Author: Iggy Grainger Posted: 05 Jun 2013
The new Honda CRF250M may be based on their existing trail bike, the CRF250L, but it comes with spoked 17" wheels shod with wider road rubber, it also has revised suspension and of course that aggressive supermotard styling. The liquid cooled DOHC, single cylinder engine makes 22.7bhp - so it's A2 licence friendly and it's wrapped in a semi double cradle frame, has 43mm Showa inverted forks, a 296mm floating front disc and a 220mm rear disk… which works perfectly to get that back end nice and loose.
We can't really tell you what the bike is like to ride on the road because we only got a few quick laps of a Spanish kart circuit on it. Not to worry though because it was the perfect environment, city streets will also be a great hunting ground for this cheeky little quarter litre bike. Around the tight and twisty track the CRF250M handled itself very well and kept us entertained as we tried our hand at backing it in… IRC Road Winners screeching under braking, back end getting loose but all in a semi controlled fashion (probably by luck rather than good judgement). It may not be hugely powerful but the torquey engine had enough oomph to punch it's way out of corners and fire me towards the next fun filled twisty section.
As with all supermotards the CRF is only moderately comfortable and would be as boring as sin on a motorway but in the right place, at the right time it can be great fun, just how biking should be. Get the rear tyre sliding in to corners, stick a leg out at a jaunty angle and pretend you're a supermotard star (it doesn't look quite as cool whilst negotiating the local ring road during rush hour though). As a bike it's great fun and proves that high-speed licence zapping shenanigans and excessive power aren't always the most important attributes. Style and value for money count for a lot these days.
Although the Honda is nowhere near as exciting as something like a Duke 390 (either to look at or ride) it is still a great little unintimidating bike for a novice rider or somebody looking for a year round tool for commuting. It can also handle the odd bit of off road hooliganism and general enjoyment should the mood take you.
+ Points : Not too pricey, year-round usability
- Points: No fun for a pillion, motorways are tiresome
Torque: 16.2 ft. lbs
Dry weight: 145kg
Seat height: 855mm
Colours: Red, black