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Discussion Starter #1
I took my 95 TW around to the most seasoned bike mechanic in town since it's not charging and unlike my old Honda, cannot run with a flat battery. He was likely to have used parts and knows these bikes backwards. He said many farmers prefer simpler technology like the XR 200 since if you leave the TW standing for a time it won't start. He has just bought himself a brand new Honda CRF250l. It costs the same as a TW but has twice as much power and is a true Dual Sport. I have an 87 XL250R which is said to be the first true dual sport. If you read the review, apart from water cooled, fuel injected, etc the bottom line is that economically (cost and consumption) it is the same as the TW - at least here and as Andy said what would you buy? Having got an expensive problem with my old bike, new is looking attractive and Honda are doing their best to make it so.



At $4499 MSRP the 250L is a great value. Payments, if financed, would be less than $100 a month. The miserly 250L gets 73mpg and doesn’t need high octane gas. While this bike won’t come close to beating a KTM or even a CRF250X in the dirt it is a great bike for someone looking for inexpensive transportation and a bit of off-road fun on the weekend.



Read more: http://www.dirtrider.com/tests/2013-honda-crf250l-first-impression/#ixzz294irv1eb
 

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If I had to choose b/w the TW and the CRF250L, and they were within a few hundred dollars in price, I would go with the crf. However, the reason many choose the TW is because it is low to the ground and unique looking. TWs are interesting looking bikes and have good manners on/off road. The TW is non-intimidating even for new riders. The CRF (I haven't looked up the seat height) will be taller, faster and have more power. All of these are great things for more experienced riders but mean nothing to a new rider. The TW is not pretentious and does just what it was designed to do. It has its limitations and its strengths and has to be ridden with those in mind. I like the feel of dirt bikes because I grew up riding MX bikes and trail bikes. The TW is a different style of bike than what I'm used to but it is fun in its own way. It's more mellow and laid back.



I like them both but if they were offered to me I would pick the Honda just because I like to rip around the trails and enjoy the taller stance both on and off road.
 

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Even not running, your TW will fetch more money than a pristine CRF will fetch when it's 20 years old.... The TW fills a special nitch that no other motorcycle matches. The TW is the little bike that can! It can do anything, just not fast... It's a jack of all terrains, master of none! Depending on your riding, the CRF may indeed be a way better motorcycle. That is a decision only you can make. You will get very biased info here
We love the TW for the little freak that it is!
 

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I sold my tw and bought a wr250r. after installing a lowering link (Yamalink $149) and dropping the factory adjustment i now have an acceptable seat height and can put both feet on the ground. i'm 5'9". The wr is about 30 lbs lighter that the honda and has way better suspension. The seat is good, power is better than the honda. although is costs a little more it is way more bike for the money. suspension and handeling is very simular to my 400exc ktm. 3000 mile oil changes and 25000 valve adjust intervals is good too. the reviews i read on the honda say it's a lot like the old xr250l, smooth powerband and a bit heavy. i find it hard to believe that you can't make your tw charge for less than a couple hundred bucks though. somebody on here has parts to fix it for cheap.... just ask..... woof
 

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A couple of hundred bucks to fix your TW is way better than $5k for a new bike. The economy is in the toilet. Do you really want to strap on a sizable loan right now?





Ride on.
 

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My cousin and I just had this same discussion. We were both looking for new dual sport bikes, as we used to ride together on our DR650 and XR650L. When we saw the CRF250L was released in Japan we were both eager to try it out. Once the CRF250L became available in the states my cousin went to test drive one and he liked it well enough to buy it. When he got it home I was waiting for him and I took it out for a test ride. I was not impressed at all. The power delivery was weak, it's geared way too high for a 6 speed, it has all the modern emissions crap, the muffler is massive, it's too heavy for what it is, and the whole bike feels incredibly choked up. So after deciding this wasn't the bike for me I decided to buy my long sought after TW-200. I realize that all of my compliant's about the CRF250L can be changed, I wasn't willing to invest that much in an EFI CPU, exhaust, block off kits, final drive, etc.



We bought the bikes within a week of each other. On my TW200 I've rebuilt the carb with larger jets and needle shims, purchased a rack, windshield, oring chain, and made a few minor modifications. I'm in about $200 with modifications and I couldn't be happier. The little TW runs awesome, goes anywhere, has just as much useable power as the choked up stock CRF, and you get looks at every light.



The TW can be serviced trail-side with basic tools. Parts are easily found. There are tons of mods and years of experience behind them.



While I think if you're willing to invest the extra money into the CRF it would be a great bike, the TW is great with a simple carb mod.



Fix your bike, get some new plastics for that new bike look, and ride on.
 

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My 94 runs just fine with a dead battery. I am glad I have a kicker. I have ran it for about 3 months without putting a new one in it. That just does not sound right.
 

