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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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....
 

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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 road 27.jpg
 

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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. :D

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

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Discussion Starter #4
Little Tommy said:
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...


Grewen said:
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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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
LT said:
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/general-discussion/2176-biggest-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...



.
 

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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. :D

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).
 

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Discussion Starter #8
kj7687 said:
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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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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Have you considered the XT225?
I have a friend with one that has about 40 000 km on it and it is still going strong. He commuted on it for years and he will take it up McNutt with me and he surprises me on where he takes that bike. We have also done “Run to the boarder” at Tamihi, so it is trail capable and his is not geared down. He actually went up in gearing by mistake and still rides single track with me.
I had one for a few years with no issues.
The CRF has lots of low end torque, but is anemic in power compared to the WR (sorry LT, you CRF is nice, but my WR has way better suspension).
I found LT’s bike did dive under hard breaking, and could barely keep up with LT’s scooter when he decided to go.
 

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Have you looked at the Honda CB500X?

I believe he has. He stated he needs a small displacement bike because of high insurance costs in Canada.

jb
 

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Discussion Starter #14
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.
Thing is....with the DR650, there was a "known" issue with the NSU as well as with spontaneous 3rd gear failures that grenade the cases. I was able to mitigate the NSU issue, but the 3rd gear problem showed up (in its early stages) on a bike with less than 20,000 miles. Even though the reported numbers were fairly low, it was still something that could "potentially" happen and with my luck being as it is...I was one of the "lucky" ones....so I don't really want to go down that path again: buying something with a KNOWN failure issue. I know there are no guarantees in life...but I'd rather not tempt fate anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Have you considered the XT225?
Yup....been there, done that.
It was a great bike, aside from the rear-hub issue. Also, the factory rear-spring is incredibly soft and even after I upgraded it, it was still too soft to support both of us.

...and the seat was a little crowded....otherwise it was a nice bike; lightweight and flickable!

Even tried the XT250 but it was a real bear to service...and the PO had drilled the baffle so it had an awful braaaaaaap to it...almost like a 2T.
The XT250 and Sherpa were the only bikes that I couldn't wait to get rid of....
 

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Well, I think you need to just budget and get a WR250r or get a WR250x and put dual sport tires on it. Mine is with my son and has over 32 000 km on it. Only thing that we will be doing to it is putting in a manual cam chain tensioner. Get a lowering link and change out the rear sprocket for a 45 or 46 tooth. Stock gearing is useless, 6th will not pull hills.
The only issue you may have is with the passenger pegs, they are a bit high. My wife who is 5'10" found it a bit cramped. I also put a Corbin seat on it to lower it slightly (I am 6'2") and could just touch with the stock seat.
The bike had no issues carrying Linda and I at speeds over 100 kmph - Though she did not like going that fast - she still does not like it when I get over 110 kmph on the VStrom.
 

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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).
KJ, I got the CRF and a Piaggio 350 scooter in trade for my DL1000. I've had both for a couple years now. I've put 3,000 miles on the scooter and about 1,500 on the Honda so far. The Honda has about 1,900 miles on it now and the scooter 5,100 or so. I share a small garage with a HD trike owner and his bike takes up the majority of the room. I use the scooter much more than the Honda because it has lots of storage for donut runs etc. Plus, I have to shuttle bikes around to get to the Honda which is stored in front of the scooter. I make due with them. I have always like Honda dependability and it's been a good bike. I can't say though if I had cash in hand out looking to buy that I would have bought either one of them. The Piaggio is a work of art, beautiful well made, reliable Italian scooter. I expect to get many miles out of it. It works for me more or less. Like I said, I took them in trade, both in mint condition. Cash in hand, I probably would have been looking for a Suzuki 400 or 650 scooter. Given a choice regarding the dirt bike, I would have probably liked a newer TW built out like my 87 was. CJ7Pilot got my 87 and has been happy with it. There wasn't room for 3 bikes in the garage and something had to go. I really don't know what I might have bought for a dirt bike given the opportunity. I have short legs and most bikes are so tall. For now I will abide with them and make due. I do love the fuel injection on both and not having to mess with carbs. And they are paid for! I won't ever go into debt for anything if I can help it. Can't say KJ that I've noticed any bad noises coming out of the Honda besides it being a tiny bit noisier when cold versus warmed up.
 

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Well, I think you need to just budget and get a WR250r or get a WR250x and put dual sport tires on it. Mine is with my son and has over 32 000 km on it. Only thing that we will be doing to it is putting in a manual cam chain tensioner. Get a lowering link and change out the rear sprocket for a 45 or 46 tooth. Stock gearing is useless, 6th will not pull hills.
The only issue you may have is with the passenger pegs, they are a bit high. My wife who is 5'10" found it a bit cramped. I also put a Corbin seat on it to lower it slightly (I am 6'2") and could just touch with the stock seat.
The bike had no issues carrying Linda and I at speeds over 100 kmph - Though she did not like going that fast - she still does not like it when I get over 110 kmph on the VStrom.
You need to tell Linda your speed in MPH. 60 sounds so much slower than 110. :p

The warning didn't mention anything about TW Forum.:D
 

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Have you looked at the Honda CB500X?

I believe he has. He stated he needs a small displacement bike because of high insurance costs in Canada.

jb
I guess I don't see that reference on insurance.....could be my eyes are getting like the rest of me....WORE OUT. I think the CB500X for all I have read and seen would be a great bike. Not to big and not to small.
 
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