A week off work enabled me to put more than 1000 km on the Honda CRF 250 L and put it through it’s paces. So, what have I been doing with (to?) it? Well, I like to explore my surroundings, go down an unknown side road and see where it leads. Invariably this gets me onto small rural dual-tracks, paved or not. I’ve gotten stuck on them with the Harley, carefully turned around and made my escape. No need for that with the Honda CRF 250 L. It shines on these dirt roads, navigating them in second or third gear is fun, actually. Until you get into proper MX terrain. Especially deep muddy ruts are a task I still have to learn. Learning by doing had me laying under the bike two more times (no harm except muddy gear and some strenuous lifting exercises). But on Thursday I proudly navigated a steep muddy downhill, weight all back, sitting on the rear wheel practically and finessing it down with no front brake and repeatedly blocking the rear wheel, breaking, sliding, rolling and staying upright. Never have I been more grateful for a piece of tarmac at the exit of that rough terrain. So, that was fun and scary. To be repeated.
At the end of the week, I explored the other use case of this dual-purpose bike with a trip up north to my parents. 450 km one way. To be able to take a modicum of things with me, I mounted a luggage rack and a top case at the rear of the machine. The high muffler position prevents side bags, unless you want to burn the right one off. Now this wannabe motocrosser looks more like a Pizza delivery vehicle, so perhaps it’s triple purpose?
Anyway, I went on this long road ride with concerns but made it the way there without major problems. Sure, I stayed off the Autobahn and the average speed on this route was 50 – 60 km/h where it was 60 – 70 km/h on the Harley. Lower bounds are for going at a leisurely pace, upper bounds for going “insanely fast”, respectively. The little Honda DOES go up and beyond 100 km/h after all, and there are actually combinations of gear and rpm where the lugged tires don’t buzz too much on the road. The latter have to be minded when the roads are wet, they will wander to the outside of a leaned curve, but not suddenly. The one thing I did sorely miss was a 12 V socket. I need that to supply my smartphone with voltage, it in turn provides navigation. Having that is so relaxing, I don’t want to go long distance without it.
Stil, I got there and when I was at my parents, it was also time for the first inspection. The local Honda dealer was very forthcoming and did not only do the inspection, but also mounted a 12 V socket on the handlebars. Plus, I got to see it done in his workshop, the bike is neatly put together on the inside, too!
So, when I return south today, I’ll have navigation start to finish. Now, if there was a technological solution for the iron butt problem…