This week's Classic Steel is a look back at the controversial 1997 Honda CR250R

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12/27/2012 12:32 PM

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12/27/2012 12:55 PM

I have never been so anxious for a bike to hit the showroom floor as I was in November 2006 waiting for these to arrive. Strongest 250 motor I've ever ridden.

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12/27/2012 1:07 PM

awesome articles..i look forward to these..

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12/27/2012 1:08 PM

My buddy had that bike after the Primm liquidation. Couldn't give it away and it was a brand new bike, not a resto. Think it ended up selling for under 3 grand.

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12/27/2012 1:12 PM
Edited Date/Time: 12/27/2012 1:14 PM

BIGRIGGIN wrote:

I have never been so anxious for a bike to hit the showroom floor as I was in November 2006 waiting for these to arrive. ...more

worst bike ive ever ridden! by a long way- couldnt beleive how much worse these bikes were than the earlier 93- 96 models! MASSIVE step backwards by honda!!! what on earth were they thinking?!!!

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12/27/2012 1:20 PM

Might not be the best MX bike built, but that thing looks sick!

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12/27/2012 1:33 PM

I was the first in my area to own one of these beauties. It was fast as hell until it hit a bump or a turn. I've driven Cadillacs that would turn underneath that damn thing. The fork sucked, rear suspension was above average but felt harsh due to the thin seat that used solid oak under the cover instead of foam. Oh, and the vibrations that ran through that first gen frame, holy shit! I could go on and on....

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12/27/2012 1:48 PM

I toyed with the decision of buying a 96 CR250 or waiting for the highly anticipated 97 remodel that everyone was so tight lipped about. In the end, I went for the tried and true 96. When the 97 was released, it sure did look trick but I kept my 96. I rode each new model, waiting to sell my 96 for the new design. I never liked them as much as my old dog. I raced the 96 until the end of 2001!

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12/27/2012 1:49 PM

These articles are awesome. Thanks for posting them.

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12/27/2012 1:59 PM

patrickadizzle wrote:

These articles are awesome. Thanks for posting them.

Thanks, and you are welcome.

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12/27/2012 2:57 PM

Nice article. This was my first bike coming back from hibernation 2001 (last bike I rode was a 1984 CR80 big wheel). I liked it, but had little to compare with. The lack of power down low was evident in comparison to a Yamaha YZ250 from 2000 I tested. But other than that I felt happy. Would be nice to try one again after a couple of hundres our of general seat time! cheerful

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12/27/2012 3:56 PM

still very competitive, i see ronnie mac is on a 98 these days, awesome.
I dont think I have ever ridden a 97, but I had a 99, which looks identicle to the 97 and loved it. very powerful 250

and you may need to say "classic aluminum" for this one

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ride

12/27/2012 4:35 PM

Those things felt like 2X4's!!! But it was a honda.....and they finally got it right in 2000.

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Did i do that?

12/27/2012 6:38 PM
Edited Date/Time: 12/27/2012 6:57 PM

Had one when they came out. Not a good bike...........went to Yamaha in '98 and didn't look back.


Great read tho!

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"Who cares about what other people think"

12/27/2012 6:50 PM

People always dog this bike, but I went thru two of them and loved them! I admit, the first time I rode mine I did 3 laps and pulled off and told my dad "this thing is a pos!" The next day we took it to pro-action then went back to the same track and I was doing ten lap motos, no problem.
But then again I liked my '92 CR250 a lot better than my '93. I'm just weird like that.

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12/27/2012 7:05 PM

I think it would be cool to see a "shootout" between a '77, '87, '97, and '07 CR250.. all classic or memorable bikes in their own rights.

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Ride like a girl!!!
Insta queenofspodes
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Current project: 2007 Kawasaki KX250-R7 retro build
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1987 RM250 resto

12/27/2012 7:05 PM
Edited Date/Time: 12/27/2012 7:09 PM

I wanted that bike so bad when they first came out, i finally was able to get a clapped out 98 in 2000, traded my 1987 cr 250 and 800$ cash for it, rebuilt it and raced novice with it till 2003 when the bottom end came apart, and i ended up trading it for a carsilly lol... that frame was terrible, the article nailed it in that aspect... i miss that bike.. but not as much as i miss that 87sad

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12/28/2012 1:10 AM

I saw one of those snap right in half once. The shrouds cut threw the frame and when the rider landed off the jump that was it. Also caused the radiator to break in half and poured hot coolant all over the rider.

