At more than $2,000 cheaper than the Yamaha WR250R, the Honda CRF250L will be sold in the US as a 2013 model. The all-new bikes takes advantage of low-cost manufacturing at the same factory in Thailand that produces the CBR250R to combine high specification with a low price, creating an accessible, capable dual-sport.
Looking at the spec sheet, it's difficult to tell that this is such an affordable motorcycle. 37mm USD forks, pro-link shock, bespoke steel cradle chassis, fuel-injection etc.
Having said that, power is down and weight is up compared to the $6,590 Yamaha. Where the WR250R makes 28bhp and weighs 298lbs (wet), the 77mpg Honda makes just 23bhp and weighs 320lbs (wet). Still, two grand will buy you a lot of protein powder and gasoline.
Why are we so excited for a relatively slow dual sport? Well, the Honda CBR250R changed the beginner bike game with real quality and a riding experience that belies its diminutive performance figures. By all indications, the CRF250L should do that too, bringing real capability and utility to an unprecedented price point.