focus on attaining the perfect symbiotic relationship
between weight and balance is a double-edged sword.
Honda is caught up in the purity of the idea, not the
reality. It is obvious to every MXA test rider that adding
more weight in an attempt to balance out the side-to-side
weight does no one any favors.
Are we being too critical of the twice-pipe idea? Here
are the reasons we don’t like two mufflers.
(1) Weight. At around 10 pounds, the CRF250 dual
mufflers are heavy. There are aftermarket single CRF250
exhaust systems on the market that are upwards of 4
pounds lighter. That’s a big difference.
( 2) Performance. Honda should have learned the
error of its ways after going with dual pipes on the 2006
to 2009 CRF250s and then abandoning them. Honda says
they are an advantage; we don’t agree. Single pipes are
lighter, cheaper to repack, less complicated, create a
narrower bike and produce more horsepower.
( 3) Damage. Twice the mufflers means twice the
odds of damaging the exhaust.
( 4) Cost. Aftermarket twin exhaust pipes cost as much
as $500 more than a single-sided CRF250 exhaust. Just
Q: HOW WELL DOES HONDA’S ENGINE
MODE SELECT SYSTEM WORK?
A: It works quite well. Before explaining how well
the Engine Mode Select (EMS) button performs, we
should discuss its function.
Modes. The EMS button is located on the handlebars
next to the front brake master cylinder. Depressing the
EMS for one second switches the ignition curve to the
hard-terrain (mellow) mode. This is distinguishable by
two consecutive blinking lights that repeat three times.
Holding the EMS button down for an additional second
switches the ignition curve to the soft terrain (aggressive)
map, indicated by three lights blinking consecutively and
repeating three times. Holding down the button for
another second will switch the mode back to stock (and a
single blue light will flash).
Operation. Cycling through the map settings takes a
few seconds; however, to select a map quicker, such as
when going from the stock map to the aggressive map,
we simply held down the EMS button for two seconds.
It’s a handy trick for those who are impatient. Setting the
EMS button must be done while the engine is on. Honda’s
lawyers state that the bike should be idling, but our
uber-talented test riders managed to switch maps while
in motion (with the throttle rolled off). Having said that,
we strongly advise against the idea, as it’s a dangerous
Resetting. It’s important to note that the EMS does
not need to be reset every time the CRF250 is restarted.
If you turned it off in the aggressive map, it will start up
in the aggressive map. Unfortunately, there is no
indicator light that flashes upon startup to show which
map is selected.
Updates: The 2015 received quite a few updates; most
notably are the new air forks, larger front brake rotor
and Engine Mode Select mapping options.