2018 HONDA CRF250
REPORT CARD #4
Low-end: F What low end? The
CRF250 is off an average of 4 horse-
power from 7000 to 9000 rpm com-
pared to the competition.
Midrange: C- The engine just
starts to wake up at 10,000 rpm.
Top-end: B It is as good as the
YZ250F and KX250F, but not even
close to the FC250 and 250SXF.
Over-rev: B- It has over-rev, but
it is flat.
Torque: F There is no get-up-and-go—zero, zip, nada, none.
Clutch: B This is the best Japanese
clutch. It takes a beating.
Overall powerband: C The powerband reminds us of a dated 125cc
two-stroke engine. You have to keep
the rpm up and a finger over the
clutch at all times.
Overall usability: C The 2017
CRF250 engine was much more
usable and easier to ride than the
2018 engine. This is an all-or-nothing
powerband with a small sweet spot
that has to be found by abusing the
Notes: You can manipulate the
power with lower gearing to shorten
the gear ratios. This allows you to find
the small, short, high-rpm sweet spot
more often, although it can make the
engine feel jumpy. An experienced
rider can get the most out of this
engine, but it is not a user-friendly
engine by any stretch of the imagination.
Ergonomics: A+ Short, tall, fat
and small riders love the feel of this
bike underneath them.
Turn-in: B It lays into the corner
with ease but has a tendency to oversteer and feels a bit high in the front.
Apex: B The less you try to turn at
the apex of the corner, the easier it
will come. If you try to lean into it, the
front end will hook up and oversteer.
Corner exit: B The more consistent you are through the middle of the
corner, the easier it will be to come
Overall turning: B This bike has
an oversteer issue if you don’t raise
the front and drop the rear. Even
then, it can be hard to make it smooth
in the corners. There will be times
when you feel like this is the best-cor-nering bike in the class. Then, in the
next corner, you will think it’s the
worst. The bike lacks consistency.
Line selection: A Point and shoot.
Planted feel: A The front tire has
good input to the bars.
Overall feel: A The feel of this
bike is its saving grace. Everyone
loved how this bike felt.