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Category Archives: Honda CRF250 Rally

Honda 250 Rally on Wishing Tree Lane

A quiet Monday after what has gone before – time to take the covers off the CRF and go for a spin.

There’s a hill way over there I would love to cross —

But first there’s a spot of TLC to attend to – the final drive chain for instance – she looks to be on the dry side. I’m using Putoline Chain Lube on this bike – a first for me. I’m quite impressed with the flow from the aerosol and the job it does.

But – the CRF hasn’t got a centre stand and up till now it’s been a bit of a wrestling match to get the rear wheel off the deck – spin it and spray chain oil with my third hand – which I haven’t got. It’s probably why I needed a wife but they are seldom around when you need them —

No worries – a couple of wood blocks and my scissor jack did the lifting job just fine and set the 250 Honda up in the air quite safely.

Even the hill crossing turned out to be a piece of cake on the 250 Rally —

Some of the steeper parts on the far side had been torn up by tractors or four wheel drive vehicles but they were of little consequence to the CRF which just sailed up them —

I didn’t even bother switching off the ABS on the rear wheel for the long – loose surfaced downhill section with it’s occasional steep bits leading into tighter turns and cruised on down —

The wee bike is proving to be as sure-footed as a mountain goat —

The downside being that tea break arrived far too early —

and the reminder clipped to my binos was hardly necessary as I never raised a sweat on the whole ride – sorry about the picture quality —

just could n’t get ’em right today —

which is a shame —

 

as the views were out of this world 🙂

 

Yamaha Tenere XT660Z

My Tall Ten has seen a fair bit of competition for her place in the stable come and go since I bought her new in Feb ’09 and up until now she has remained my ‘go to’ bike when a choice had to be made  —

No doubt her nose has been put out of joint with the arrival of the ‘bright young thing’ in the shape of the Honda CRF 250RAL – after all the Tall Ten has shared many an Adventure with me – some good – some bad.

Late winter snow on the ride home from Braemar —

It wasn’t too bad although the road over the Lecht was blocked and Landrovers were the favourite form of transport —

Cruising on the German autobahns on my way to the Balkans was restricted to 108mph til I pulled into a service station and got busy with my Swiss Army knife.

A spot of ‘fine tuning’ saw me cut through the 90 degree bend on the airbox intake allowing me to do the following couple of hundred miles at 113mph. Seemed important at the time – makes me shake my head now 🙂

Long 4-500 mile days across Europe in the unforgiving saddle eventually put me in hospital — enduring 14 days torrential rain on an autumn tour of the Outer Hebrides was the last straw and the subsequent botched operation on my ass put an end to my long-distance motorcycle touring.

Daytrips became the norm with lots of time for posing —

Although somewhere along the line the Ten and I did visit the Isle of Tiree and played on the white sands —

It was the greatest feeling on earth to be setting out for an early ferry with the panniers full and very little set agenda – it appealed to the gypsy in me —

I’m supposed to be selling that big blue bike to make room for the CRF but somehow I can’t see it happening —

Horses for courses —

It will take at least two bikes to replace the Tall Tenere 🙂

 

Never a Driech Day with the CRF 250RL

Driech – if there was ever a word to describe a wet June day on the west of Scotland it is that fine old Scottish word ‘driech’. Best analogy I can make for those down south is to imagine Theresa May’s face when she had the recent election results relayed to her – bet it was even worse than Nicola Sturgeon’s..

Best thing Theresa could have done was to take a few days off – summon up a CRF 250RL from somewhere and head for the wilds.

For if ever there was a bike to brighten up your day it’s the honest little CRF.

Prior to taking delivery I had my doubts if I could live with her gaudy colours but in actual fact I don’t see them from the seat. On the trail I am too busy praying I stay on the thing and picking my route while on the road I am happy that even the most myopic of drivers will see the bike.

 

Although I’m not so sure about her from head-on – it will probably send small children screaming for their mammy —

 

If all else fails I can always use the advice I received from my Nigerian driver back in the day —

‘Give him hooter Master! 🙂

 

 

CRF 250 Rally – More Angles

Have turned up a few more – hopefully unused – pics from my foray’s on the little Honda. This first one indicates just how well made and finished the new model is —

Not in the same heavyweight league as the Connel Bridge perhaps but that was built in a different era.

