Traction control: Although not new for this year, the larger
footpegs are much better than the old pegs.
A: The hate list: (1) Handling. Although improved, thanks to stiffer forks, the CRF250 still handles like a leaf in a hurricane from time to time. We suffered from headshake and knifing from center-out. You can work this out with grass-roots fixes, but there are bikes that don’t need to be tweaked. ( 2) Brakes. They’re weak, and the front brake will start to fade if air doesn’t get to the rotor and caliper. We removed the guard and felt an improvement in brake performance. ( 3) Graphics. For the third year in a row, the CRF250 comes with the same graphics scheme. ( 4) Frame cradle. It’s irritating that the CRF250 doesn’t sit level on a normal bike stand, but there are special bike stands (or blocks of wood) to solve the problem. Why does it bother us? Because it makes working on the bike more of a hassle than it should be. Q: WHAT DID WE LIKE? A: The like list: (1) Engine. The predominantly midrange engine is competitive across a wide range of skill levels. Although Q: WHAT WOULD WE DO TO IMPROVE THE 2013 HONDA CRF250? A: It’s a good package out of the crate. A 2013 Honda CRF250 owner need only focus on two changes— and one of them is free. (1) Exhaust. The muffler outlet diameter is too small, the length of the canister is too long and it doesn’t flow air as well as an aftermarket exhaust. Although the CRF250 passes the two-meter-max test (at 115 decibels), the exhaust hampers the powerband. Simply tacking on an aftermarket slip-on is a dramatic improvement, but for the full effect, we recommend a complete system. ( 2) Front brake. We discovered long ago that the front brake guard on the CRF250 impedes airflow to the rotor, causing the front brake to heat up and fade over the course of a long moto. In years past, we had to remove the axle spacer by pressing it out of the plastic brake guard. No more! Honda redesigned the mount by using two bolts to attach the brake guard. The benefit of getting more airflow to the front rotor outweighs the protection offered by the flimsy plastic. Q: WHAT DID WE HATE?
Hush puppy: Do yourself a favor and kick the stock exhaust to
the curb. An aftermarket system will yield more ponies.
Amen: Our prayers were answered when Honda beefed up
the forks. As a result, the handling has been improved.