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2012 Honda CRF250R Review

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2012 CRF 250 Review first ride

I purchased my 2012 crf250 from Chaparral motorsports for $7100.00 otd. I've had it for about 2 weeks now. I'm a top 10 "B" class rider on most tracks. I fluctuate between 155-160lbs. and am 5'8". I have connections with several peeps in the industry, so most of the bikes I purchase are fully built race bikes that are usually a year or two old. My last bike that I'll compare this one to, was an 08 crf250 that was used by a race team for 2 seasons of Supercross. It had a full MDK motor, and Enzo suspension.

Motor

Immediately out of the crate I could feel that the throttle control was way better, than my previous bike, i.e. fuel injection. Surprisingly, the power felt very similar to the 08 MDK motor. I guess that's why they say that a factory bike now will be similar to a production bike 4-5 years later. Back to motor. The power tracks easily. It seems smooth yet not sluggish. I think a pipe will help open it up a little more. This thing should be the perfect rocket with a little porting. The top end has some head room where you can leave it open without feeling like your gonna have to rebuild the motor after your moto. On the bottom end I like how I can leave it in 3rd or 4th and it doesn't get major bog. It will lug through unlike the older model bikes that were more gear specific, especially on smaller bore bikes. Overall I like the motor especially since it will still pull in lower gears, but I do yearn for just a little more bite, and bump in the midrange transferring into the top range.

Transmission

I noticed that neutral is way easier to find on production bikes than on my previous race bike. It seems that with the factory bikes, neutral is a mysterious place that is hard to find for the average person. It does help with the miss-shifts though. I would like this to be the case on production bikes. I would rather have a hard time finding neutral in the pits, than have an easy time finding it on the track. With that being said, I have found that a false neutral shows up between 2nd and 3rd, and sometimes between 3rd and 4th gears on my 2012. It's kinda scary, especially when shifting right before a jump face. I'm wearing new boots, and hoping that maybe it's a result of that. It has been somewhat significant though, and is a cause for concern. I'm curious to find out if this will be a common issue.

Suspension

The suspension reacted very different from my other bikes. Keep in mind, I still haven't even set the sag yet. With stock settings it feels like it rides a little low in the stroke and was still a little harsh on big landings . Here's my adjustments at this point: Forks +3 clicks on comp and +2 clicks on the rebound. Shock +2 on comp and +1 on the rebound. The shock feels very good for stock. It tracks well and doesn't deflect off of small bumps. I'm very pleased with the shock overall. It's one of the best stock shocks I have ridden. The forks on the other hand feel good on the small bumps, holes, etc. They are a little harsh on big landings, (deliberately overshooting smaller tables, down hill break aways, slap down landings etc.) The bottoming resistance could be better. When I adjust it to where I like the bottoming resistance, it starts to compromise the plushness on the smaller stuff. The front also started to push significantly in the turns. So you have to choose the lesser of 2 evils. Smooth handling or Smooth landing. I choose smooth handling with a few hard hits.

Overall

I've had multiple new bikes, all the brands except KTM, full pro bikes, and most bikes in between. Overall I'm very pleased with 2012 CRF 250. It feels very light. It corners great. I'm finding myself doing controlled high speed drifts with out flinching. As a bike, it is boosting my confidence and allowing me to push my comfort zone more, resulting in faster lap times. I immediately felt comfortable on it, and felt like I could take care of business at the races without dumping $2000-3000 in it (now maybe $700-1200). I would strongly recommend it. It feels very light and nimble. As with most bikes I personally feel everyone should get their suspension set up professionally unless they are suspension techs themselves. With this the forks need a little work but it is one of the best suspensions I've experienced bone stock. The motor is very good but still feels just a little choked. I'm guessing it's the new decibel lowering silencer.

I'm not brand loyal but just want the best all around package. If Cannondale comes back and produces the best all around motocross bike, I'll buy it. Until then, Honda has the most reliable bike. Kawasaki's have had numerous transmission problems within the past couple of years, and terrible bearings for 15 years and counting. They do perform great if you don't mind replacing parts often. Suzuki's are good but rough shifting and their reliability seems to be similar to Kawi, and the Yamaha's are typically good quality, but usually lack something in one of the performance departments, so that's what usually keeps them from being a good all around package. This is why I picked the Honda. You also can't beat the resale of a Honda. I'm very stoked with the overall package and feel. I'm not second guessing my decision, even though I could've picked any of the 250f's available.

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Thanks for the info, but your comparing an '08 mod bike to a 2012. That's 4 big years. I'll post a ride report sunday comparing my 2010 to my 2012. I got my 2012 for $6900 otd at Joplin Powersports in Joplin, MO.

Edited by j368

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What race teams reside in Hawaii?

Just asking...

Is there organized racing there?

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If your sag is not set how can you evaluate the suspension much less start changing clickers.

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There is a strong scent of bullshit coming from this thread. The whole review is slanted towards the Honda, and then the brand bashing at the end?? That really gives you credibility. You have 2 posts...... No one cares about your heavily biased review.

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How do you honestly evaluate the handling with setting sag? Isn't the geometry set to work in the zone?

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j368 i will be curious to hear your 10'vs.12' comparo. My 10' has a map and a yosh rs-4 and ROCKS.

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j368 i will be curious to hear your 10'vs.12' comparo. My 10' has a map and a yosh rs-4 and ROCKS.