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12/28/2012 2:34 AM

Frame spars straight off a nsr500 !

I had a 95 kx250 when a mate bought one as soon as they came out,
after riding it, i would never have swapped if he asked.

jack hammer, unforgiving and no track feel at all,
no idea who tested/okayed that frame but they should be embarrassed.

Part reason mcgrath left honda?

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Mr Lee Van Cleef wouldnt mind

12/28/2012 4:23 AM

Thank you for publishing these articles! They are of awesome quality I think, also from an engineering standpoint smile

Please keep up the good work, I always look forward to new articles

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12/28/2012 5:51 AM

I had a friend who had a 98 and he rode that thing for years, and was fast on it. I rode a 99 for awhile, and actually like it. It didn't seem to turn that well, but was a good solid bike. Of course, it wasn't quite as good as the 93 I had (125 and 250)

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12/28/2012 5:58 AM

wow123 wrote:

Frame spars straight off a nsr500 !

I had a 95 kx250 when a mate bought one as soon as they came out,
after riding it, i ...more

No. The whole reason. laughing

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12/28/2012 6:06 AM

This was such a good time in MX. All the road racing technology was flowing over. That thing had an NSR frame, NSR traction control, and in a few more years had the NSR powervalve. Honda had a good thing going.

Then, they decided to foop it up.

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12/28/2012 6:37 AM
Edited Date/Time: 12/28/2012 6:46 AM

I think what made this era so good was that no two bikes were built alike or felt alike. Every OEM had their own idea and design which made all of the bikes look and feel completely different. It was interesting to see what new ideas they would come up with next as far as frame, bodywork and motor design.

I remember getting off of my '92 CR and onto a buddies '93 YZ and thinking, WTF is wrong with this thing? It had a funky feeling cockpit, the motor barked hard off the bottom and was done whereas the CR would keep pulling no matter how hard it was revved, yet the suspension felt much more plush and controlled than my trusty Honda.

Now it seems like they are all basically the same. With the exception of the Yamaha, if you've ridden one 450 you've ridden them all. The ergos are all basically the same, the motors are all too fast for mortals and the suspension on todays bikes is phenomenal when compared to bikes of 15 yrs ago.

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12/28/2012 9:17 AM

raced one 2 times and said no more...... killer motor but the frame was way to rigid and beat the hell out of your arms.

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12/28/2012 9:25 AM

reded wrote:

I think what made this era so good was that no two bikes were built alike or felt alike. Every OEM had their own idea and ...more

How was the handling on the 92 CR. Was the reputation as a world class headshaker warranted?

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12/28/2012 9:25 AM

McGrath and the 97 Honda is STewart and the 10+ YZF.

Good thing the internet didn't exist in this capacity then, or the King would have been getting dragged through the mud...and people would have been saying "Lamson and Swink did JUST FINE!!!" or "Bradshaw won Highpoint!!!"

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12/28/2012 9:42 AM

ATKpilot99 wrote:

How was the handling on the 92 CR. Was the reputation as a world class headshaker warranted?

It was tame compared to the '89-91. I don't recall it ever trying to rip the bars out of my hands but the front end would definitely get a loose feeling in hardpack chop.

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12/28/2012 10:28 AM

reded wrote:

It was tame compared to the '89-91. I don't recall it ever trying to rip the bars out of my hands but the front end would ...more

Thanks. I'm going to be looking for a bike this spring and it's either going to be a 90s era or evo 250. I've always liked the look of that era CRs but bad headshake is a dealbreaker for me. I understand it happens on any bike, but just trying to steer clear of the bad ones. I had a 98 KTM 250sx ( first year of no link) and it was the most vicious deceleration headshaker I've ever experienced.

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