while ensuring adequate airflow lớn the engine when moving slowly. Other equipment differences on the Rally Mã Sản Phẩm include a larger rear storage compartment, h& guards và a bigger fuel tank (2.7 vs. 2.1 gallons).

To compensate for the weight of all of this additional equipment on the Rally, a larger front brake rotor was installed (296mm vs. 256mm) and suspension travel was increased by about 1 inch front & rear. Changes khổng lồ the suspension have sầu raised ground clearance by 0.6 inches khổng lồ 10.6 inches & seat height by 0.5 inches lớn 35.2 inches.

2. Same Powerplant, Different Power


Both the standard CRF250L & CRF250L Rally receive sầu a new ECU, enlarged throttle body toàn thân, revised airbox, larger diameter header pipe and a lighter, more-compact muffler kiến thiết for 2017. The changes have led to lớn an increase in peak power from 22.8 horsepower khổng lồ 24.4 horsepower. Performance has been increased in both the top and bottom over, and throttle response is improved throughout the RPM range.

Both bikes nội dung the same powerplant, 6-speed transmission & gearing, but it’s the standard CRF250L that feels the peppier of the two — no doubt due to the additional 24 pounds the Rally is carrying (341.6 vs. 317.5 for non ABS models). The power difference was most noticeable in the dirt where the CRF250L rally didn’t carry tốc độ as well up steep inclines và more often required a downshift from second to lớn first. Passing power on the highway was also noticeably better on the standard CRF250L.

Overall, both bikes felt fast for the 250cc category and you are able lớn cruise on backcountry roads in 5th gear without the need lớn constantly downshift, but we were left a little concerned about how the CRF250L Rally would perform loaded up for traveling with an additional 30+ pounds of gear.

3. Hits Highway ‘Sweet Spot’ at 65 MPH


Getting up lớn tốc độ và negotiating lanes in the thành phố is no problem for the Rally 250, and for that reason, it would make a perfect commuter xe đạp. But on the open highway where speeds typically average 75-80 mph, the xe đạp struggles a bit to keep up outside of the slow lane. A slight tingle in the bars is also noticeable starting at 50 mph in 6th gear but it still cruises comfortably at 65 mph & 6,800 RPMs. At this tốc độ there is still ample power on tap to lớn get past slower-moving cars when you need it but accelerating up to 80 mph sends the revs lớn 8,000 RPMs & significantly increases vibrations.

The top speed of the bike is between 80-85 mph depending on the wind and the speedometer is only about 2 mph optimistic when compared with the REVER GPS ứng dụng we used for navigating the course. The rally windscreen works effectively lớn bloông chồng the wind up to lớn about eye màn chơi (I’m 6’2″) & it is a significant improvement over the windscreenless standard CRF250L in helping reduce rider fatigue. Although, the Rally uses the same seat as the standard CRF250L and doesn’t provide much comfort for longer distances. There is also a strap running across the seat that can become an annoyance. Luckily, the seat strap can be removed with a few screws.

We found the CRF250L Rally to be better than a lot of the available options in the 250cc range & good enough for riding a few hours on the highway khổng lồ reach the trails around your house, but if highway performance and comfort is a major factor in your purchasing decision, you may want to consider other larger-displacement options.

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4. It’s Very Off-Road Capable for an “Adventure Bike”

Getting into a good rhythm on the dirt is no problem on the CRF250L Rally. It has a nice supple suspension that makes loose rocky surfaces disappear under the tires. It’s fun khổng lồ ride at a fast pace on beat up dirt roads, but the stability of the chassis begins khổng lồ suffer if you get too aggressive. The spring rate feels soft for a heavier rider (I’m about 225 pounds with gear) và when the bumps get bigger, the front kết thúc quickly bottoms with a clunk reminding you that this isn’t a hardcore dirt xe đạp.

After switching to lớn the standard CRF250L, everything seemed khổng lồ work better. Despite having less suspension travel and ground clearance, the standard CRF250L is able lớn handle tough terrain at a faster pace with more stability. The power also feels snappier, allowing you to steer with the rear tire, un-weight the front tire và utilize 2nd gear on steeper hill climbs more easily. The difference is the weight of the Rally’s extra equipment and the fact that the Rally’s suspension valving, spring rates, power and gearing remain unchanged from the standard CRF250L. The standard CRF250L is already on the soft side for dirt bike standards, so with the added weight, the Rally feels even softer.

Putting it in perspective sầu, the CRF250L Rally may not be considered a top performing enduro but it is a very capable off-road machine when compared to many 650cc and larger adventure touring bikes. With its handling & relatively lighter weight, it can bang through whoops, maneuver tight single track and handle steep descents with ease. Whether it’s deep sand, a failed hill climb or getting your bike unstuông chồng from a deep rut, it’s less intimidating doing it on the CRF250L Rally. Although more advanced riders may desire better suspension and more power, the xe đạp is capable of opening up a whole new level of off-road exploration for those looking for a more accessible adventure bike.

