Tell me about your 2020 CRF250R

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7/24/2020 4:53 AM

Just sold my 17 yz450f and thinking about going back to a 250F. I loved my YZ but it was a tank. Looking something lighter, slimmer and less tiring to ride. I liked the ergos of the YZ so I was considering a new yz250f but I was thinking about giving the Honda a shot. I'm 5'10 190 lbs but have shorter legs so the taller bike have always been a bit of a challenge.

Any owners have real world feedback on the bike? I know it had great reviews on the shootouts but how is the long term reliability? Any issues? Anything you would change? Or am I crazy and should just get the YZ250F.

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7/24/2020 5:38 AM

I went from a 2015 YZ450f to the CRF250r. No regrets. Handling and ergos are fantastic and I adapted quickly to the slimmer chassis. I was surprised how much I enjoyed the 250cc bike after having been on 450cc machines since 2003 .I can ride longer and have more fun doing so because I don't feel like I'm fighting the bike. I have ridden the newer YZ250Fs and the engine is great. Especially the bottom end. You can be lazier with it, but the way the Honda handles more than makes up for any perceived shortcomings. CRF has power, you just got to rev more to find it.

Reliability has been top notch. 90 hours with only routine maintenance. 2 top ends, timing chain and clutches. valves still in spec too.

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7/24/2020 5:39 AM

The Honda handles like a dream but IMO you will be wanting more power at your weight. If I had the money, a Honda 250 with a built motor might be my dream bike.

I am about 200 lb and am happy with my 2019 YZ250F as a second bike. The YZ doesnt handle quite as good as the Honda but I need that power for my weight and it's an all around great bike and very reliable. My main is a 19 KX450 which feels light and thin for a 450 and has mild power that's easy to ride. I had a 14 YZ450F and also thought it was a tank.

If you're not a serious racer, the YZ250F would be my choice. If you're racing a lot maybe think about the KX450. Or go with the Honda if you dont mind wringing its neck or spending money on the motor. I think any of these will be easier to ride then your last gen YZ450F.

I'm sure many will also recommend a 350. As always, try to snag a ride on as many as you can before buying. Good luck

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7/24/2020 6:49 AM

I was also debating maybe trying the new honda 450. slimmer, lighter and handles better then the 17 yz. Might make it less tiring to ride? My skill level is honestly Fast C maybe slower B rider.

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7/24/2020 6:53 AM

Maybe Carlinojoe will chime in. I rode his and thought it was great. It did feel slim, nimble and turned great. I'd love to try a stock one as well because his had stuff like clamps, RaceTech A-kit suspension and RaceTech head.

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7/24/2020 7:30 AM

seth505 wrote:

Maybe Carlinojoe will chime in. I rode his and thought it was great. It did feel slim, nimble and turned great. I'd love to try a stock one as well because his had stuff like clamps, RaceTech A-kit suspension and RaceTech head.

That's what I'm looking for. The shootouts seem to claim the same on the bike stock. My YZ was great in straight line chop, other then that I felt a lot of the time I was fighting to the bike to get it to do what I wanted.

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7/24/2020 7:31 AM

spacecat wrote:

I went from a 2015 YZ450f to the CRF250r. No regrets. Handling and ergos are fantastic and I adapted quickly to the slimmer chassis. I was surprised how much I enjoyed the 250cc bike after having been on 450cc machines since 2003 .I can ride longer and have more fun doing so because I don't feel like I'm fighting the bike. I have ridden the newer YZ250Fs and the engine is great. Especially the bottom end. You can be lazier with it, but the way the Honda handles more than makes up for any perceived shortcomings. CRF has power, you just got to rev more to find it.

Reliability has been top notch. 90 hours with only routine maintenance. 2 top ends, timing chain and clutches. valves still in spec too.

Do you find the pegs to seat height any taller on the honda? I always found the YZ to feel a bit shorter.

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7/24/2020 7:57 AM

I have a 2019 CRF250 and also a 2020 CRF450. Love both of them, specially the 250.

Before that had a 2108 YZ450, but the transition to the Honda’s was great. Since I’m 5’10” 155 lbs, the Yamaha just felt wide and big overall.

To me the Yamaha felt more stable overall, while both CRFs turn quicker. The 250 feels stable also, but the 450 is a little more nervous (maybe it has to do with suspension set up, as I’d probably benefit from a lighter shock spring).

To me, going from the YZ450 to the CRF250 severely increased the fun factor! 😎

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7/24/2020 8:15 AM

BRZ wrote:

I have a 2019 CRF250 and also a 2020 CRF450. Love both of them, specially the 250.

Before that had a 2108 YZ450, but the transition to the Honda’s was great. Since I’m 5’10” 155 lbs, the Yamaha just felt wide and big overall.