The bungee fixings keep my Givi tailpack secure.

Most of the time.

If there is a part built down to a price it’s the handlebars with their welded cross-brace which is a shame because it’s the first thing you notice when you climb on the CRF. The bars don’t do the rest of the bike justice but the tidy wiring and well clipped brake hoses will stop it being a straightforward job to replace them with something that suits me better.

Not enough to condemn the whole bike tho’ I do remember spending a day hunting around Switzerland for a pair of Renthals that would make touring easier on my XJR1300 – a four thousand mile round trip is a long way to carry a crick in your neck.

On the other hand the mirrors are as good as anything I’ve had on previous bikes and if they escape damage on my off-road excursions they could be on there for a while.

Sidestands can often be a source of aggro – especially on dual purpose bikes with their long-travel suspension but it’s hard to see how this one could be any better. It just needs a watchful eye for ground levels when choosing a parking spot.

Like jeans – riders come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Oops! – Sorry missus.

Some bikes fit —

Some don’t.

But they can all make me smile 🙂

 

 

Honda CRF 250’s First Adventure

This is her first adventure off the island if we don’t count a day trip into town to measure up her worth on the open road – where – much to my relief – she did well enough for a 250cc dual purpose bike even at this early ‘running in’ stage.

The CRF has already proven her worth on our current ferry – the Grey Dog – which measures about one car in width and three in length. Cars drive on and reverse off when they reach t’other side – some with greater difficulty than others.

Having to wrestle my tall Tenere or the heavyweight Pan European round in their own length so that I could ride off the boat was in danger of giving me a hernia – something I didn’t want with my wedding coming off in two weeks time – Helen would not be amused!

No worries – the lightweight CRF 250 Rally can spin around on the ferry in it’s own length and be off down the road like a whippet after a hare while the car drivers are still looking for reverse gear.

Over a coffee and breakfast bun in town this morning I was able to catch up with news in the MCN of the TT races currently running on the Isle of Man before heading north over Connel Bridge —

I remember that bridge when it carried a single lane for motor transport and a railway line along side it. The single line to Fort William is no more leaving a single lane and a safe pavement for walkers.

This is what happens to the ‘safe’ walkers when they stray into the woods on the far side. They are de-bagged – their jeans stuffed with compost and flowers planted in them. I’ve heard a few stories about the strange habits of North Connel residents but never came across this one til today.

Best keep the wheels turning – I’m gone – to quieter places. Just up the road I found a natural water feature as the burn emerged from under the road —

No doubt all that rushing water will have the same effect on you as it did on me and it was quite a relief to find a deserted spot for a break on the dirt track by Loch Etive —

The hills in the distance are overlooking the wilderness of Rannoch Moor where I rode a 197cc Seeley Honda in trials during a previous life —

Fantastic views and the CRF does look tidy in this setting —

Not another soul around —

just hills – trees and more water tumbling down the rocky hillside as I head for Barcaldine —

Time for some wildlife to get in on the act – first off – some long-horned hieland coo’s —

Well worth another shot —-

Helen and I have been trying hard to find a cattery to take Seamus for a few days after our wedding but they are in short supply in this part of the world so when I spotted this sign on the side of a dirt road heading off into the forest I thought my luck was in —

Two cedars —

three gates —

and a stunning bunch of ponies —

later —

on the cracking cross country route – (I love you too honey) —

I pitched up at the best cattery cum kennels in the world set in the middle of the forest – only to find it completely booked for our dates.

No worries – we will sort something out for Seamus and Sid —

and in the meantime the wee Honda and I are getting on just fine 🙂

 

CRF250 Rally Get’s Wet

Doesn’t seem to make any difference to the wee bike – wet or dry she carries on regardless —

and I didn’t feel the need to ford the pond to test my theory – there’s a ferry for that sort of thing.

Besides – the biggest lobster pond in the UK is over there on the island and by all accounts it’s guarded by gentlemen who were once employed by the SAS.

