WH Y SHOULD THE CRF250 WIN THE SHOO TOU T?
The Honda CRF250 should win because it is a really
good bike suffering from benign neglect, budget constraints and a flawed design philosophy. Every MXA test
rider wanted to love the CRF250 because of how cool
it feels on the track. If there weren’t lots of faster bikes
around to point out its deficiencies, this would be the
2017 MXA 250 shootout winner.
WHY SHOULD THE HONDA CRF250 LOSE THE
Horsepower is not the end-all, be-all of a shootout, but
a total lack of horsepower is a deal-breaker. Finding 5
horsepower to run with the Austrian duo will not come
cheap. Honda’s 2017 horsepower numbers were competitive back in 2009, but with the exception of the Suzuki
RM-Z250, none of the other manufacturers are living eight
years in the past. They have moved on.
WHAT’S NEW ON THE 2017 HONDA CRF250?
With the Honda R&D department’s attention focused
on the new CRF450, the 2017 Honda CRF250 got short
shrift. The 2017 CRF250 is the 2016 CRF250, right down
to the left-over graphics, plastic and configuration.
WHAT DOES THE CRF250 WEIGH?
224 pounds. We have to wonder why Honda’s engineers stick with the silly twin pipes. The CRF250 would
weigh 222 pounds with a single exhaust system.
HOW DOES THE CRF250 RATE IN THE MAJOR
Power output: Fair. The 2017 Husqvarna FC250
makes 44. 34 horsepower, leaving the CRF250 almost
5. 5 horsepower in the dust. In dyno terms, the 2017
Husqvarna FC250 ( 44. 34), KTM 250SXF ( 43. 76), Yamaha
YZ250 ( 40. 93) and Kawasaki KX250 ( 40.05) are taking
candy from a 39. 89 horsepower baby.
Suspension: Good. As far as air forks go, the Honda
CRF250 has the best all-around feel of any bike with
Showa SFF-TAC forks, followed by the KX450F. The
MXA wrecking crew appreciates good forks wherever
we find them, and we like Honda’s take on TAC; however, we believe that the forks are too complex for the
typical teenage 250 four-stroke owner to live with. And,
we know that Honda feels the same way. How do we
know? Because the 2017 Honda CRF450 comes with coil-spring forks based in no small part on consumer studies
conducted by Honda itself.
Handling: Very good. The 2017 CRF250 feels light
and right. It can turn with RM-Z250 precision, respond
creatively to changing track conditions and feels like
Brakes: Fair. Proof that big 270mm rotors aren’t the