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CRF 250L vs XR 650L

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Hello everyone, I’ve been riding dirt bikes for years and now I’m looking for something street legal. I want something for 50/50 riding. My current bike is a Crf230f (great bike) and my current riding style is just going through the woods on trails etc. Nothing high speed, no jumps or anything extreme. On the road I will never be on a highway, mostly backroads with a few 55mph main roads. Mostly drive from trail to trail, but I’ll probably drive it to work once in a while (14mi each way backroads). I’m 23, 6’2” 185 so I know I’m technically too big for the 230 but I love how I can maneuver it through the woods, and I don’t think I’ll ever sell it.

 

Ive been really looking at the CRF250L in both base and rally trim and I think it’s a really nice package. I sat on one at my local Honda dealer and it’s a little taller than my 230f and I thought it was a pretty good height. I’ve basically decided I would get a 250L as soon as I get my motorcycle endorsement in a few weeks. Then I went to my friends house and saw his fathers 650L. To my suprise a new 250L and 650L are essentially the same price, so now that has me thinking. So factoring in they are the same price what are the pros and cons of each? I have read tons on both bikes and it seems like every thread started has a polarizing opinion in one direction or another. 

So to summarize, my questions are:

-Is the 650 too big to maneuver through trails in the woods?

-Is either one more reliable than the other?

-Which bike has better street manners?

-Which bike has better off road manners?

-At the same price which bike would you buy and why?

 

thank you in advamce

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I had a 250L (not the rally version). I sold it because it was too heavy for me. I'm 5'10 and 150 lbs.

Keep in mind, 230f is about 240 lbs. CRF250L is about 320 lbs. You will definitely feel the weight. I never rode that bike through the woods, but you could feel the weight. If you're a beginner, this is a hard bike to maneuver around obstacles/rocks. The stock tires were so and so off road.

How skilled are you with technicals? And what is the track/trail like through the woods? If it's hopping logs, it's going to be a chore even on the 250L. If it's a light off road single track through the woods with no jumps, the bike will probably be fine. XR650L, I personally would be terrified of taking that off road with it weight 350 lbs.

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I actually purchased a new CRF250L last Friday at a local Powersports dealer. I’ve put 67 miles on it so far, mostly street. I want to take it easy and let it break in before I demand a lot from in in the woods. The trails I do in the woods are primarily 1st and 2nd gear maneuvering on a dirt bike/atv path. The bike is physically bigger than my 230 but it seems manageable so far. The stock tires are pretty bad in the sand, my 230 still has the stock tires from 2003 and it’s much better in the loose stuff, but that’s to be expected. So far I am happy with the bike, just a shame it’s getting to cold to ride here in CT already.

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1 hour ago, Drw814 said:

I actually purchased a new CRF250L last Friday at a local Powersports dealer. I’ve put 67 miles on it so far, mostly street. I want to take it easy and let it break in before I demand a lot from in in the woods. The trails I do in the woods are primarily 1st and 2nd gear maneuvering on a dirt bike/atv path. The bike is physically bigger than my 230 but it seems manageable so far. The stock tires are pretty bad in the sand, my 230 still has the stock tires from 2003 and it’s much better in the loose stuff, but that’s to be expected. So far I am happy with the bike, just a shame it’s getting to cold to ride here in CT already.

Solid buy. The 250L is a favourite among reviewers for its rideability. 

Lots of good alternatives to the stock tires. I just ran it on low psi when going on trails.

Lots of first class mods and accessories for this bike out there.

I'm sure you're happy with the fit and finish of the bike which blew me away when I got mine almost new.

Enjoy what will surely be a reliable bike for years.

 

 

And may I add, please do not forget to check the valve clearance if your manual says to check it. I think on older years it was to be checked at 600 kms (or miles?) but supposedly newer model years' manuals say to check at a later mileage.

Edited by freeride250r

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Might want to check out the klx 250s also. Much better dirt bike, not quite as nice on the street.

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