For Sale: 2019 Honda CRF250 Rally with many extras.
Purchased new in Jan 2019 for my adventure to Mongolia and back however, due to the pandemic this trip is now cancelled for the forseeable future and so I have decided to sell the bike and will purchase another new bike once travel to Central Asia is possible again
The bike has been well maintained and serviced by the local Honda dealer and had oil and filter changes done by me in between regular services.
The bike has been kitted out for the ride to Mongolia and has had the following extras fitted:
Gecko heavy duty clutch £35 Tutoro auto chain oiler £100 DID 520 VX3 chain £55 JTSprockets £25 Tusk Pannier Rack £292 Oxford heated grips £100 Renthal bars £35 Bar risers £25 Hagon rear shock £300 HyperPro front suspension £120 Continental TKC80 tyres £174 GP-Kompozit Crashbars and skid plate £135 Zeta XC handguards £52 Sidestand foot £5 Rotopax style 5L fuel can £22 Optimate battery charger £56
The sale also includes the following Parts: £165 4 x Oil filters + Gaskets Front/rear brake pad sets 1 x air filter Front & Rear wheel bearing sets Head bearing set 2 sparks plugs Front sprocket Inner tubes
Total cost of extras £1696
Original OEM IRC tyres free!
The bike has now done 5369 miles mainly on road with the bike having been taken on Peddars Way in Norfolk and a week riding soft trails in the Pyrenees. I’m a mature experienced off-road rider and so the bike hasn’t been abused.
The bike has just had an oil and filter change and the next official service isn’t for another 6000 miles.
The bike is in excellent running order but does have a little wear to one of the transfers on the left side where my boot has rubbed, see photos.
The Tusk rack that is fitted to the bike was imported from the USA and fitted by me in my extensive workshop.
Viewing highly recommended as first to see will buy.
Payment of cleared funds only via bank transfer before collection. No test rides.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact me direct on 0752 6116110 (08:30 – 22:00hrs) or at email@example.com
On an almost daily basis I get asked questions about the setup of my Honda CRF250 Rally that I’ve kitted out ready for my trip to Mongolia and what gear am I taking with me. Since I’m often asked the same question over and over I thought I’d put the definitive set of answers here in a blog post so that I can just refer everyone to the same place, so here goes!
Q: Have you made any modifications to the engine or exhaust to get more power? Are you using an EJK ECU? Have you fitted an FMF exhaust?
Simple answer is No.
I’ve not made any changes whatsoever to the engine, ECU, exhaust or any other component connected to the engine. I’ve deliberately kept the engine completely original so that I have maximum reliability.
When I purchased the bike I knew it only had 24HP and I am happy with that. If I’d wanted more power then I would had bought a bigger bike.
Q: What tank bag are you using?
I have fitted a Givi 6 Litre GRT706 tank bag that fits nicely on the tank and doesn’t get in the way when I’m riding in either the seated or standing positions. The tank bag is mainly for carrying my Canon 1300D DSLR camera and a map that’s visible in the clear plastic water proof top pocket.
Q: What USB device is that you have and where can I get one?
The dual USB and 12v socket with integrated voltmeter I picked up from Ebay. All the information of how to wire it into the AUX 12v feed already on the bike is in this post on the blog. For completeness I’ve also included the details of where you can get the 12v connector really cheaply.
Yes! I was fortunate enough to negotiate a free pair of Oxford Heated Grips when I purchased the bike from my local Honda dealership. They really do get hot and are great in the winter months. All the information on how to fit and wire them to the CRF250 Rally can be found in this blog post.
Q: How will you keep your chain lubricated during the trip?
Q: What crash bars are they you have fitted? What skid plate do you use?
I use a great integrated skid plate and crashbar combo from Inpreda/GPKompozit. The bike has been dropped a few times on the trails now and it’s protected everything really well. The bash plate has also taken a few hits and has done a great job at protecting the engine sump.
I’ve fitted a Tusk pannier frame to the bike, it’s really solid and can handle the weight I’m going to put on it. All the details on fitting it correctly and the adjustments I had to make are detailed in my blog post here.
Q: What size Rotopax fuel canisters are you using?
