Some feedback please

Griff

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This is unrelated to the NC but is Honda focussed.

I recently parted with my KTM690 Enduro, a bike I used for trail riding since new in 2010. Truth be known, it was never as good as the DRZ400S that I parted with in the trade, and I have regretted parting with DRZ ever since. I have been without a Trail bike since selling the KTM, but the longing for the trails is coming back. I am now the wrong side of 65 so I do not need a powerful bike that I will struggle to hold on to, nor do I need a skyscraper. Ideally I would like something around 350/400 cc with some road comfort thrown in. There is nothing currently on the market in this bracket with those attributes other than second hand, but getting a good DRZ is no longer easy to do.

Yes, it could be levelled that I already have a trail bike (AT), but turning one of them around on a dead end single track is not a pleasant proposition, so something light and not too tall are a requirement at this point .

One little bike keeps cropping up. That is the CRF250L. I am aware that some members on here have them, and I am accordingly asking them for some feedback. From checking out reviews they perform well offroad from a suspension point of view. How is the standard gearing offroad ? What is a realistic cruising speed on main roads without seriously abusing the engine, as I will have to ride to trail heads that could be up to 200kms away ? etc etc

I will be away in Scotland for a few days starting tomorrow, so if anyone puts something up in response I will see it on my return and acknowledge then. Many thanks
 

Beemerphile

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Do you not have access to the Yamaha WR250R where you are? A bit of a stepladder as you say, but otherwise seems to fit the bill.
 

greenboy

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yep, not much available that doesn't for many people require raising the forks in the triple clamps and a lowering link at the very least, and the space between 250cc and 650cc is vacant of newer affordable light dualsports. and the industry tends to treat the dualsport class poorly, with enduro seats and gas tanks that are too small. very little true development for the majority of us. partly driven by the american market which has been trained to salivate at impractically large machines.
 

Griff

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Do you not have access to the Yamaha WR250R where you are? A bit of a stepladder as you say, but otherwise seems to fit the bill.
I would certainly consider it but the local importers do not have it on their list of current models. It fared very well in one or two tests that I saw. Hmmmm I will check out if they are on sale in the UK. Thanks for the suggestion.
 

Griff

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yep, not much available that doesn't for many people require raising the forks in the triple clamps and a lowering link at the very least, and the space between 250cc and 650cc is vacant of newer affordable light dualsports. and the industry tends to treat the dualsport class poorly, with enduro seats and gas tanks that are too small. very little true development for the majority of us. partly driven by the american market which has been trained to salivate at impractically large machines.
Medium capacity trail bikes are also lacking over here. As such folks are running old Drz's and old XR's. I genuinely thought that KTM had a possible market leader with their 350 Freeride when it was first mooted, but was disappointed when I threw a leg over one. It is still too close to a competition motorcycle in its ergonomics. I wish the larger manufacturers would bring back a nice 400 or 350 trail bike. Now that the bigger offroad events have a maximum capacity of 450cc the market has to be there.
 

2brnut2b

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Old and used but reliable little do it all bike...street legal 88' Honda NX250...
I'm having loads of fun with this one:
20160705_131950.jpg
 

greenboy

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Here, some helpful citizens are bringing a pole-vault and a stepladder to help an adventure tourer remount his BFM F2666G that toppled in the mud just outside of the village. A group of their friends have hopefully managed to pull it up out of the muck so they can replenish the fuel tank which was exhausted leaving the vicinity. Certainly a fine choice for green-laneing and off-road pursuits too!


 
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Griff

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Old and used but reliable little do it all bike...street legal 88' Honda NX250...
I'm having loads of fun with this one:
View attachment 31043
That is indeed a nice bike. I already have the 650 version as can be seen here but it is far too clean and unblemished to take into bogs and the like. It is in original condition and someone took a lot of trouble to keep it that way. I may well part with it shortly though as it is only being used for the occasional classic event .

P1030321.jpg
 

Griff

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Do you not have access to the Yamaha WR250R where you are? A bit of a stepladder as you say, but otherwise seems to fit the bill.
Further research reveals it is not available in the UK either. I have written to the importers to see if they will get one in but now I am seeing it is seriously more expensive than the Honda. That price difference is swaying the occasional round the world traveller as I am seeing on a related forum.
 

2brnut2b

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That is indeed a nice bike. I already have the 650 version as can be seen here but it is far too clean and unblemished to take into bogs and the like. It is in original condition and someone took a lot of trouble to keep it that way. I may well part with it shortly though as it is only being used for the occasional classic event .
Mine is in overall good original condition (obviously less than your) and I fully understand your point but this bike is born to ride :)
 

greenboy

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if my wr250 has ever been fully washed it is news to me. it does get hosed down of mud and foliage sometimes though -- to make more room for the next trip.
 

greenboy

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here, we see on craigslist some pretty decent dualsport-oriented older Hondas, Yamahas, Suzukis of the 350-500 cc variety, though some are a bit tall for many, and some lack electric start which really is worth the extra weight.
 
