Honda CRF250 OFF ROAD RIDE REPORT 17TH MAY

Discussion in 'Northern Thailand - Road Trip Reports' started by bigalthaibiketoursuk, May 17, 2012.

  1. 17[sup]th[/sup] May 2012-

    Honda CRF250L

    Off road test-ride courtesy of CP bike rental Chiang Mai

    Ok, well what a wait it has been and I think we were all questioning if it was ever going to happen- it’s arrived the Honda CRF250L (I believe Thailand manufactured) and hoping to knock the KLX250 off the top and bottom of the 250cc dirtbike or to be correct dualsport market here in Thailand.(sorry Allan and Neil and the other 2 Lifan owners they’re not a 250cc!!! phew)

    For the record:
    After owning in the UK, Husky TE610, GAS GAS FSE 450, Husky EC200 and EC300, KDX200,TY250, TY175, TS185 etc etc

    I have been the proud owner of my KLX250 for 2yrs and 8 months, throughout this time have been really happy with my not too fast, not too light, go anywhere anytime, cheap to maintain. All legal dirtbike, after a few mods of course, exhaust, 48t rear sprocket, dirt tyres, hand guards, de restict, bigger footpegs, larger seat, rear carrier.

    I am a non competitive, safety 1[sup]st [/sup]average adventure dirt rider, I like to ride maybe 2-3 times per week (80-160kms per ride, I don’t bounce that well anymore, @ 110 kgs (yes that’s 2 fat thai girls) and 5ft 10ins (175cm) tall, am built for comfort rather than speed, so the scene is set!!!!!

    I had a quick chat with my very good friend of 3 yrs Lan at CP bike rentals who then agreed to donate his brand new CRF250L to me so that I could give him some feedback!! All I had to do was pay 800 baht, give him a copy of my Thai driving licence, let him take care of my passport whilst I was away, temporarily loan him 10,000baht (deposit) and leave my bike at his shop with the keys and documents!! It’s just great that true friendships and business relationships can be built so quickly here in Thailand!!!!!! So with my nuts firmly in his palm he then covered the fuking thing in gaffa/duck tape, no ducks were harmed in the production of this tape! What did he think I was going to do? It is a dirtbike after all, it reminded me of my old aunty who kept the plastic bags on the seats of her posh dining chairs for 5 years, sweaty **** syndrome was created there I’m sure!!!

    So off I went on the 16km journey home. I was excited, I got the horn 3 times last night and 7 times today, that bloody horn button!!!!!

    My plan was to be up early (7am) leave at 8am on a loop route to Mae na chon (25kms north of Mae Chaem) and back, I posted my plans on fb and although there was considerable interest (in taking the piss) I started my ride alone at 8.15am, the journey would be hopefully 80% dirt.

    The bike in my opinion:
    Very smooth power delivery, with no delay in power delivery or flat spots, it felt smaller than my klx and lighter too, the handlebars were closer to me and no I haven’t put more weight on!, my knees were higher too, standard footpegs felt good. Tyres felt great on the hard surfaced roads, almost felt like a road bike!!

    Gear lever needed adjusting for my size 10 Alpine star tech 8’s, but within 30 minutes I had forgotten and adjusted my method!!! Front and Back brake felt good with no frights, although I was apprehensive as the front brake had almost no free movement, I actually thought it would be an issue in the dirt, it wasn’t.

    The gear changing did feel abit clunky but as an ex owner of a GS1200 this was a non issue. (it did become one though!!!)

    In the dirt the bike felt lighter again, positive steering, very forgiving in the ruts and rut changing style of my riding!!! Never once did the bike feel unstable, even with my arms and legs flaying it was only me that was not planted!!! Tyres were superb in the dry and ok in the wet! The seat also felt more comfortable than the standard klx seat.

    In summary my opinion after 1 test ride.
    Thoroughly enjoyed the bike
    As a standard set up they have many things right
    I didn’t feel comfortable riding stood up (distance between pegs and bars is about 4 inches less than the klx) too low for me I could feel my back start to ache.
    Great motor, smooth and felt capable
    Superb tyres and brakes
    Good seat
    Clunky gears
    I’m going out tomorrow on my klx to see how it feels!!!
    Would I buy the Honda? Definitely yes
    Don’t think it would suit anyone taller than me
    It will be very popular with thai’s I think
    It didn’t feel as macho as my klx
    It was nimble and felt safe
    Would I recommend the bike, yes definitely

    247kms
    420 baht fuel
    8 hrs total
    I stopped for 1hr total-25 mins hot coffee mae na chon+30 mins in a friendly Mhong familys home whilst waiting for the storm to lessen. Plus fuel stops