Due to the cost I decided not to use Rotopax fuel canisters however, I do need to be able to carry extra fuel with me to make it between fuel stops on the trip and so after much research I went with some ChinoPax fuel canisters that I found sensibly priced on Ebay. They are really well put together and are very strong. They’re made from a very thick plastic that isn’t brittle and so they can take a fair amount of bashing. Noraly of Itchyboots fame uses the same cans and has dropped her bike on them many times without incident. I got 3 x 5L canisters with fittings for less than the cost of 1 x 1 Gallon Rotopax can. Since the two front canisters will only be used on certain parts of the trip when fuel is difficult to get I didn’t see the point in spending a fortune on Rotopax cans when they would be empty most of the time.
I’ll also being using petrol to cook with and so the rear 5L tank will always have fuel in it so that I can cook at the end of each day. Full info on fitting etc is on the blog right here.
Q: Are you using hard or soft panniers?
I’m using soft panniers from Givi as I didn’t want the extra weight and bulk of the hard panniers. I looked at a lot of soft pannier options including the very cheap Lomo throw over bags but, eventually I settled on the Givi GRT709 Canyon 35L lockable soft panniers.
I really like the Givi soft panniers, they’re well put together, have a separate waterproof inner bag and have a separate water proof bottle carrier on the rear facing side of each pannier making it easy to gain access to drinks without having to open the main bag.
Q: What GPS are you going to be using on your trip?
I’ll be using two effectively, one on my iPhone in the Ultimate Addons waterproof case mounted above the instrument cluster and a Garmin inReach Explorer+ with SOS capability. I also have a Garmin Zumo 350LM that I may take as backup but it’s worth noting that Garmin do not supply maps for Central Asia for the Zumo GPS units and you have to create your own using OpenStreet Maps.
Q: What side stand foot is that in your photos?
It’s another Chinese made item from Ebay I’m afraid. When it arrived it didn’t actually fit so I had to re-engineer it but, it fits perfectly now.
Q: Have you changed the suspension and if so what have you done?
Yes I have changed the suspension as the OEM suspension isn’t really fit for the kind of punishment I’m going to be giving it on the trip. There are quite a few options available suspension wise for the CRF250 series of bikes these days but I opted for the HyperPro uprated progressive spring for the front forks and a completely new custom built Hagon shock for the rear.
The difference these two changes have made is stunning! The bike now handles so much better and to date I’ve not managed to bottom out the front or rear suspension even hammering along the trails.
There are a number of articles on the blog with regard to suspension. Links to all the articles are detailed below:
Most suspension questions should be answered between those 3 articles.
Q: Does the Hagon shock reduce static sag? If so, what is the seat height?
Yes, the Hagon shock with the spring that I have along with the Hyperpro fork spring reduces static sag considerably. With the bike off the side stand and standing free without load the seat height is increased to 93cm (930mm).
Q: What tyres are you using on your trip?
I’ll be setting off on a pair of Continental TKC80s. These are great 50/50 tyres for road and off-road use. I am aware that people with high power bikes complain that they wear quickly on the tarmac but, on my little 24HP CRF250 this isn’t going to be an issue. Whether I’ll be able to get another pair of TKC80s as I travel I don’t know, so it may be a case of just buying whatever is available when they wear out. I imagine I am going to need 3 or 4 pairs of tyres over the duration of the trip so we’ll see what I end up using as time goes on.
Q: What hand guards are you using? Are they any good?
I’ve fitted a pair of Zeta XC hand guards to the bike. I like them because the plastic hand guard can be unscrewed and replaced if it gets broken and the aluminium mount bar provides great protection for the brake and clutch levers in the event of a drop.
Are they any good? Well they saved my hands a few times now from bushes and branches and the levers didn’t get broken in the falls I’ve had off-road so, I guess that must mean they are good.
Q: Where do you get your stuff from?
A multitude of places! Ebay, Amazon, local motorcycle dealerships, overseas … there are many. I’ve put together a list of suppliers on my suppliers page.
Q: Are you going to change the chain and sprockets?
Yes, I’ve got rid of the cheap and nasty OEM chain and sprockets and replaced them with a DID 520VX3 chain and JTS sprockets. I’ve kept the sprocket sizes standard, 14/40.
Q: Have you changed the handle bars and/or fitted bar risers?
Yes, both! On my first venture off-road with the CRF250 Rally it was immediately clear to me that I needed to raise the handle bars up a bit as I was having to lean over too much to reach them when standing.
I decided to change the bars for a better quality item as the OEM handles bars flex very easily and I could see them getting bent out of shape very quickly.
