Honda CRF250L: Dual-sport dandy gives the best of both worlds

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AT THE op­po­site end of the mo­tor­cy­cle spec­trum from the scream­ing su­per­bikes is a col­lec­tion of far more mod­est bikes de­signed to fill the role of the sim­ple, cost-ef­fec­tive trans­port yet with a bit of style.

Honda’s CRF250L is a prime ex­am­ple of the breed. It has been re­mod­elled for both on

and off-road du­ties rather than just the dirt track and now con­cen­trates on get­ting its rider from A to B with­out leav­ing a gap­ing hole in his or her fi­nances or stir­ring up un­due drama en route.

The 2015 fuel-in­jected CRF250L fea­tures ev­ery­thing you want in a first-time bike. It is light weight, has a power­band that’s im­mensely user­friendly plus ex­cel­lent fuel econ­omy and un­matched re­li­a­bil­ity. Pric­ing of the Honda CRF250L is in­ter­est­ing as it goes head to head with the im­pres­sive KTM 390 Duke priced at £4,499. The Honda re­tails at £4,299 only £200 less than the KTM!

So would you choose the Honda over the KTM? What the Honda has go­ing for it how­ever is the brand’s renowned qual­ity and bul­let proof re­li­a­bil­ity.

The 250cc en­gine has been set-up to bring ex­cep­tional fuel econ­omy rather than ex­treme per­for­mance. Th­ese days MPG is a big­ger sell­ing point than MPH for buy­ers of this type of bike.

You can ex­pect up­wards of 70 mpg from this fru­gal unit. The top speed is around 78mph so the bike is up to the cut and thrust of city traf­fic where the 23bhp power out­put and 16lb/ft of torque pro­vide punchy per­for­mance.

Stop­ping du­ties are taken care of by a large 256mm front disc and a 220mm rear disc.

Where Honda’s CRF250L re­ally scores is in its big-bike looks and ex­cel­lent ride qual­ity.

The seat­ing po­si­tion has been low­ered to 855mm yet even tall rid­ers find that the bike has a com­fort­able rid­ing po­si­tion. There’s even enough seat room to move back­wards to ac­com­mo­date long arms. Com­fort is a ma­jor sell­ing point for this bike yet it still gives the im­pres­sion that you are sat astride some­thing a lit­tle more se­ri­ous than at street 250. The fo­cus of this bike is quite rightly on ur­ban rid­ing rather than off-road yet with­out sac­ri­fic­ing style and it is re­as­sur­ingly priced both to buy and to run.

That means that sac­ri­fices have to be made on per­for­mance and equip­ment but they are small ones and with its cool looks, the CRF250L doesn’t re­mind you of them too of­ten.

It’s prov­ing to be an­other highly ef­fec­tive and com­pe­tent bike from Honda and one is sell­ing in huge num­bers.

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