Honda CRF250 Rally Headed for Production - Page 2 - Honda CBR250R Forum : Honda CBR 250 Forums
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post #11 of 30 Old 11-11-2015, 01:51 PM
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It looks to me like the bike in the pictures is a pre-production prototype on show and deliberately fitted with serious kit to be eye-catching and gauge interest. I'd expect the version that hits the streets to have tamer tyres, longer rear mudguard, maybe ABS and cheaper to produce silencers.
I suppose it would be too much to ask for a CRF450 version?
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post #12 of 30 Old 11-11-2015, 09:01 PM Thread Starter
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It looks to me like the bike in the pictures is a pre-production prototype on show and deliberately fitted with serious kit to be eye-catching and gauge interest. I'd expect the version that hits the streets to have tamer tyres, longer rear mudguard, maybe ABS and cheaper to produce silencers.
As was stated, the bike shown in the opening post is a concept bike. But I don't think Honda would "dumb down" a production version, at least not much from what we see in these photos, in an effort to make it more street friendly. Underneath all the cool Rally 'kit', DOT knobbies, it's a CRF250L. If someone wants a tamer street friendly D/S bike to say commute with, that bike is available at Honda dealers right now in the CRF250L.

I don't think you'll find a 'tamer tire' that can do the job off road, these Michelin T-63 DOT tires are nothing unusual to see on this type of bike... KTM EXC 350's & 500's come fitted with similar looking Metzeler DOT knobby tires. These tires are street legal in the U.S. (not sure about other countries).

As for the mufflers, they too are not particularly exotic or expensive to produce.


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I suppose it would be too much to ask for a CRF450 version?
Yeah, I doubt that's likely to happen. One reason... because the CRF450R & X models are full on competition bikes, and as such have no factory warranty. So while it sounds like it would be an awesome Dual Sport bike, a CRF450X with street legal lighting, etc., would be tough for Honda to sell with a warranty... those high maintenance 450 motors would not hold up very well to constant high RPM use like you'd have running down a freeway at 80 MPH for hours on end.
Also, the 450 motor as it sits would not meet EPA emissions standards for street use.

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Last edited by MotoMike; 11-11-2015 at 09:08 PM. Reason: typo
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post #13 of 30 Old 11-12-2015, 08:04 AM
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[QUOTE} If someone wants a tamer street friendly D/S bike to say commute with, that bike is available at Honda dealers right now in the CRF250L.

I don't think you'll find a 'tamer tire' that can do the job off road, these Michelin T-63 DOT tires are nothing unusual to see on this type of bike... KTM EXC 350's & 500's come fitted with similar looking Metzeler DOT knobby tires. These tires are street legal in the U.S. (not sure about other countries).

[/QUOTE]

I don't think Honda would intend that bike for serious off road use. If it's CRF250L based and fitted with indicators as in the pictures I'd expect Honda to spec it with a competitive price point and volume sales in mind i,e, as a styling exercise primarily for road use like they have done with the CB500X.
It does look a particularly attractive styling exercise though and if Honda can keep the price within 10-15% more than the CRF250L I think they'll sell plenty.

Of course time will tell which of us is right.
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post #14 of 30 Old 11-12-2015, 11:52 AM Thread Starter
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I don't think Honda would intend that bike for serious off road use. If it's CRF250L based and fitted with indicators as in the pictures I'd expect Honda to spec it with a competitive price point and volume sales in mind i,e, as a styling exercise primarily for road use like they have done with the CB500X.
It does look a particularly attractive styling exercise though and if Honda can keep the price within 10-15% more than the CRF250L I think they'll sell plenty.

Of course time will tell which of us is right.
"Serious off road use" is a relative term... if you mean actual off road competition, such as Baja 1000 desert racing, of course that's not what this CRF250 Rally would be intended for.

But on the other hand, just like the CRF250L that it is based on, it is clearly designed to be ridden off road at least as much as on road... hence the term "Dual Sport". In other words, bikes like the CRF250L (or this proposed Rally version), just like all of the Honda XR's with DOT lighting that have preceded them, were not designed or intended to be on-road bikes as they're primary use. Going back nearly five decades, the Dual Sport category has it's roots clearly planted in the off-road world. And that hasn't changed... the main thing modern D/S bikes have in common with street bikes is DOT legal lighting and mirrors. Beyond that they are as different as apples & oranges.

So no, the CRF250 Rally is not "a styling exercise primarily for road use". If it was, Honda would not have fitted it with 10% on-road/90% off-road knobby tires, would they?


As for the CB500X, that bike is not in any way shape or form considered to be a Dual Sport bike. The so-called "Adventure" category is more of a marketing gimmick than anything else. For starters, the CB500X has only half the amount of rear suspension travel, and only 2/3 as much front suspension travel as compared to the CRF250L. I won't even go into the huge differences in frame geometry between the CRF and CBR/CB series... again it's apples & oranges.

