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12 CRF250

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Anyone using one for HS/Enduro? Basically the same since most enduros in our area are the new format. I know the 450 is too tiring for my SR body/skills and wondering if the 250 has enough "grunt"? No, I am not going to be pinning it thru the woods. I will do almost anything to avoid getting a ktm. In fact, I just won't. Period. Thanks for the help.

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I primarily race 2 hour hare scrambles and an occasional enduro.

In late 2010, I made the switch from a 2005 CRF450R to a 2009 CRF250R, and after a few outings, I found I could be competitive on the smaller displacement bike. I bought a used 2010 to check out fuel injection, and liked it so much that I put down a deposit last April on a 2012. My 2009 was ported/polished and I bumped the compression (Wiseco piston kit) but swapped out the twin pipes for an FMF Q4 to quiet things down. I also added a Rekluse z-Start Pro auto clutch. The 2009 is an awesome CRF250R. Great power, very balanced suspension, and it was probably the best year CRF250R that Honda has produced.... Until the 2012.

Stock, the 2012 has much more crisp power delivery than the 2009, especially down low, but either bike has to be ridden more like a 125 2-stroke to be competitive. My CRF450R would tolerate lugging, but the CRF250R won't. The Rekluse clutch is even more of a benefit on a 250F than the 450F. I have also been amazed at how much easier and less tiring the smaller bike is to race, especially over a 2+ hour hare scramble, probably in part, to the difference in how you have to ride a 250F. You gotta keep the revs up, and find smooth lines to maintain momentum. The specs state a difference of less than 15 lbs, but it seems like much more.

Since I race in an unlimited displacement/open age class (50+) I decided to add a bit more "grunt" to my 2012 CRF250R and now have an Athena 82mm piston/cylinder kit installed (284.2 cc). The low to mid power difference is significant and allows me to ride the bike a bit more like a CRF450R. The next stage in engine development is a TUF Racing head, but the one I have is from a 2011 and I'm still working through the details on how to get it to marry up the head to the 2012's smaller 46mm throttle body vs the 50 mm of the 2010/2011 models.

I weigh in at 180 lbs - before gear, so I'm at the upper range for the stock suspension, but, for me, the stock suspension works really well for hare scrambles, and outdoor MX tracks.

So the short answer is "yes" you can be competitive on a CRF250R with the right mods and in the right classes. My only caveat is I have found my 250F's require more maintenance than my 450F. I think this is due to the 250F having to tilt the power to reliability ratio more to the power side of the equation to be competitive.

About 5 years ago, I even set up a big wheel CRF150R for hare scrambles, and had a blast on the bike. My theory has always been "if you have enough power to spin the rear wheel, more power to spin the real wheel won't buy you much." However, extra power with traction, now that's a completely different story! The little thumper was almost unbeatable in really tight, twisty sections, but it gave up too much in the power area to be competitive.

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