What I test rode this evening…
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    Senior Member old white truck's Avatar
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    Senior Member DonBenito's Avatar
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    Well don't leave us hanging! What are your thoughts on the CRF250L?
    2011 TW200 - Sold - after 9700 miles and 1,000,000 smiles. So long Tee Dub!
    2012 KLR650
    - Sold
    2013 Tiger Explorer XC
    2014 CB500X - RRP L3

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    Senior Member Point37's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonBenito View Post
    Well don't leave us hanging! What are your thoughts on the CRF250L?


    ^^^+1

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    Senior Member old white truck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonBenito View Post
    Well don't leave us hanging! What are your thoughts on the CRF250L?

    Well. I rode it for a grand total of 4 miles.



    Here is what I can say based on that extremely long ride:



    • I don't like it because I could get a ticket for going more than 55 miles per hour. That would never happen on my TW.



    • I don't like it because there is no abrupt CLUNK when I shift down to first gear - it doesn't have the TW's Shift Announcer feature. How am I supposed to know what gear I am in? Shifting gears is incredibly smooth - where is the fun in that?



    • I don't like it because there was no front end clunk when I went over a speed bump. How are you supposed to stay awake while riding without the TW's patented audible FRONT BUMP CLUNK option (that comes standard on most TWs)?



    • I do like it because it seems to have a totally negligible braking capacity that exactly matches the TW. Therefore, there would be no need to finally figure out how to use brakes that actually work.





    FRIVOLOUS THOUGHTS:




    DISPLAY & CONTROLS

    I didn't think I would like the digital display (I am more of an old-school analog guy) but it really was not too bad. The speed was easy to read and the turn signal and neutral indictors were very bright (although I was riding on an overcast day - not sure how it is in bright sun). I really liked having a fuel gauge. There is a ginormous front break hose that frames the display. The controls seemed to be easy to reach but I forgot to try the horn (I am sure there is no way it could compare to the awesome stock TW horn though).



    QUALITY

    It felt good to ride - very solid and extremely smooth shifting with a smooth throttle response. However, there seems to be a lot of plastic bits sticking out. Then there is the radiator. I would be much more afraid of breaking stuff off-road than when riding the TW.



    STRAIGHT LINE ROAD PERFORMANCE, TOP SPEED AND GEARING

    I only rode 4 miles and I was on roads with a speed limit of 45MPH so it was tough to determine much of anything.

    I would say it accelerated up to 45MPH at about the same rate as the TW. However, where I would have just been starting to look for another, non-existent, gear on the TW, the CRFL still had 3 MORE GEARS LEFT! This would sure make the ride from home to the off-road area much easier.

    Having 6 gears is obviously part of the difference but it also seems to be geared pretty high. For any off-road use I would think a larger back sprocket would be one of the first investments.

    It was enjoyable to ride.



    PRICE

    How insane is it that the MSRP for this bike ($4499) is LESS than the MSRP for a new TW200 ($4590)? The TW has 80's technology and Yamaha hasn't had to spend a dime in R&D (or money for new tooling) in a quarter of a century. The CRFL has 21st century technology and is newly developed (except for the engine). I guess being made in Thailand makes a difference.

    In the real world however, the CRFL price is about a grand more (at least in my area). The TW can be found here for $4,000 out-the-door (excluding license and tags) but the out-the-door price for the CRFL is $5000 at the dealer I talked to (excluding license and tags).



    HEIGHT

    I can touch flat-footed on my TW - but just barely. On the CRFL my heels are up just a tad. So, although it is slightly higher than the TW, it would in no way be a problem for me.



    LOOKS

    I think it looks really cool - heck - look at the pictures. However, I can see how others would think it would be too plastic looking or too garish. It is not subdued. To each their own, but I like the way it looks.



    THINGS I PONDER



    Is it worth $1000 more than a new TW?


    Does it have too many parts that could break during off-road falls? And, would they cost a lot more to fix than on the TW? Would it be tough off-road like the TW?


    Could you live with it being much more difficult to work on with the fuel injection and water cooling and valves that require shims?


    If your fuel pump dies in the boonies you are dead. Is that acceptable? Even more to the point - if your battery goes completely dead, you can't even push start it. That seems really scary.


    It weighs quite a bit more than the TW. (TW wet weight =278 lbs., CRFL curb weight = 320 lbs.). Could you live with that in off road situations?


    How does it do off-road in putt-around mode where the TW shines?


    Would I be secure enough in my manhood to drive a motorcycle that didn't have the largest rear tire in the neighborhood?
    Last edited by old white truck; 03-19-2014 at 07:32 PM. Reason: To correct weird spurious characters that popped up when this forum switched to new bulletin board software
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    Senior Member Point37's Avatar
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    great review...thanks!...i'd def consider one of these for another bike...looks like they have close to the same clearance...how was the seat?...does it carry the weight up high (i.e. top heavy/high center of gravity)?...do they make a rear rack for it yet?...what grade fuel does it take?

  7. #6
    Senior Member old white truck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Point37 View Post
    great review...thanks!...i'd def consider one of these for another bike...looks like they have close to the same clearance...how was the seat?...does it carry the weight up high (i.e. top heavy/high center of gravity)?...do they make a rear rack for it yet?...what grade fuel does it take?
    Seat seemed just fine for the short time I was on it.



    It was not top heavy at all.



    There are several rear racks for it but so far nothing as extensive as a TW Cyclerack.



    It does not require premium fuel.

  8. #7
    Senior Member Point37's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old White Truck View Post
    Seat seemed just fine for the short time I was on it.



    It was not top heavy at all.



    There are several rear racks for it but so far nothing as extensive as a TW Cyclerack.



    It does not require premium fuel.


    good to know...thanks again for the review and info

  9. #8
    Senior Member kj7687's Avatar
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    Man you're lucky. I just met a guy the other day who had one of those in my local town and we talked a little about it; he said he'd let me ride it! So as soon as I get time to fix the wheel on my Suzuki I'm going riding with that guy and I'm gonna get to test ride one of those bad-asses! I can't wait. It looks awesome and he really likes it. This is almost certainly my next bike which I should be able to get in less than a year and a half (this will include a couple thousand for all the mods I want).
    littletommy likes this.
    KJ, just KJ, ok.


    Current rides:
    2004 GMC Sierra 1500, 1999 Toyota 4Runner

    Past rides: 2015 Yamaha XT 250, 1997 Suzuki DR 200, 2007 Honda Ruckus, 2007 Yamaha TW 200, 2007 Kawasaki Ninja 500, 2009 Kawasaki KLX331S; 1994 GMC Sierra 1500, 1987 Nissan Pathfinder, 1992 Acura Integra, 1986 Honda CRX, 1989 Jeep Cherokee, 1994 Chevrolet Astro Van, 1979 Volkswagen Rabbit, 1984 Jeep Cherokee

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    Senior Member Bullspit's Avatar
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    How is the low end torque? Do you have to be at a high rpm to make power?

  11. #10
    Senior Member old white truck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bullspit View Post
    How is the low end torque? Do you have to be at a high rpm to make power?


    I was on for such a short time and I was trying to take in everything at once so I can't answer conclusively. However, my impression was that you did not have to be at high RPM to make power. It seemed like the powerband was pretty flat across the RPMs.

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