This is a good question! I’ve spent ages trying on different skid lids trying to find one that really fits me well and that isn’t too heavy or noisy in the wind. Time and time again I kept coming back to the Nolan N702X. I have a Nolan helmet for road riding and really like it and this 702X really works for me. It’s great in that it’s convertible so I can remove the peak if I want, remove the chin bar and make it an open face helmet and wear it with the visor or goggles. It just ticks all the boxes. The other great thing is that my Sena headset will also fit. Money now spent, I’m really pleased with my decision.
Q: Are you wearing KLIM motorcycle clothing for the trip?
Simple answer is No. KLIM maybe nice clothing but it should be. At almost £2000 for a pair of trousers and a jacket they ought to be gold plated too! I’ve been using RST motorcycle clothing for some time and really like it but, it’s a bit hot in the summer months. After looking around and trying many different outfits on I opted for the Rev’It OffTrack jacket and Sand3 trousers. The reason I got the different trousers is that no one in Europe had the Offtrack trousers in stock and there wasn’t going to be another manufacture run until mid 2020. On the plus side, the Sand3 trousers are made of a slightly heavier material which should wear better especially when kneeling fixing punctures or repairing the bike. Both the trousers and jacket can zip together and have the complete 3 layer system meaning that in the really hot areas like the Gobi Desert I can remove the inner water proof layer and the warm quilted layer leaving me with just the thin outer shell with the back, elbow and shoulder protection.
Q: What tools are you taking with you?
I’ve based my tool pack on the tools I’ve needed to do the jobs on the bike during the preparation stage. I’m sure there are tools in the pack that others wouldn’t take and tools that others take that I’m not. It’s a personal thing and also takes into account my attitude towards risk which may be different to everyone else.
The above image shows all the tools that I’ve included in the pack so lets go through what we have here.
Spanners: 19/12/10/8mm. Tyre Levers: 3 x including a Motion Pro tyre lever/ring spanner combo for the rear axle. Allen Keys: 6mm Long and short, 5mm long and short, 4mm & 3mm Long. Electrical Screwdrivers: Large, medium and small flat head and large and medium cross head. Sockets: 17/14/13/12/10, 10mm Sparc plug socket, 17/14mm Hex for front axle, Bahco 1/4in socket set and 3 x socket to ring spanner converters so that I don’t need to take a socket wrench with me. Electrical: Multimeter, cable/zip ties, insulation tape and a length of electrical cable. Miscellaneous: Valve removal tool, pliers with wire cutter edge, stanley knife, Hagon rear shock C spanner, Tutoro priming magnet, plastic fuse puller and tyre pressure gauge.
I also have an electric 12v tyre pump and head torch that are not shown in the picture.
I also recommend you take a look at Matt Boyle’s video about his tool kit that he takes on his CRF250 Rally adventures.
Q: What spare parts are you taking with you?
I’m taking the following spares with me:
Complete clutch plate set and clutch housing gasket. Front and rear brake pads. 5 x oil filters and gaskets. 1 x air filter Front and rear wheel bearing kits Head stock bearing kit 2 x spark plugs Spare bulbs and fuses Puncture repair kit Spare inner tubes Front and rear sprockets
Well I think that just about covers all the questions I get asked regularly online. If I have any more I’ll add them to this page.
I’m very fortunate in that I have a very well equipped workshop with some tools on the shelves that are almost as old as I am.
Some time back I bought a larger side stand foot for the CRF250 Rally however, when I came to fit it I found that it had been badly machined and wasn’t going to work in it’s OEM state. At the time I had a lot going on work wise and so it got put to one side for another day.
Today that day came! In the first week of the CoronaVirus lock down here in the U.K. I’ve been going round doing lots of little jobs that I’ve been putting off for ages. Today it was the turn of the side stand foot.
When the foot originally arrived the fixing holes hadn’t been threaded properly and so the supplied screws didn’t fit at all. I guess I shouldn’t of expected anything better as it was from China via eBay.
So, after much offering up and pontificating I decided to drill out the existing holes, rethread them for a larger more suitable bolt and get it fitted properly.
One of the things that I have on the shelf is a tap and die set, not something that gets used a lot but, over the years it’s come in handy quite a few times.
I drilled the holes out to 4.2mm and needed a 5mm tap to thread the holes. Since the foot is made of alluminium threading the holes was fairly easy.
