For 2013, Honda replaced the dated CRF230L with the CRF250L. The CRF250L uses a 249cc Single borrowed from the CBR250R streetbike, tuned to provide improved low- and mid-range performance, making it more suitable to the lower-rpm demands of off-road riding. The 250 not only serves as a replacement for the outgoing CRF230L, the 250 will make you forget the 230 ever existed.
The CRF’s off-road footpegs are wide, providing adequate area to rest bulky motocross boots. Its seat is also wide with supple seat-foam density. Unfortunately, the passenger grab strap on the seat is positioned directly beneath the rider’s bum, which makes it an annoyance sooner than later.
The CRF’s non-adjustable suspension is nicely sorted for the intermediate off-road rider to which this bike will most likely be subjected. The 43mm Showa inverted fork provides 9.8 inches of travel, and Honda’s Pro-Link shock gives 9.4 inches; however, neither offers any means of adjustment. The CRF has a semi-double-cradle-type steel frame with a tapered aluminum swingarm, and a seat height of 34.7 inches.
The engine’s low-rev grunt is as noticeable on the street as it is off-road; and has considerable pep for a mild-mannered 250, easily climbing steep sections of trail. The CRF’s internal gear ratios remain unchanged from those in the CBR250R, but lower final gearing is achieved via a 40-tooth rear-wheel sprocket in lieu of the CBR’s 38-tooth sprocket.
The CRF250L is a well-rounded, competent package that represents one of the best values in Honda’s model lineup, as well as in the dual-sport category. Oftentimes, manufacturers will make performance claims that aren’t necessarily attainable, but when it comes to the strong low-end and mid-range power Honda boasts for this dual-purpose 250, you can believe the hype.
|Honda CRF250L Specs|
|Engine Type||Liquid-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke|
|Bore x Stroke||76mm x 55mm|
|Fuel System||PGM-FI, 36mm throttle body|
|Front Suspension||43mm inverted fork; 8.7 inches travel|
|Rear Suspension||Pro-Link single shock with spring; 9.4 inches travel|
|Front Brakes||Single 256mm disc with twin-piston caliper|
|Rear Brakes||Single 220mm disc|
|Seat Height||34.7 inches|
|Curb Weight (claimed)||320 pounds|
|Fuel Capacity||2.0 gallons|