Recently, we published our Lightweight ADV Shootout which involved the CSC RXR, Kawasaki Versys-X 300, and Honda CRF250L Rally. I rode the Honda home and had it in my garage until it needed to be returned to Honda’s headquarters. This gave me a bit more time with the rally-inspired 250 and I found myself reaching for the keys more often than not.
In our last Top 10 list of 2016, we, the MO staff, mentioned how much we’re looking forward to flogging the crop of mini-adventure bikes that’ll be coming this way in 2017. In case you forgot, those bikes include the BMW G310GS, Honda CRF250L (and its higher-spec sibling, the CRF250L Rally), Kawasaki Versys-X 300, and Suzuki V-Strom 250. All of those bikes promise big fun in little packages for those who like to veer off the beaten path every now and then. So now we pose the question to you:
Hot on the heels of its popular new Africa Twin model introduced last year comes a lighter-weight adventure-focused motorcycle from Honda, the CRF250L Rally. The Rally is based on the updated-for-2017 CRF250L and inspired by the factory CRF450 Rally machine raced in the Dakar by Team HRC.
Occasionally in this world, team sports produce individual accomplishments that stay etched in people’s minds for years. We know that Marc Marquez qualified on pole at the Sachsenring for the seventh consecutive time. We know that he won at the Sachsenring for the seventh consecutive time. We know that in doing so he became, at age 23, the seventh winningest rider in MotoGP history. It is important, however, to acknowledge the work of his crew that made all of these sevens possible.
It’s the moment of reckoning for the motorcyclist-in-training. The time when clutch plates come together, and balance and forward motion begins. The fear of rocketing out of control and crashing horrendously is palpable. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Cedergrens has removed all the monster-under-the-bed scariness of learning to operate a motorcycle and replaced it with a Skidbike security blanket.
Probably every time I “road-test” a scooter, I go on about how convenient and economical it is to keep a medium-sized scoot around the house for all those short trips and small-item errands. And if my kid is also around the house, he rolls his eyeballs and tells me how gender-preference-indeterminant I look every time I ride around on one. A couple other pals who are less secure in their manhood can also be counted on to come up with some sort of snide comment. Come to think of it, I haven’t had a date in quite some time…
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.
Less than a decade ago, the motorcycle market was experiencing unbridled success. Manufacturers were updating their sportbikes every two years, and the cruiser market was blazing hot with riders who sought personal freedom via riffs on the V-Twin archetype. Motorcycles sold at unprecedented levels, especially to a baby boomer demographic that was absolutely flush with cash, credit, and/or home equity.