Before putting the thread in I checked to see what spare bolts I had. In the spare bolts jar I found 3 x M5 0.8 allen bolts, perfect for the job. I soon had the holes tapped and checked everything lined up.
There’s a certain pleasure to be had from doing these simple but, enjoyable jobs using skills that a were learnt back in your teenage years. Adding a little thread lock to each bolt the foot was soon fitted and tested.
With the new suspension the bike sits much taller than it did on stock suspension which means that the bike now leans over quite a bit more when on the side stand. With the new foot added it makes the side stand slightly longer overall and thus stands the bike up a little.
Hopefully now it won’t sink too much in the sand and mud like it used too!
Once the lockdown is over, I’ll get the bike out and give it a proper test to see how it performs in the wet and slippery stuff.
When I purchased the CRF250 Rally for this trip I viewed it as a cheap base platform ready for conversion into the adventure bike that I needed for the trip. At less than £5000 new on the road it really is a lot of bike for the money. With 43mm Showa forks upfront, 21in and 18in wheels, good ground clearance, LED lighting and a proven 250cc single cylinder engine this little bike has some serious potential.
When I initially got the bike I did nothing to it, just rode a mix of on and off-road for 2500 miles to work out what needed doing to make it right for me. It wasn’t long before I had a list of things that I needed to do to the bike to make it adventure ready, most of which I have already written articles about on the blog.
Suspension is one of the things I left to last as I needed to have a good idea about weight before I could order what was necessary.
I decided to fit the HyperPro progressive spring in place of the OEM spring as it gets great reviews, is sensibly priced and available in the UK from a reputable suspension business via Ebay.
Installation is fairly straight forward and is well documented on Youtube and so I won’t got into the fitting process here.
The HyperPro kit also comes with replacement oil for the forks which improves damping considerably.
For the rear I went with the British manufactured Hagon shock, it’s a quality unit that has both preload and damping adjustment and is extremely well priced at £299.50.
The great thing about ordering a shock from Hagon is that you can talk to their tech team and discuss what you are going to be using the shock for and how you intend to load it. The outcome of the discussion that I had with them was that they wanted to build a custom shock for me using a higher rated spring so that the unit coped better with the load and terrain I was going to be using it in.
So, total cost of the suspension upgrade was £419.45 (£299.50 + £119.95), almost 10% of the value of the bike.
Today I had my first ride on the bike since completing all the work and was amazed at how different the bike felt to ride. The first thing that hit me was how much taller the bike now stands. The unladen sag is considerably less as is the laden sag. Climbing on I now find I can only just touch the ground whereas before I could get both feet down. I would go as far as to say that the bike is a good 2-3in taller than previously when I’m sat on it.
My initial concern was would I be able to dabble when off-roading as now it’s very much one foot down only.
Setting off down the road the first thing I realised was how plush the ride felt. The suspension soaked up the lumps and bumps in the country lanes in a much firmer manner than before but, felt very plush. Steering is also much improved. Gone is the vague wandering front end that used to plague me in the twisties and instead, I now have a much more confident feeling, planted front wheel that gives me plenty of feedback even when pushing hard.
Under hard braking the front end no longer pushes through the mid section of the stroke causing the front forks to bottom out as before, it’s now much firmer and doesn’t get anywhere near to the end of the mid part of the stroke. Hitting a couple of trails I know well, the front suspension didn’t bottom out once, even on a series of whoops that normally cause things to get totally out of control, the bike handled the terrain perfectly. I enjoyed it so much I went back and had another go!
The rear Hagon shock also handled the whoops much better, not once did it bottom out and the damping was unbelievably good compared to the OEM shock. I found myself riding faster than I had before as the bike felt so much more confident both on and off-road.
I also have to note the tyres, the new Continental TKC80s are superb. Loads of grip on the road and good off-road too. For a 50/50 tyre they’re certainly worth every penny. The difference between the TKC80s and the OEM tyres is light and day!
So, is it worth upgrading the suspension on the CRF250 Rally?
The simple answer is Yes! The bike becomes much more confident, more capable, more comfortable and will boost your off-road confidence dramatically and it won’t get out of shape as easily as it does with the OEM suspension.
After a rather long wait my new Hagon rear shock absorber has arrived!
To say I’m happy is an understatement. I ordered it at the beginning of January but since it’s a custom build Hagon had to wait for the custom spring to be made and shipped to them however, the wait was worth it.