Best to stay on this side and point the camera somewhere else —

That will be Isle of Mull in the distance but there’s a lot of sea between here and there and even a trip to Belnahua via Fladda Lighthouse would mean getting the feet wet. Yes the days when I thought I could walk on water are long gone —

Nice to be out and about tho’ – here we are at the other side of the island – on the quay at Toberonochy —

Looks like the wee Honda has given my dodgy knees a new lease of life. I find getting around on her much easier than hirpling over the hill with the help of two poles.

The lobster pond isn’t the only thing around here that’s well protected – back home the Bardrishaig Spuds have their own Home Guard behind the gate 🙂

 

Honda CRF250 Rally Trick Bits

The recently aquired CRF250 Rally came with some good bits as standard fitments.

Her close ratio six speed box lets you make the most of the 250cc’s both on and offroad with no noticeable steps between each gear —

The wide footpegs come as standard too and the dinky little gear lever with the spring-loaded toe-piece does it’s job just fine even with size 11 riding boots.

The chunky – grippy off-road tyres came on the bike and are easy to live with both on and off-road —

Unlike most road going bikes this one has a handbook that expects you to ride offroad and actually covers that aspect.

ABS is switchable on the rear —

and the wavy discs aren’t in the least fierce overall – needing a good firm pull on the lever to haul her down from road-going speeds.

Bringing her out with this well made alloy swingarm and chain/sprocket guide shows that Honda expect this bike to be taken offroad and with the long-travel suspension demanding 40-60 mm slack in the chain the robust guide should help prevent the chain being de-railed when the rocks start flying —

I’m impressed with the suspension – the rear shock feels plush and does it’s job really well with my 15-16 stone riding weight aboard and the front end felt quite planted on the road even with the dirt biased front tyre —

The cockpit appears to be a busy place but everything falls readily to hand on the ride – lack of gear indicator is noticeable by it’s absence but she does have a digital clock to make up for it —

Radiator is tucked well out of the way where hopefully it will remain safe – and – with luck the rider will stay safe too as it’s twenty years since he spent his ‘Every Sunday’ riding the testing Welsh mountain tracks and even more water has flowed under the bridge since he was riding trials on a regular basis —

Yet – he gave into temptation yesterday and took her over the hill for a nervous spin —

But there was no sign of nerves when he took her up our rough farm track on the back wheel in places on the way home.

Magic! 🙂

 

 

Honda CRF250 Rally Owner’s Club

I got tired of looking out the window for passing ships —

and sitting under a tree at the bottom of the garden reading a magazine —

So – when the opportunity arose to get my hands on the new CRF250 Rally I was right there —

She is a little beauty – especially now that I have her singing her throaty song on the Isle of Luing —

With lots of nice touches – she is much better than I expected —

Suspension feels plush —

Her six speed box has a gear for every occasion both off and on road where 6000 rpm in 6th gear equates to 60 mph and without a motorway within 100 miles we should get along just fine —

 

Possibly first on the road in the country as the Rally has yet to be officially released for sale in the UK – she won’t have anything like the poke of the Dakar racing 400cc version she is cloned from – but she’s sweet and should suit my old bones just fine —

thank you Mr Honda 🙂

 

Honda CRF 250RL

So – there is life in the old dog yet!

The old fool must have got tired of nursing tatties on the barren rocks of Bardrishaig and has just gone and nailed one of these lil beauties to play with instead —

Yup! The brand new – still in the box CRF 250RL. She looks like a refugee from the Dakar Rally.

.A few of the 250RLs have been flown in to the UK prior to general release and his nibbs has gone and nabbed one of them. Says it will bring back happy memories of gate-crashing the Italian Press Launch of the equivalent Yamaha 250 off-roader in Tunisia a few years back. Say’s they had so many bikes at the launch that they didn’t miss one of ’em for half a day when he disappeared over the dunes on it.

Don’t know where he is going to find a sand dune on the Isle of Luing – it was all rock – bog and slate last time I looked.

Is he mad – or – sad? Time will tell – watch this space 🙂

 

 

Honda CRF250 Rally in Detail