Value-For-Money Hondas: 2014 Honda CRF250L

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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.

With an estimated 73 mpg, the CRF250L gets better fuel mileage than the petrol-sipping 471cc Twins in the CBR500R, CB500F and CB500X.

With an estimated 73 mpg, the CRF250L gets better fuel mileage than the petrol-sipping 471cc Twins in the CBR500R, CB500F and CB500X.

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 has one of the smoothest-running small-displacement Singles on the market, thanks in part to the engine’s counterbalancer.

The CRF250L has one of the smoothest-running small-displacement Singles on the market, thanks in part to the engine’s counterbalancer.

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.

Top 10 Value-For-Money Hondas

+ Highs

  • Engine performance
  • Easy to maintain
  • Goes off road too!
- Sighs

  • Seat might be high for short riders
  • Non-adjustable suspension
  • Chrome fuel cap on a dirtbike?
Honda CRF250L Specs
MSRP $4,999
Engine Capacity 249.6cc
Engine Type Liquid-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke
Bore x Stroke 76mm x 55mm
Compression 10.7:1
Fuel System PGM-FI, 36mm throttle body
Transmission Six-speed
Final Drive Chain
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
Front Tire 3.00-21
Rear Tire 120/80-18
Seat Height 34.7 inches
Wheelbase 56.9 inches
Curb Weight (claimed) 320 pounds
Fuel Capacity 2.0 gallons
Colors Red
Warranty 1 Year

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