BIKE: 2012 Honda CRF250R
STAFFER: Managing Editor, Chris Kinman (5’8″, 145lbs.)
PARTS LIST: Race Tech suspension, Pro Circuit T-5 exhaust system, TAG Metals handlebars, Pro Taper grips, Hammerhead throttle tube, ASV C-6 levers, One Industries OneID graphics, Dunlop Geomax tires, Boyesen clutch cover and Super Cooler, Supersprox sprocket
I've been riding the Honda since about 2009. I switch off between it and the KTM 150SX. Of the four-stroke 250s, I continue to feel most comfortable aboard the red rocket. It feels compact and agile, and still carries plenty of both bottom- and top-end, especially for 2012 (and likely '13). The front-end can get nervous, so I tend to crank my stock steering stabilizer as stiff as she'll go, but the suspension package and handling characteristics are quite agreeable for me.
I really like the One Industries graphics, not only because they look good, but they are also easy to apply. And while they are hefty gauge material, they are not so thick that they provide a wrestling match as you stick them to your side panels.
I run a Dunlop Geomax MX51 rear tire, mainly because it seemed the natural progression from the now-discontinued 756 tire I typically ran prior. Up front, I have an MX71 tire, mostly because Swap said that's what I should use. And let's be honest, if it has knobs, I'm fine with it.
As for the stock suspension, I really have no complaints. I don't ride extremely fast by any stretch of the imagination, so stock stuff does well for me. That said, I do like a revalve for some improvement in turning and to provide more of a safety net when I get into trouble. This year, Race Tech helped me out with a gentle massage to my already agreeable suspension.
I, like most, take the occasional dirt sample, so I put breakaway levers on when I can get my hands on them. This year, I went with the ASV C-6 levers. I was intrigued by the on-the-fly reach control, so I gave them a whirl. I do like the adjustability and pull, but the bend on the clutch is a little uncomfortable for my little fingers. I have arthritis in my knuckles pretty bad, and the lever has a tendency to crush those that aren't doing the lever pulling. For whatever reason, I've never been fond of crossbars on stocks handlebars, so I switch the stock bars out for Carmichael lows (or equivalent bend) as soon as I can. In this case, I mounted up some TAG bars. I also like the tried and true Pro Taper grips.
Boyesen helped me out with some engine bling this year. I've always dug their clutch cover, but I am definitely feeling the added swag of the white Super Cooler. My clutch is still stock, but it looks like I've got all kinds of goodies under the hood, and for me looking fast is way safer than being fast.
Lately, I have been running/testing Pro Circuit's newest offering, the T-5 stainless system. It produces great power, but it weighs a lot for an aftermarket set-up. I also have an FMF 4.1 RCT titanium/carbon system with a Megabomb that I really like as well. I have always liked more hit down low (as do most people), but the more seat time I get, I like to rev the bike out farther. Both the Pro Circuit and the FMF help at each end of the spectrum.
Stay tuned to see more rides from the staff at TWMX.