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Thread: Honda CRF250L

  1. #1
    Senior Member TW_in_BC's Avatar
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    Honda CRF250L

    I can't remember who I've spoken to about this (the "60" curse) so I'll just go ahead and start a new thread in THIS forum that I frequent the most of late...at least I'll know where to find the answers!

    When I was forced to sell my DR650, it left a great hole in my life...in OUR lives actually; my wife remarked how few trips we had done this year. I bought the TW to replace the PITA XT250 (that I purchased on impulse and was never really fond of) and to relive that wonderful period in my life as a TW owner.
    The TW can carry us both...we proved that last weekend with a tour of the surrounding area...but I still need something a bit taller and with more get-up-and-go.

    I won't get another Suzuki product. Although the DR was a nice bike, it died WAY too early (less than 20,000 miles) and was a heavy brute of a machine. My one and only experience with Kawasaki (Sherpa) was an uninspiring failure...and the other Yamaha offering (WR250R) is out of my price range.
    The only Honda I've ever owned, was a 1972 CT90. GREAT bike...but the geek-factor was off the charts. Still, that thing would go anywhere and everywhere. With gearing LOWER than the TW, it could literally climb a tree...and was lighter by half.
    Still...it was butt-ugly and wouldn't/couldn't/shouldn't hold highway speed at gunpoint....and forget about passengers.

    So while perusing the Honda catalogue, I came across the CRF250L and it's brother, the CRF250L Rally.
    After selling my Sherpa, I looked at a CRF230, but found it to be WAY too small for me alone, I couldn't imagine travelling with a passenger on that clown-bike!

    Now, the 250 seems to have the numbers for height and clearance, as well as fuel injection and that legendary Honda reliability.

    So, I'm looking for any CRF250L owners...past and present...to give me their unabashed opinions of this machine, while remembering that I am NOT an aggressive rider...I don't/rarely do any single-track...don't spend much time on the highway (with or without passenger)...don't wheelie...rarely roost...there's an age barrier that says NOT to do anything that might cause injury and lead to extended convalescing.
    I was young once and I've gotten (almost) all of my yah-yah's out (again, if you don't get the reference, you're too young), so I don't need flash or expensive...just something that will take me and wife to a destination and get us back. The TW will do this, but I'm looking for a bit more power, more range and more room.

    Tell me about your CRF250L....
    Last edited by TW_in_BC; 10-30-2019 at 10:25 PM.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member grewen's Avatar
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    i traded my 2018 crf250l in the spring for a dr200. the crf is a good bike, honda quality. unfortunately it needs a fuel controller. seems injection isn't much different than carbs when it comes to the EPA. the suspension also needs upgrading. i sold ours because it just wasn't comfy even after a seat, bars, foot pegs. also it was too tall for my 29"inseam. the bike was fast and was good off and on road27.jpg
    Last edited by grewen; 10-30-2019 at 10:43 PM.
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    Greg

    2019 honda cb500x
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  3. #3
    Super Moderator littletommy's Avatar
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    I have a 2016. They are taller than a TW to get your leg over and for a fat old broken rider like me, I got a lowering link, raised the front forks a little and adjusted the pre-load and it's workable for me now. It had a factory rack on the back which is nice but it was too tall to throw my leg over so off it went. Saddle bags will work and not get in the way much. You can mount it with the rack on by stepping on a peg, but I have a foot that gets sprained when I do it to much. You might find that the front suspension is soft and dives a bit under hard braking but that's expected for a 300 lb rider like me. You are probably not as big as I am, so it might be fine. The front only has one spring in it and you can buy one for the other side at about 100 bucks. I added 2 inch risers also. Weight of the bike is 320 lbs if I remember right. It doesn't feel top heavy and you can flick it around pretty well. Performance wise, I find it just fine stock, but you can put a one tooth larger front sprocket on and open the air box a bit for a little tweak to start with, then it gets costly after that. (tuning, exhaust, suspension) It comes with a O-Ring chain which is a plus. All in all, I like this bike. It's buttery smooth shifting, rock solid dependable and starts every time. Two up riding would probably be fine, but I think you want to keep it limited to not much over 350 lbs total. It would do OK on the highway. I fit your same riding profile more or less, but I am a petal to the metal kind of guy so I like to gun it and I also enjoy a little wheelie now and then. Hope this helps.

    Come by, I'll take you to lunch and you can try it.
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  5. #4
    Senior Member TW_in_BC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Tommy
    The front only has one spring in it and you can buy one for the other side at about 100 bucks.
    I don't understand this....are you saying there is only ONE spring in the forks?

    Two up riding would probably be fine, but I think you want to keep it limited to not much over 350 lbs total.
    Well, between her and I, we've overshot this by a bit...is this going to be a problem? The TW is rated for 400 lbs...


    Quote Originally Posted by Grewen
    unfortunately it needs a fuel controller.
    Can you elaborate? Doesn't it come with one from the factory?
    Is this "necessary" or is it a performance mod?
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  6. #5
    Super Moderator littletommy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TW_in_BC View Post
    I don't understand this....are you saying there is only ONE spring in the forks?

    ***Yep, one. It would do fine for a light rider, but that's not me. Dealer will remove forks, add the spring, clean and replace oil on the working side, fill oil on new side, adjust, replace, etc for 350 or so. Plus the cost of the spring.

    Well, between her and I, we've overshot this by a bit...is this going to be a problem? The TW is rated for 400 lbs...

