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Category Archives: Honda CRF250 Rally

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

Never thought I would see the day when I felt a frission of excitement over a 250cc motocycle unless it was a two stroke. My 250 Ossa Trials bike I bought from the late Jimmy Morton down in Ayrshire after seeing the beautiful green machine on his stand in the MacLellan Galleries just off Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow the last time the Scottish Motorcycle Show was held there filled me with anticipation – only to disappoint. Out on the hills it wouldn’t pull the skin off a rice pudding – at least not until I met Keith Horsman at the annual Scottish Six Days Trial in  Fort William.

He reckoned what it needed for some extra puff was a reed valve up it’s chuff so at the end of the trial my green Ossa was loaded onto his pickup along with the royalty of the trials word – European/World Champion Martin Lampkin and his works 325 Bultaco (or had he moved to SWM by then – it was a long time ago) and Rob Shepherd with his rare 310cc? fourstroke Works Honda for the trip back to Chris’s Yorkshire workshop. When I went down to collect my rejuvenated Ossa a couple of weeks later – I found myself travelling in the oldest – creakingest lift I’d ever encountered – the workshop was on the top floor of an defunct cotton or was it a woollen mill – both man and machine travelled in this contraption. The oily smell wafting past my nostrils from my keyboard as nostalgia kicks in certainly isn’t two stroke oil – it’s definitely sheep based – and it’s the oil from the wool that steeped into the floors back when the mill was doing the job it was built for.

Back in Scotlandwith my bike I soon found that Kieth knew his stuff when it came to twostrokes and reed valves – boy did she have some grunt! The Loch Lomond and Aberfeldy Two Day Trials were my favourites – tough 70 and 80 mile days with countless observed sections over and around the Loch Lomondside Mountains and the Schiehallion – Kinloch Rannoch – Aberfeldy testers were made for her – even if I struggled. Yup – the revitalised ‘works’ Ossa soon showed up the inadequacies of the rider – such is life.

So where are we going with this? To Honda and their promised CRF250 Rally bike – copied from their brilliant Dakar 450 version. The tiddler might just be what I need to feel comfortable on the greasy forestry and hill tracks here in the wet west of Scotland —

At a reputed 150 odd kgs she should weigh in about 50-60kgs lighter than my current mount – the Yamaha XT660Z Tenere.

17YM CRF250 Rally

Yes – I do fall off the Tall Ten more often than I used to when the going get’s tough and I’m beginning to feel the strain when I have to hoik the 200 plus kgs of big brute shiny side up again.

17YM CRF250 Rally

Not surpising really – I will be 75 on Tues 21st and I can’t think of a better birthday present than this presumably docile lightweight —

17YM CRF250 Rally

OK – the decals are aimed at a younger crowd – but nothing that a blast of matt black from a Halfords spray can won’t fix if the standard finish proves to frighten the local wildlife —

17YM CRF250 Rally

The first thing I did with the Tall Ten when I bought her new nine years ago was to stick a pannier either side – strap my camping gear across the back and head for the Balkans – but I can’t see that perch on the Honda being good for 400 mile days.

17YM CRF250 Rally

Might just have to ‘lower my aspirations’ as the surgeon declared when he told me that hill-walking would be out of the question after he fitted the promised new knee joint – ‘walking around your local supermarket would be a more realistic target’ according to him. Needless to say I cancelled the proposed op and I’m still ‘hirpling’ on with the pins god gave me – still struggling to walk up a modest hill – but still able to stand on the pegs for as long as it takes – it’s sitting that hurts.

17YM CRF250 Rally

What’s not to like about this lil beaut? Check out that swingarm fer instance – proper alloy job – looks to be a sensible longer length too –

17YM CRF250 Rally

No doubt to accommodate that proper-sized 18ins rear wheel needed for proper off-road tyres.

17YM CRF250 Rally

As Guy Martin would say – especially now that he has signed with Honda to race at the IoM TT this year – ‘that looks like a ‘proper’ bike —

 

17YM CRF250 Rally

C’mon Mr Honda – we can’t ride photos – time you had them in the dealers in the flesh:-)