Advice please: CRF250 L or M

Discussion in 'Honda Big Bikes Thailand' started by CraigBKK, Jan 23, 2014.

  1. CraigBKK

    CraigBKK Ol'Timer

    Trips will mainly be to Laos, off the beaten track as far as possible (meaning into remote villages etc.), although I'm not an 'off road rider', just want to have a bike capable of handling the unpredictable/poor Lao roads (rode through every province on 2 x 2 month trips 6 years ago, so have some experience there). Also hoping to explore the far north of Thailand and along the Western Thai/Burmese border.

    Honda says, "Based on the CRF250L, the CRF250M sits 20mm lower thanks to revised front and rear suspension with heavier weight springs; and with 17inch wheels fitted with wider road tyres, plus a more powerful front brake"

    So currently leaning to the M, with the possibility of fitting it with tyres suitable for the terrain/roads I intend to ride (80/20 on road / off?)

    Any thoughts and advice on the best choice of bike for me, and/or tyres, welcome. Cheers!

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  3. Ian Bungy

    Ian Bungy Ol'Timer

    If You don't have any Height Issues Buy the L. It will do everything the M can do and More! Plus You get More Suspension and easier to Handle on the Rough Stuff.
  4. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    For the potholes and rough roads you'll experience in Laos you'll be so much more comfortable with the 21" front wheel of the L, plus many more offroad tire choices for 21" than 17" :happy2:
  5. CraigBKK

    CraigBKK Ol'Timer

    Thanks for your thoughts guys.

    I'm 181 with a proportional inside leg so I'm comfortable on either bike.

    I'll stop off at the Honda dealer on soi Phrakhong on the way home and ask for the price of the L. I did the same last week and was quoted 138,000 for the M. I'll post the price here for comparison.
  6. CraigBKK

    CraigBKK Ol'Timer

    Price of the L is ฿132,000 on the road.

    When I was in the showroom last week asking about the price of the M I told the sales assistant that I was most interested in the black model. She was suggesting this was more difficult to source and it could be a long wait. Today she told me they should have one by the end of this month so I'll wait and take a look at it if/when they get the model.
  7. Ian Bungy

    Ian Bungy Ol'Timer

    Another simple mod to improve performance is Pull the Snorkel out of the top of the Air Box that will give it a little Boost, Breaths better!
  8. manneke

    manneke New Member

    Hi all,
    I was at honda big wing last saturday in Bkk because they had a tasting day for the 3 cb500 model.
    I was talking about the delivery delay with the salesman and then ask him about CRF250L.
    He said if you have time wait the motorshow in end of March and you will see the new CRF300L !!! :)
    Only 10000 or 13000 bath more than the 250 !
    Delivery in end of June or July.
    Ever heard about this ?
  9. KZ25

    KZ25 Ol'Timer

    The M came out not even a year ago if I remember right. I'd be surprised if they'd already offer the CRF300 version in March, but who knows.

    Not a smart "sales" person to tell you to wait for a new model! :)

    Craig, if you plan a Laos trip definitely go with the L! I stay on tarmac 95% of the time, that's why I bought the M.
  10. KZ25

    KZ25 Ol'Timer

  11. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Hi there, have you made a purchase yet - curious, what did you end up going for?
  12. CraigBKK

    CraigBKK Ol'Timer

    No I haven't David. The dealer got a black M in, the one with the gold rimmed wheels as well as a black and white L. I had a good look at both of them side by side.

    I had no joy finding 80/20 or 70/30 tyres to fit the M. As I said previously I've driven pretty extensively in Laos before on some bad tracks, the uphill boulder sections to Tahoy and beyond, close to the Vietnamese border for example, and all on a Kolao 125cc Wave clone, so I know how bad things can get and how the L would come in handy. But I've managed before and had fun with a small road bike.

    My next planned trip is a short one from BKK to up to the Three Pagodas Pass in Sangklaburi, a place I use to visit regularly but haven't been to for years. It use to be tarmac all the way, so for that kind of trip would the L be such a good choice? I'm in two minds to just take my Honda SH 150cc scooter!

    I suppose I'm in the situation that many of us find ourselves in sometimes, torn, with no single solution jumping out. I'll keep the forum posted...
  13. KZ25

    KZ25 Ol'Timer

    Decisions, decisions...! :)
    If you do about 50/50 road/dirt I recommend the L, it's supposed to be good on the street and if you want to explore you can.

    Funny you mentioned the SH150i. I bought me the FI CBR150R to get from Songkhla to Phuket, that's 500km door to door, a one-day trip. But after one trip I decided to take my old Nouvo 135! The seat is better, the seating position is better, there's space under the seat plus I can hang my daypack on the mirror stalks so the bag is between my knees. The automatic lets me pull over quickly, take a pic, twist the throttle and go!
    Sold the little CBR; I had to tie a bigger bag onto the rear seat, the bungee cords scratched up the plastic side covers, and in the end I wasn't much faster than with the Nouvo. Now I have the CRF250M of course but had to have a rack welded up.

    If I'd have a SH150i I'd just stick with it and wait until the CRF300 becomes available and install a big bore kit. ;)
  14. CraigBKK

    CraigBKK Ol'Timer

    Yes, seems to be more and more chatter of a 300cc CRFL so I'll wait until the bike shows this year and see what they produce. That extra 50cc may just be the push I need to buy the bike :happy2:
  15. CraigBKK

    CraigBKK Ol'Timer

    After further deliberation I went ahead and ordered an L at the weekend. Will pick it up on 1st June.

    Although I'm not an off-road rider, this model is the most practical for the destinations I have in mind.
  16. Ian Bungy

    Ian Bungy Ol'Timer

  17. CraigBKK

    CraigBKK Ol'Timer

    Thanks Ian.
  18. nikster

    nikster Ol'Timer

    Totally late to this thread but you made the right choice.

    Rode an L in Laos last year and it was the perfect bike for there. Even the big highways have dirt patches at times, let alone the smaller roads. I was really impressed with the CRF-L's on-road handling. That bike is great on the road too, better than you'd expect. On bad roads, or patches of dirt, it's just awesome. It's made for that stuff. I suppose the M would be great for really hitting the corners but with the roads in Laos being what they are that ability is going to go unused. You never want to go all out around a corner in Laos. 300 would be neat but life's short, better ride a 250 now than a 300 sometime next year (plus you can still upgrade...).

    Top speed of the CRF-L was about 130. You never want to go faster than that anywhere in Laos. We hit 130 many times while still in Thailand but in Laos I think my top speed was 120, and that seemed to be pushing my luck.
  19. KZ25

    KZ25 Ol'Timer

    I test rode an L in Phuket and liked it, but since I stay on the road most of the time I felt that the big wheels and knobby tires had to go. I'm happy with the M.

    Any news on a CRF300l or M?

    I can understand that Honda brought out the better-looking CBR300 to get customers away from Kawasaki but I don't see a CRF300 being offered any time soon, if at all. The KLX is a 250 and the CRF its counter part, likely outselling the Kawa big time. Why mess with that?
  20. CraigBKK

    CraigBKK Ol'Timer

    From what I've seen, the new CRF's from Honda are all R's, including a 300.

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