wheel off the ground, you’ll need to invest in a wedge ( www.matrixracingproducts.com) or a lifting block ( www.worksconnection.com). Q: HOW DOES THE 2013 CRF250 RUN ON THE DYNO? A: Maximum horsepower on our 2013 CRF250 was 38. 44 ponies at 11,000 rpm. Maximum torque was 20 foot-pounds. The updated fuel-injection settings could be felt on the track, but didn’t make a ripple on the dyno curve. On the dyno, the power output rises steadily. The engine makes over 38 horsepower from 10,300 rpm to 11,300 rpm. The CRF250 still makes 35. 60 ponies at 13,200 rpm, but then the engine takes a nosedive. Truth be told, the 2013 CRF250 dyno chart is a yawner. There isn’t a serious spike in horsepower at any point. It’s a vanilla powerband. Q: HOW DOES THE 2013 HONDA CRF250 STACK UP TO THE COMPETITION ON THE DYNO? A: Two years ago, the CRF250 produced the most horsepower in the 250 four-stroke class. A lot has changed since then. Kawasaki came out with the dual fuel-injected KX250F in 2012, which nearly reached 40 horsepower. The 2013 model hits 41. 16 ponies, and that’s not even the cream of the horsepower crop. The 2013 KTM 250SXF breaks the 42-horsepower barrier with 42. 89 ponies. The 2013 Honda CRF250 is the best of the rest. At 38. 44 horsepower, it beats the Suzuki RM-Z250 ( 38.01 ponies), Husqvarna TC250 ( 37. 86) and the lowly Yamaha YZ250F ( 37. 17). The CRF250 produces the fourth-most torque (the TC250, KX250F and 250SXF are better). Q: HOW DOES THE 2013 HONDA CRF250 HANDLE? A: It loves those new fork springs. In years past, the undersprung forks dove under braking, shook like a wet dog at speed and failed to keep the chassis balanced. It sat like a stinkbug, which worked well on tight tracks where traction was at a premium and speeds were slow, but in many situations the geometry caused tremendous headshake on fast straights and oversteering at turn-in. In last year’s CRF250 test, we stated, “Half of the battle is getting the front and rear suspension balanced out while finding a compromise head angle for your riding style.” We then proclaimed that handling could be improved with stiffer fork springs and by dropping the fork legs and tweaking the damping settings. Guess what? Honda listened. The stiffer fork springs along with the larger fork pistons on the CRF250 are noteworthy changes because they calm down the shaky handling. The CRF250 can cut inside lines with ease, but there’s still a wiggle from center out and a case of the shakes on fast, rough terrain.
Pleasant: The CRF250 engine has great midrange power, but
Remove before flight: Get rid of the brake guard in order to
improve stopping power.