5. To ABS or Not, You Decide

New for 2017, both the standard CRF250L và CRF250L Rally get ABS as an option for just $300 more và a 4.4-pound weight increase. Braking performance on the Rally is reasonably good, but does require two fingers for emergency stops. When ABS is activated on slippery surfaces, svào pulsating can be felt through the brake lever & foot pedal. It feels a bit primitive sầu compared to lớn the sophisticated ABS systems on the expensive sầu big-bore Adventure Bikes, but it’s still effective.

Riding with the ABS on in the dirt, it won’t skết thúc you off a cliff & it might save your bacon if you are an off-road newbie. Experienced off-road riders may prefer to turn ABS off in the dirt to enable sliding turns and more control over braking. ABS can be disabled with the push of a button on the dash (after coming to lớn a stop), but only on the rear wheel. The non-ABS mã sản phẩm may be the best option for experienced riders spending much of their time in the dirt. But if you are planning on spending significant time on the street, you might want to lớn opt for the ABS mã sản phẩm.

6. Ergos Fit Taller Riders

With a wheelbase of 57.3 inches, the CRF250L Rally has one of the longest wheelbases in its class and is just 1 inch shorter than the CRF450X motocross bike. St& up ergonomics feel good for riders over 6 feet tall & the distance between the foot pegs and handlebars is only slightly cramped. The handle bar height also felt adequate, but rolling the bars forward a tad could open up the riding position even more.

A set of wide serrated dirt bike pegs were a welcome surprise on the Rally 250, giving excellent traction & leverage during stand up riding. The seated position on the highway offered ample leg room with just a mild splaying of the knees from the larger fuel tank. With its dirt bike geometry, the xe đạp also allows you to lớn slide far forward in the seat during sit-down turns khổng lồ weight the front tire.

7. The Price is Nice

Starting at just $5,149, the price tag of the standard CRF250L is one of its greachạy thử strengths and a major reason it’s the top selling motorcycle in the dual sport category. Honda has also worked hard to ensure that the new CRF250L Rally is a good value, giving it a starting price of $5,899.

When considering all the upgrades you get for an additional $750 like a windscreen, wrap-around skid plate, LED lighting, hand guards, larger fuel tank, longer-travel suspension and more, it’s a relative sầu bargain compared khổng lồ what it would cost to adventurize a standard CRF250L with aftermarket parts (not to lớn mention your labor cost), and the over result probably wouldn’t look nearly as cool.

Compared to lớn the big-bore adventure bikes, you may not be able khổng lồ travel with the same speed and comfort but it can go anywhere those bikes can go and more. It’s a personal choice whether it’s worth paying two or three times as much for a bigger xe đạp. If you plans are for short to mid-range trips that include a good amount of dirt, the CRF250L Rally’s value is hard lớn beat.

8. Some Improvements We’d Like to lớn See

While we think it’s a great start for the CRF250L Rally và we’re thrilled Hondomain authority actually brought the bike to production, we vày have sầu a few suggestions for improvements. First, the gearing didn’t feel well matched to the weight of the bike off-road. Yet gearing the xe đạp down further would only worsen its highway performance. A feasible solution could be to lớn improve sầu power by slotting the “already available and compatible” 300cc engine from the CBR300R inlớn the Rally’s chassis. The CBR300R motor fits right into the existing frame và would give sầu the bike just enough extra boost to lớn help carry 2nd gear in the dirt & more torque to lớn maintain higher speeds on the highway while carrying luggage. We’d also like to see a phối of heavy bar-end weights added to lớn help reduce the vibes in the handlebars on the highway.

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We feel the xe đạp would also benefit from a stiffer set of springs in the suspension lớn improve sầu the Rally’s stability during more aggressive sầu off-road riding. And if we are nitpicking, we might also ask for a more comfortable seat and rear luggage rachồng to lớn give sầu the bike better touring capability, but these two items can easily be addressed on the aftermarket and luckily there is no lack of available options for the CRF250L. All of these changes could be made without significantly increasing costs, and we wouldn’t be surprised to lớn see some or all of these updates occur over the next few years.


2017 Honda CRF250L Rally Specifications

Engine Type:Single-Cylinder, 4-Stroke, DOHC, 4-Valve
Displacement:249 cc
Bore/Stroke:76milimet x 55mm
Cooling:Liquid Cooled
Oil Capacity:1.8 L
Transmission: 6 Gears
Fuel System:PGM-FI, 38mm Throttle Body
Final Drive:#5đôi mươi Chain; 14T/40T
Starter:Electric; 12V 7Ah
Alternator Output:324W

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