To me the Yamaha felt more stable overall, while both CRFs turn quicker. The 250 feels stable also, but the 450 is a little more nervous (maybe it has to do with suspension set up, as I’d probably benefit from a lighter shock spring).

To me, going from the YZ450 to the CRF250 severely increased the fun factor! 😎

I was also considering the new honda 450. Might be a good mix of lighter and nimble but still has the 450 power when I need it.

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7/24/2020 9:03 AM

spacecat wrote:

I went from a 2015 YZ450f to the CRF250r. No regrets. Handling and ergos are fantastic and I adapted quickly to the slimmer chassis. I was surprised how much I enjoyed the 250cc bike after having been on 450cc machines since 2003 .I can ride longer and have more fun doing so because I don't feel like I'm fighting the bike. I have ridden the newer YZ250Fs and the engine is great. Especially the bottom end. You can be lazier with it, but the way the Honda handles more than makes up for any perceived shortcomings. CRF has power, you just got to rev more to find it.

Reliability has been top notch. 90 hours with only routine maintenance. 2 top ends, timing chain and clutches. valves still in spec too.

fourfourone wrote:

Do you find the pegs to seat height any taller on the honda? I always found the YZ to feel a bit shorter.

The seat to pegs does seem a little taller, but in a good way. I have an inseam of 31" and i find it about perfect. YZ was a bit cramped. The CRFs seem like they have a lower CG too and dont feel so top heavy into turns if that makes sense. I did initially did miss the stability of the Yamaha but the addition of the factory connection link and 105mm of sag fixed that right up.

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7/24/2020 10:07 AM

I’m currently on a CRF450R but have ridden the 250 and the bike is impressive. Felt like my 03 cr250. Lil weak down low but zippy in mid and top. Just a little tidbit not to sound off alarms or anything but had a customer bring back his 2020 after 2 hrs (I’m a tech) had some clanking goin on inside ,low and behold the intake cam sprocket bolt backed out rubbing on head casing( no sign of thread lock agent) maybe a fluke but...

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7/24/2020 11:12 AM

Don’t think you could go wrong, for every negative thing I’ve heard about that bike you hear 10 good things. There’s none of them left at my local dealer so it must be a good bike! There’s a good video of Keefer and the Rocky Mountain guy Chase riding it out at Pala when it first came out with good info.

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Don't ever let facts get in the way of a great story

7/24/2020 11:30 AM
Edited Date/Time: 7/24/2020 11:31 AM

seth505 wrote:

Maybe Carlinojoe will chime in. I rode his and thought it was great. It did feel slim, nimble and turned great. I'd love to try a stock one as well because his had stuff like clamps, RaceTech A-kit suspension and RaceTech head.

fourfourone wrote:

That's what I'm looking for. The shootouts seem to claim the same on the bike stock. My YZ was great in straight line chop, other then that I felt a lot of the time I was fighting to the bike to get it to do what I wanted.

Ya, I'm not in love with YZs because in my experience they don't turn like I want them to. I'd love to try the newest ones though, I haven't gotten the chance. The CRF felt very nimble and carved nicely which was a bit of a surprise since I'm a 2-stroke guy.

Also, I normally ride a 250sx (2stroke) so I can't comment on the power so much since it was lacking a little compared to my normal whip.

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7/24/2020 1:27 PM

I really like mine, great ergos and handling. Suspension pretty good out the box, turns much better and less busy at speed then the last Gen. What I noticed the most over my 14 is it follows a rutted turn a lot better no knifing or tucking. I put on Yosh exhaust, removed filter screen and trying out a mapped Vortex from a buddy. It improved the bottom a little, stronger and smoother mid and top with more over rev. It is a fast bike for sure. I still wish it had a little more bottom but has just enough as it is. Likes to be revved more. What I don't like is the shifting seems notchy and struggles at times to shift under WOT from 2nd to 3rd

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7/24/2020 8:59 PM

I really like the CRF250. I helped VitalMX and ML with the 250 shootout videos the last few years. They let me ride as well and it pushed me to buy a CRF250. I thought it was the most fun bike of the group. You can rev it like a 125. Great stock suspension and turns awesome.

At first I wanted to keep the bike all stock but unfortunately that doesn’t last long with me. I’ve done the Racetech head mod that Keefer suggested and Vortex ECU from XPR. It really wakes up the bike and helps with the bottom end. Stillllll this bike doesn’t compare to a Yz250f engine. It’s closer to a stock KTM 250f Now.

As someone wrote above the engine might not be fast for you, buttttt you will be able to rev the piss out the bike like a teenager.

