gain power, we’d lose weight.
( 3) Clutch. Honda has been sucking wind in
the clutch department for years, but it became
more obvious once KTM showed the world how
long-lasting a clutch could be. We’d end the suffering
of the CRF250’s soft, spongy and weak clutch.
( 4) Chain. We’d quit spec’ing the cheapest chain
we could find. Does Honda think that the buyers
don’t know the difference between a good chain and
a bad one?
( 5) Forks. We’d call Kayaba and ask how much
it would cost to put SSS coil-spring forks on the
CRF250—and then pay them whatever it takes. Oh,
don’t get us wrong, we think the Showa SFF TAC air
forks work adequately, but they are too complex for
the typical teenage 250 four-stroke owner to live with.
Don’t worry about the weight of the coil springs,
we’ll save more than that when we get rid of the
Q: WHAT DOES THE 2016 CRF250 WEIGH?
A: With Yamaha and KTM setting the gold
standard at 221 pounds, the 2016 Honda CRF250 took
a dive in this category. Without its twin mufflers and
pipes, the CRF250 could easily be 3 pounds lighter;
however, Honda insists on sticking with the complex,
expensive and heavy twice-pipes. The result? The 2016
CRF250 weighs 224 pounds, which just happens
to be 3 pounds more than the KTM 250SXF and
We don’t like Honda’s twin mufflers and never have.
Don’t forget they were on the CRF250 once before—
from 2006 to 2009—before being resurrected in 2014.
They don’t make more power, made all the more
obvious by the horsepower differential to the single
muffler of the 2016 Husqvarna FC250. They aren’t
quieter, especially since Honda has a prescribed
sound limit that every production bike must meet
regardless of how many mufflers it has. They cost
more to replace and repair, while doubling the chance
of damaging them in a crash. If you’re buying an aftermarket pipe for your 2016 CRF250, you’d be smart to
look at a singe-sided system. It will be $500 cheaper.
Q: HOW WELL DO HONDA’S ELECTRONIC
A: Honda has three ignition maps that can be
selected by pressing a button on the throttle side of
the handlebars. Depressing the map button for one
second switches the ignition curve to the mellow map.
This is distinguishable by two consecutive blinking
lights, which repeat three times. Holding the map
button down for an additional second switches the
ignition curve to the aggressive map. Three lights
blink consecutively and repeat three times. Holding
down the map button for another second will switch
the map back to stock (and a single blue light will
flash). In truth, the aggressive map (three blinks) was
the unanimous choice of every MXA test rider—from
Beginner to Pro. This map should be the stock map. It
doesn’t make more power in this setting, but throttle
response is improved and the CRF250 feels crisper.
As for launch control, the 2016 Honda doesn’t have
launch control. No sweat. A 38. 89 horsepower, 250cc
four-stroke really doesn’t need launch control.