    [​IMG]

    My route very roughly was (and no I don’t use a gps, the rain here fuks them)
    Nam Prae (home) in the dirt
    To
    Near to Op khan nat park in the dirt
    Across to mae wang –road and some dirt
    Onto Mae win on road
    After Mae win, on the right hand bend with the temple in front, turn left, 500m turn right down the hill over the bridge and then up and through the Mhong Village and into the dirt, after a few kms over the tree trunk bridge, up the single track over a few more small bridges and continue in the dirt until the main road (1284) turn left along pot hole alley until the Royal project on the right is reached, straight on (right) up the dirt track!! This eventually turns into a brand new concrete road for a few kms then back into the dirt again, all the way to Mae Chaem to mae na chon rd, (approx 4kms south of mae na chon)

    [​IMG]

    Coffee stop at my favourite place, HOT COFFEE/coffee shop, bamboo bungalows/ orphanage/beer and food too!!
    Arrived 11.05am

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I was riding back from Mae na chon a different way when I saw a track that looked interesting!!!! Everything told me not to do it, I was alone, on a new bike, on a new track to me!!! The clouds were building and it was getting blacker by the second, so what did I do? Yep I took the unknown new track back to Hoy Kao Lip area.

    The track got narrower and ruttier and steeper and slippyer!!!!! And then the thunder and lightening started, fuk! My sphyncter was twitching more than a tourettes sufferers head, and I should fukin know!!!!!

    So then it pissed down!!! Torrential tropical storm!!

    [​IMG]

    The bike was awesome, so forgiving, due to being low and light enough to stop myself hitting the floor on 3 occasions!!

    I eventually arrived at a mhong village like a drowned rat, I saw a few faces at an opening (sure I heard them say something like farang bah bah boh boh) but anyway I parked under their roof overhang for shelter waiting for them to invite me in for tea and scones, so I was sat there for ages so I thought I’ll invite myself in! took my helmet off and walked to the front door(corrugated sheet) looking sorry for myself, the family were home!!mama, pappa, son and 2 daughters and 3 grandkids, dirt floor, 1 room that was also the rice store too!! Cozy eh but all with fukin great smiles, it really was great to see, they offered me in, the girls were sewing, the son was doing nothing, mama was teaching the sewing and pappa was helping the son!!!! The kids were playing in the dirt, happy as fukin larry!!!!!

    [​IMG]

    So I gave them my cans of coca cola and my tonic water, they were really impressed with my generosity!!!!!!!
    I then got out my plastic bag with my camera, phone and cash and ATM cards!! They were now looking very happy and excited!! All this for a photo what lovely people!!!
    The storm stopped ish so we said our sawaiddie kaps (no krap from me) and I left for home.
    After about 15kms I joined the Samoeng to hoy kao lip rd, took a right back to mae win and mae wang and then Chiang Mai.

    During this section of the ride a metallic noise started when I shut off the throttle, like a loose gear or something, it was worse when I changed gear too!!

    So I limped back via sanpatong

    The noise is being investigated, but I do have all my belongings and cash and documents back off Lan, he’s so understanding and fair!!! Especially as the bike is under warranty!!!!!
    Arrived Chiang Mai 5pm ish
    Another great adventure!!!
     
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  3. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Wow, brilliant report and love your writing style! :lol-sign:

    Sounds like a great ride and that the CRF250L is welcome competition to the KLX250.

    Have to wonder about the mechanical problem you encountered- any idea what it was?

    Ride on!

    Tony
     
  4. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Ha. Ha. Brilliant report Alan & good on you for taking out a new bike for a test ride & report.
    You certainly know how to enjoy yourself out there no matter what the weather is.

    Thanks for the contribution.
     
  5. schackster

    schackster Ol'Timer

    Haha, luv the new Honda decals compliments of Lan. They are even colour coded to the bike
     
  6. Thanks Tony, my first ever attempt at writing on a forum, just wanted to share the moment and keep it real, no b/s eh!!

    I'm no mechanic but will find out today i hope, sure it was gearbox and sure it will be minor!

    I forgot to say in my report, i loved the fuel guage (ER6 style), there were no issues with overheating although in the afternoon there was no chance of that due to the rain!!

    and also anyone taller than me would soon sort the height issue with bar risers and also maybe a seat re model!!

    cheers and take care out there
    Alan

    "life is no rehearsal"
     
  7. johngooding

    johngooding Ol'Timer

    Thanks for a great read and no doubt good info for the many who are pondering KLX v new Honda. I was lucky enough to have a road ride up to the elephant camp from the XCentre on Ian's gorgeous looking red and white one, felt very smooth and easy to ride, just went around those corners with no effort. I am 6 ft tall and it was a good fit for me, but was not standing up, and off road is not my thing. Looks like Honda on a winner here.
    Much appreciate the time taken to write the report and hope for more from Alan.
     
