Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

Ever Wonder if your CRF250L can do 400+ miles of Hwy/Interstate?

Recommended Posts

Warning long post:

 

Let me preface that I attempt this having ridden since 8 years of age and logged years of enduro, street, and cross country. 

 

Decided to take a jaunt up to Decatur for some trail riding on the old CRF250L anyone from Texas probably has a soft spot for Rocky Ridge.  Anyways to start I decided to try the to trip up via Interstate 35 from Hutto (Austin) Texas.  The weatherman lied a bit about the nice 60+ degree day with calm winds.  It ended up being off and on light rain, a 15 - 20 MPH headwind, and about 40 degrees the whole trip up.   Weather aside if you are considering buying a CRF250L with the intention of long distance Interstate rides my advice is have plenty of experience or route via back roads.  The great MPG of the CRF falls flat on its face pegged out in 5th to 6th gear trying to maintain 70mph in a headwind, you will be lucky to get 70 miles out of the stock tank.  I was glad I had at minimum the stage one mods but they do not even make up for the amount of drag you will experience, unless you decide to ride in sport bike stance for any speeds over 65.  Having the misfortune to get behind a semi at speed results in a feeling akin to being ran through a hall while people are beating you with pillows.  Note that in a tailwind situation the effect is somewhat mitigated.  After 210 / 214 miles of fun and thanking god for every fuel stop you do arrive weary.  Can the CRF250L do it yes, however it is an unpleasant experience.  Funny to note after about 120 miles the stock suspension gets really harsh and jarring I assume from heat build up.  After some recovery and thanking any assortment of gods for having gotten rid of the stock seat finally got down to playing in the dirt for a day.  The trails at Rocky Ridge range from flat fields to tight technical rocky slopes.  Good fun however, I do not think I will endeavor at taking the CRF250L out there with stock suspension for a 3rd time.   The trip back I decided to not be as foolish and luckily had a sunny day on my side, still 50 degrees and under..  The return trip was via all Texas back roads which usually have a posted limit of 70 - 75 mph.  The sites were amazing and having the tail wind raised the tank range to a bit over 100 miles.  The same rule seemed to apply to the suspension over about 120 miles where the harshness returned with a vengeance.  The hills, wide open 2 lane roads, and the sweeping turns (best parts of ride were 174 south of Burleson and FM56 between Lake Whitney and Temple.) is where the CRF had a semblance of fun.  Many of the turns listed for 45 to 55 mph were taken easily at 70 to 73 on stock tires without a great amount of discomfort.  The absence of adrenaline and buffeting from semis made the ride more enjoyable however not a lot more comfortable.  Fatigue sets in hard at the 150 mile mark and with about another 100 miles left on the return trip was not terribly pleasant.  I had switched back to stock gearing with the intention of taxing the engine pegged out in 6th as little as possible.  With the headwind you were stuck in 5th trying to keep the RPM up high enough to maintain 70mph and not wind up decoration for a lifted dualie. With the tailwind the same bike settled in at about 4K rpm around 75 miles an hour without much left in reserve to overtake people.  83 was the top read speed for the trip overtaking a Prius on Hwy 317.  The bike did not miss a beat reliability wise.  I would do this again during a warmer part of the year and maybe enjoy it more.  I would also steer clear of 35...

 

Pros:

Reliable bike

Chain, clutch, and all cables stayed in spec during the trip.

Brakes never overheated

No excessive vibration.

Corners well in the Twisties

 

 

Cons:

Even with a seat concepts seat it was a hard ride.

The suspension mysteriously becomes non existent after a period of time.

Highly susceptible to wind

MPG goes to pot in a head wind.

Even with stage 1 mods the bike is completely nutless in the face of a 15+ mph head wind.

Unnerving on interstate by Semis

Edited by michaelg131
  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What a nice honest review of a little 250 surviving and enduring where it does not belong ....🤣

I love taking long rides on the dirt back roads and even the less traveled highways .... One of my favorite pass times on this bike is bar hopping from one small town to another.

I have always said said ... can you adventure travel on this bike ? .... Yes you can and you proved that but I ain't doing it ... 😛

Nice job and thank you for posting !!!

I lost a very dear friend recently and I want to take a back roads America trip to visit his grave site.

I think it would be about 350 miles each way and I want to do it in a day !!!

Edited by gnath9
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can safely say I feel like hammered S*** after this excursion.  I wish I had similar DRZ, KLX, and WR set ups to compare.  I will say even if it was more exhausting having done this trip on a 95 wide glide I had a LOT more fun on the 250. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Gnath,

Sorry to hear about your friend.

Now that is one trip I would do!

I lost a dear friend and everytime I get on the lrp I wish we had the time when he was a live to go for a ride together!

 

A 350 miles on the lrp would not be fun without a few stops to stretch out those parts that have fallen asleep.

I can go all day on the lrp. But those kind of miles on the highway would not be high on my list of things to do.