With that said and you coming off a YZF, that bike might be more what you are looking for in a 250. Not trying to talk you out of it, they are definitely completely different bikes.
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7/25/2020 4:36 AM

I have been riding Yamaha 250Fs forever, but I am thinking about switching for the 2022 CRF250. For the 2020, and probably the 21, it seems that you either get great stability with the Yamaha or great cornering with the Honda. And obviously the motor on the Yamaha is stronger, except it won’t rev very far, something they appear to have worked on on the 21. The Honda ergos also seem superior. If Honda can close the gaps on the motor and stability in 2022 (assuming all the new 450 stuff trickles down), then it’s an easier choice. As of right now, you’re giving up something on either bike, maybe not quite as much on the Yamaha.

I wouldn’t enjoy two oil compartments on the Honda, but you have to be a surgeon to keep dirt out of the air box on the Yamaha.

Has anyone actually measured the tank widths? I recall someone claiming them to not being that different.

Anyone have to keep dropping coolant in their Honda?

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7/25/2020 4:58 AM

sandtrack315 wrote:

I have been riding Yamaha 250Fs forever, but I am thinking about switching for the 2022 CRF250. For the 2020, and probably the 21, it seems that you either get great stability with the Yamaha or great cornering with the Honda. And obviously the motor on the Yamaha is stronger, except it won’t rev very far, something they appear to have worked on on the 21. The Honda ergos also seem superior. If Honda can close the gaps on the motor and stability in 2022 (assuming all the new 450 stuff trickles down), then it’s an easier choice. As of right now, you’re giving up something on either bike, maybe not quite as much on the Yamaha.

I wouldn’t enjoy two oil compartments on the Honda, but you have to be a surgeon to keep dirt out of the air box on the Yamaha.

Has anyone actually measured the tank widths? I recall someone claiming them to not being that different.

Anyone have to keep dropping coolant in their Honda?

New Hondas only have 1 oil compartment so no sepatate trans/engine oil drains any more

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7/25/2020 8:03 AM

I haven’t had any coolant issues on my Honda. I’m at 65 hours now.

I know Keefer does with his bike and suggested the Boysen water pump kit.

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7/25/2020 8:16 AM

The 2020 Honda CRF250R was my favorite out of the 2020 250 shootout we did last year. It was my long term bike for 2020 and I haven't had any issues with it. This is my build with the bike.

https://www.vitalmx.com/features/Race-Shop-Build-2020-Honda-CRF250R,7013

Factory Connection really knows how to set up the CRF250R, some of the best suspension I've ridden. The XPR work is AMAZING but even at their "mid-budget" it adds up really quick. The Boyesen supercooler is a good way to keep things cool.

The stock power isn't a torque monster so if that is what you want, no amount of work is going to change that. You can get more torque back with a Vortex and someone that knows how to set it up. Again, Chad at XPR is a magician with that. The Akro pipe is so good, but again stupid expensive and you'd get way more bang for the buck with a ECU.

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7/25/2020 8:40 AM

Klinger wrote:

The 2020 Honda CRF250R was my favorite out of the 2020 250 shootout we did last year. It was my long term bike for 2020 and I haven't had any issues with it. This is my build with the bike.

https://www.vitalmx.com/features/Race-Shop-Build-2020-Honda-CRF250R,7013

Factory Connection really knows how to set up the CRF250R, some of the best suspension I've ridden. The XPR work is AMAZING but even at their "mid-budget" it adds up really quick. The Boyesen supercooler is a good way to keep things cool.

The stock power isn't a torque monster so if that is what you want, no amount of work is going to change that. You can get more torque back with a Vortex and someone that knows how to set it up. Again, Chad at XPR is a magician with that. The Akro pipe is so good, but again stupid expensive and you'd get way more bang for the buck with a ECU.

Thanks for the info! I had a 15 kx250f before my Yamaha. Bike was super fun to ride and loved to ring it out. That's why I don't think the bottom end of the honda will bother me. Only thing I didnt like about the kx was the fit and finish. It just felt cheaper then ktm and yamaha if that makes sense. The bike did make it 70 hours with no motor work and valves were still perfect when I sold it.

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7/26/2020 3:29 AM

GaryC1 wrote:

New Hondas only have 1 oil compartment so no sepatate trans/engine oil drains any more

Oh damn, awesome

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7/26/2020 5:19 AM

sandtrack315 wrote:

I have been riding Yamaha 250Fs forever, but I am thinking about switching for the 2022 CRF250. For the 2020, and probably the 21, it seems that you either get great stability with the Yamaha or great cornering with the Honda. And obviously the motor on the Yamaha is stronger, except it won’t rev very far, something they appear to have worked on on the 21. The Honda ergos also seem superior. If Honda can close the gaps on the motor and stability in 2022 (assuming all the new 450 stuff trickles down), then it’s an easier choice. As of right now, you’re giving up something on either bike, maybe not quite as much on the Yamaha.

I wouldn’t enjoy two oil compartments on the Honda, but you have to be a surgeon to keep dirt out of the air box on the Yamaha.