Upon opening the box I was really impressed with the quality of the product. The shock is beautifully manufactured and put together. The finishing is of a very high quality and the casting/machining of the parts is second to none. I’m really pleased to see such a high quality product come out of a British company. So many companies today just sell cheap Chinese imports it’s refreshing to receive something that is completely made in the Britain.
As you can see from the photos above, the casting and finishing of the product is superb, a complete contrast to the OEM Honda shock that the bike comes with.
The photos above clearly show how cheap the Honda shock is. It’s made from parts that are just welded together to make up a shock of sorts whereas the Hagon shock is fabricated from quality machined parts.
The Red Honda shock compared to the Black Hagon shock.
The Hagon spring is slightly heavier in gauge compared to the Honda spring. The Honda spring is a 70kg unit whereas the Hagon is a 100kg unit. It’s also worth noting how much thicker the shaft is inside the spring, the Hagon shaft is close to twice the thickness of the Honda shaft thus enabling it to handle the stress of off-road riding better.
The Hagon unit also has much more compression adjustment and comes complete with damping adjustment, something the Honda unit doesn’t have.
Fitting the new shock to the bike was easy and I’m pleased to say that the tolerances on the fittings were much better than the OEM shock.
So now the new shock is on the bike I can finally get the bike back together and get it back on the road.
With the new HyperPro front suspension and now this new Hagon rear shock I’m hoping the bike is going to be considerably better on and off-road than it was before.
I came across this video on Youtube showing some chaps fitting a replacement spring on a CRF250 Rally. I’ve no idea where the spring can be purchased from or if it was a custom one off manufacture.
The good thing about the video is that it shows how to take the OEM shock apart to fit the new spring.
Once the spring is fitted it appears that the sag is almost non-existent and the rear of the bike is much taller even with rider aboard. There’s very little info in the video description and many have asked for more info but nothing seems to be forth coming.
Ever since I purchased the CRF250 Rally for the trip I’ve been very aware that the OEM suspension really isn’t up to the job. The standard suspension is suited to a younger, lighter rider who isn’t interested in doing some serious off-roading and just wants to ride the bike around the streets with his/her mates, needless to say this isn’t why I bought the bike.
So where do I go from here?
It’s a cheap bike and so I don’t want to spend a fortune on expensive suspension options. I’ve spent a fair amount already adding the rack, soft panniers and reserve fuel tank so the bike currently owes me somewhere around £5900.00 and so spending another £1000 on suspension isn’t an option. So what options do I have?
Ohlins sell a complete kit for the CRF250 range of bikes and sure, it’s going to be an excellent choice but, at almost £1200.00 it’s a very expensive option. To put it into perspective, £1200 worth of fuel (at U.K. prices) will take me around 11,000 miles on the CRF250 Rally which is nearly half the trip!
So what cheaper options are there?
YSS make a replacement rear shock for the Rally that is reasonably priced at around the £330.00. It gets mostly good reviews and seems to be the choice of many CRF250 riders but, they don’t make any options for the front forks so this is a rear option only.
The British brand Hagon also sell a rear shock option for the CRF250 Rally with a price tag of around £280.00 which makes it the cheapest option for the rear so far but, once again no option for the front suspension.
Another route that many CRF riders seem to be taking is the HyperPro rear and front spring kits for the Rally.
This HyperPro option uses the standard rear shock but provides a replacement heavier duty spring that has to be fitted by the owner. At £84.00 this is by far the cheapest rear option so far. I’ve had conversations with a couple of people who have gone down this route and they have both said they were suitably impressed with the upgrade. This replacement rear spring option reduced the natural sag of the bike considerably and also stopped it from bottoming out when being ridden off-road.
The front spring replacement kit is actually just a single spring not dual spring as shown in the stock photo above however, once again people are telling me it’s a worthy upgrade and at £119.95 it’s not expensive either.
Fortunately I have a really good workshop setup so stripping the rear shock down and fitting the replacement spring isn’t a problem. Replacing the front spring and oil is easy too so, for a little over £200.00 I can upgrade both the front and rear suspension to a point where hopefully it will no longer bottom out when loaded and being ridden on the trails.
So far this is the cheapest option I have found and I doubt I will find anything better unless one of the manufacturers decides to sponsor me, something I doubt will happen!