Brakes: C They are average.
Notes: This chassis is unbalanced
out of the crate. It sits high in the rear
and feels twitchy at speed. We lower
the rear and raise the front to balance
the bike. Although it makes the front
end feel a bit tall, it makes the overall
chassis feel effortless when riding.
Forks: A These forks are awesome.
They absorb small chop, get progres-
sively stiffer without any harshness
and have above-average bottoming
Shock: B We like the shock, just
not as much as the forks. It does
everything well but nothing great.
Balance: A In stock trim the bike
has a stink bug feel. To find the per-
fect balance, you have to drop the
rear. Once we did that, the front and
rear worked in harmony together.
Gearing: D Stock gearing is a joke.
The 13/48 is too tall for just about any
rider. Running a 49-tooth rear made
the sweet spot of the powerband
more usable for faster riders, while a
50-tooth sprocket was better for the
slower riders who don’t carry as much
speed through corners.
Maps: A All three maps have a
purpose. Plus, with the Honda EFI
tuning kit you can re-map Map 3 to
Noise: A The dual pipes muffle
the sound, but there is some irritating
engine noise at high rpm.
Tires: A We love the Dunlop MX3S
Price: C The price has risen with
the addition of electric starting. The
2017 CRF250 was $7599, and the
2018 model is $7999. Most riders will
pay the $400 premium for the magic
button. It sure is a heck of a lot cheaper than installing an electric starter
Weight: F At 228 pounds, the
CRF250 is the heaviest bike in the
class by 2 pounds over the second
heaviest, the RM-Z250. It costs big
money and time to trim weight off,
and the KTM 250SXF is 10 pounds
lighter than the CRF250. That is a
huge difference, but Honda did a
good job of making it feel light on the
track—that is, until you hit the ground.
Rank in class: Fourth place.