    ***Did you read the thread about the 585 lb TW rider who Qwerty met? I looked weight capacity up in my manual and it says, rider, passenger, gear and accessories 320 lbs. I didn't think it was that low... I'd push it to 350 if I had to.

    Can you elaborate? Doesn't it come with one from the factory?
    Is this "necessary" or is it a performance mod?

    ***Performance mod. That's one of the costly items I mentioned. (tuning, exhaust and suspension)
    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by littletommy; 10-31-2019 at 12:58 AM.

  7. #6
    Senior Member TW_in_BC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LT
    Yep, one. It would do fine for a light rider, but that's not me. Dealer will remove forks, add the spring, clean and replace oil on the working side, fill oil on new side, adjust, replace, etc for 350 or so. Plus the cost of the spring.
    Surely, this is something any decent weekend wrencher could do...

    Damn...and all this time, I thought the TW's weight limit was 400 lbs...but there it is in black and white:

    TW limit.jpg

    Crap...we're overloaded! Now what....

    Found that thread you referred to https://www.tw200forum.com/forum/gen...-tw-rider.html even at 460 lbs, this is quite astonishing...
    Wife and I don't add up to that much...PLUS I've got the stiffer ProCycle spring in the rear, so that will help the bottoming...but it sounds like the frame can withstand more than our combined weight...I wonder if that fellow is still around and if he ever had any problems with the frame on his TW...



    .
    Last edited by TW_in_BC; 10-31-2019 at 01:49 AM.
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  8. #7
    Senior Member kj7687's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by littletommy View Post
    I have a 2016. They are taller than a TW to get your leg over and for a fat old broken rider like me, I got a lowering link, raised the front forks a little and adjusted the pre-load and it's workable for me now. It had a factory rack on the back which is nice but it was too tall to throw my leg over so off it went. Saddle bags will work and not get in the way much. You can mount it with the rack on by stepping on a peg, but I have a foot that gets sprained when I do it to much. You might find that the front suspension is soft and dives a bit under hard braking but that's expected for a 300 lb rider like me. You are probably not as big as I am, so it might be fine. The front only has one spring in it and you can buy one for the other side at about 100 bucks. I added 2 inch risers also. Weight of the bike is 320 lbs if I remember right. It doesn't feel top heavy and you can flick it around pretty well. Performance wise, I find it just fine stock, but you can put a one tooth larger front sprocket on and open the air box a bit for a little tweak to start with, then it gets costly after that. (tuning, exhaust, suspension) It comes with a O-Ring chain which is a plus. All in all, I like this bike. It's buttery smooth shifting, rock solid dependable and starts every time. Two up riding would probably be fine, but I think you want to keep it limited to not much over 350 lbs total. It would do OK on the highway. I fit your same riding profile more or less, but I am a petal to the metal kind of guy so I like to gun it and I also enjoy a little wheelie now and then. Hope this helps.

    Come by, I'll take you to lunch and you can try it.

    Hey Tommy, I did not realize you owned a CRF250L until fairly recently, when I read one of your posts about it. I steered clear of it and personally would not buy one because of the fairly well documented issues with the cam chain tensioner. This may be a case of one-in-many having problems or a failure, but for me, it was a deal breaker (I opted for the XT instead for other reasons as well). Anyway, I'm certainly not meaning to bash your choice, and it seems like you've been pretty happy with yours. If it weren't for that one nagging issue, I would likely be a huge supporter of that model... I am curious to know how many miles/hours yours has on it, how long you've owned it, and if you've ever noticed any issues with the tensioner (manifested in the form of an occasional/intermittent, abnormal, light tapping/clicking noise coming from the top end).
    Last edited by kj7687; 10-31-2019 at 02:27 AM.
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    KJ, just KJ, ok.


    Current rides:
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    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

  9. #8
    Senior Member TW_in_BC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kj7687
    I steered clear of it and personally would not buy one because of the fairly well documented issues with the cam chain tensioner.
    This is the kind of stuff I'm looking for....

    AND, I didn't realize it only had ONE spring in the front forks....AND it uses shims-over-buckets for valve adjustments....
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  10. #9
    Senior Member kj7687's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TW_in_BC View Post
    This is the kind of stuff I'm looking for....

    AND, I didn't realize it only had ONE spring in the front forks....AND it uses shims-over-buckets for valve adjustments....
    I feel your pain, sir... The search for a true "checks all the boxes" motorcycle is like the quest for the holy grail LOL! Wouldn't it be nice if we could just order one up with exactly all of the specs we want all put together into one magical unicorn bike? One can only dream.

    Anyway, there are many online threads, YouTube videos, and so forth documenting that it is at least a relatively common issue. That said, I don't know exactly how prevalent the issue actually is, and there may be riders who have put 30k+ miles on CRFLs without experiencing it. Unfortunately, in this case, I believe it is an actual design flaw/engineering issue, rather than a problem with materials or quality control. So I think it would be fairly likely to pop up on any bike with serious miles put on it. But again, I don't know/remember actual probability. I do vaguely remember actually trying to figure out some sort of probability when I was looking at this model years ago, but I don't remember if I got anything specific or, if I did, what it was... Of course, that kind of number could be virtually impossible to ascertain or calculate accurately, given all the variables and whatnot.
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    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

  11. #10
    Senior Member Xracer's Avatar
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    I hope Longroof will chime in. He bought the Rally and has started to put in some hard miles.
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