 

Someday my big trip will be from my home to the dragon in N.C. then onto Key West riding the Tiger 800 all loaded up.

Visit with my family in Florida and have a ride. All of us on our bikes! That would be the best day ever!

I may not want to stop going and that would not be good!LOL

 

The older I get the more things seem to matter with the stuff that I have always wanted to do.

I got into riding a motorcycle at age 45. It was right after I bought a shed to put it in.

Always wanted one and knew if I got one while I was younger I would not be here today writing this.

 

Raising a glass of Knob Creek to your Jack!

 

Michael 400 miles of highway riding on the lrp. My hats off to you! 👍

Edited by oldguy68
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry, but disagree, and I ride 260 hiway each and every weekend for last 2+ years on less quality roads than most and a shitload of other obstacles to boot, headwinds, vicious crosswinds, and crazy thai drivers. My seat is great but then I paid $30 for it.

 

To each his own!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

you rode a LRP on 35 between Austin and fort worth? through the construction? you way braver than me!

got plenty a bruise back in the day up at rocky ridge.

 

are you a member over on twtex?

 

 

stock gearing has the engine spinning at 7600rpm at 75mph in 6th

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry, but disagree, and I ride 260 hiway each and every weekend for last 2+ years on less quality roads than most and a shitload of other obstacles to boot, headwinds, vicious crosswinds, and crazy thai drivers. My seat is great but then I paid $30 for it.

 

To each his own!

Seems like I read that you have a 305 BB on your machine.  If thats the case, how is it so far with all the miles you have put on? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry, but disagree, and I ride 260 hiway each and every weekend for last 2+ years on less quality roads than most and a shitload of other obstacles to boot, headwinds, vicious crosswinds, and crazy thai drivers. My seat is great but then I paid $30 for it.

 

To each his own!

I have see a lot of the addons for the CRF on thai sites you guys get a lot cooler products for a lot less.  (yeah I dig the white and grey plastic sets)  The bike feels a ton better on speeds under 70 its having to hunker down to maintain speed and reduce wind resistance that I assume is a factor in the fatigue.  I have also seen the Top Gear UK episode with Thailand and yeah it looks like a melee over there, it didn't seem like there were many lanes at all.  Also I am kind of curious if the 305 kit reduces reliability any, that extra 55 cc I think would have made a fair difference. 

Edited by michaelg131
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

you rode a LRP on 35 between Austin and fort worth? through the construction? you way braver than me!

got plenty a bruise back in the day up at rocky ridge.

 

are you a member over on twtex?

 

 

stock gearing has the engine spinning at 7600rpm at 75mph in 6th

 

The engine did not feel like it was anywhere near 7k rpm then again without a Tach it's just an educated guess on my part.  I am not a member on twtex but I will look into it.  I have to agree 35 in the wind at 70+ is some cringeworthy moments.  I prayed for the 60 mph construction areas so I could stretch a bit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Gnath,

Sorry to hear about your friend.

Now that is one trip I would do!

I lost a dear friend and everytime I get on the lrp I wish we had the time when he was a live to go for a ride together!

 

A 350 miles on the lrp would not be fun without a few stops to stretch out those parts that have fallen asleep.

I can go all day on the lrp. But those kind of miles on the highway would not be high on my list of things to do.

 

Someday my big trip will be from my home to the dragon in N.C. then onto Key West riding the Tiger 800 all loaded up.

Visit with my family in Florida and have a ride. All of us on our bikes! That would be the best day ever!

I may not want to stop going and that would not be good!LOL

 

The older I get the more things seem to matter with the stuff that I have always wanted to do.

I got into riding a motorcycle at age 45. It was right after I bought a shed to put it in.

Always wanted one and knew if I got one while I was younger I would not be here today writing this.

 

Raising a glass of Knob Creek to your Jack!

 

Yes it was a big loss losing my Buddy Steve, we had many things in common and I can honestly say I loved the man and even tho I saw him less than most of my other friends he truly was my best !!! 

The kicker to my story is that ..... we both are single fathers with boys (his wife died in a car crash)  and we all have dirt bikes etc .... we always promised to meet up on the trails but we just never seemed to get our times worked for us. It was always something ...   :banghead:   Last year I made plans at a place near him and had a cabin rented etc .... he passed away just days before the trip.....   

 

So I plan to take a nice summer day and ride all county back roads (dirt and gravel) and stay off the pavement as much as possible stopping from town to town along the way. I expect it to be a 12 to 16 hour round trip journey. It is only a 2 1/2 hour trip and maybe 170 miles by interstate. I just feel as tho it would to me good to reflect and remember my buddy while riding to see him on the kind of roads we would have rode together on....   👍

 

thanks for the kind words ....  :cheers:

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  Also I am kind of curious if the 305 kit reduces reliability any, that extra 55 cc I think would have made a fair difference. 

