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Old 06-07-2012, 10:04 AM   #511
Rob.G
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ham View Post
Man I get tired of people trashing suspensions as "cheap" etc. I have owned a pile of bikes and I am a fair rider and I have never reached the limit of any suspension on any bike. So I am forced to assume that either you are all hat or you are a rock hard fitness buff that is an awesome rider who simply cannot stomach a "average" suspension.
Absolutely no offense intended, but either all the bikes you've owned came with really good stock suspensions, or you aren't trying hard enough. Every bike I've owned (all four of 'em) have needed suspension work. My two street bikes needed it the least and were totally livable with adjustments to the stock setup. But my DR650 and KLX250S both badly needed upgrades, and I'm 100% sure the CRF250L will need it too... for people who intend to ride the thing as more than a commuter and occasional fire-road bike.

I've upgraded the fork springs in my KLX and they made a world of difference. My rear spring needs it badly. We jacked up the preload on it a lot and set the compression and rebound and it helped beautifully... then the other night I caught just a little bit of air over a bump and it was enough to bottom the rear shock. And I weigh 165 lbs.

The CRF250L's non-adjustable (and probably non-rebuildable) rear shock will be a limitation until there are reasonably-priced replacements for it. And eventually, RaceTech or somebody will have mods for the forks. So I'm sure over the next year, a lot will become available for it.

Rob
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Old 06-07-2012, 10:13 AM   #512
TNC
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Rob, I have an '06 KLX and installed a Race Tech Gold Valve kit in both ends of the bike along with better, more appropriate springs. The transformation was super impressive. It's worth it if you're going to keep the bike. And in light of nothing that impressive on the market right now or on the horizon in this category of KLX/WRR, I've been very happy with the return on the money I've sunk in this KLX. That KTM 350 Freeride looks like my ultimate bike, but it ain't here and it ain't cheap.
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Old 06-07-2012, 10:23 AM   #513
Rob.G
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Originally Posted by TNC View Post
Rob, I have an '06 KLX and installed a Race Tech Gold Valve kit in both ends of the bike along with better, more appropriate springs. The transformation was super impressive. It's worth it if you're going to keep the bike. And in light of nothing that impressive on the market right now or on the horizon in this category of KLX/WRR, I've been very happy with the return on the money I've sunk in this KLX. That KTM 350 Freeride looks like my ultimate bike, but it ain't here and it ain't cheap.
I do plan to keep it... so I'll be doing the very same thing that you did. And the 351 kit (which is actually next). I LOVE this bike. It's amazing off-road for what it is. And I'm too old (43) to ride like a banshee so it's a great fit for me. Otherwise I'd be on a super lightweight two-stroke or something.

I agree on the KTM too... that new 350 EXC-W looks awesome, but I don't have $10k to spend on one. Even when I'm done with all my mods, I'll only have a total of maybe $7-8k in the bike (I bought it new).

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Old 06-07-2012, 10:27 AM   #514
TNC
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LOL!...Rob, you're not too old. I'm 60 and just finished a 2-week trip in SE Utah where the youngest rider was about 45 or so, and we rode some fairly gnarly terrain. Keep going...you have lots of time left.
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Old 06-07-2012, 12:16 PM   #515
Grreatdog
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I am anything but an awesome rider but I routinely use all 12" of the very good suspension travel my KTM's offer. The main reason I went orange was to get that level of suspension. The older I get the less I can stand to get beat up.

Which is something I never realized until I rode a friend's SXC. I was immediately able to ride faster and harder easier than I could on my Japanese dual sports. The difference changed my whole idea of what a dual sport could be.

On my XT's and XL I would finish a 150 mile loop on the Shenandoah 500 and be limping for days. But on my KTM's I make those same 150 loops riding faster but still finish feeling good because I didn't have to stand most of the time.

