First ever fuel-injected 250 MX-er ridden!
Honda has scrapped its biggest-selling motocross bike of the past decade and replaced it with an all-new fuel-injected machine – and MCN has ridden it.
Our world exclusive first ride of the new CRF250 (which has dominated 250 sales and race results for years) reveals that Honda has got it right first time – apart from the styling, maybe, which is definitely an acquired taste.
The new bike features a totally new frame, engine, suspension and bodywork and fuel injection. And Honda has finally ditched its trademark twin pipes after years of claiming it was the way to go.
The frame is made from smaller-size tubes and the geometry is totally changed, moving the front wheel 15mm further back towards the crank with shorter offset triple clamps. The bike turns superbly and is stable at speed. The suspension helps, too, as it’s multi-adjustable and comes with real-world spring rates. It’s competitive right out of the box.
The CRF has a smaller subframe with more room for the airbox, new rear shock and all-new brakes, too. The radiators are bigger, there’s an adjustable front brake lever and a quick-adjust clutch perch. Like the 450, an LED warning light tells you if the EFI system is running perfectly.
And with the EFI, praise the lord – it does run perfectly. Loads of 250 four-stroke dirt bikes suffer from a huge flat spot when you land jumps and get hard on the gas. But the injected bike doesn’t do this. There’s no hesitation or bog just pure, smooth power. And if the weather gets hot or cold, or if you fit an aftermarket pipe, then there’s no fussing with re-jetting the carb. The injection sorts it right out.
But 250s are all about power and the Honda has an abundance of mid range stomp. The bottom end is a bit mellow – ideal for beginners. The mid range is sharp but not scary. And you need to change up before you hit the red line.
Overall, it’s a good, competitive engine that fuels beautifully and is loads of fun to ride. Pretty much like the whole bike, really. But what will be crucial is the price and, like all the other Japanese brands, Honda has not yet announced its prices. But with a horrid Japanese exchange rate, prepare yourself for a shock. It’s not going to be cheap. Don’t expect much change from £6000.