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!