Honda CRF250XRL review

Honda’s tried and tested road legal Off-Roader that suits everyone
Honda’s tried and tested road legal Off-Roader that suits everyone
Light weight, reliable, adjustable
Standing up riding position may not suit taller riders

This is Honda’s CRF250XRL, it’s the same as the ever popular CRF250X but with a road legal kit hence the “RL”.

If you are looking at getting into trail riding or doing the occasional turn up and ride enduro practice days then the CRF250X is bound to be a bike you would consider buying.  In road legal format you can ride to your local Off Road track days and be fully legal riding to, on and from those Byways and Greenlanes.

If you’ve spent any time looking into what are the best bikes to ride off road then you’ll already know it’s a bit of a minefield. Sure there is a stable of about 5 bikes you could go for but it’s the engine size that causes the most debate amongst new and seasoned off road riders. Do you go for a 450cc or a 250cc, I can guarantee that if you’ve spent your life riding road bikes and your now reading this you’re brain will be screaming “450 “!!!! A 250 would simply be to underpowered to be anything but fun right? And I can also guarantee that a majority of seasoned off road riders will tell you that the only way to go is 250cc! Having ridden both extensively on Byways, Motocross tracks and Dusty trails in Spain my conclusion on this matter is a simple one, there is no right answer I’m afraid!

Sounds like a cop-out but it’s true. If you go for a 450 then ride it with respect and you will never need to think about what gear you are in again, it will let you ride off road half asleep, you can be lazy, you can plod along and if you are riding between trails on the road then the 450 motor feels strong and full of power which is useful if you have some miles to cover. However, ride it full when you’re full of nerves and pushing yourself to go quickly then it will punish you, the 450 becomes a beast that will spit you into the nearest tree without a second thought, you’ll feel the full weight of the bike and you’ll be going faster when you want to slow down slower when you want to go faster.

Opt for a 250 and you’ll love how lightweight almost mountain bike nimble it is, you’ll have to work the engine to get the power you need and you’ll have to think about what terrain is coming to get the right gear to nail it. But get it wrong and the 250 won’t punish you and it won’t simply spit you off because you chose the wrong gear and got over eager on the throttle.

Honda manufacture this bike with both 250 and 450 engines simply because a 250 suits some rider and 450 suits others.

You will find the CRF250 to be completely reliable with warehouses of spare parts readily available if you need anything. You’ll also find it to be one of the best all round off road bikes money can buy, designed to take the hardest of batterings you can give it the CRF will just keep going.

Riding positions do vary from manufacture to manufacture and whilst sitting in the saddle feels the same across all the models it’s when you’re standing up on the pegs that you notice these subtle differences. The CRF has slightly lower bars to its competitors such as Yamahas WR250, I’m 5ft10 and found on the Honda whilst standing and holding the bars I was forced to bend slightly more forward than on the Yamaha which isn’t my perfect riding position. But don’t dismiss the bike on this point, if you are 1 inch shorter than me or simply buy some higher bars then this wouldn’t be issue at all.

There really isn’t much point in talking about the CRF’s grip, suspension or breaking since Off road ridging is so much about the way you ride and with what skill that every bike is pretty much the same from manufacture to manufacture. But the big deciding factor for me would be the build quality and reliability and this is something that as you’d expect from a Honda the CRF has in bags full. Drop it in a river or drag it through a ditch it really doesn’t matter the CRF will stay rust free and ready to go the next day.

And the great news is, the both the 450 and 250 come with electric start!

This is Honda’s CRF250XRL, it’s the same as the ever popular CRF250X but with a road legal kit hence the “RL”.

If you are looking at getting into trail riding or doing the occasional turn up and ride enduro practice days then the CRF250X is bound to be a bike you would consider buying.  In road legal format you can ride to your local Off Road track days and be fully legal riding to, on and from those Byways and Greenlanes.

If you’ve spent any time looking into what are the best bikes to ride off road then you’ll already know it’s a bit of a minefield. Sure there is a stable of about 5 bikes you could go for but it’s the engine size that causes the most debate amongst new and seasoned off road riders. Do you go for a 450cc or a 250cc, I can guarantee that if you’ve spent your life riding road bikes and your now reading this you’re brain will be screaming “450 “!!!! A 250 would simply be to underpowered to be anything but fun right? And I can also guarantee that a majority of seasoned off road riders will tell you that the only way to go is 250cc! Having ridden both extensively on Byways, Motocross tracks and Dusty trails in Spain my conclusion on this matter is a simple one, there is no right answer I’m afraid!

Sounds like a cop-out but it’s true. If you go for a 450 then ride it with respect and you will never need to think about what gear you are in again, it will let you ride off road half asleep, you can be lazy, you can plod along and if you are riding between trails on the road then the 450 motor feels strong and full of power which is useful if you have some miles to cover. However, ride it full when you’re full of nerves and pushing yourself to go quickly then it will punish you, the 450 becomes a beast that will spit you into the nearest tree without a second thought, you’ll feel the full weight of the bike and you’ll be going faster when you want to slow down slower when you want to go faster.

Opt for a 250 and you’ll love how lightweight almost mountain bike nimble it is, you’ll have to work the engine to get the power you need and you’ll have to think about what terrain is coming to get the right gear to nail it. But get it wrong and the 250 won’t punish you and it won’t simply spit you off because you chose the wrong gear and got over eager on the throttle.

Honda manufacture this bike with both 250 and 450 engines simply because a 250 suits some rider and 450 suits others.

You will find the CRF250 to be completely reliable with warehouses of spare parts readily available if you need anything. You’ll also find it to be one of the best all round off road bikes money can buy, designed to take the hardest of batterings you can give it the CRF will just keep going.

Riding positions do vary from manufacture to manufacture and whilst sitting in the saddle feels the same across all the models it’s when you’re standing up on the pegs that you notice these subtle differences. The CRF has slightly lower bars to its competitors such as Yamahas WR250, I’m 5ft10 and found on the Honda whilst standing and holding the bars I was forced to bend slightly more forward than on the Yamaha which isn’t my perfect riding position. But don’t dismiss the bike on this point, if you are 1 inch shorter than me or simply buy some higher bars then this wouldn’t be issue at all.

There really isn’t much point in talking about the CRF’s grip, suspension or breaking since Off road ridging is so much about the way you ride and with what skill that every bike is pretty much the same from manufacture to manufacture. But the big deciding factor for me would be the build quality and reliability and this is something that as you’d expect from a Honda the CRF has in bags full. Drop it in a river or drag it through a ditch it really doesn’t matter the CRF will stay rust free and ready to go the next day.

And the great news is, the both the 450 and 250 come with electric start!

Light weight, reliable, adjustable
Standing up riding position may not suit taller riders