Bike > Honda > Honda CRF250L 2012

By Ketan Patel

Honda CRF250L 2012 Review

Honda has recently launched the CRF250L 2012 so long story short, if you're on the lookout for a dual-purpose bike with great heritage that combines excellent off-road capabilities with on-road prowess then this one might be exactly what you were looking for.

The new CRF250L boasts with being super practical while offering high fuel efficiency. The off-roader is motivated by a 250 cc liquid-cooled single cylinder four-stroke engine mated with a six-speed transmission. The 250 cc unit develops 23 horsepower and a maximum torque of 16.23 lb-ft. More interestingly is the fact that the new bike has been equipped with Honda's PGM-FI system (Programmed Fuel Injection) that will allegedly yield a maximum fuel efficiency of 100 mpg. Considering the fact that the CRF250L has a two-gallon tank, a potential range of 200 miles is very impressive.

The bike sits on a steel twin-tube frame and aluminum swingarm and is equipped with a 43mm inverted fork at the front having 8.7 inches travel, and a Pro-Link single shock with spring preload adjustability and 9.4 inches travel at the back. The brakes consist in a single 256 mm disc with twin-piston calipers at the front wheel, and a single 220 mm disc at the rear. Its wheelbase is 56.9 inches, its curb weight is 320 pounds and has a seat height of 34.7 inches.

Being both an off-road and a city bike, the CRF250L has been designed to please the eye as well, but the only downside is the fact that it only comes with one color scheme, the classic Red/White combination. It also comes with a long seat and fold-up frame-mounted passenger footpegs, which is a pretty big plus if you don't want to ride alone.

That pretty much sums it all up, so it's time to take a look at what you'll need to pay for the Honda CRF250L 2012, if it delivers what you were looking for in a dual-purpose bike. The MSRP price in the US, excluding taxes is $4,499. If you'd also like to consider the alternatives, its key competitor is the Kawasaki KLX250S which has the same engine capacity, is similar in many ways and comes with a price tag of $5,099 MSRP.

Hide Official Press Release

TOKYO, Japan, April 13, 2012 - Honda Motor Co., Ltd. has announced the start of sales in Japan on May 14, 2012, of a new 250-cc on/off-road model, the CRF250L, which offers an agile ride in a wide range of riding environments from urban to off road riding.

Under the slogan, "'New On & Off Gear, your right buddy on the road' to make 'On' (daily life) more convenient and 'Off' (weekends) more enjoyable," the development team, by pursuing total balance and driving stability to the utmost, created a vehicle that enables a broad spectrum of users from beginners to experienced riders to enjoy the sheer fun of handling the machine.

The CRF250L is powered by a liquid-cooled 250-cc 4-stroke DOHC single-cylinder engine with powerful output in the low-to-mid rpm range. Low-friction technologies including an offset cylinder are also employed to realize the excellent fuel efficiency of 44.3 km/L (measured at a constant speed of 60 km/h on a level road).

A newly-designed frame makes use of the steel twin-tube structure to offer the rider a nimble ride while ensuring both agility and stability. In addition, an agile, high-performance run-through ability in a wide range of situations from urban riding to off road is realized through the adoption of an inverted suspension with a 250-mm cushion stroke for the front and the Pro-Link suspension with 240 mm of axle travel for the rear.

Styling has been refined to be sharper and more aggressive while inheriting the basic concept of Honda's CRF motocrosser series, resulting in a design that asserts a Honda identity fitting for a new-era CRF. Customers are offered a choice of two color schemes: Extreme Red to present an aggressive image or Ross White for those who wish to impart a cool image.

Main Features of the CRF250L


The engine aims for powerful output that can be handled with equal ease on on-road and off-road. While achieving powerful torque from the low rpm range to high, the CRF250L's engine also boasts output characteristics expressing the smooth rev-up that typifies a liquid-cooled 4-stroke DOHC engine. The Programmed Fuel Injection System (PGM-FI*), the O2 sensor, catalyzer fitted inside the muffler, and the newly applied low-friction technologies embedded in such components as the offset cylinder and the roller rocker arm all form a synergy that delivers high environmental performance along with excellent fuel efficiency of 44.3 km/L (measured at a constant speed of 60 km/h on a level road).

* PGM-FI is a registered trademark of Honda.


Vehicle body/suspension

The newly-designed frame makes use of a steel twin-tube design to offer a nimble ride while ensuring both agility and stability, and the oval cross-sectional shape of the main pipe helps boost rigidity while enabling a slim vehicle body. The inverted front suspension employs a Separate Function Front Fork having an inner tube diameter of 43 mm and a cushion stroke of 250 mm in a design that secures both light weight and high rigidity to deliver excellent operability and high driving stability. The aluminum monoblock cast swing arm yields high strength and proper rigidity balance and is paired with a Pro-Link rear suspension having 240 mm of axle travel providing the rider with impressive agility and high road-holding capability from urban riding to off road.



Styling has been refined into a sharper and more aggressive tone while inheriting the concept of "centralized mass with triangular proportions," a key feature and basic principle of Honda's CRF motocrosser series. This design asserts a Honda identity befitting the CRF for a new era. A surface encompassing tank shrouds, side covers, and a rear fender has been made flush to project an even sharper image. Meanwhile, the muffler cover and tool box on the left side add accent to the design by forming a shape reminiscent of a side racing number plate. The body comes in one of two colors, Extreme Red featuring a red seat to impose an aggressive image and Ross White with a silver seat to emanate a sense of coolness.


Key equipment
  A headlight visor that enhances a tough and muscular look and a multi-reflector headlight (60/55 W) with superb visibility
  A multifunctional digital meter that incorporates a fuel meter, a clock, and trip/odometer
  Skid plates that prevent mud, flying gravel, and other elements from damaging the engine
  A handle turning angle that extends to 45° on both left and right in a design made for maneuverability
  Cargo hooks in the rear fender section to make loading convenient
  Fuel tank with a capacity of 7.7 liters



Model name CRF250L
Vehicle name/type Honda/JBK-MD38
Dimensions (L×W×H) (mm) 2,195×815×1,195
Wheelbase (mm) 1,445
Ground clearance (mm) 255
Seat height (mm) 875
Curb weight (kg) 143
Riding capacity (No. of occupants) 2
Minimum turning radius (m) 2.3
Engine type MD38E, Liquid-cooled 4-stroke DOHC
4-valve single cylinder
Total displacement (cm3) 249
Bore × Stroke (mm) 76.0×55.0
Compression ratio 10.7
Maximum output (kW[PS]/rpm) 17[23]/8,500
Maximum torque (N・m[kgf・m]/rpm) 22[2.2]/7,000
Fuel efficiency (km/L) 44.3
(constant speed of 60 km/h on a level road)
Fuel supply system Electronic
< Programmed Fuel Injection System (PGM-FI) >
Starter type Self starter
Ignition type Full-transistor battery ignition
Lubricating type Wet sump
Fuel tank capacity (L) 7.7
Clutch type Wet multiplate with coil springs
Transmission type Constant mesh 6-speed return
Transmission gear ratios 1st 3.333
2nd 2.117
3rd 1.571
4th 1.304
5th 1.115
6th 0.962
Reduction gear ratio (primary/secondary) 2.807/2.857
Caster angle (°) /Trail (mm) 27°35´/113
Tire size Front 3.00-21 51P
Rear 120/80-18M/C 62P
Brake type Front Hydraulic disc
Rear Hydraulic disc
Suspension type Front Telescopic (Inverted)
Rear Swing arm (Pro-Link suspension system)
Frame type Semi-double cradle


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