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Any ride reports on 2015's yet? they are in local dealership.

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About to pull the trigger on a new bike, the 2015 CRF250R's are on the floor at  the local dealership for a few days now. 

 

Has anyone had a chance to really test out that new fork?  love to hear some feedback please!

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Ask and ye shall receive!

I just purchased the 2015 crf. I have a 2013 crf450 with the psf forks so I'm am experienced with the new stuff and what works and what doesn't. My background: 30+ vet expert rider in Northern California. The track that the initial break in was this last Sunday at the hangtown nationals track at prairie city. This track gets gnarly and rough so it was perfect to test this thing out!

The new SFF tac fork works extremely well right out of the box. I didn't even mess with the clickers on the damping side on day one. Set the sag, adjusted the rebound on the shocks, and made a couple air pressure adjustments.

The bike was broken on for about an hour of riding, oil changed and it was time to let her rip. Switched to the "aggressive map" and pulled the throttle.

What can I say but this thing rips for a stock 250f, I've ridden the ktm's kawis, yamahas and it's on par as far as power goes. Handling wise, this bike will go anywhere you point it and effortlessly. The SFF air tac forks soak up all the chop and square edges with ease and big hits are no problem. Hangtown has a bit of everything.

Almost didn't want to switch back to my 450 but well, I like the power!

So if you're thinking either 2015 or 2014, I would say to with the 15'. The forks are well worth the extra scratch with the infinite adjustability right out of the box.

Yes you do have to adjust two chambers to dial in the forks. But you have to look at it this way, upper chamber controls the spring rate for big hits, and balance chamber controls the rate for the chop. Pretty easy to dial in. And you can fine tune even further with the damping side of the fork. Which I will do over the coming months.

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Thanks for the response. I currently have my 2013 crf450 for sale for a 2015 crf250, thanks for the insite! If you want to sell the 15 let me know I have cash!

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I have a 2003 CR250R  Love it.... selling my 2011 CRF450R to buy the 2015 CRF250R.  Thanks for the ride report!  Can't wait to try mine out!

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Finally got to ride my 2015.  You were bang on with your write up.

 

Starts easy, better power, crazy light feel and very good suspension out of the box.

 

So far, I am happy with this bike stock, looking forward to doing some more testing!!

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Anyone ride long enough at a session to see how well the forks hold a pressure setting? I ride offroad only, sometimes up to several hours.

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Did a 3 hour ride today, all offroad.  Bike worked AWESOME!!!!

 

Checked pressure before and after ride with digital works connection pressure gauge (0-300 psi digital gauge, supposed to be accurate to 0.5 psi), zero gain in pressure with inner and balance chambers.  The usual air bleed screws picked up a little (typical of any spring fork).

 

I tested against a very dialed in 2013 CRF250R today (mine is stock, his is valved, sprung etc etc).  We tested back and forth all day, learned a lot!   92 degrees at 200 to 2,000 ft above sea level.  Typical comments: The 2015 is lighter feeling, stronger motor everywhere, louder, easier clutch, and throttle pull, crazy strong front brake, felt lighter, and more flickable.  The revalved/sprung 2013 (it is a very dialed in race bike) was a tiny bit better than the stock 2015 with stock settings.  We agreed that the 2015 was an impressive step forward

 

My comments: The 2015 is definately louder ( only complaint so far  ), it is much snappier, instant throttle response and feels stronger right across the board.  The bike feels crazy light.

I feel that the over size front rotor is overkill, almost too strong (blame the Mags and ktm for that trend IMO), it will take some getting used to. The air fork is very easy to set up, I have tested different pressures and clicker settings.  Tons of adjustment, this may be the first bike I have not valved in years.  It handles big jumps and slap down landings much better than a spring fork.  The air fork DID NOT PUMP UP over 3 hours of testing today,  I think the high pressures are doing their job compared with the first generation low pressure forks.  Everyone that has ridden it so far talks about the strong power, sharp handling, light feel and great stock suspension.  

 

It handles very accurately feels like a 125cc in weight.  VERY fun to ride.  I am amazed how good this bike is. 

 

Very easy clutch pull, throttle pull almost too easy, will take some adjustment.  Seems to be very good on fuel.

 

get the sag correct  100 mm is too much, really hurts handling 105mm is the sweet spot.  Set your air pressures, then play with clickers.  don't need to continually monk with air settings.

 

Looking forward to racing this thing in MX and hare scrambles, going to try that with just clicker changes!  Try minus 2 from stock rebound fork and shock for offroad, it is a big change.

 

 

The 3 position mapping is neat, definately feel the differences.  I want to play with the HRC tuner to create 2 custom maps of my own over time to add to the stock map, just for fun, the supplied 3 maps are quite different.

 

The bike is typical Honda, very well made, easy to work on.  Quality product!! 

