CRF250 Rally – New Honda Adventure Bike Concept

Article Shared From ADV Pulse

The competition in the small Adventure Bike segment heats up as news arrived today of a new 250cc Honda Adventure Bike concept to be unveiled at the Osaka Motorcycle Show this weekend. The CRF250 Rally concept bike looks just like a miniature version of the CRF450 Rally bike raced in the Dakar Rally by Joan Barreda, Paolo Goncalves and Laia Sanz. However, this is no rally race bike. The CRF250 Rally is designed for street-legal use with mirrors, license plate holder and turn signals, and is based on the existing CRF250L platform. Changes in bodywork, components and rally-inspired graphics set it apart from the current CRF250L.

A Mugen dual exhaust system is mounted on the concept bike.No specifications have been revealed yet but from the photos we can see several changes to the existing CRF250L platform. The most obvious differences are the new fully-enclosed bodywork and tall clear windscreen with headlight protector. Full wraparound hand guards and sump/exhaust protector give the bike improved durability off-road. A large rally-style instrument panel incorporates a Gathers M GPS navigation unit with integrated handlebar mounted controls. Headlights, turn signals and tail light are all LED type. Other differences include a redesigned fuel tank, dual Mugen exhaust, fat-tube handlebars, billet aluminum hubs and triple clamps, along with a number of trick anodized aluminum and carbon fiber pieces.

The Honda CRF250 Rally is currently just a concept bike at this time. However, with simple changes to the existing CRF250L platform, the CRF250 Rally could easily become a street-legal production model in a short period of time.

The new 250cc Honda Adventure Bike concept includes rally styling and equipment to make it a better long-distance touring bike than the CRF250L it is based on.

As for performance, the current CRF250L platform includes a 250cc fuel-injected single-cylinder 4-stroke engine that provides 23 hp and 73 MPG according to Honda. At 320 pounds (145 kg) wet the CRF250L platform is relatively light compared to most Adventure Bikes on the market. Combined with 8.7 inches of suspension travel in front and 9.4 inches in the rear, the CRF250L offers an off-road-focused platform for a new Honda Adventure Bike. From the looks of the CRF250 Rally, we would expect a moderate weight gain and similar performance to the current CRF250L.

Photos of the CRF250 Rally show a modified tank design that appears to be larger than the CRF250L’s. This would give the bike improved fuel range and the large windscreen would give it better wind protection for the highway. Large brackets on the rear subframe should provide solid mounting points for optional panniers and rear luggage rack.

The CRF250 Rally offers a tall windscreen and larger fuel tank for improved long-distance touring.

We are excited to see new Honda Adventure Bike models being developed that are intended for use in the dirt. The CRF250 Rally seems to have all the elements necessary for an affordably-priced adventure bike with impressive off-road capabilities. We would expect a production version of the CRF250 Rally to be a popular choice among new Adventure Riders and those looking for a lighter, more managable Adventure Bike off-road.

If we could ask for one thing in the production model it would be an increase in displacement. The original CRF250L engine was sourced from the CBR250R sport bike and last year the CBR250R was upgraded to a CBR300R, giving it a 17% power increase. Launching this new model with the CBR300R’s powerplant would be an easy way to increase the bike’s carrying capacity and ability to maintain highways speeds, making it all the more desirable.

No official statements have been made but Motorcycle News magazine claims to have insider information stating that the production version of the Honda CRF250 Rally will be released towards the end of 2015 alongside the new 1000cc Africa Twin, which was presented as the “True Adventure” concept bike at last year’s Milan EICMA Show.

For a closer look at this new Honda Adventure Bike concept, check out this video walk-thru of the CRF250 Rally.