Honda Motorcycle tests
1. Forks. We
didn’t like the 2008 Showa forks, and, surprise, we didn’t like the 2009 forks either.
We dropped the oil height by 10cc to greatly reduce the midstroke
harshness. This was a must-do.
2. Jetting. Bigger
might be better, but that wasn’t the case with the CRF250’s 40mm Keihin
carburetor. It bogs and coughs at the least opportune times. We have always preferred the older 37mm carb, but we have to work with what Honda specs. As a rule, we change the pilot, needle and leak jet. In addition, we replace the stock float bowl with the R&D Racing Keihin
Power Bowl2, which improved jetting and throttle response (and gave us an adjustable leak jet). www.r1dean.com
Pilot: 45 (42 stock)
Needle: NNWT (NNSU stock)
Clip position: 3rd from top
Fuel screw: 1-1/4 (2-1/4 stock)
Leak jet: 60 (70 stock)
Notes: Adjusting the fuel screw creates a tradeoff between ease of starting and richness in bottom-end power. The stock Honda jetting works best in hot conditions. Otherwise the needle, fuel screw, pilot and leak jet will need to be changed. The NNWT needle is 1/2 a clip richer than the stock NNSU needle.
3. Footpegs. Honda
has the worst footpegs of any modern bike. The stockers are narrow and
quickly pack up with dirt. We switched to MDK titanium pegs, which were
11mm wider and self cleaning. Any aftermarket peg wil be wider.
4. Front tire. We
have yet to find an MXA test rider who likes the stock Dunlop D742FA
over any other front tire. Changing to a Bridgestone 403 will immediately improve the turning characteristics of
the Honda CRF250.
5. Front brake guard.
We remove the front plastic disc guard. The plastic guard reduces air
flow and causes heat fading. The front guard has to be hacksawed away
from the stock axle spacer. Of course, if you gave it more thought, and didn't do it at the track, the wheel spacer can be pressed out. If you don't want to butcher the disc guard, Ride Engineering makes a new aluminum spacer. www.ride-engineering.com
6. Twin pipes. The
stock twice pipes worked well on the 2009 CRF250. We would, however,
opt for replacing the stock twin pipes with a single-side aftermarket muffler when
the time comes.
We were pleased with the stock 13/51 gearing on the 2009 CRF250, but
for tighter tracks we elected to go to one tooth more in the rear. We ran
DeCal Works preprinted number plate backgrounds, www.decalmx.com, and used a K&N
XStream air filter, www.knfilters.com.