Quality suspension really does make that much difference. Or at least it does to old guys that beat themselves up on double shock bikes with 3" of travel back when they were young and tough.
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Old 06-07-2012, 12:31 PM   #516
rickypanecatyl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tragic Image View Post
Future-Wife wants one of these as a first bike.

I'm approving of this as for now, since she initially wanted a CBR 250, but I'm leery of buying anyone a street bike for their first. Lots and lots of plastic to replace when they get dropped.

What is the general consensus of ADV'ers for this as a first bike for Elaine? 26, 150lbs, 5'6"
I think it would be one of the better first bikes out there. (Though I would possibly suggest the CRF230L as an even better first bike.)

Obviously safety for your future wife is uber important. When riding on the road with soccer moms on the phone with a happy meal in their lap in a SUV you want to keep as many "new variables" out of the picture as possible.

- Learning YOUR bike, how to control your bike off road is super helpful to safety on road. Of course you need to learn "new things" like anticipating what traffic might do, but if you already know how to control your bike, that is really helpful.
- Another example is that if you are in an unknown city that adds some risk and danger. So the reverse is true - knowing your commute and knowing your bike is helpful.
- upright seating bikes are the easiest to control. This CRFL will be far easier to control for a new rider than a CBR250 (leaning forward) and much easier than a cruiser. I was in Washington state recently and went in to get my motorcycle liscence. The instructor told me they failed more than 50% of the people on the test as they were trying to get them to take the motorcycle safety course they had and if they took that they didn't even need to take the driving test. I took the test with about 25 other riders and sure enough 16 failed. I had no idea what would be on it, but it inclueded things like riding in a circle between 2 parallel lines a foot apart without breaking the line. riding straight between 2 parallel lines and at "T" the tester would shout left or right at the last moment so you had to act fast.
I got a 100 on the test and it was easy on my bike (dual sport - KTM 690 enduro) but as I watched Harley guys try to do it I realized I too would certainly be having a tough time on a cruiser; and a "medium" time on a crotch rocket. They complained it wasn't fair as the test was so easy for a dual sport bike. My thought was "for safety reasons you need to be able to pass this test on the bike you are going to be riding and yes you are right it's much easy on this type of bike than other types.

In addition, in my opinion, dual sport bikes are even safer than other upright seating bikes for this reason. Because of the increased suspension there is not as much need to do a crazy swerve to avoid a pot hole seen at the last minute. Taller helps you see and be seen more in traffic (than say a CBR250). At the same time, it's not THAT tall and 5'6" should have a planted feel. Of course a shorter bike is safer at really high speeds but we're talking about a new rider here.

The reason I said the CRF230L would probably be even safer/easier for a first time lady rider is the torque vs hp issue. The 230 has more torque and much less hp making for easy starts.

I know that's a long answer, but I thought it was an important question.

And DUDE!! When putting your "future wife" on a motorcycle on the road for the first time, don't even think about things like the cost of plastics! You wanna be keeping those legs nice and sexy!
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Old 06-07-2012, 12:58 PM   #517
KellyC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RIDEALL View Post
I love it!! I agree that this will fill / start a nice void in our American market.
Ridden and raced dirt bikes my whole life.
Now @ 30 with a kid, multiple jobs, school......let's just say 2-wheel time is tough too squeeze in!!!!
Was wanting a WR250R, or Scooter, XT225, TW200, CBR250R, Honda Reflex (the 80's DS Trials), Super Sherpa....I know all over the board there!
Point being something too use for my short Commute, sneak in some Play time whenever I can.
Down the road when little guy can ride its short enough for Wife, commute for me, camping runabout, cheap, Honda usually has good easy Financing, don't have too worry about other peoples ideas of up keep in the used market......looks great too me!!!!
Is it heavy? Yes. Is it slow? Most likely. Is it going to be my trail bike? No. Is going to be my long distance bike? No.
Is it going to be a modern looking, cheap to buy / maintain, form of transportation that can get dirty? HELL YES!!
At least we aren't forced into bikes like this like some other society's, but now we have more choices in the market which is great!
My garage might start with one, then fill up with more focused machinery as life allows;-)
I will stop rambling now!!!!