Has anyone actually measured the tank widths? I recall someone claiming them to not being that different.

Anyone have to keep dropping coolant in their Honda?

Ill be getting a 22 CRF250R as well. The Honda fit and finish is second to none IMO. I love my 18 Kawi but there is a hell of a difference in "the little things" compared to a Honda.

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7/26/2020 4:19 PM

CarlinoJoeVideo wrote:

I really like the CRF250. I helped VitalMX and ML with the 250 shootout videos the last few years. They let me ride as well and it pushed me to buy a CRF250. I thought it was the most fun bike of the group. You can rev it like a 125. Great stock suspension and turns awesome.

At first I wanted to keep the bike all stock but unfortunately that doesn’t last long with me. I’ve done the Racetech head mod that Keefer suggested and Vortex ECU from XPR. It really wakes up the bike and helps with the bottom end. Stillllll this bike doesn’t compare to a Yz250f engine. It’s closer to a stock KTM 250f Now.

As someone wrote above the engine might not be fast for you, buttttt you will be able to rev the piss out the bike like a teenager.

With that said and you coming off a YZF, that bike might be more what you are looking for in a 250. Not trying to talk you out of it, they are definitely completely different bikes.
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I love that graphics kit! I haven't had a Honda in years but I'm really thinking about switching next year. I've had a 4 different KX250f's every other year since 13' through to the current 19' I have now. they've been reliable and fun I'm just ready for a change.

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Patrick Trowbridge

7/27/2020 11:43 AM

Do you guys think going with another 450 would be the wrong choice? If I went to something lighter and better handling then the YZ would it make it any less tiring to ride? My biggest issue with the YZ was that the bike always felt like it was riding me. The tall heavy feeling made it a challenge to ride fast and for a long period of time.

FYI. I'm really sweating the new honda 450 but don't want to end up back where I was with the yz450.

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7/27/2020 3:12 PM

fourfourone wrote:

Do you guys think going with another 450 would be the wrong choice? If I went to something lighter and better handling then the YZ would it make it any less tiring to ride? My biggest issue with the YZ was that the bike always felt like it was riding me. The tall heavy feeling made it a challenge to ride fast and for a long period of time.

FYI. I'm really sweating the new honda 450 but don't want to end up back where I was with the yz450.

You and me are in the same boat my dude.

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7/27/2020 4:35 PM

What are the gear ratios like compared to the 2015 variety or a YZ250F? Did they spread them out a bit so 4th and 5th are taller? I used mine for off-road, one up on the countershaft, and for fire roads even a bit more would have been nice.

I have looked to see if there is a single-side exhaust conversion for the new gen, but it doesn’t look like it. Maybe in 2022?

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7/27/2020 6:22 PM

Have you ever considered a 350? Find a well set up '19-current 350 and test ride one.

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7/28/2020 2:11 AM

fourfourone wrote:

Do you guys think going with another 450 would be the wrong choice? If I went to something lighter and better handling then the YZ would it make it any less tiring to ride? My biggest issue with the YZ was that the bike always felt like it was riding me. The tall heavy feeling made it a challenge to ride fast and for a long period of time.

FYI. I'm really sweating the new honda 450 but don't want to end up back where I was with the yz450.

As I mentioned above, I went from a 2018 YZ450F to a 2019 CRF250. Later on I also got a 2020 CRF450, but kept the 250.

The CRF450 feels lighter and handles better than the YZ for my size (5’10” 155lbs). However, when ridden back to back with the 250 it still feels much heavier and maybe has maybe too much power for my taste.

I have fun in both, but if I had to choose one, it would be the 250.

Hope this helps.

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7/28/2020 5:26 AM

DynoDan22 wrote:

Have you ever considered a 350? Find a well set up '19-current 350 and test ride one.

the 350 has been on my radar. Only thing I don't like is the air forks and the price. I would be all about snagging a left over 350 at a good price but they are all sold out in the northeast,.

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7/28/2020 11:33 AM

fourfourone wrote:

Do you guys think going with another 450 would be the wrong choice? If I went to something lighter and better handling then the YZ would it make it any less tiring to ride? My biggest issue with the YZ was that the bike always felt like it was riding me. The tall heavy feeling made it a challenge to ride fast and for a long period of time.

FYI. I'm really sweating the new honda 450 but don't want to end up back where I was with the yz450.

How beefy are you? If you have the muscle to ride it, it might be a good option.

I am 6 foot and 162 pounds, and I don't get to ride more than once a week, so I like being able to go through a 250F around, but yeah, the new Honda 450 looks like it could be great if it's easier to handle. I am hoping I can convince someone to let me ride theirs soon so I can try it out. Last 450 I rode was a 2013 Yamaha and I did not enjoy it much.

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