– Detailed 2018 CRF250L Dual-Sport Motorcycle Buyer’s Guide | Review / Specs: Horsepower & Torque, MPG, Price, Release Date + More! –
Everything you need to know about the 2018 CRF 250L!
Another day another 2018 motorcycle announcement from Honda thanks to the EICMA Motorcycle Show that kicked off a couple of days ago. It’s a given that the 250cc dual-sport bike from Honda would return this year as it’s been near the top of the list of #1 motorcycles sold since Honda introduced it into the model lineup. Is it the fastest dual-sport motorcycle on the market? Nope. Bang for the buck though she’s hard to beat when it comes to fun-factor, it won’t break the bank to purchase or maintain which makes it a winner in many’s eyes.
2018 CRF250L Changes VS 2017 CRF250L: None. The last model year that the CRF250L had changes thrown at it was 2017. At that time Honda changed its appearance thanks to new graphics that match those of the revolutionary and All-New 2017 CRF450R motocross machine. Technically, a 38mm throttle body (2mm up from 2016) combines with a revised airbox, reshaped air boot, new muffler design and a larger-diameter exhaust head pipe to provide improved response and better power in the low and midranges. There’s a new ECU as well, and the meter assembly, taillight and license-plate holder have all been updated as well. The optional ABS model was added too.
Sadly, 2018 doesn’t equal the new CRF300L yet again we’ve all been hoping for. Honda is toying around even more this year though with that engine, creating the 2018 CB300R which is based off of the CBR300R and CB300F platform which utilizes the 2018 CRF250L / CRF250 RALLY engine (also used in prior CBR250R) but bored and stroked to give it an ever-so-slightly bump in horsepower and torque. Enough about that though, let’s dive into the 2018 CRF250L…
Key 2018 CRF250L Info (for those in a hurry):
- 2018 CRF250L Model Options / Variations:
- Option 1: Standard Brakes
- Option 2: ABS / Anti-Lock Brakes
- 2018 CRF250L Price: $5,149
- 2018 CRF250L ABS Price: $5,449
- 2018 CRF250L Release Date: Summer 2018
- 2018 CRF250L Colors: Red
- 2018 CRF250L Horsepower: 24 HP @ 8,500 RPM
- 2018 CRF250L Torque: 16.7 ft/lb TQ @ 6,750 RPM
- 2018 CRF250L Miles Per Gallon: 78 MPG
- 2018 CRF250L VS 2017 CRF250L Changes? None.
- 2018 CRF250L Review Contents:
- 1. | Introduction
- 2. | Overview + Quick Overview of Specs / Features
- 3. |Key Features
- 3.1 | Styling & Equipment
- 3.2 | Chassis / Frame / Suspension
- 3.3 | Engine
- 4. | Photo Gallery / Pictures
- 5. | Technical specifications
1. 2018 CRF250L Introduction
A 250cc dual-purpose motorcycle covers many bases: it slips easily through congested city streets thanks to lightweight and slim proportions matched with superb maneuverability, while its suspension, ground reach and seat height deliver a fun and comfortable ride on rough tarmac and trails. It opens up a whole new range of two-wheeled opportunities, whatever the rider’s experience level.
The Honda CRF250L, launched worldwide in Europe in 2012, is just such a machine. It’s found popularity with older riders – who often keep it as a second bike – while also connecting a younger demographic to Honda, many of whom use it as a cool, stylish alternative to a scooter. And for every owner, it offers the chance to head off the tarmac and on to the dirt. It was joined in 2014 by the supermoto-style CRF250M. In 2017 the CRF250L was revised, while a new model, the CRF250 RALLY, added an adventure-sport dynamic to the range which also returns for 2018 but I’ll be covering the 2018 CRF250 RALLY and it’s specs etc in a different post.
With styling cues taken directly from Honda’s CRF250R and CRF450R MX machines, the new CRF250L is ready for anything a rider can throw at it: it’s tough, practical and equally at home around a city block or out on the trail.