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bamamate

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I have the CRF250L. In some ways it is comparable to the NC. The price point is low. The suspension is good but not great. A bit harsh and sprung for someone in the 150lb range. With stock gearing she will top out around 80-90mph. She will happily do 60-70mph all day. For general street and green lane riding the stock gearing and suspension is fine. I tend to ride more technical stuff so I dropped the front sprocket a tooth. Gives her a little more pep and I can stay in second more. The maintenance intervals are far apart like the NC. Compared to other 250s the CRF has lower end torque but is also down on horsepower. The engine is a CBR250 modified for the lower end torque instead of revy horsepower. The stock tank is good for ~140miles. Aftermarket tanks add another gallon. The electrics are good enough to run heated gear. She has a slipper clutch which doesn't make it easy to lift the front wheel but a clutch replacement solves that. There are plenty of aftermarket mods you can do to raise the power if you desire including big bore kits.
I've done ergonomic and protection mods. Next is probably the suspension and then the clutch. I wouldn't mind an aftermarket exhaust to lose some weight but most of them are reported to make it a bit loud.

If your riding is more on the spirited end and don't mind the taller seat the WR is better out of the box but it is a chunk of change more. Have you looked at Beta? I think is their 390 and 480 that are designed to be more of a light dual sport bike. Here is a review of the Beta lineup: Traction eRag Off-Road & DualSport Magazine
 
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Alfred_bham

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Like Bamamate also have a CRF250L, , & like you I have an AT!! My 250 is a 2013 model & ive modified it to fit me & my riding style!! I have geared it slightly lower, , & added a Skid Plate, Bar Risers & Handlebars with a different bend, small (But bright) LED taillight, a small rear rack, a custom built rear shock, a Seat Concepts lower seat & an Acerbis 3 Gallon fuel tank!! The bike cruises comfortably at 60mph with the Gearing I have!! The Rear shock was built shorter (about 3/4 inch) in place of a Lowering link!! I have a 28 inch inseam so the shock & the seat made the difference I needed for woods riding!! My tire of choice is the Dunlop 606 which handles well on Tarmac & (to me) is fabulous on gravel & single track!!

The bike is Rock Solid Reliable!! I've got 7200 miles on it & most of that is off-Tarmac, , including some very technical single track!! The negatives even after my modifications is the weight & horsepower!! In stock form, full of fuel it's about 325 lbs & only has about 18/19 horsepower!! That said, , , I've never had a problem keeping up with any equivalent motorcycle!!

I'm pretty much out of the technical Single track stuff now because of recent back surgery!! I will keep this bike though because it is a LOT of fun to ride without having to constantly work on it!!!

The photo below was on a five day dual sport ride in South Dakota!! 800 miles of everything thrown at us!!

image.jpg
 
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Griff

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Many thanks for those last two posts. That is exactly the sort of feedback I am seeking on this bike. I have also considered at the WR but it is unavailable either here in Ireland or in the UK. Mainland Europe do have them but the prices are very high by comparison with the CRF. The more I read about this little bike the more I am liking what I see. I am signing off now for a few days. Thanks again to all those who have taken the time to post so far and I will be on here again on my return from Scotland.
 

Griff

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As promised I am back on this thread albeit over four months later. Many considerations have been mulled over in the interim. I have considered another (hacked) Dominator for offroad use. I have had a good look at a TTR600. That is a seriously nice motorbike but hard to come by in decent condition. DRZ's are like hens teeth too over here. XRL's are not imported nor are KLR's. I almost got depressed. Furthermore my Friends tried to talk me out of the idea of a 250 Trail bike. "You won't have enough power" they said.

I have long harbored the thought that on a small island like Ireland a 100hp motorcycle with soft suspension like my AT just makes life too easy. I remember a time when a trip to the West of Ireland on my CB250K4 was a real adventure. Nowadays the furthest extreme of my small country is only about three and a half hours away max on a big cushy bike with superb handling and suspension. My NC was good, but its suspension was killing my back on rough roads, and for that reason I eventually parted with it. Well, I am now well on my way towards solving some of these issues.

Today I did a deal on a 2016 CRF250L with only 255Kms on the odometer. The dealer is well known to me so he trusted me with a short test ride knowing that I would not abuse its tender mileage. It simply sold itself. Yes I know the WRR is better but I can make the necessary improvements. How good these little bikes are is evidenced on this site........

http://amsterdamtoanywhere.nl/en/about-us/

The world is now my oyster. The rest is up to me.......
 

drdubb

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What about the WR 250? Cost a little more, but good caoabiluty.
 

Hank

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Suzuki does still make the drz 400 S and SM.
 
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