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Old White Truck...Sent you a PM on this. No, it's not a WR250, not a KTM....alot of Bikes it's not. But for what it is I like it. Heavy for a 250......Yes. Then I load it down anyway with camping gear. Still a Minimalist set up for me. Now......End of the World, Just cockroaches and TW's will be left. The TW is super simple, easy, dependable, bullet proof. The 5 years I had mine it went everywhere I wanted it to go. From the Texas Coast to Pikes Peak, TAT, Big Bend NP, Would have done Copper Canyon again, on it. But, Interstates......Limited. Can't say anything bad about the TW200.



Now,,,,if the CRF has a dead battery.....doubt I can push it. Has an electric fuel pump. But carrry small set of jumper cables on long trips. So some different issues here. But can cruise highways at 60-70 easy. Gas milage has been 70-80 so far. And yes, it needs a bigger Gas tank.



Have 2600 miles on the CRF so far. 3 Oil changes, and it just starts and runs. Great footpegs, 520 O ring chain, 337 watts of power to wire in all sorts of goodies. Heated clothing, grips, GPS, phone/camera chargers. Now let's see how it does in 5 years.......
 

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Your mechanic is mistaken. But any excuse to buy a new toy works fer me.
 

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Whatever your new bike payment, thrown at he TDub you have now, should be plenty to keep her running, filled with gas and add FARKLES easily. Also, anything extra goes into YOUR pocket instead of Hondas.
 

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I owned a CRF230 for a couple of years. The "dirt only" version. I realized that it was heavy for a dirt bike, but thought the electric starter might be easier on my knees. After a while my grandson managed to talk me out of it. He thought he needed a bigger, more powerful bike than his XR200.



I did not miss the CRF. After owning it for a year my grandson admitted that the XR200 was a much better dirt bike.



As a street bike the CRF230/250L would get the nod from me, but not for the reasons you might think. At first glance you might think the Honda would make a lot more power, but that's not the case. Motorcycle Consumer News did a 250 Dual-Sport shootout in December 2009 which included both the TW and the 230L. The 250L has a few more cc's but not enough to be significant.



On the dyno the TW put out 13.17 hp at 8000 rpm to the CRF's 14.52 hp at 7000 rpm. Very slight difference, although the Honda did have a torque advantage.



On the drag strip the TW surprised everyone by beating the larger engined CRF in the 1/4 mile; 18.61 seconds to the CRF's 19.17 sec.



The biggest reason to pick the Honda as a street bike is the six speed transmission. With the TW we are constantly juggling sprockets to get decent cruising speeds without losing off-road capability. The TW also has out-dated controls. The clutch feel is right out of the 80s and the brakes are marginal for a street bike. Off-road, the TW will easily go where the 230/250L will struggle, but on the highway the CRF is a much better ride.



If you want a dual-sport bike with a lot more power, better suspension and all the bells and whistles, The Yamaha WR250R with its 24 hp is the way to go. It will cost you, though. The TW can be had new for a bit more than $4k, the CRF is roughly a grand more, and the WR tops 6K.
 

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I'll be very interested to try a CRF250L with all the emissions crap removed and a real pipe. As I said above, this bike is extremely corked up. My initial thought as I test rode it was "geez WTF did they do to this engine?". The engine feels so muted, I can't stress it enough. I think part of this is due to the ridiculously high final drive gearing, 14:40 on a six speed!? You could run 14:50 and still make it over 70mph with that sixth gear.
 

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I owned a CRF230 for a couple of years. The "dirt only" version. I realized that it was heavy for a dirt bike, but thought the electric starter might be easier on my knees. After a while my grandson managed to talk me out of it. He thought he needed a bigger, more powerful bike than his XR200.



I did not miss the CRF. After owning it for a year my grandson admitted that the XR200 was a much better dirt bike.



As a street bike the CRF230/250L would get the nod from me, but not for the reasons you might think. At first glance you might think the Honda would make a lot more power, but that's not the case. Motorcycle Consumer News did a 250 Dual-Sport shootout in December 2009 which included both the TW and the 230L. The 250L has a few more cc's but not enough to be significant.



On the dyno the TW put out 13.17 hp at 8000 rpm to the CRF's 14.52 hp at 7000 rpm. Very slight difference, although the Honda did have a torque advantage.



On the drag strip the TW surprised everyone by beating the larger engined CRF in the 1/4 mile; 18.61 seconds to the CRF's 19.17 sec.



The biggest reason to pick the Honda as a street bike is the six speed transmission. With the TW we are constantly juggling sprockets to get decent cruising speeds without losing off-road capability. The TW also has out-dated controls. The clutch feel is right out of the 80s and the brakes are marginal for a street bike. Off-road, the TW will easily go where the 230/250L will struggle, but on the highway the CRF is a much better ride.