+1 same boat as you.

I'll buy one in three years when it's a $2000 bike on the used market.
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Old 06-07-2012, 01:01 PM   #518
KellyC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed@Ford View Post
RIDEALL:

Holy cow....someone under 50 that knows what a Honda Reflex is! In the day The Reflex was a BIG step up to a street legal bike from my 1979 XR185...which I STILL HAVE!
My dad ran a Honda dealership with my Grandpa in the 80s and Honda made them buy 4 Reflexes. Two of them rotted in the box behind the shop. The other two were practically given away.

He can't believe that I paid over a grand for my TLR200.

BTW, I'm 36 and I also have a TL250, and a TL125. : )
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Old 06-07-2012, 01:17 PM   #519
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It is supposed to be wet weight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SBG View Post
I believe that is dry weight. I read somewhere that wet and full tank is about 340. I know some people don't mind, but that's a 650 cc old air cooled thumper right there. An XR650L sounds better at this point.
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Old 06-07-2012, 01:57 PM   #520
ramz
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Quote:
The website specified a "Destination charge of $125.00"
I visited the dealership today and discussed purchase details. This dealer will not charge me the destination charge.

While there, I had a look at the CBR250R to see what the build quality and parts quality was and was suitably impressed. The fit and finish was excellent - body panels, seat, and tank came together almost seamlessly. The finish on plastic and metal parts was excellent. Fasteners appeared to be excellent, although I'll know more when I've screwed around with them a bit. They seemed of a smaller size overall when compared to the CBR1000R bike, so I applaud the engineers for sizing as necessary. But this is typical Honda, and the Thailand-built CBR did not disappoint - it's a 'real' Honda, and I expect the same of the CRFL.

The engine started easily and the motor purred - the exhaust, which is definitely different than the CRFL, was quiet, quiet, quiet. When revved a bit, the engine sounded quieter and tighter than any I've ever heard, just a bit more smooth than the WRR.

I took a few pictures of the engine and will add them to my CRFL web page soonest.

Lastly, the dealer said that he would let me know when he places the order for the CRFLs, expected in about two weeks. August can't come soon enough.
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Old 06-07-2012, 05:57 PM   #521
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RAMZ: Sounds like you've got a dealer that does NOT have his head up his $%^. Yup...I saw the CBR at the bike show in Cleveland. It was very nice...especially the red/silver one. Ran into a lady in her late 50's who OWNS a small Honda dealership. She couldn't rave enough about the CBR she rides.
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Old 06-07-2012, 08:07 PM   #522
chozzer
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Picked up CRF250L yesterday

I picked up my bike yesterday. First impressions are super quiet exhaust, which I will replace with a Mugen item soon, and to me at least compared to the usually heavy bikes I ride, very light and maneuverable.

Build quality is very good - no grumbles there and the styling is spot on. In most pics it looks red, but actually is more of a luminous orange colour which I think is great.

Will be doing a long off road run this coming Sunday, so will let you know how I get on. For me, being a relative off road newbie, it is the perfect bike for the kind of off road riding I want to do at weekends - more technical than gravel trails, but not scary enduro challenges either. For long trips, adventure touring stuff I have the GS.



Next to elder sister


Size compare


Nicely integrated heated grips (we have 4 season riding in Japan)


Added a rack


Obligatory garage shot

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Old 06-07-2012, 08:19 PM   #523
rockinrog
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the 250 came with factory heated grips?
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Old 06-07-2012, 08:22 PM   #524
chozzer
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Originally Posted by rockinrog View Post
the 250 came with factory heated grips?
They were an additional option - but yes are Honda OEM.
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Old 06-07-2012, 09:19 PM   #525
rockinrog
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They were an additional option - but yes are Honda OEM.
Thats cool..I didn't know they were an option.
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