THIS MONTH I HAVE MOSTLY BEEN… addicted to dirt
Itell you what, when I first picked up the shiny new CRF250RX from Honda, I wasn’t too sure about a lot of things… and I’m not just talking about how to properly ride the bloody thing off-road.
One of the main things I was worried about was the potential of getting bored, losing interest, or just not doing it service by riding it enough. Yet after four months in its presence, and a lockdown where I’ve annoyingly been a bit on the cautious side of how often I’ve been out, I can safely say I have no such problem. Oh no, going off-roading is insanely addictive. Not only is it great fun, but it gets the adrenaline flowing while getting in serious exercise. If you want to get fit then joining a gym really isn’t cheap these days, yet if you want a serious workout without being surrounded by a load of sweaty people huffing and puffing, then it’s a really good way to justify the cost to your other half, or even to yourself.
To be honest, one of the reasons I’ve been enjoying it so much is down to finding so many routes nearby; big thanks to Stephen Hammond (@ Fishter1 on Instagram) who let me nab a look on his TrailWise2 account.
But what is that, I hear you ask? Well, if you’re serious about green laning, the best thing to do is join the Green Laning Association. Membership starts from £44 annually and gives you loads of bits and bobs, including access to an utterly glorious website showing every legal byway anywhere on these islands. You can then click on the byway, and it gives you reviews from people who’ve been down it, all fairly recently and regularly, which is ace. Sure, a big chunk of the people drive 4x4s but it doesn’t matter because it’s for pretty serious off-roaders, and they put pictures on it as well so you know exactly what to look for and what to expect.
This means that over the last month or so, I really have been making the most of getting out and about exploring just about everywhere I can reach, and it’s been so much fun. The CRF250RX helps as it really is incredible, and with every ride I get more and more confident on it. This is by far the most time I’ve ever spent on an off-road bike, even though I’ve owned two MX bikes in my life that equal up to about five years of ownership!
Saying that though, there’s definitely a few things I’ve learned with all the extra usage. The first one is how important it is to keep the thing clean – and also, how bloody difficult that is. Having just moved house, I don’t have a
Insurance group: £7849 -
to keep it ship-shape where the chain is concerned!
I picked up some proper off-road stuff from Motul and it really does work an absolute treat – I’ve now got to the point where I lube it before every ride, and after I clean it. Any less, and you’ll start seeing it get seriously dry, and potentially even rusty, not to mention the horrible, clunking noise when riding.
The chain goes through a lot of abuse on one of these bikes, so I really am going the extra mile to make sure it’s looked after.
One final thing is to give it that little extra love than, say, a normal road bike. These things spend their life bouncing of the limiter, so they need extra care.
This is why I’m just gearing up to do a nice little service on the CRF; I’m thinking an oil and filter change, and giving it a full clean/lube/love the whole way through, from behind the plastics to the air filter.
I’ve seen a lot of these things go unloved and although they’re built to be as solid as a rock, a little TLC goes a long way.
I’ll level with you completely; I’ve never been the biggest fan of getting my hands dirty (unless they get mucky by riding), but I’m really looking forward to getting under the CRF’s skin, and seeing just how easy it is to work on one of these things. Wish me luck…