  8. Ian Bungy

    Ian Bungy Ol'Timer

    Top Stuff Alan,
    You are the First to actually get a New CRF out in the Dirt! I actually thought the Gearbox is really Smooth on them? What about Fuel Range? I thought about the same as a KLX from My experience so far? Good on You anyway so see You on the Road!
     
  9. thanks Ian, yeh i think the gearbox on this one is suspect!! i reckon the fuel range is slightly better than the klx, do you fancy a ride out in the dirt tomorrow (sat)!! nothing too serious! let me know
     
  10. Rhodie

    Rhodie Ol'Timer

    Welcome to the board Alan.
    A most useful report.
    I had the TW read it last night as she still thinks the D-Tracker is for her.
    As her choice is on the looking cool factor it is just as well she didn't see the pix
    of CP's customised gaffertape graffix.
    Are you sure he didn't add the cost to your rental.
    I see he removed the mirrors - what made him take all the extra precautions?
     
  11. Ian Bungy

    Ian Bungy Ol'Timer

    I am busy tomorrow as Weekends obviously the Kids have No School but please call in if You are in the Area, be great to See You.
     
  12. Hi Rhodie
    thanks, i wrote a reply then the forum closed in on me!!!
    so here we go again!
    ref the gaffa tape and mirrors, Lan didnt want the guy that took it out before me to scratch the plastics!!!
    hang on, are you insinuating i have a bad reputation 555555 i'll be getting all paranoid next!!!!!
    Rental? who mentioned rental? bollox, i've been conned!! the slimy little sucka!!! 5555
    take care
    alan
     
  13. ok will do!
    btw
    i called in on wed afternoon, no one home!!!
     
  14. finnomick

    finnomick Ol'Timer

    Just posted a Kawasaki versus Honda question then read your report. It answers a lot of my questions. I haven't had an off-road bike for some ** years now, in fact the last one I owned was a Suzuki ( TS 175 or 185 -- I can't remember back that far ). I just about managed to get my leg over the Honda yesterday. I'm 5'9" short or maybe the bikes have got greater ground clearance these days. I believe the technical blurb puts the Honda 3cm lower than the Kawasaki. The misses also likes to ride whatever we have in the garage ( except the Honda GB400TT which she'll not go near -- good ) and she was wondering what to do when she had to stop the bike if there was no step ladder to hand. I saw her point. With two weeks of very heavy rain, the dirt roads around our area are just thick mud -- hence the thoughts of buying a ' dirt ' bike. To be honest, I'm far more at home on a Harley and that's what I've been riding for the last 16 years -- until I re-located here that is. I hope more people will comment on the Honda's performance especially relating it to that of the Kawasaki.....then I'll be jumping in with both feet
     
  15. mmmmm, if your more at home on a Harley!! i'm not sure of any "harley like" off roaders in chiang mai, although my klx vibrates slightly less than a harley!!!!! 55555

    watch this space as i am sure there will be more reports, alternatively rent one for the day and come for a ride with us!!!
     
  16. Ian Bungy

    Ian Bungy Ol'Timer

    I saw Your Other Post on taking the CRF out for 4 Days of Off Road so will be waiting for that Report! Should be good! I agree with Your comment that Both the CRF and KLX can take You everywhere You want to go in Thailand so Long as You are Capable of Riding them! Have Fun.
     
  17. finnomick

    finnomick Ol'Timer

    Isn't the world of motorcycles, money and location weird and wonderful ? On thursday of last week, I was quoted the price of 135,000 baht for a new CRF250 which included registration but not insurance. Back in the UK the price is just over 285,000 baht. A new Fatboy in the UK is just under 13,000 pounds ( 650,000 baht ) but here in Thailand it's 1,300,000 baht. Truly amazing, but it makes the CRF look very tempting... The shop said they couldn't be lowered. Anybody know anything different about that ?
     
  18. sam14300

    sam14300 Member

    Sir, I believe the CRF250 in the UK is the X model. It is a much better bike. Check it out on the internet and you will see. The Quote I got for the CRF250X in thailand was around 320,000 baht.
     
