Dakar-Inspired Dual Sport Honda CRF250L Rally Finally Arrives
Good news: Plenty of Dakar race bike swagger. Better news: Legit hardware to back it up.
First, there was the “concept” at the 2015 Osaka Motor Motorcycle Show. Then, an improved “prototype” at the same event earlier this year. Now, Honda has finally unveiled the production version of its CRF250L Rally baby dual sport adventure bike at the EICMA Milan Motorcycle Show. Good news: It’s got plenty of Honda’s CRF450 Dakar race bike swagger. Better news: It’s got some legit hardware to back it up.
To start, the Rally benefits from updates to the regular CRF250L. For 2017, the base model bike’s induction setup has been overhauled, with a 38mm throttle body (5 percent larger than before), new airbox, and reshaped air boot. There’s also a new muffler design, larger head pipe, along with requisite ECU tuning, bringing output to 25.5 horsepower.
It’s a solid foundation for the Rally, which brings some proper adventure kit into the fold. That includes a bigger 2.6-gallon fuel tank, extending range to over 200 miles; a special off-road-tuned 43-mm Showa fork; and larger aluminum wheels, staggered 21/18 inches front to rear, wrapped in knobby IRC rubber. The Rally also gets extra-long-travel suspension (35.2-inch seat height), an upsized floating front brake disc, and togglable on/off rear ABS.
The CRF250L Rally has collapsible gear lever tips, a “floating” style windscreen, unique fairing and radiator shrouds, a skidplate, asymmetrical LED headlights, and a crisp digital dash setup. All told, Honda says weight stands at 346 pounds. The Dakar-inspired graphics scheme is just the cherry on top.
Both the CRF250L and CRF250L Rally are set to go on sale in March 2017. Expect to pay $5,099 for the base bike, or $5,899 in Rally guise.