Honda CRF250 Rally Concept Bike – Is Honda Quietly Planning To Take Over the Adventure Bike World?
News is already out about Honda’s soon to be released True Adventure “large bore” prototype adventure bike. Honda has done a great job building the buzz about their new machine by releasing only snippets of information designed to get people salivating for a taste of their new machine intended to compete with the likes of BMW’s GS line and KTM’s “Adventure” line.
Now there is news that Honda is not sitting idle, and may soon enter the lightweight adventure bike segment. On Tuesday March 17th, 2015, Honda issued a press release indicating that they will be showing a CRF250L based adventure bike at the Osaka and Tokyo motorcycle shows. As Honda has done with the True Adventure prototype, details are relatively scarce, but are enough to grab potential buyer’s attention.
Equipped with a larger fuel tank, a tall equipment stack and high clear windshield, Honda is aiming directly at those adventure enthusiasts who like the idea of a small adventure bike that can travel distance.
However, questions abound especially those surrounding availability, engine and weight. In our mind, the first question is if the bike does make it into production, where will it be sold? Lightweight low displacement bikes in Europe and Asia are big sellers, but are not hugely popular in the USA. Would the buying profiles of the USA preclude its availability in the USA?
One thing that could mitigate the USA’s addiction to more displacement would be a bigger and more powerful engine. The current CRF250L has a lightly modified single-cylinder transplanted from the CBR250 street bike. Will Honda retain that motor, or will it use the 286 cc motor from the new CBR300 and would this increase in displacement make a big difference to USA buyers?
Already, there have been internet postings about the lack of power (the CRF250 is listed as having 23 HP) and the potential weight of the CRF250 Rally. At Honda’s claimed 320 pounds, the CRF250L is no lightweight. Suzuki’s DR650 weighs in at a claimed 366 pounds and brings a claimed 43 HP to the table. So for 46 pounds more, the Suzuki brings 20 claimed HP more. Said another way, the Suzuki would have a 12.5% weight disadvantage but would bring a 46.5% horsepower advantage. Would Honda’s CRF250 Rally be accepted in the USA by its power hungry masses? We would like to see Honda bring the bike to production with the CBR300s more powerful engine to offset any perceived power to weight deficit. If Honda brings this bike to production, time will tell.
A walk around video of the concept machine is available. So if you’d like to get a closer look, here you go.
If you’d like to see Honda’s press release on the CRF250 Rally, click here.