Mr Eiji Sugiyama, Large Project Leader (LPL) CRF250L
“We really wanted to build on the success of the CRF250L with performance upgrades that open up even more new opportunities for riders young and old, no matter what kind of journey they want to tackle. So with the new machine we have improved the power, appearance and usefulness. We’ve also made sure it remains accessible to a wide variety of riders, as we know that for many the CRF250L will be the start of their motorcycling adventure.”
2. | Model Overview
Well proven, the CRF250L’s tough steel frame and long travel Showa suspension remain unchanged, but new bodywork draws its influence from the minimalism for the CRF450R MX for a sharper, slimmed-down look. A digital dash adds a tachometer and fuel gauge and ABS is fitted as standard, with the option of disengaging it for the rear brake.
The 249cc engine boasts more bottom-end torque and peak power from revised PGM-FI and throttle body plus a new airbox, connector tube and lightweight exhaust that was upgraded in 2017.
Quick Overview of Specs / Features
2018 CRF250L Engine / Drivetrain:
- Compact and sophisticated liquid-cooled DOHC 249cc single-cylinder four-stroke powerplant produces smooth and consistent torque at low rpm, plus excellent high-rpm performance.
- A 38mm throttle body (upgraded in 2017) combines with a revised airbox, reshaped air boot, new muffler design and a larger-diameter exhaust head pipe to provide improved response and better power in the low and midranges.
- Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI).
- Extremely compact roller rocker arm design for the low-friction valve train allows the use of a smaller cylinder head.
- Gear-driven counterbalancer shaft helps reduce vibrations for rider comfort.
- Electric start for easy starting.
- Lightweight aluminum crankcase.
- Maintenance-free CD ignition.
- Heavy-duty clutch offers smooth, progressive engagement.
- Smooth-shifting, versatile six-speed transmission.
- Heavy-duty O-ring–sealed chain for durability and reduced maintenance.
- Quiet, USDA-qualified spark arrester/muffler.
- Maintenance-free sealed battery.
2018 CRF250L Chassis / Suspension:
- Chassis developed specifically for the CRF250L provides excellent handling and agility.
- Lightweight semi-double-cradle high-tensile steel frame.
- Strong 43mm inverted fork provides 9.8 inches of travel.
- Pro-Link single-shock rear suspension delivers 9.5 inches of rear-wheel travel.
- Tapered aluminum swingarm.
- Powerful wave-design 256mm front disc brake, and 220mm rear disc brake provide strong and consistent stopping power.
- Meter assembly, taillight and license-plate holder have all been updated for 2017.
- Strong, lightweight rims with straight-pull spokes.
- CRF450R-inspired bodywork and graphics.
- Front 21-inch wheel and 18-inch rear wheel with lightweight aluminum rims.
- Digital multifunction speedometer.
- Lockable toolbox.
- Motocross-style seat is low and comfortable and allows maximum rider movement.
- Durable front and rear steel sprockets.
- High-quality handlebar with comfortable grips.
– CRF250L Video Review of Specs –
3. CRF250L Key Features
3.1 | Styling & Equipment
The CRF250L is a true small capacity all-rounder, and as such is built so form and function seamlessly intertwine. Its slim width not only helps it in traffic, but also off-road where the smooth seat/tank interface also allows the rider to transfer their weight freely.
Cohesively laid out, the new digital dash features a speedometer, tachometer plus fuel gauge and clock. Much more compact than the previous design, the rear light, indicators and number plate bracket tuck neatly out of harm’s way.
The 2018 CRF250L keeps the 2.06 gallon (7.8L) including .47 gallon reserve (1.8L) fuel tank that delivers class-leading range: with fuel consumption from the engine of 78 MPG (33.3km/l WMTC mode), over 155 miles (250km) is possible. The flat filler cap is hinged for convenience.
The CRF250L comes finished in Honda’s Extreme Red racing color as a base, with black and white accents drawn directly from HRC’s factory machines.
