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Having not hit the trails or an enduro for the better part of 14 years I decided to pull the trigger on a 2015 CRF250L, I almost purchased the WR250 but the price and my credit kind of pushed it out of the running, not to mention that I tend to be a bit short 5' 8" and the WR felt like I was climbing a minor mountian. To preface the last time I rode 2 strokes were legal, and a fuel injected bike didn't exist. At any rate having recently gotten my 93 DR350 running but lacking a title to go street legal I opted for the CRF. Out of the shop I noticed that it was for lack of a better term kinda nutless. Here in Texas many of the backroads are 75 mph so it is somewhat harrowing to push the bike that hard. <br /><br /> <br /><br />I rode on it untouched for a month, I did like my commute gas bill going from $44 a week in my truck to $5.44 every 2 weeks on the Honda. Where the bike was a pure joy to ride was the woods. No you won't be climbing mountians on it but it is so nimble in the woods vs the old DR. The suspension and stock tires are a bit hard to deal with but honestly who in their right mind buys a dual purpose with the intent of nailing doubles at the local MX track. I have kind of gotten a bit out of shape and still the stock suspension suits my needs. To be honest I like how it dives a bit in the turns. The real test was a 329 mile back roads ride from Austin to DFW and back. The average speed limit was 75 posted I was having trouble holding 70 and about 100 miles in thanked god I changed the seat. In strong cross winds the higher center of gravity is a bit harder to deal with. I also noticed it seems to run a bit hot especially on your left knee as the fan kicks on. I was a bit afraid of overheating but Captian Slow plodded along. (yeah I named the bike after James May on top gear UK) If you are shy on cash and you have $300 to pick any mods I would stress the 13t sprocket, seat, and handgrips. You will thank yourself so will your rear and hands. After it's paid off I plan to go full on modding.<br /><br /> <br /><br />I finally dropped a bit of money into it (not the warranty voiding variety)<br /><br />I went to a 13T front sprocket (made all of the gears useable with the 14T i considered 4th gear an option and nigh useless)<br /><br />got a seat concepts low profile seat (yeah I am short 5'8" and 210 lbs...)<br /><br />Tusk Fat bar with adapter<br /><br />Holeshot pad for a gps / smart phone<br /><br />Tusk hand guards<br /><br />Protaper Pillow grips<br /><br /> <br /><br />This notched the comfort level up a good bit, I wanted new suspension and the FMF but I like my warranty and after a full bottom and top end rebuild on the DR I don't feel like turning a wrench on my commuter.<br /><br /> <br /><br />Pros:<br /><br />It is cheaper than the competition.<br /><br />5 year warranty for $400, yeah that is nice.<br /><br />Gas mileage is not the 73 it claims it is closer to about 56 - 60 but still...<br /><br />The Service intervals, it is a cheap ride if you take care of it.<br /><br />It is a good bike if you trend shorter<br /><br />Nimble in the woods<br /><br />It runs well on 87 octane actually mine seems to prefer 87...<br /><br />Brakes are pretty darn good.<br /><br />I have to say it but it is a good looking machine stock.<br /><br />The clutch has a 1 finger pull, easiest I have ever had.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br />Cons:<br /><br />It's power is underwhealming even vs a 22 year old air cooled 4 stroke.<br /><br />The stock seat is like having a 2x4 wedged up your crack<br /><br />The stock bars and grips transfer excessive vibration and cause a good deal of arm pump.<br /><br />The stock 14t front sproket makes the bike run a bit jerky especially in lower gears.<br /><br />Since it has a fuel pump and fuel injector I fear running gas out on it will end up torching the fuel system.<br /><br />The low fuel indicator comes on at half a gallon left and is very touchy with slopes.<br /><br />I think the idle is set too low from the factory and it likes to stall.<br /><br />The clutch feels like it does not fully engage ever.<br /><br /> <br /><br />Conclusion:<br /><br />If I could go back in time and pick a different bike as a dual sport I would petition Honda to make a 450L, none of the other offerings are in my price range or near as a complete package as a 250L. The WR is nicer off the floor but for the price the performance isn't a lot better (got to try a friends) The Suzuki was almost my choice but it had a bulkiness to it I didn't quite like and was too tall. Anything 650? No thanks. I would still walk off the showroom floor with the same 250L.
Update: Stage 1 mods, very fun I can now accelerate in a headwind. Decided to go back to stock gearing since it is my commuter and the stage one gave it some balls. Saving up for a racetech or YSS rear Racetech front suspension rebuild. If the tax return is big enough this year maybe I can pay it off and 305 it as well. Man I don't think I could like this bike more except I got to try a road legal 2015 WR450L that well makes me kind of wander, then again even with all the mods the CRF250L still comes out $700 cheaper also the seat height on the WR would make me have to carry phone books in my riding pack.