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2018 CRF250R test ride

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The new bikes arrived in canada last week, I did a very brief ride yesterday.  Snappy and light, very thin feeling bike.  Very strong power.  Bike was a little stiff feeling on the enduro cross section (but no stalls!!) the MX track the bike felt awesome!  Much nicer feel than my 2015 CRF250R.  The 3 maps make a more noticeable change this year.  I felt the stock maps were better sorted than in the past, not as abrupt off the bottom.  Had to recalibrate my shift points, it loves to scream and pulls hard on top.  

I think a lot of people will really like this bike, local pro was doing huge whips on his 2nd lap, he adapted instantly from his 250sxf.

 

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Many don't know that for several years Honda bar mounts have been adjustable. Just turning them around  has a real effect. Not sure if the newer models still do.

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The seat felt slightly higher, cockpit felt slightly larger overall.  Still the classic "just right" Honda ergonomics for me anyway.  

Like that e starter! kicking a bike feels so primitive now, LOL  gearing is higher, and it revs higher, so I think the top speed will be a but higher, it felt that way, but not confirmed by gps or anything like that.

Edited by stroker
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Thanks for ride report. I'm on 2015 too and felt it is built for smaller guy then my previous 2006 (i'm 183cm). Therefore bought lowered footpegs Fastway and love the position but not the peg. Nice to hear there is more room. 2018 will be definitely my next bike!

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I also have a 2015 and am trying to decide if I should try and sell it and by the 18... did you notice that much of a difference to justify the $4000 difference between selling the 15 and the new 18?

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There is a big difference between the 2 bikes.  My 2015 is still a very good bike.  BUT.... the 2018 is a major evolution forward  IMHO.  The new bike just feels so good, love the button, love the suspension, ergos and brakes, love the new mapping and additional power (map 3 is a real treat, give that a go before you consider adding a tooth or two on the rear sprocket.  I like the taller gearing too.  It Feels lighter, very thin, very easy to toss around.

We had 2 pro mx guys and a Vet expert off road racer(me)  testing.  All 3 felt it was a very viable race bike with few complaints.  (the drive chain is still a low end chain, rest of the bike feels very Quality and high end!!).

The battery is tiny and light, a very expensive unit, not your typical lithium ion, it makes up for the cheap chain LOL.  I did a lap of the enduro cross track in rain and mud, zero stalling.  The harder I pushed it, the better the bike liked it.  

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I also have a 2015 CRF250r and will upgrade to a 2018 when they become available. I'll still keep my 2006 CRF250r as a backup/loaner/muddy conditions bike...

Thanks stroker for the ride report...

Randy

 

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I too am debating the decision,we have a highly modded 14 that is far superior to our modded 16. The only improvement for us would be looks over our 14 race bike which is almost perfect engine and suspension wise.

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I love my 2015, just wish it had a bit taller gearing in fifth, without having first get too tall. I ride off road in the high desert.

YHGEORGE, I thought I’d turned my bar mounts when it was new, but I must been remembering when I did it to my 250X. You are right, I felt a significant difference, too.

I would like to try out a 2018 sometime.

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I have one sitting in my garage...waiting on my collar bone to heal so i can ride it. Im also an offroad rider, primarily National Enduro and local hare scrambles. Came from a 2017yz250f that i absolutely loved in the woods, but that honda contingency got my attention for the national enduro series as well as the rave reviews about the chassis and suspension. Does it feel like it would make a good offroad bike with minimal mods? I plan on oversize bars, the usual offroad goodies and maybe a gearing change if needed. I run 250A and expert depending on the area, run bone stock suspension on my yz250f.....

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Oooooohhhhhhhhhhhh yeahhhhhhhhhhh sealed the deal on my 2018 can’t wait to try it out in 3 months when riding starts happening up here in Alberta. When filling out the paperwork notice that my bike is one of the first 50 made! That is so awesome.

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On 01/01/2018 at 11:29 AM, chrisp50 said:

Oooooohhhhhhhhhhhh yeahhhhhhhhhhh sealed the deal on my 2018 can’t wait to try it out in 3 months when riding starts happening up here in Alberta. When filling out the paperwork notice that my bike is one of the first 50 made! That is so awesome.

I wouldn’t be happy myself about getting a bike from the first batch off the production line.

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I wouldn’t be happy myself about getting a bike from the first batch off the production line.



Why not?

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Posted (edited)

Known for their very high quality standards, I'd have absolutely no issue in buying either

the very first or, very last bike coming off the production line from any of the big four Japanese bike manufacturers.

Edited by mlatour
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Like 2004 to 2009 CRF250 were all built to high quality standard expect the valve train. You think Honda would of fixed the valve problems but they didn’t. 

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Posted (edited)

That was a design issue, not a production line quality control one.

(BTW, by 2007-08 the valve seat material was changed and the issue pretty much resolved)

 

Perhaps your concern is rather : not buying the first model year of a new engine design until any bugs are worked out.

Edited by mlatour

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I thinking of buying the 2018 and have cash sitting around to buy but will wait a while to see if they have major problems first. I really want a 250RX but could be waiting until 2025 or longer for Honda to get their ass into gear and by that time I will have stopped riding I think. 

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Posted (edited)

The new '18 twin cam / dual exhaust headers design engine no doubt favors more upper rpm power and overev and less low to midrange grunt.

Unless you are all out off-road racing, I doubt it makes for good recreational trail/off-road engine characteristics like the older CRF250X did.

 

Unless you are dead set on buying a Honda, there are already many other 'performance oriented' off-road bikes to choose from.

 

Edited by mlatour

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On 11/14/2017 at 0:23 PM, stroker said:

The new bikes arrived in canada last week, I did a very brief ride yesterday.  Snappy and light, very thin feeling bike.  Very strong power.  Bike was a little stiff feeling on the enduro cross section (but no stalls!!) the MX track the bike felt awesome!  Much nicer feel than my 2015 CRF250R.  The 3 maps make a more noticeable change this year.  I felt the stock maps were better sorted than in the past, not as abrupt off the bottom.  Had to recalibrate my shift points, it loves to scream and pulls hard on top.  

I think a lot of people will really like this bike, local pro was doing huge whips on his 2nd lap, he adapted instantly from his 250sxf.

 

The CRF has come a long way. Haven't ridden a Honda since 2014, but would be curious to take a lap just for curiosity's sake.

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