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Sugilite's Tests & Ride Impressions

2008 Honda CRF250R Ride Impression

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2008 Honda CRF250R Ride Impression
By Anthony Bradford: photographs (below specs section) by Fiona Dickinson

Arriving to pick up the Honda CRF250R from Dannevirke Honda, I cast an appraising eye over the machine, noting the usual high build quality we have come to expect from Honda. Top shelf Renthal aluminium handle bars are a welcome addition and point to just how serious Honda is in providing a race-ready bike right out of the crate.

I took the CRF out to the rugged Gibbs test track just north of Dannevirke township. This track is a stiff test for the handling and power of any motocross bike. Large jumps, steep uphills and no shortage of rough chopped up terrain, puts any motocross bike to the test.

Unloading the bike from the trailer revealed a very lightweight well balanced machine. Firing the motor into life was not a big chore and once started, the bike had a pleasant bark emanating from the twin muffler setup.

The handle bar and foot positions feel just right and the ride position is neutral and accommodating. Moving around on this bike is easy and will help the rider conserve energy over longer rides/races.

The CRF250R is fitted with a progressive steering damper. Under hard acceleration through the upper gears, I noticed the bike had a slight feel of nervousness about it that never progressed into anything more serious. I took this to mean the steering dampener was doing it's job. This technology will have enabled Honda to use more aggressive chassis geometry to turn the machine into a corner carver. And so this proved with the bike flicking into corners with ease, then holding it's line through and out the corner with impeccable manners. Whether taking a tight line or railing, this is a machine that will let you do it all.


Not having ridden a 250cc four stroke motocross bike for a while, I was quite frankly gob smacked at how Honda has built a motor that is so flexible. Expecting it to be a peaky rev head, I instead found perfectly adequate bottom end power, feeding onto a meaty mid range surge, then up into a frenzied high revving top end! Honda is to be congratulated on building a motor which suit novices and all the way through to class winning racers. Fuelling throughout is impeccable and precise. Dialling in just the right amount of power for any given situation was never an issue.

Gear Box
Getting under way was the smooth clutch with positive take up. Taking the bike up through the gears revealed a very smooth gear box. I never missed a shift and every gear change was smooth and positive.

On the whole, I found the suspension to be very good, however I did find the front fork was fairly harsh over square edged bumps. I'm sure it would be a simple case of dialling in the fork suspension adjusters to sort that out. The suspension package took landings from jumps well, and overall the bike felt very slim and agile through the air.

The brakes are an outstanding mixture of power combined with feeling. The CRF front brakes required no more than two fingers to haul the bike up fast, whilst remaining composed, even over the roughest ground impressive. The rear disc brake has the same good balance of power and feel, resisting unwanted lock-up superbly.

Honda has built a very capable and exciting bike to ride. It caters for the full range of skill levels that different riders may process. The power is friendly and easy to use. It would make a very capable trail ride bike as well as the top line race bike it has proven itself to be.

Thank you to Dannevirke Honda for providing the test bike. It will be up for sale soon, so drop into Dannevirke Honda to cut a sharp deal with new bikes sales manager, Wayne.

Engine Type Liquid-cooled 4-stroke 4-valve SOHC single
Displacement 249.4cc
Bore and Stroke 78 ラ 52.2mm
Compression Ratio 13.1 : 1
Carburettion 40mm Keihin FCR flat slide carburettor with throttle position sensor (TPS)
Ignition Computer-controlled digital capacitor discharge with electronic advance
Max Power Output 32kW / 11,000min-1 (95/1/EC)
Max Torque 29.3Nm / 8,500min-1 (95/1/EC)


Starter Primary kick
Gearbox 5-speed
Final Drive #520 roller chain

Wheels, Suspension and Brakes

Suspension Front 47mm Showa inverted leading-axle twin chamber cartridge-type telescopic fork with 16-step adjustable compression and rebound damping; 315mm axle travel
Suspension Rear Pro-Link with Showa damper, adjustable low speed (13-step) and high-speed (3.5-turn) compression and 17-step rebound damping; 313mm axle travel
Brakes Front 240mm x 3mm hydraulic disc with dual-piston calliper and sintered metal pads Brakes Rear 240mm x 4mm hydraulic disc with single-piston calliper and sintered metal pads Tyres Front 80/10021 Tyres Rear 100/9019

Dimensions and Weight

Wheelbase 1,477mm Rake Castor Angle 27ー 50' Trail 125mm
Seat Height 965mm
Ground Clearance 362mm
Kerb Weight 101.2kg (includes all standard equipment, required fluids and a full tank of fuel ready to ride)
Fuel Capacity 7.3 litres


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  1. chanceyy's Avatar
    well written Sugi .. reading the test reports .. will keep an eye on this blog now ..

    btw awesome pics ..
  2. Pierce's Avatar
  3. Buddy L's Avatar
    nice report.
    Good to see honda going green, with the a bit of under growth on the new CRF's
  4. merv's Avatar
    ...and the green outfit you're wearing just looks so wrong.
  5. sugilite's Avatar
    Yep I know, I'll be looking to get some neutral black and white gear asap