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Well don't leave us hanging! What are your thoughts on the CRF250L?
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
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?
 

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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?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
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.
 

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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
 

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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).
 

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Discussion Starter #10
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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Congrats, Old White Truck. So you did buy it? the CRF? I have about 4000 miles now on my CRF250L. I like it! Had a TW200 for 5 Years. Was a great bike for what I did. Good on the Beach, good off road, easy to work on. Up Pikes Peak once.....made it. Stumbled and stuttered at 13,000ft. Had the 130 jet and that was it. Did a thousand mile trip on the TAT with the TW. Was perfect. But now, the CRF has the 6 speeds, fuel injection, foot pegs I like. Have it set up with the Dirt Bagz racks. Waterproof Tail bag. Can carry way too much. Minimalist touring/camping at it's best. Sold my TW, my KLR and my R1150R. so yes, I like the bike. I'm retired, nothing but time. A "trail 90" mind...and now this! Rode 1400 miles last fall, OK.NM.and CO. did 11,600ft. and snow, did fine.

Easy to check Valves etc. Now....Dead battery? can't jump start it? Haven't been there yet. That's where the TW was so easy.

Seat.....have an Alaskan Sheepskin, Aerostitch Roadcrafter suit. So don't feel any pains. Now do wish it came with a 3.5 or 4 Gallon gas tank. I bought a Rotopax, so have a gallon reserve.



Lots of info over on ADV on the CRF. Course whining too. It's too heavy, too slow, needs to be a 450, bad tires, not a KTM, or WR and on.... But price...$4500 OTD here.



Getting Tail racks and bags out there already. I did a skid plate and radiator guard. ( Emperor Racing, out of Canada.) Garmin GPS, BMW outlet for heated Vest. Ready for a new back tire. have tried Dunlop 606, TKC80,Duro. Now going to a Shinko 705 on the Honda.



Just have fun. (sorry for the long windedness here.....)
 

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The massive response from the aftermarket in such a short time since this motorcycle's inception really amazes me. The sheer number of modifications, additions, upgrades, etc. that you can make to this bike is insane, in a good way. You could literally spend the purchase price of the bike in upgrades, add-ons, and modifications for it. Kind of funny if you think about it...the thought of ending up with a $9,000 bike that cost $4500 new, lol. That's about what it would cost with absolutely ALL of the mods I would WANT for it. Doesn't mean I'd buy all of those mods, but I'd want them lol.
 

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I was all about this bike before I wound up with my TW. I was thinking about buying one new last fall. It seems like it hits somewhere between the Yamaha XT250 and WR250 in terms of technology and speed. Also it doesn't sit as high as the WR250. I'm somewhere between thinking the XT250 is too slow and the WR250 is too tall and out of my league (probably not too fast for me, but too sporty.)



Oh, and the Honda cheaper than both, so there's that. The only negative thing I've read about them so far is people are having the clutches wear out really quickly. Then again, clutch life is variable based on how you ride and how much you weigh. But the reports were coming out of Thailand about bikes over there needing new clutches regularly.



Part of the appeal of the TW is that it's a dinosaur. Air cooled, nearly 100% mechanical other than the CDI system. I believe the TW200 will start and run without the battery (just researched that and it's another good thing.) However, fuel injection is awesome this time of year when it's cold in the morning. My TW takes at least 5 minutes to come off of choke when it's cold and humid like it's been here this spring. Water cooling just makes sense on a technical standpoint. But if your job is to 'ride to the north pole' my money is still on the TW.



Anyway, Honda is really trying to get people on bikes. The CB250R, this CR250L, the new CB500... All bringing a lot of bike for the dollar right to the show room floor. People just want to ride. They generally value reliability over total power. I think Honda is onto a great sales lineup. And of course, you can still buy their dinosaur, the XR650L.



I'm going to test ride one as soon as any are in stock at the Honda dealer. I want to see what they're like. I imagine the seat is 5x worse than the TW seat.
 

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I can understand why people like the Honda. My learned on a Honda 50. But grew up on a YZ80 so I have been partial to Yamahas, Huskys (WR 250) and the TW.



When you buy a TW for the most part you know what you are getting into. So many forget that it is what it is. I love it. There are so many different things we can make it into. We can make it into OUR TW. I bought my son a xr50 and my TW is perfect for us to ride together.



I don't need to go much faster than it will go. By the time my son is old enoughh for a bigger/faster bike, I will be kicking it at the campsite with the other parents or bringing up the rear on my TW.



Honda does a great job but there really is not comparison. If you want to cruise places easily without falling over, buy the TW. If you want to go fast, challenge yourself etc. Buy a different bike.



All in all, just have fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Congrats, Old White Truck. So you did buy it? the CRF?


Hi carmwes, I did not buy it.



However, I thank you for your updated feedback on yours. I hope you will continue to drop in here from time to time and let us know how life with the CRF250L is.



It sounds like a good TW alternative for those who want to feel a bit more comfortable on the road.



Please don't forget to show us a picture with your newer farkles.



Thanks!
 

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Ohhhhh, That Rack looks Good! Thanks for Showing me That.
 
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