At the Osaka Motorcycle Show this weekend, Honda showed this prototype of the CRF250 Rally. We first reported about the CRF250 Rally a year ago, when Honda unveiled the concept, also at the Osaka Motorcycle Show.
Combining elements of the CRF250L dual sport and the CRF450 Rally, which Honda used to compete at the Dakar, the CRF250 Rally is essentially a toned-down, road-legal version of the Dakar competitor powered by the 249.6cc Single found in the CBR250R sportbike. A picture of the concept from last year can be seen below.
What makes this weekend’s announcement interesting is that last year Honda unveiled the bike as a concept, while this year the updated version is now in prototype stage. It’s a logical conclusion that we’re nearing closer to the production model (though let’s hope Honda makes that announcement before the Osaka Show 2017!)
Comparing last year’s concept to this year’s prototype, we see a significant amount of bodywork is hiding the engine, so it’s hard to tell what changes have been made there. Although a Termignoni exhaust is visible. Other changes include a revised headlight assembly, a thinner seat, and a different hand guard design on the prototype compared to the concept model.
Taking a look at Honda’s original design patent for the CRF250 Rally above, we can see that Honda has largely stayed true to the overall design. Visually speaking, the CRF250 Rally is unmistakably a rally machine, with its beaked front end, long-travel suspension, wire wheels, tall screen, and rally-inspired bodywork.
We imagine the final production model won’t look too much different than the concept model at the top of the page. If so, this will be an interesting look at a new model’s evolution process from CAD drawing to final production unit. More details as we get it.