2012 Honda CRF250L: CBR250R goes dual-sport

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At the Tokyo Motor Show, Honda will be rolling out this great-looking little dual-sport based on the CBR250R’s 18bhp single-cylinder. Why is this news so exciting? Well, the current CRF230L is too slow, too small and too expensive to compete with bikes like the Yamaha WR250R. But, if this 2012 Honda CRF250L is made in Thailand like the CBR, expect a price in the neighborhood of $4k.

  • Zirq

    This small capacity dual sport craze makes me very happy.

    It’s about time.

    • Andrew

      Right? Every time I see one all I can imagine is sticky tires, remove everything I can, and hoon.

      • http://twitter.com/metabomber Jesse

        Absolutely. Even better if I can stick sportbike width tires under it. I was wondering what the hell Honda was thinking with the pokey 230l.

    • http://www.TroyRank.com Troy R

      Small displacement bikes, build not like a toy, is indeed very exciting. I could imagine turning it into a Urban-Adventure bike. yeah.

  • occam

    Don’t you have the CRF250X over there in the US?

    • Sean Smith

      We do, but it’s off-road only.

    • markbvt

      Yes, but it’s $7400 and not street legal without adding a dual-sport kit — and even then it’s still not street legal in some states.

      • occam

        Oh, ok.

        • jp182

          it’s a touchy subject

        • Sean Smith

          Here in the land of freedom and liberty the government likes to tell us exactly what we can and can’t ride, and where.

          • http://www.lgdm.fr stempere

            Stop whining, in france you can get a ticket for having non-stock mirrors or turn signals, even if they’re better than the originals. HID lights? They can forbid you from riding until you reverse the mod ($120 if they catch you riding again). Etc.
            US: street legal = engine + wheels + brake(s)
            France: street legal = factory build, no exception

            I once had to argue for 20 minutes that my termignoni exhausts were stock on the corsaro veloce, because even if i passed the sonometer test, he still wanted to give a me a $120 ticket for non standard exhausts.

            • Zirq

              That’s actually not true. Same thing for the good ol’ US of A.

              Everything on a motorcycle has to be DOT (Department of Transportation) legal from mirrors too turn signals and lights as you mentioned. Most exhaust modifications are also illegal. Non DOT race tires, etc etc. They will all get you on the wrong side of the law with fix it tickets.

              • http://www.lgdm.fr stempere

                If half of what you stated was enforced, every custom bike shop in the US would be out of business.
                The difference is that here, except in rural areas, they’ll enforce it in every possible way they can. Sometimes using different law articles to charge the same thing under different names (specifically too much noise gets you 3 tickets 45 + 45 + 90 €, every time).

                We have amazing roads, but a biker friendly country this is not.

            • Myles

              Also, in France, power is severely limited.

              • todd

                True there are lots of laws but here in SoCal we are pretty lucky. The cops seem pretty cool about only hassling you if you’re riding like a maniac and endangering yourself or the public.

              • http://www.lgdm.fr stempere

                Yep, 100~106hp max which is in contradiction with european law and was supposed to be a test law passed decades ago to see if it improves accidents numbers.
                The only conclusive report was the TNO report from 1997 that stated that factors influencing accidents numbers included age, experience, weather conditions, etc. but not the power of the motorcycle.
                15400 complaints have been sent to the european union in 2007 to make them force the french goverment to retract the law. All complaints have been dismissed using the 6th article of directive 95/1/CEE that provides each european state with the right to limit power to 74kW.
                I believe a seisin of the european parliament is underway to reverse that decision, based on the fact that the decision to use that directive has to be motivated by facts, which it’s not.

                The battle is far from over but it’s also far from being won.

  • Austin Milbarge

    How does the Kawasaki 250 compete with the Yamaha?

  • pplassm

    Love to see how it stacks up against the WR250R.

    • http://www.cheapcycleparts.com vigor


    • http://vtbmwmov.org Eben

      I’d imagine about what you should expect from a bike less than 2/3 the price. It’s going to be down about 10 bhp and probably use cheaper components. If it is indeed around $4K though, it should look great next to the XT250 and KLX250S.

  • Kevin

    Any word on weight?

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Nah, this is pre-release stuff. Honda tells you what’s going to be at the show, then makes you wait till the show for details.

  • Will

    If this is as good as it is in my head I will prefer it over the CBR250R I was planning to buy late next year.

    • Sean Smith

      Think long and hard about what you’ll actually use the bike for. The CBR250 is sublime on the road and can still handle 2-up camping. This will sacrifice quite a bit of on-road fun for real off-road capability.

      • Campisi

        “The CBR250 is sublime on the road…”

        Indeed, almost a bit too sublime. My, ahem, willingness to suit its sporting character has netted me four speeding tickets in as many months. A bike like the CRF250L would keep me in the Honda family if I decide I need something less rewarding of high-speed endeavors.

  • DoctorNine

    OK. My Honda obituary may have been a bit premature…

  • Trev

    About time it went EFI, it took them long enough. Now about Kawasaki’s and Suzuki’s dual sports……

  • Toby

    If they build these in Thailand I’m picking one up to complement my CBR250. Turns out the CBR sucks at creek fording… who’da thought?

  • ike6116

    Hopefully this will replace the CRF230M, the correctly forgotten motard in Honda’s lineup.

  • fazer6

    I love it–I’d have bought this already if they had it, and will likely buy it when it gets here if it’s really in the $4k range.

  • jeff neal

    Any word on whether or when it will hit the states? I’m ready NOW!

  • jeff neal

    Bad news: it’s not slated for U.S. distribution according to my dealer.

    • Lacubrious

      Say it ain’t so.