Well it should be a pretty accurate comparison. My '10 is bone stock except for stiffer springs, bars and wider footpegs. I just ride the wheels off it and work on cornering and twisting the throttle till it stops. The '10 is the first bike in a long time that I didn't mod out. The '12 is getting the whole package real soon. Took the '12 apart this week and greased everything so it's ready to rip saturday and sunday.

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I get most of my bikes shipped from the mainland. I grew up there and have a friend who is on a factory team and a couple friends who were from the late 90's through the early 2000's. I know that 08 to 2012 is a stretch of a comparison, so I'm also looking forward to seeing more reviews comparing 10's and 11's with the 12. I know it is unfair to rate suspension without setting the sag up for my weight, but it came only 6mm off from where I need it to be stock.

I'm not trying to be partial but being given the opportunity to have owned and ridden many of the "big four" brands the last couple years and based on feedback from friends who own the other brands can give a pretty accurate picture. Of course everyone has their preferences and experiences which can jade their opinion. For me it was a difficult discussion between the Honda and Kawi. Either way take this review as well as other reviews and for what their worth, just someones opinion!

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There is a strong scent of bullshit coming from this thread. The whole review is slanted towards the Honda, and then the brand bashing at the end?? That really gives you credibility. You have 2 posts...... No one cares about your heavily biased review.

I have to agree. 5 years is a big difference in terms on models. Though the 08 was good, many consider the newer frameand engine a step backwards. If the guy was a really good rider, shouldn't he be getting a new bike every year? If your last bike was a 08 Honda, what other models have you owned before that? Bikes have come along ways since then? I don't think you could compare a 2012 cr250f to an 08. Also, it's almost a little to well written for your average rider. Not saying it can't be done, it's just not that common!

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I get most of my bikes shipped from the mainland. I grew up there and have a friend who is on a factory team and a couple friends who were from the late 90's through the early 2000's. I know that 08 to 2012 is a stretch of a comparison, so I'm also looking forward to seeing more reviews comparing 10's and 11's with the 12. I know it is unfair to rate suspension without setting the sag up for my weight, but it came only 6mm off from where I need it to be stock.

I'm not trying to be partial but being given the opportunity to have owned and ridden many of the "big four" brands the last couple years and based on feedback from friends who own the other brands can give a pretty accurate picture. Of course everyone has their preferences and experiences which can jade their opinion. For me it was a difficult discussion between the Honda and Kawi. Either way take this review as well as other reviews and for what their worth, just someones opinion!

What was you bike last year? I've ridden tons of bikes also but 15min runs have never been able to give me real world feed back. I like every different bike I ride. Some have been worse then others but it's always fun to try a new bike. If you owned a 08 Honda, had a few bikes between and now back ona Honda, what motivated the change?

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WOW cut kracer some slack here...i thought it was a well written review, and the stuff he wrote about the other bikes is common knowledge. Pumpkin sounds like you been reading a little too much mxa if you think the 10-12' are a step backward...it's total BS!!

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I agree, 15 minutes doesn't give an accurate assessment of a bike. For the average person it usually takes several hours for it to start to feel comfortable on one. I've put a lot of seat time on others brands but am not claiming to be an expert, but merely relating my opinion so that other reasonable thinking individuals can come to their own conclusion. The 08 I rode for a while, since I got such a screaming deal on it, plus bad economy, and it was a full on supercross bike. Any how I will update this after I send off the suspension & get a pipe.

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I agree, 15 minutes doesn't give an accurate assessment of a bike. For the average person it usually takes several hours for it to start to feel comfortable on one. I've put a lot of seat time on others brands but am not claiming to be an expert, but merely relating my opinion so that other reasonable thinking individuals can come to their own conclusion. The 08 I rode for a while, since I got such a screaming deal on it, plus bad economy, and it was a full on supercross bike. Any how I will update this after I send off the suspension & get a pipe.

Save your opinion, you don't know shit! What does the bad economy and the fact you got a good deal on your bike have any relevance to your opinion about a bike?

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WOW cut kracer some slack here...i thought it was a well written review, and the stuff he wrote about the other bikes is common knowledge. Pumpkin sounds like you been reading a little too much mxa if you think the 10-12' are a step backward...it's total BS!!

I agree I have a 2012 with 10 hours on it and feel this is a pretty solid review.Im coming off a 2010 crf250 with a yosh pipe and suspension mods and feel the motor is stronger than my 2010 with mods.They basically fixed all the minor flaws in suspension and handling that I had problems with on my 2010.As far as being a step backward in design I had every model since 04 and the new bikes are much better everywhere

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I agree I have a 2012 with 10 hours on it and feel this is a pretty solid review.Im coming off a 2010 crf250 with a yosh pipe and suspension mods and feel the motor is stronger than my 2010 with mods.They basically fixed all the minor flaws in suspension and handling that I had problems with on my 2010.As far as being a step backward in design I had every model since 04 and the new bikes are much better everywhere

Great, see you comparing it to a 2010, not a clapped out 08. Also, you have a few hrs on the bike, not 15min.

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I agree I have a 2012 with 10 hours on it and feel this is a pretty solid review.Im coming off a 2010 crf250 with a yosh pipe and suspension mods and feel the motor is stronger than my 2010 with mods.They basically fixed all the minor flaws in suspension and handling that I had problems with on my 2010.As far as being a step backward in design I had every model since 04 and the new bikes are much better everywhere

Have you seen any false neutrals in the 10 hours you have ridden it?

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no false neutrals at all and actually will powershift third fourth and fifth no problem which impressed me over my 10

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no false neutrals at all and actually will powershift third fourth and fifth no problem which impressed me over my 10

Thanks for the reply!

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