2021 Honda CRF250R

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edited January 13 in Cars Motorcycles
2021 Honda CRF250R right side
2021 Honda CRF250R right side (Honda/)

Ups

  • Free-revving engine
  • Cornering ability
  • Fair amount of suspension comfort
  • Great ergos
  • Reasonable price tag

Downs

  • Least low-end power/torque feel compared to competition
  • Firm clutch pull
  • Unstable

Verdict

An attractive option for those who look for a bike with cornering prowess, great ergonomics, and a reasonable price tag.

2021 Honda CRF250R
2021 Honda CRF250R (Honda/)

Overview

The Honda CRF250R is Big Red’s four-stroke production motocross bike for the 250F class. It competes annually in Dirt Rider’s 250 four-stroke shootout and received fifth place this year. The machine may have slipped down a rank compared to 2020, but that doesn’t mean it lacks in fun. Take the handling and engine as prime examples that this machine performs well and has a reasonable MSRP.

Updates for 2021

The CRF250R remains unchanged compared to the previous model year.

Pricing and Variants

Its $7,999 price tag makes it the most wallet friendly of the 250 four-stroke class seen in the Dirt Rider comparison, though the Suzuki RM-Z250 (that was unavailable at the time of testing) is $100 less than the four-stroke from Big Red.

2021 Honda CRF250R
2021 Honda CRF250R (Honda/)

Powertrain: Engine, Transmission, and Performance

The CRF250R is powered by a 249cc single-cylinder engine that, when measured on our in-house dyno, cranked 39.0 hp at 12,900 rpm and 18.8 pound-feet of torque at 9,500 rpm at the rear wheel. And while it didn’t deliver the most peak power of the group, the CRF250R’s “free-revving engine is one of the characteristics that make it so much fun to ride,” Dirt Rider’s Andrew Oldar reports. “It offers a smooth, linear powerband from bottom to top with no real hit anywhere in the rpm range, all of which contribute to the bike’s ability to get great traction.”

2021 Honda CRF250R
2021 Honda CRF250R (Honda/)

Handling

The CRF250R has light and nimble handling characteristics and the shortest-feeling wheelbase of its competitors. It is maneuverable and easy to corner, favoring turning ease over straight-line stability. The rigid chassis contributes to its adept handling but does, however, decrease rider comfort when the track gets rough.

In regard to suspension, the CRF’s setup is very performance-based. The Showa 49mm coil-spring fork and Showa shock offer a “fair amount of comfort, and have reasonable holdup and good bottoming resistance.”

Brakes

Brake components on this model include a single 260mm hydraulic front disc and a 240mm hydraulic rear disc. Although the Honda’s brakes don’t quite have the outright power of the KTM, Husqvarna, or Yamaha, the Nissin binders slow the red machine in a sufficient manner.

Fuel Economy and Real-world MPG

Claimed or measured mpg information is not available.

Ergonomics: Comfort and Utility

Ergonomics are comfortable and neutral. The flat seat is easy to move around on, but the only downside is the wider-than-usual width in the radiator shroud and midsection, the latter of which is due to its dual exhaust.

Electronics

The model has three selectable engine modes (Standard, Smooth, and Aggressive) and selectable launch control. This machine is also equipped with electric start.

Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

The CRF250R does not have a warranty.

Quality

While the bike may be among the heaviest (measured 237 pounds) of the comparable bikes, its price, overall rider comfort, and handling capabilities make it an enticing option.

2021 Honda CRF250R
2021 Honda CRF250R (Honda/)

2021 Honda CRF250R Claimed Specifications


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MSRP: $7,999
Engine: 249cc, DOHC, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder four-stroke; 4 valves
Bore x Stroke: 79.0 x 50.9mm
Transmission/Final Drive: 5-speed/chain
Fuel Delivery: Programmed fuel injection w/ 44mm throttle body
Clutch: Wet, multiple disc
Engine Management/Ignition: Full transistorized
Frame: Twin-spar aluminum frame
Front Suspension: 49mm Showa SPG coil-spring USD fork, fully adjustable; 12.0 in. travel
Rear Suspension: Showa shock, fully adjustable; 12.4 in. travel
Front Brake: 2-piston hydraulic caliper, 260mm disc
Rear Brake: 1-piston hydraulic caliper, 240mm disc
Wheels, Front/Rear: Spoked wheels w/ aluminum DID DirtStar rims
Tires, Front/Rear: Dunlop Geomax MX3S; 80/100-21 / 100/90-19
Rake/Trail: 27.4°/4.6 in.
Wheelbase: 58.3 in.
Ground Clearance: 12.9 in.
Seat Height: 37.8 in.
Fuel Capacity: 1.6 gal.
Wet Weight: 237 lb.
Contact: powersports.honda.com

Cycle World Tested Specifications


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Seat Height: 37.2 in.
Wet Weight: 237 lb.
Rear-Wheel Horsepower: 39.0 hp @ 12,900 rpm
Rear-Wheel Torque: 18.8 lb.-ft. @ 9,500 rpm
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