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post #15 of 30 Old 11-12-2015, 12:49 PM Thread Starter
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So Keith, would you think that Honda designed the XR650L primarily for on-road use?... Hint: the XR650L is based on Honda's Baja 1000 winning XR600R. And the two bikes have about 80% of their off the shelf parts in common.

This pic is of a showroom stock XR650L...




This is a pic of my '94 XR650L... note the same Michelin T-63 tires as fitted on the CRF250 Rally.
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post #16 of 30 Old 11-12-2015, 07:17 PM
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If we are going to talk about enduros (that is what dual sports used to be called) and riding dirt, I'd like to start with this thought:



Having met a few nurses, I'd like to show an old enduro that had less capable tires (TW39 &40) in it's natural habitat:



Recently, there are two classes: (a) competitive bikes that can be raced with a slight prayer of winning; and, (b) bikes suitable for use on trails and poorly maintained dirt roads, but not meant to be raced.

The "new" Honda CRF250 Rally is one of the latter group. I ride a precursor of that bike and had to modify it a bit, just to take it on rugged double track trails. This picture is before the 48-tooth rear sprocket:



Sorry for derailing this thread a small bit, but, those old enduros were working bikes.
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post #17 of 30 Old 11-12-2015, 07:39 PM
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Mike. The 250 and 650 markets are quite different. 250s account for a far higher volume of sales, particularly to less experienced riders, and I would wager at least a couple of beers that more CRF250s are bought as short journey run-abouts than are purchased with the intention of being taken off road, despite their obvious suitability for it. I see the CRF250 Rally as a successor to the XR250 Baja pictured below which was a Japanese Domestic Market model for a decade or more. I personally imported a dozen or more of these when I was in the trade and only a small minority of them showed any signs of off road use, far less than the portion of 'basic' XLR250s that had.

I stand by my original point that the tyres fitted to the bike in the pictures you posted are in my opinion there as a teaser and I believe that Honda are not daft enough to ignore the mass market appeal of such a pretty bike and reduce sales by pitching it at a niche market.

It's a disappointment to enthusiasts like yourself and many others on this forum but unless there is some class of rally competition that I am unaware of that demands a 250cc capacity limit I can't see that Honda would put that bike in showrooms in the spec shown.



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... and, (b) bikes suitable for use on trails and poorly maintained dirt roads, but not meant to be raced.

The "new" Honda CRF250 Rally is one of the latter group...

... Sorry for derailing this thread a small bit, but, those old enduros were working bikes.
John, you didn't derail the thread... to the contrary, your post illustrates the idea and intended use of Dual Sport motorcycles.

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... 250s account for a far higher volume of sales, particularly to less experienced riders, and I would wager at least a couple of beers that more CRF250s are bought as short journey run-abouts than are purchased with the intention of being taken off road, despite their obvious suitability for it...
I agree... no doubt many people buy Dual Sports and rarely (if ever) take them off of the paved roads. I see lots of Dual Sport bikes in my area, mostly being ridden in town. Ironically, I never encounter any of these local D/S bikes out on the trails in the S.F. National Forest where I ride my XR's. But that doesn't mean that the manufacturers design and build these D/S bikes as 'primarily for street use'.

Conversely, if someone rides their CBR250R down a few gravel forest roads, that doesn't somehow suddenly make the CBR250R a capable 'off road' bike. That idea is nothing short of laughable.

I'm always amazed at how often new riders buy a particular bike, then complain that it doesn't do this thing or that thing very well. So often, the truth of the matter is that many simply bought the wrong bike for what their expectations are, and what they really want to do with it.
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post #19 of 30 Old 11-12-2015, 08:57 PM
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I'm always amazed at how often new riders buy a particular bike, then complain that it doesn't do this thing or that thing very well. So often, the truth of the matter is that many simply bought the wrong bike for what their expectations are, and what they really want to do with it.
I would extend that observation to experienced riders as well. Over on the forum for my F800GT, there are a number of people complaining that the bike can't do this or that, or that it has this or that deficiency in some aspect of what they are trying to do with it.

Primarily they are people who A) couldn't afford a full touring bike and bought the GT in hopes that it would be close enough to what they wanted, or B) want a full touring bike but can't physically handle it and so bought the GT in hopes that it would be close enough to a full touring bike.

Those who are satisfied (like me), bought the GT with the full understanding of it as a jack-of-all-trades middleweight sport touring motorcycle that makes numerous compromises to fulfill its all-rounder mission superbly.
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post #20 of 30 Old 11-12-2015, 09:01 PM
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Conversely, if someone rides their CBR250R down a few gravel forest roads, that doesn't somehow suddenly make the CBR250R a capable 'off road' bike. That idea is nothing short of laughable.
What kind of a nut would do that?

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