Big or small ADV bikes? Honda CRF250 Rally and Keeway/CSC 250cc RX-3 Cyclone

Discussion in 'General Discussion / News / Information' started by jimboy, May 5, 2015.

  1. jimboy

    jimboy Ol'Timer

    Does the idea of a 1000cc adventure bike leave you cold? It does me. The good news is that as the worldwide market for motorcycles begins to grow again, manufacturers are beginning to roll out new small capacity models amongst which are some 250-300cc ADV bikes.

    Honda CRF250 Rally

    Doesn't this look fun? Alledgedly based on the CRF450 Rally bike raced in the Dakar Rally, the CRF250 Rally concept bike was unveiled at the Osaka Motorcycle Show in March. There was no spec sheet but from the photo you can see the fully-enclosed bodywork, tall windscreen with headlight protector, wraparound hand guards, the sump/exhaust protector, the rally-style instrument panel with integrated handlebar mounted controls, dual Mugen exhaust, fat-tube handlebars, and some billet aluminum which might or might not make it into the production version. Either way, this looks like a very tasty ADV bike.

    It's under-powered, you might say. True, but Honda does have a slightly larger engine in the CBR300 which would probably fit. Given that the Honda Rally bike could be build up for less than 150kg wet, that would make quite a good bike for trips to Lao, for example. No word on price yet.


    CSC RX-3 Cyclone (photo courtesy

    On what is sure to be the other end of the price spectrum is a new model 250cc ADV bike that has just been launched in the States. There it is called the CSC RX-3 Cyclone and it has had some pretty good reviews in the magazines. What is different is the "wrench it yourself" approach the importer is using (which means lots of illustrated guides to the bikes online), and the price. $3,495 Stateside.

    The beauty of the RX-3 is its simplicity. No fuel injection means easy to overhaul carbs. No sophisticated electronics means less to go wrong after a dunk in a river. A straight-forward single overhead cam, 4-valve engine with easy to maintain parts (guide to clutch and valve adjustment).

    Cycle World recently concluded a long-term test of the 2014 BMW R1200GS (c.245kg dry) and the 2014 KTM 1190 Adventure R (217kg dry). The running costs over 12,000 miles were $1,858.98 for the BMW and $1,641.95 for the KTM. That is the all-in cost of maintaining and repairing the bikes in the USA, including USA labour. Both bikes were ridden hard but I would wager no harder or longer than some of the bikes on the GT-Rider forum.

    So the question is which would you prefer? Light on both body and pocket, or heavy and costly? What's great is that now there is a choice.
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  3. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Bring on the new Africa Twin is all I can say.
  4. jimboy

    jimboy Ol'Timer

    I thought you were going to say that!

  5. Moto-Rex

    Moto-Rex Ol'Timer

    That Honda sure does look trick. It would be good if they brought out a 450 version. But not with a 450 engine that you get in a modern day MX or Enduro bike these days, but an engine that goes on for forever with out all the maintenance and running costs of a high performance machine. Something like a DR400 engine,..only updated. I reckon they would sell like hot cakes.

  6. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    The ongoing story!

    eventually it is going to happen & it looks like this year.
    However if it is going to be a high performance, high maintenance machine, that would probably rule me out. When you ride as much as I do running costs are very important - how much can you afford to ride / run the bike day in day out 365 days a year. Its got to be value for money, if not cheap.
  7. Ian Bungy

    Ian Bungy Ol'Timer

    Rex is onto it! The Honda looks Beautiful but 250cc is too Small. Anything around the 500 to 650cc range would be Perfect! The KTM 690 Enduro R is Fantastic bit just too Expensive and not an Adventure Bike. All the Current offerings avalible are just Too Big. Nothing is on Target yet but We can only Hope!
  8. Oddvar

    Oddvar Ol'Timer

    This should be a truly tested bike by now, 20 years on..

    Don't know if it's available in Thailand though. If available here with plates and green book I'll seriously consider to get one.
  9. CraigBKK

    CraigBKK Ol'Timer

    This model isn't sold by Honda in Thailand. Shame, I imagine it would sell well.
  10. Tubber

    Tubber Ol'Timer

    Been waiting for the XT660Z to make an appearance here but nothing yet, nor likely by all accounts.

    Reckon that would be ideal here. That 23L fuel tank must have a good range on a 660cc single. The seat height is a bit high at 35" though. Like Dave says wait and see what the new Africa Twin is like.
    Haven't seen a DR800 here yet but that would also be a hoot.
  11. canthai

    canthai Active Member

    My Ideal dual-sport - 500 - 650cc, 150kg, easy owner maintenance, minimal electronics, twin shock rear suspension to keep overall bike length down. forged wheels.

    But if I want one, I will need to build it.
  12. KZ25

    KZ25 Ol'Timer

    250cc is small, 20 horses aren't much, but I learned to live with my CRF250M. I use it to commute to work, around 35km/day and to putter around on weekends, exploring the beautiful countryside. On holidays I do 500km trips to Phuket or Prachuap Kiri Khan. A recent 430km trip to Penang was fun, easily done in one day.
    I found that going below 100km/h the bike runs happyly all day and doesn't use much fuel; I average 3,2L commuting.
    On trips I go a bit faster, between 110 and 120km/h, and the bike takes around 4L/100km/h. I blame it on the poor aerodynamics.
    The CRF is already a bit on the heavy side for a 250 enduro/supermoto. A 300cc version would be nice at the same weight but I wouldn't sell my 250 to buy a new 300. Maybe in a couple of years - if a 300 will ever be built.
    Instead of demanding more power, more cc and probably more weight and a higher price I rather stay with my 250 which does everything fine, even though it could be better. 90km/h is quite a good speed on country roads, it's faster than most other vehicles and still lets you enjoy the surroundings. In town I actually prefer my little Nouvo since is smaller and easier to get through traffic. I could add a CB500X to my stable for longer trips but the little use would not justify the expense.
    And yes, a 1000cc adventure bike leaves me cold, too. I like reading about it and would like to see some on the road but I wouldn't want one here in Thailand.

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