If you want a dual-sport bike with a lot more power, better suspension and all the bells and whistles, The Yamaha WR250R with its 24 hp is the way to go. It will cost you, though. The TW can be had new for a bit more than $4k, the CRF is roughly a grand more, and the WR tops 6K.








I used to have an XR250R, one of the best dirt bikes I ever owned. I bought my CRF230F because it has a very similar feel and power delivery imo.



The CRF250L is a completely different engine than the 230F/L. It's basically the same engine they use on the CBR250R. Using liquid cooling, high revving, dual overhead cams, four valve, and a street transmission. Comparing the CRF250L and CRF230F/L is apples to oranges.



I have a CRF230F with the airbox snorkel removed, FMF Powercore, carb rejet, and stiffer springs front and rear. My CRF230F destroys my cousins CRF250L as a dirt bike.



My other cousin has a WR250R. I've ridden it on the trail before, and I have to say it's one of the best dual sports I've ever ridden. It's also much more expensive and does require some modification (but don't they all?).



I love my TW, but for much different reasons.
 

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They are two different bikes, and I forewarn anyone who reads this that I am unapologetically biased, but here is my breakdown:



CRF250L: Basically, in my opinion, this is a price point bike, and that is not a good thing if you look at the history of price point bikes. A few years ago (according to some article or marketing insider report or something), motorcycle companies learned that beginning riders would pay about US$4,000 (this is late 1990's money) for a new bike, ready to ride out the door. I don't remember where I read this, but when you looked at the price of a new Kawasaki Ninja 250, Buell Blast, and several other bikes in that class, there was a conspicuously tight market right there around 4K (they were all rubbish). What the CRF250L does well is hit a price point (it is even conspicuously cheaper than the CRF 230). This bike will sell, but not for the right reasons. It is geared way too tall to be fun. It's made in Thailand, and while I love their food I simply won't blindly accept the vaunted Honda history of bulletproof reliability from a bike built outside of their Japan factories (I have no proof whatsoever on this point, but personally won't take the gamble). Also, it's overweight for what it is. The TW is an unabashed plodder, so the little 200cc engine in a 280 pound bike is adequate (despite what a lot of people write about wanting a 300-400cc engine). It's enough motor for what it's meant to do: meander. The 250cc detuned Honda motor in a 300lbs+ wannabe dirt bike is totally inadequate for doing what that frame should be good for: flying. I just looked at one a few days ago, and personally I didn't love it. Sure, it has EFI. That means you're going to need a couple hundred dollar computer to get the engine to move into sport mode. Sure, it's got 6th gear. In a bike with that weight to HP ratio, I doubt that top gear will be exciting (you really think you're going to power away from lazy drivers in 6th on that bike? Good luck with that). Honestly, if the TW had a 6th gear, I don't think you'd see much by using it anyway, not with its lack of aerodynamics, engine size, and weight.



TW200: This is not a price point bike (despite the fact that it is in that ballpark). It's an oddball. It's fun because it occupies its own branch on the evolutionary tree of motorcycles. It's low and slow, but sturdy like a burro. It is adored by people on this forum not because it screams over jumps, but because it crawls. It's geared really low, which means you can get out of almost anything, given enough time. And since that low seat height allows one to paddle along while wading through mire, it inspires confidence.



There are a hundred other reasons I wouldn't buy a CRF250l, but it certainly isn't going to inspire passion. It's going to be a beginners' bike and stay a beginners' bike, and its newness and shininess will wear off sooner than later. Yes, you could change the gearing, tune the EFI, do this, do that, but it still wouldn't be mind blowing, nor would it be a burro. And I would much rather have a fat, happy burro than an anemic racehorse.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks for the thoughts everyone. Am looking at trying to get my TW fixed by rewiring the stator which has to be sent to the other end of Africa and importing a regulator-rectifier from the US for half the price. Andy had no used spares and Yamaha have quoted me =$565 for the job after testing the bike. I am not sure why some will run without a battery and others not. Maybe mine will with a good stator.



The reason that the new CRF looks attractive is that it has best of both my bikes rolled into one. My 1986/7 Honda XL250R has dual carbs, the same power and similar weight to the CRF. Like the CRF it fitted the bill for the "best of both worlds". I bought it a year ago with low mileage and some rust from standing for =$450 and did a rust and paint job and hard chromed the rusty forks with new seals. I enjoy riding it but unlike the TW spares can be a problem and unlike the TW she can be a bitch to start in the cold and requires lots of gear shifting while the TW just cruises along without blowing my non-existent hair back.



So now my faith in the TW's legendary reliability has been shaken I am thinking why not a new bike that rolls the two into one? Push start, fuel economy and reliability. Wife and kids will want the TW to stay and it will. When I told my dilemma to the workshop manager at Yamaha, he said that the new Honda CRF250l was unbeatable value but I should not get one. I asked why and he said that its too nice for the farm.



The question is rhetorical thought since unless a windfall comes along I will continue to battle with old bikes.
 
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