Edited by stroker

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So Far, we have set the air fork exactly as recommended on the chart in the owners manual.  Be realistic about your ability and what you intend to do on that ride (woods? MX? SX? huge air?).  Set your air pressures, I do them at home on the center stand before I even get to the riding area and confirmed the pressures again right after the ride.  So far it is consistent.  I am getting to believe in them and not feeling the need to re-check them right at the start of the ride, during the ride and right after the ride anymore (only did so to confirm it is working, and it is).  The fork has been very stable in performance, I like the smoother and plusher action and superior anti-bottoming over a spring fork.  If these things hold up as well as a spring fork (maintenance wise) then I think spring forks will "go away"

 

During future woods rides, I now plan to only carry a 12 mm wrench for the hi speed shock adjustment  and small blade screw driver for compression/rebound fork and shock.  The clickers make a big change, easy and quick to do.  So I am not feeling the air fork is tough to deal with at all.  If you like to tune, it is awesome to be able to swap your "spring rate" in less than 10 seconds and not get your hands dirty!!!  You will be amazed how different the bike feels with each pressure change (it is like changing spring rates).  Suspension and handling are far more important in winning races than outright peak HP at 14,000 RPM that some of the mags love to go on about.

 

I will be making up a "zero pack" (rifle guys will get that term) for my new digital air pump.  I want a plastic case with cut outs for the pump and cut out spot for the battery and the little allen key that opens the battery spot.  Just to keep it all together and undamaged when I toss it in my tool box

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Thanks for the review guys, good to see Honda has listened to some of the critic's and done some refinements.

It'll be interesting to see if MXA can stay away from that nasty "S" word in their tests.

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I have ridden Pala in California with those guys, many locals think they are kind of a joke (MXA) so I could care less what any magazine writer says, he does not know where I ride or what I like.  I now see the mags as entertainment and advertising, I trust my own experiences and opinions more then theirs about what is best for me.

 

Scrounge a ride on the bikes you are considering and make up your own mind what is best for you, who cares what the mags say.  You may like something that they hate, you are the one riding it, so your opinion is the ONLY one that means anything!!

IMHO it is their fault everyone is going to oversize front rotors that will be more damage prone and are overly touchy, sensitive, they also force manufacturers to play the HP dyno wars game and we end up with bikes like my buddies KTM 250sxf, sure it makes great dyno numbers but all the power is 13k and up, not very easy to ride or useful in the real world.

 

James Stewart had an interview at the start of the outdoor season and said power does not mean much, you can only use as much power as you can get hooked up to the ground, anyone can win on a bike with less HP, but no one can win on a bike with bad suspension or handling.  So we focus our time and tuning on suspension and handling not on power.  He probably has just a little more experience than the mag guys!!

 

You will know which bike is for you when you ride it, local track may offer rentals, dealers may have certain models on demo, it is worth a few hundred to do some test rides (to me anyway).

Edited by stroker

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I agree with you. I laugh at how MXA rates the 14 CRF last and Dirtrider rates it second.

And that's why this 56 year old Vet expert still rides a dialed in 07. I don't for a minute believe a 15 would make me any quicker, my acking body and mortgage hold my speed down. Still that 15 sounds nice.

Edited by bucket list

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You are exactly right, You will probably ride at about the same speed on your 07 as you would on the 2015.  You are not a 25 year old professional racer making his living at this! 

 

I am happy to see you are still riding, enjoy your 2007!! It is a great bike.

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Pretty much spot on with everything here.. The air side seems to keep its pressure stable during a Moto and throughout the day. Just a couple clicker adjustments and the bike is pretty dialed right out of the box. Installed a yoshimura system last week so well see how it changes the power delivery, hoping for a little more broad power curve.

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Good to hear they got those air forks working better, I like the idea of all that adjustability, I guess a far cry from my early 70's Huskies, where I pulled the springs out and added Schrader valves to the fork caps.

 

Stroke says it's louder, hope it doesn't sound like a kawi, auch!

 

I may try finding a good used one next summer.

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Just back from one hour (actual run time, verified on hour meter) at the MX track. 90 degrees, sea level.  hardpack and dusty.  some very slick sections

 

I am expert level offroad racer, probably mid pack intermediate MX (not raced MX in a few years, a bit rusty). 6 ft 1 and 180 lbs.

 

This bike is soooo fun on a MX track, I may just start racing MX again.  It is very predictable, strong motor and awesome suspension and handling.  There is a 4th gear step up double you have to really nail WFO on a 250 to make it.  When you come up short, it just sucked it up (thought I was dead!!) no drama.  Air forks held their pressure perfectly again.  I had a few moments where I made mistakes and the bike just yawned and saved my ass.  It is very forgiving.

 

I tested all 3 maps again.  Map 1 works great for MX.  Map 2 is good offroad, would only use this one on the track if conditions are poor, like offroad(slightly surge right off idle, rest is perfect, will tweek the off idle mapping slightly with HRC tuner, easy fix), Map 3 rocks on the track, makes me more aggressive.

 

I ran the stock suspension settings today (stock air fork pressures), and no complaints.  Over jump, under jump, just sucks it up.  Hit it right and it is a magic carpet ride!  The air fork is much better on slap downs, no violent slam on the wrists etc.

 

This bike rocks!!!! 

 

I went from very good suspension in tight technical offroad trails to very good suspension MX track with big air, all with a pump and a screw driver.  Just a few minutes to make the change.  Very versatile, very cool !!!

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Good report and I always loved my Honda's minus the starting issues I always had.  So I have to ask does it start in gear if you stall or crash it or do you still have to find

neutral before even trying to start it. That was my only negative on the 13 250 and 450 I got to demo ride they wouldn't start in gear. No big deal as long as I know it up front.

 

Not riding red at the moment but every time I get on a Honda it's like putting on my favorite pair of jeans or old sneakers LOL

 

Have fun with the 15.

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