3.2 | Chassis / Frame / Suspension
The CRF250L’s frame is constructed from steel, with twin oval-section main spars and a semi-double cradle. A wheelbase of 56.8 inches is matched to a 27.6°’ rake with 113mm trail and ground clearance of 10 inches. Seat height is 34.4 inch with a curb weight of 322 lbs.
A 43mm Showa inverted fork has 250mm of stroke: light weight and rigid, one side houses the spring while the other provides damping control. A 17mm front wheel spindle (2mm larger in diameter) improves rigidity and handling feel. Pro-Link rear suspension features a 240mm axle stroke; the Showa shock absorber is a single tube design with 40mm diameter cylinder.
The tapered aluminum swingarm incorporates a monoblock casting that provides the correct rigidity balance and reduces un-sprung mass. Extruded aluminum is used for the chain adjustment collar.
Up front, a 256mm floating wave-style disc is worked by a two-piston caliper. A two channel ABS system is offered as an option and gives the rider the option to switch it off for the rear caliper. Aluminum rims (21-inch front/18 rear) wear block pattern tires (front: 3.00-21 51P, rear: 120/80-18M/C 62P). A small detail – but a useful one off-road – is that the gear lever now features a folding tip.
3.3 | Engine
The CRF250L’s 249cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder DOHC engine has more bottom-end torque and high rpm power from the outgoing generation, with a linear delivery. Peak power of 24 HP (18.2kW) is delivered @ 8,500 RPM with peak torque of 16.7 ft/lb TQ (22.6Nm) arriving @ 6,750 RPM.
Recently revised PGM-FI feeds fuel/air mixture through a 38mm throttle body (up from 36mm) and draws air from the airbox via a direct connecting tube. The exhaust muffler has a diameter of 115mm, houses the catalyser and uses two chambers: it’s 450g lighter than the previous design and a larger bore downpipe helps the engine breathe and make more power.
The engine uses a compact roller/rocker arm valve train and cylinder head, with bore and stroke of 76 x 55mm. An offset cylinder reduces frictional losses while the piston itself incorporates a special surface material, plus a molybdenum coating. The oil pump features an internal relief structure that prevents aeration of relieved oil.
The crank journal employs a half-split, press-fit metal bearing while the crank bearing uses a cast-iron bush, reducing weight, smoothing the engine and strengthening the rigidity of the case housing, minimizing the internal diameter change due to thermal expansion.
A primary balance shaft further reduces vibration and the six-speed gearbox and clutch are manufactured to cope with the extra stress of riding off-road. The 10.7 kW heat-release radiator features a thin guide-ring cooling fan to maintain even temperatures at low speeds.
The 2018 CRF250L engine still remains EURO4 compliant.
4. | 2018 CRF250L Photo Gallery / Pictures
5. | 2018 CRF250L Technical Specifications
|Type||249.6cc liquid-cooled, 20º single-cylinder four-stroke|
|Valve Train||DOHC; four valves|
|Bore x Stroke||76.0mm x 55.0mm|
|Induction||PGM-FI fuel injection w/ 38mm throttle body|
|Ignition||Full transistorized ignition|
|Final Drive||14T/40T; O-ring-sealed chain|
|Front||43mm telescopic inverted fork; 9.8 in. travel|
|Rear||Pro-Link® system with single shock; 9.4 in. travel|
|Front||Single two-piston hydraulic caliper w/ 256mm disc; ABS||Single two-piston hydraulic caliper w/ 256mm disc|
|Rear||Single one-piston hydraulic caliper w/ 220mm disc; ABS||Single one-piston hydraulic caliper w/ 220mm disc|
|Rake (Caster Angle)||27.6º|
|Trail||113mm (4.5 in.)|
|Ground Clearance||10.0 in.|
|Seat Height||34.4 in.|
|Fuel Capacity||2.1 gal.|
|Curb Weight*||321.9 lbs.||317.5 lbs.|
* Includes all standard equipment, required fluids and full tank of fuel—ready to ride. Meets current EPA standards. Models sold in California meet current CARB standards and may differ slightly due to emissions equipment. Specifications subject to change.