Motorcycle Types Adventure / Dual-Sport 2013 Honda CRF250L | Preview

2013 Honda CRF250L | Preview

2013 Honda CRF250L First Look Preview

At last November’s Tokyo Show, Honda unveiled its revamped dual-purpose bike – the 2013 CRF250L.

The CRF250L features a liquid-cooled, 250cc 4-stroke DOHC single-cylinder engine similar to the one used in Honda’s CBR250R. The new 23-horsepower dual sport is said to be more agile and fuel efficient than the 223cc air-cooled CRF250 it replaces; Honda claims over 100 mpg.

And this week, Honda reported the new CRF 250 L will go on sale in Japan in May. The bike is also expected to reach the UK this summer, but as for the USA, nothing has been confirmed as of this writing.

Speaking of the CRF250L’s chassis, Honda says: “A newly-designed frame makes use of the steel twin-tube structure to offer the rider a nimble ride while ensuring both agility and stability. In addition, an agile, high-performance run-through ability in a wide range of situations from urban riding to off road is realized through the adoption of an inverted suspension with a 250-mm cushion stroke for the front and the Pro-Link suspension with 240 mm of axle travel for the rear.”

And with the revamped motor/chassis setup arrives revamped styling. The new CRF250L features more aggressive styling, bringing in a new era of CRF motorcycles. As for customers in Japan, two paint schemes are available – Extreme Red or Ross White.

Following are features and specs for the 2013 Honda CRF250L:

2013 Honda CRF250L Features:


  • The engine aims for powerful output that can be handled with equal ease on on-road and off-road. While achieving powerful torque from the low rpm range to high, the CRF250L’s engine also boasts output characteristics expressing the smooth rev-up that typifies a liquid-cooled 4-stroke DOHC engine. The Programmed Fuel Injection System (PGM-FI), the O2 sensor, catalyzer fitted inside the muffler, and the newly applied low-friction technologies embedded in such components as the offset cylinder and the roller rocker arm all form a synergy that delivers high environmental performance along with excellent fuel efficiency of 44.3 km/L (measured at a constant speed of 60 km/h on a level road).

Vehicle body/suspension

  • The newly-designed frame makes use of a steel twin-tube design to offer a nimble ride while ensuring both agility and stability, and the oval cross-sectional shape of the main pipe helps boost rigidity while enabling a slim vehicle body. The inverted front suspension employs a Separate Function Front Fork having an inner tube diameter of 43 mm and a cushion stroke of 250 mm in a design that secures both light weight and high rigidity to deliver excellent operability and high driving stability. The aluminum monoblock cast swing arm yields high strength and proper rigidity balance and is paired with a Pro-Link rear suspension having 240 mm of axle travel providing the rider with impressive agility and high road-holding capability from urban riding to off road.


  • Styling has been refined into a sharper and more aggressive tone while inheriting the concept of “centralized mass with triangular proportions,” a key feature and basic principle of Honda’s CRF motocrosser series. This design asserts a Honda identity befitting the CRF for a new era. A surface encompassing tank shrouds, side covers, and a rear fender has been made flush to project an even sharper image. Meanwhile, the muffler cover and tool box on the left side add accent to the design by forming a shape reminiscent of a side racing number plate. The body comes in one of two colors, Extreme Red featuring a red seat to impose an aggressive image and Ross White with a silver seat to emanate a sense of coolness.

Key equipment

  • A headlight visor that enhances a tough and muscular look and a multi-reflector headlight (60/55 W) with superb visibility
  • A multifunctional digital meter that incorporates a fuel meter, a clock, and trip/odometer
  • Skid plates that prevent mud, flying gravel, and other elements from damaging the engine
  • A handle turning angle that extends to 45° on both left and right in a design made for maneuverability
  • Cargo hooks in the rear fender section to make loading convenient
  • Fuel tank with a capacity of 7.7 liters

2013 Honda CRF250L Specs (Japan):

  • Wheelbase: 56.8 inches
  • Ground clearance: 10 inches
  • Seat height: 34.4 inches
  • Curb weight: 314.6 lbs.
  • Riding capacity (No. of occupants): 2
  • Engine type: MD38E, Liquid-cooled 4-stroke DOHC 4-valve single cylinder
  • Total displacement (cm3) 249
  • Bore × Stroke: 76.0×55.0 (mm)
  • Compression ratio: 10.7
  • Maximum output: 23 horsepower @ 8500 rpm
  • Maximum torque: 16.2 ft. lbs. @ 7000 rpm
  • Fuel efficiency: 104 mpg (constant speed of 37 mph on a level road)
  • Fuel supply system: Programmed Fuel Injection System (PGM-FI)
  • Starter type: Self starter
  • Ignition type: Full-transistor battery ignition
  • Lubricating type: Wet sump
  • Fuel tank capacity: 2.03 gallon
  • Clutch type: Wet multiplate with coil springs
  • Transmission type: Constant mesh 6-speed return
  • Caster angle (°) /Trail (mm) 27°35´/113
  • Tire size: Front 3.00-21 51P
  • Rear:120/80-18M/C 62P
  • Brake type: Front Hydraulic disc
  • Rear: Hydraulic disc
  • Suspension type: Front Telescopic (Inverted)
  • Rear: Swing arm (Pro-Link suspension system)
  • Frame type: Semi-double cradle

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of "365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).

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