 

My guess is the 305 will need to be rebuilt every 8 to 10 thousand miles ... and I doubt very much it is hard on the other components of the bike. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

      there are some good mods to be made  for all sorts of reasons on the crf  

when it comes to motorway or long stints   by far the best for me is the screen ...i keep the crf  to around a true 60mph    which is 69 mph  on the sppedo with a 13 fitted    and only  go above that if i need to  pick a lorryoff  

         2nd and important is  the seat  ..i use a airhawk to solve  my comfort   problems   ...add in the heaed grips and heated socks    and now   things are starting to  feel more   easy to sustain   over time    

       sure the suspension   helps  but its not a deal breaker on the slab but nice     especially if loaded up     

 

id say a  good effective screen anda sheepskin   would help a lot   on longer trips   ...i  .find the  crf  pretty comfortable   but wit hout the screen on a motorway  even at a modest 60mph  its  windy  buffety     all the rain hits you in the face  and neck and  chills you  horribly  ..lorry spray doesnt bother you  unduly  with the screen fitted   and its just all round a nicer place to be      ..every now and again  i poke me head to one side of the screen and its like being hit by avery cold  a hurricane        ugggh

 

        ive done a few 500 mile weekend on mine this winter  but without the screen   ..i honestly wouldnt have gone   on the crf  without it    ..the difference  is  huge over time and make s long stints  in bad weather    so much easier     for me      ..id deffinatly try  to fit one  before your next trip   

 

 

 

 

 

   DSC_0182_zpsdkfdvxug.jpg

Edited by milkyhead
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh 60 - 65 on this bike is a dream, here in Texas our back road highways are posted at 75mph, we have some areas as high as 80, and the 130 toll off where I live (the redneck autobahn) is 85 mph posted.  The heated grips and feet would have really been a nice addition I did the tried and true 3 layers of pants, 2 thermals, hoodie,m and leather jacket / scarf combo.  I might give a screen a shot since all my fatigue today is settled in my biceps and shoulders.  I think the deal breaker was being hunched over for all those miles in crotch rocket stance.  Also looks like you are rocking the racetech I wish I could demo a unit with it.  Nice looking ride by the way.

Edited by michaelg131
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh 60 - 65 on this bike is a dream, here in Texas our back road highways are posted at 75mph, we have some areas as high as 80, and the 130 toll off where I live (the redneck autobahn) is 85 mph posted.  The heated grips and feet would have really been a nice addition I did the tried and true 3 layers of pants, 2 thermals, hoodie,m and leather jacket / scarf combo.  I might give a screen a shot since all my fatigue today is settled in my biceps and shoulders.  I think the deal breaker was being hunched over for all those miles in crotch rocket stance.  Also looks like you are rocking the racetech I wish I could demo a unit with it.  Nice looking ride by the way.

 

There is not a single post here by anyone that has the Race Tech suspension saying it was a waste of money or did not make much of an improvement. In fact it is quite the opposite ...  👍  We all absolutely love it and agree it completely transforms this bike into a different machine ...  :ride:

 

I am known in these parts as the Official Race Tech poster child ...  😛  In the early days of this forum I was even accused or working for them as I preached and pushed the product so hard .... 🤣  I just believe in it so much and even call it a must have mod for anyone with this bike ... even the street only guys ...  :prof:

 

Plenty to read around here ....  😏

 

https://thumpertalk.com/topic/1005822-crf250l-suspensionhandling-upgrade-thread/page-1?hl=+race%20+tech

 

you can send Chris an email for a quote if you like at chrisr@racetech.com and let him know you are a TT member.

 

maxresdefault.jpg

 

146-1204-z%2Brace-tech%2Blogo.jpg?itok=K

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

   i guess the   bad thing is screens look a little   old hat  or uncool   or whatever    .....i ride open face all the time    any weather any temperature    so thats  part of the reason i always nail on a full conservatory  to the front of all my bikes     :smashpc:

 

 if you get that   sorted    ill guaratee  your next ride   wont be so stressful   ..you upper body  face and arms will  be  vastly more comfortable   and a load warmer   too   ..id say in all honestly   for long road rides     the sc reen  is the number one  mod   in terms of comfort      

 

   keep well    

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Racetech never replied to my email asking them about shipping off my rear shock for a rebuild.  I decided against the YSS and have started saving my pennies for the whole shebang front and rear.

 

Did you email Chris ?   personally I would not go with a rebuild of the stock shock ... it is pretty much junk when you compare the two .... 

He comes around here from time to time

 

ShockDuo.jpg

Edited by gnath9
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Th

 

Did you email Chris ?   personally I would not go with a rebuild of the stock shock ... it is pretty much junk when you compare the two .... 

He comes around here from time to time

 

ShockDuo.jpg

 

As soon as ordered mine I was contacted by them.  RT needed to know my weight, skill, and intended terrain. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Reply with:

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...