New (to me) 2011 CRF250R... need some opinions.

Hey guys... my 2006 CRF250R, that was a beater/learning bike, has been replaced with a 2011 CRF250R. The previous owner used it for 1 hour to putt around a kid track and then decided he didn't want it anymore, so I've got a bike that has just been broken in. I come from a downhill background, but live near the desert, so I'll mostly be riding single track, technical trails, and desert.

This is my first new bike, and I plan on keeping it forever.... so I wanted to get some opinions on "must have/do" things for the bike to increase reliability and longevity.

- Oil: I used Maxima full synthetic fluids on the previous bike with Honda filters, and replaced both oils after 2 rides. I use Amsoil in my race car and my gas daily drivers. Any opinions on using the Amsoil 10W-40 in both sides of the motor?

- Air filter: I assume I can just use the OEM air filter with UNI cleaner/oil with each oil change until it is ready to be replaced with a new UNI filter? I assume the OEM filter is a cleanable/reusable one?

- I plan on replacing the levers with the fully articulating ASV levers.

- I'm only 135 pounds, so I assume I'll need to replace both front and rear springs?

- Anything else? Skid plates? Any computer related programming that will increase efficiency and longevity of the bike? I don't really need more power... just looking to increase reliability if possible.


You have a solid ride from the start. Add a skid plate to protect the cases from the desert trails and rocks.

Add an hour meter right away if one is not already on the bike.

Stock air filters are good quality as long as they are kept clean. Watch the seams. Sometimes they start to separate. I prefer TwinAir filters, but there are a number of others that are also shaped foam models. I always smear some grease on the filter lip where it meets the airboot to keep dust out of the engine. Some folks get lazy and bypass this step and dirt can get into the engine and pit the valve seats. This is probably the single most important tip to engine durability.

10w40 is be a bit thicker than the stock recommendation, but for summer high-temp deserts will offer more protection.

Avoid oils with moly additives for the clutch/tranny side. They will make your clutch slip and glaze the friction plates.

During the summers I run Honda 85 wt gear oil, and during the winters I run the non-moly 10w30 Honda Racing Oil.

Frankly, every two rides is probably wasting oil and filters unless your rides are 6-8 hours long.

The Honda service manual recommends engine oil and filter changes every 15 hours and tranny/clutch oil every 15 hours also.

If you slip/abuse the clutch, get a set of heavier clutch springs, and change your clutch side oil more often.

The ASV levers are very nice, but the shorty versions don't have the leverage to work easily with heavier clutch springs.

Take the rear suspension linkage apart and grease the bearings. Don't forget the rear brake pivot while you're at it.

And grease the front and rear axles, and while you have axles out, pack some grease in around the wheel bearing seals to keep moisture and dirt out.

The stock chain won't last long, and if you run it too long it will stretch so much, you will ruin the sprockets.

I like DiD X-Ring chains, and am now running one of the new VT2 narrow models, and it is holding up very well.

As far as ECU adjustments, the stock ECU is a bit lean off idle and it makes the engine run hot at low speeds. You might want to get an ECU remap and add a bit more fuel in lower RPM ranges.

The stock suspension has a lot of adjustability. I wouldn't swap out the stock springs unless you find them bone-jarring at their softest compression settings.

And lastly, I'd recommend you get a service manual and get familiar with all the different torque specs, and, if you don't already have one, invest in a torque wrench.

Edited by Grinstead_77G

I would grease the steering stem bearings also, my 2010 just had a light film of grease on them. When you put the steering stem nut on us blue lock tight, my 06 the nut came loose.

I'm a MX track rider and this is the upgrade an maintenance scedule on my bike, a 2010 250R. Nearly the same bike

Engine oil and filter : Every 5 hours, hiflo paper filter, Amsoil 10w40

Trans oil : Every 10 hours. Torco MTF-E 85w (very very nice shifting feel with this oil)

Piston: Every 50 hours. OEM

Timing chain : Every 100 hours. OEM

Crankshaft : Every 100 hours. Falicon (so probably)

Fuel filter : Every 50 hours. OEM

Air filter. When is dirty, so between 1 to 3 ride. Twinair

Fork & Shock oil : Every 50 hours. Factory Connection

Bearing : Regrease every 50 hours. Amsoil waterproof

Brake fluid : Every years. Nissan DOT4 (I work in a dealer)

Coolant : Every 100 hours. Engine Ice (propylene glycol still cooler from standars etylene glycol)

Like Grin said, plan to change your chain for a O or X ring soon. I keep my OEM for 35 hours and this is the mean reason why I change my sprocket too. I also bought the DID Xring VT2 chain. I ever ride this chain on my CRF450R and this awesome, only one adjustment in 30 hours. The OEM last year on my 2F need an adjustment after everyride.

Skidplate is a nice idea, probably my next invest

REMAP, REMAP REMAP. A cheap upgrade, the best power upgrade available. Bang for the buck

The MUST important thing on your bike is to take time too set it. The new frame design can be a nightmare if you don't set it for you. Set your sag between 102 and 110 mm and play with the clickers a lot to find your set. If you run without enough sag your rear gonna bounce in the straight, having too much of it and you gonan loose the knife effect in the turns. Don't forget the steering damper, an essential tool. You can add some click if you have too much handshake.

I just received a Factory connection lowering link and gonna try it next season. I don't really have stability issue since I'm correctly set, but I hear only good comments about running a lowering link. It's an option if you still have trouble to set it perfectly

Edited by DarkCRF

get the arc levers, they make the ASV feel like junk. some may disagree but thats just my opinion. Also maybe look into a better case saver iv had friends on run stock savers and have them crack straight through.

I prefer the Sunline V1 lever, move both way, don't need to replace clutch perch or brake master anymore

Awesome info.. I appreciate it!

What do you guys recommend for the skid plate? Works connection seems to be the most solid, but not sure if the extended coverage version is really practical or not. Thoughts?

If you not concerned about weight, go with the full work connection. Definetely the best option

Just ride it and get some seat time before you spend any money. Set the sag and play with the compression & rebound clickers. They make a big difference. Then decide what you want to do it. I've been racing for a lot of years and have never run anything but stock levers. To me that's a total waste of money.

I prefer the Sunline V1 lever, move both way, don't need to replace clutch perch or brake master anymore

the best there is!

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