  19. Changnoi1

    Changnoi1 Ol'Timer

    Although I do not have a CRF250L I had some close look on the rear-suspension setup and even without buying anything extra I think you can lower the bike by just adding 2 extra holes in the mounting from the suspension to the link (that would lower the suspension about 2cm). Then of course you could just change the all suspension for a shorter one (I think the best idea of lowering). And then of course you could change the link of the mounting of the suspension. Be aware that this all will change the geometry of the bike and you will have to lower the front also. Changing the suspension will of course change the all bike. Other option would be to put smaller rims on the bike.

    The dealer here in KK said it was easy to lower the bike and that they could even do it.

    Chang Noi
     
  20. njhardy

    njhardy New Member

    hi all, just visiting from Vietnam, but hope to be moving to thai soon with work. i currently ride a crm 250 mk 3 and on our blog we have been interested in how the crf works out and if it would be a worthy replacement to the wonderful, but qwerty crm? I just saw one for sale here in Chang rai and was so surprised at how similar it was to my 1995 crm- exactly the same front end and proportions. Obviously my bike has a lot of extra power at 40 hp and less weight at 120 kg with the 2 stroke braaappp! a bit of a handful, but such a lovely balanced bike. I do a lot of serious off road trailing in nam and looking forward to the same when I come to thailand. I just hope that the legendary Honda build quality is there and the ability to put some muscle into the old crf lump, so it could be worthy off and on road, without having to go the wr direction...

    QUOTE=bigalthaibiketoursuk;279157]17[sup]th[/sup] May 2012-
    Honda CRF250L

    Off road test-ride courtesy of CP bike rental Chiang Mai

    Ok, well what a wait it has been and I think we were all questioning if it was ever going to happen- it’s arrived the Honda CRF250L (I believe Thailand manufactured) and hoping to knock the KLX250 off the top and bottom of the 250cc dirtbike or to be correct dualsport market here in Thailand.(sorry Allan and Neil and the other 2 Lifan owners they’re not a 250cc!!! phew)

    For the record:
    After owning in the UK, Husky TE610, GAS GAS FSE 450, Husky EC200 and EC300, KDX200,TY250, TY175, TS185 etc etc

    I have been the proud owner of my KLX250 for 2yrs and 8 months, throughout this time have been really happy with my not too fast, not too light, go anywhere anytime, cheap to maintain. All legal dirtbike, after a few mods of course, exhaust, 48t rear sprocket, dirt tyres, hand guards, de restict, bigger footpegs, larger seat, rear carrier.

    I am a non competitive, safety 1[sup]st [/sup]average adventure dirt rider, I like to ride maybe 2-3 times per week (80-160kms per ride, I don’t bounce that well anymore, @ 110 kgs (yes that’s 2 fat thai girls) and 5ft 10ins (175cm) tall, am built for comfort rather than speed, so the scene is set!!!!!

    I had a quick chat with my very good friend of 3 yrs Lan at CP bike rentals who then agreed to donate his brand new CRF250L to me so that I could give him some feedback!! All I had to do was pay 800 baht, give him a copy of my Thai driving licence, let him take care of my passport whilst I was away, temporarily loan him 10,000baht (deposit) and leave my bike at his shop with the keys and documents!! It’s just great that true friendships and business relationships can be built so quickly here in Thailand!!!!!! So with my nuts firmly in his palm he then covered the fuking thing in gaffa/duck tape, no ducks were harmed in the production of this tape! What did he think I was going to do? It is a dirtbike after all, it reminded me of my old aunty who kept the plastic bags on the seats of her posh dining chairs for 5 years, sweaty **** syndrome was created there I’m sure!!!

    So off I went on the 16km journey home. I was excited, I got the horn 3 times last night and 7 times today, that bloody horn button!!!!!

    My plan was to be up early (7am) leave at 8am on a loop route to Mae na chon (25kms north of Mae Chaem) and back, I posted my plans on fb and although there was considerable interest (in taking the piss) I started my ride alone at 8.15am, the journey would be hopefully 80% dirt.

    The bike in my opinion:
    Very smooth power delivery, with no delay in power delivery or flat spots, it felt smaller than my klx and lighter too, the handlebars were closer to me and no I haven’t put more weight on!, my knees were higher too, standard footpegs felt good. Tyres felt great on the hard surfaced roads, almost felt like a road bike!!

    Gear lever needed adjusting for my size 10 Alpine star tech 8’s, but within 30 minutes I had forgotten and adjusted my method!!! Front and Back brake felt good with no frights, although I was apprehensive as the front brake had almost no free movement, I actually thought it would be an issue in the dirt, it wasn’t.

