Good news for American dual sport riders; Honda has decided to import the 2013 CRF250L after omitting it from the 2012 American lineup. This is a major step up from the CRF230L, which has remained on dealership floors as a 2009 model. The 250 is a full-size DS motorcycle with a 34.7-inch seat height (compared to the 230’s 31.9-inch saddle). Honda sourced the engine from the popular CBR250R street bike, a pleasant 249.4cc single-cylinder with dual overhead cams, four valves, fuel injection and liquid cooling. It delivers power through a six-speed transmission with chain drive and 14/40 final gearing.
Big Red engineers stuffed the powerplant into a new chassis designed for on/off-road use. Wheelbase is 56.9 inches and ground clearance is 10 inches, slightly higher than the 230 thanks to new suspension. The fork is an inverted 43mm unit with 8.7 inches of travel. Honda’s Pro-Link shock offers 9.4 inches of range and is also preload adjustable. Even though the suspension components are not fully adjustable and relatively low-cost, the rear end still sports an extra three inches of travel to make off-road work enjoyable. Claimed curb weight is 320 pounds with a 2.0-gallon tank of fuel.
Honda gives the CRF250L a sleek design with red and white bodywork that ties in with the existing motocross family. Not only is the new bike exciting news, but the MSRP is even lower than the old 230L ($4499 vs. $4999). Check out the 2012 Honda CRF250L First Look for more technical information.