    The gear changing did feel abit clunky but as an ex owner of a GS1200 this was a non issue. (it did become one though!!!)

    In the dirt the bike felt lighter again, positive steering, very forgiving in the ruts and rut changing style of my riding!!! Never once did the bike feel unstable, even with my arms and legs flaying it was only me that was not planted!!! Tyres were superb in the dry and ok in the wet! The seat also felt more comfortable than the standard klx seat.

    In summary my opinion after 1 test ride.
    Thoroughly enjoyed the bike
    As a standard set up they have many things right
    I didn’t feel comfortable riding stood up (distance between pegs and bars is about 4 inches less than the klx) too low for me I could feel my back start to ache.
    Great motor, smooth and felt capable
    Superb tyres and brakes
    Good seat
    Clunky gears
    I’m going out tomorrow on my klx to see how it feels!!!
    Would I buy the Honda? Definitely yes
    Don’t think it would suit anyone taller than me
    It will be very popular with thai’s I think
    It didn’t feel as macho as my klx
    It was nimble and felt safe
    Would I recommend the bike, yes definitely

    247kms
    420 baht fuel
    8 hrs total
    I stopped for 1hr total-25 mins hot coffee mae na chon+30 mins in a friendly Mhong familys home whilst waiting for the storm to lessen. Plus fuel stops

    [​IMG]

    My route very roughly was (and no I don’t use a gps, the rain here fuks them)
    Nam Prae (home) in the dirt
    To
    Near to Op khan nat park in the dirt
    Across to mae wang –road and some dirt
    Onto Mae win on road
    After Mae win, on the right hand bend with the temple in front, turn left, 500m turn right down the hill over the bridge and then up and through the Mhong Village and into the dirt, after a few kms over the tree trunk bridge, up the single track over a few more small bridges and continue in the dirt until the main road (1284) turn left along pot hole alley until the Royal project on the right is reached, straight on (right) up the dirt track!! This eventually turns into a brand new concrete road for a few kms then back into the dirt again, all the way to Mae Chaem to mae na chon rd, (approx 4kms south of mae na chon)

    [​IMG]

    Coffee stop at my favourite place, HOT COFFEE/coffee shop, bamboo bungalows/ orphanage/beer and food too!!
    Arrived 11.05am

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I was riding back from Mae na chon a different way when I saw a track that looked interesting!!!! Everything told me not to do it, I was alone, on a new bike, on a new track to me!!! The clouds were building and it was getting blacker by the second, so what did I do? Yep I took the unknown new track back to Hoy Kao Lip area.

    The track got narrower and ruttier and steeper and slippyer!!!!! And then the thunder and lightening started, fuk! My sphyncter was twitching more than a tourettes sufferers head, and I should fukin know!!!!!

    So then it pissed down!!! Torrential tropical storm!!

    [​IMG]

    The bike was awesome, so forgiving, due to being low and light enough to stop myself hitting the floor on 3 occasions!!

    I eventually arrived at a mhong village like a drowned rat, I saw a few faces at an opening (sure I heard them say something like farang bah bah boh boh) but anyway I parked under their roof overhang for shelter waiting for them to invite me in for tea and scones, so I was sat there for ages so I thought I’ll invite myself in! took my helmet off and walked to the front door(corrugated sheet) looking sorry for myself, the family were home!!mama, pappa, son and 2 daughters and 3 grandkids, dirt floor, 1 room that was also the rice store too!! Cozy eh but all with fukin great smiles, it really was great to see, they offered me in, the girls were sewing, the son was doing nothing, mama was teaching the sewing and pappa was helping the son!!!! The kids were playing in the dirt, happy as fukin larry!!!!!

    [​IMG]

    So I gave them my cans of coca cola and my tonic water, they were really impressed with my generosity!!!!!!!
    I then got out my plastic bag with my camera, phone and cash and ATM cards!! They were now looking very happy and excited!! All this for a photo what lovely people!!!
    The storm stopped ish so we said our sawaiddie kaps (no krap from me) and I left for home.
    After about 15kms I joined the Samoeng to hoy kao lip rd, took a right back to mae win and mae wang and then Chiang Mai.

    During this section of the ride a metallic noise started when I shut off the throttle, like a loose gear or something, it was worse when I changed gear too!!

    So I limped back via sanpatong

    The noise is being investigated, but I do have all my belongings and cash and documents back off Lan, he’s so understanding and fair!!! Especially as the bike is under warranty!!!!!
    Arrived Chiang Mai 5pm ish
    Another great adventure!!![/QUOTE]
     

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