MXA PRODUCT TEST: DR.D SINGLE-SIDED 2009 CRF250 EXHAUST: How To Make Your 2009 Honda CRF250 Look Like A 2010; Go Single, You’ll Never Go Back

December 5, 2009
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WHAT IS IT? A traditional, single-sided exhaust system for the dual-exhaust Honda CRF250.

WHAT’S IT COST? $549.95 (stainless/aluminum), $679.95 (stainless/carbon), $779.95 (Ti/Ti), $879.95 (Ti/carbon).

CONTACT? or (877) 382-2241.

WHAT’S IT DO? In truth, we can’t think of a single benefit to Honda’s twin muffler design. It isn’t all that quiet, doesn’t make as much power as a comparable single-sided exhaust, costs 50 percent more to replace and weighs 1-1/5 pounds more than a single. So, why is it on the CRF250? Ask Honda’s marketing department and they will give you some malarkey about roll rates and weight bias. The only justifiable reason is that the “twice pipes” look cool.

There is no doubt that looking cool is a part of every purchasing decision, but when the MXA test crew went looking for an aftermarket exhaust for our 2009 CRF250, we wanted a practical pipe with no fluff. Our first stop was Doug Dubach’s DR.D race shop. Doug always
resisted the urge to build twin pipes for the CRF250. As a Supercross winner, factory test rider and professional racer, Doug couldn’t justify building and selling a pipe that was heavier, more expensive, less powerful and more likely to get damaged in a crash. Thus, Doug
specializes in single-sided exhausts for the CRF250.

WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with DR.D’s single-sided Honda CRF250 exhaust system.

(1) Performance. On the track, the DR.D pipe woke up the CRF engine like a double shot of espresso. Where the stock pipe rolled lazily off the bottom, the DR.D pipe added plentiful grunt. Where the stocker casually hummed through the midrange, the DR.D pipe got down to business. The midrange hit provided a burst of power that launched the CRF250 out of turns with a jolt that was fun to ride without shortening the powerband. The DR.D pipe didn’t hurt the already good top-end power, and it made the bike easier to ride fast.

(2) Construction. When the MXA test crew goes looking for pipes for our bikes, we rarely ask for the flash of titanium and carbon fiber. We know, and you should be aware also, that there are no dimension changes between a company’s inexpensive stainless steel pipe and its expensive titanium one. They perform the same on the track. We asked DR.D for a stainless steel exhaust system with an aluminum muffler. The price was $549.95. The identical DR.D titanium pipe (with a carbon fiber muffler) costs $329 more. Even in the no-frills stainless/aluminum mode, the DR.D pipe still comes with a magnesium end cap and CNC-machined mounting brackets. The flange on the head pipe is tapered and welded all the way around. In addition, four plug welds are added for extra strength.

(3) Installation. The DR.D exhaust pipe features a one-piece muffler/midpipe and minimal hardware (no springs, clamps or grommets). Even though the CRF250 was designed for two mufflers, it accepts the DR.D unit as easily as any we have installed.

(4) Mass. The stainless/aluminum DR.D CRF250 exhaust weighs six pounds, while the stock CRF250 twin weighs 7.5 pounds.

(5) Repacking. The DR.D pipe utilizes screws instead of rivets (be sure to save the supplied Torx wrench) and the core is welded to the midpipe, making it easy to disassemble and reassemble. DR.D sells repack kits with a slide-out cardboard tube, and they have a very good instructional video on their website.

(6) Options. The pipe comes with a removable USFS-approved spark arrestor, and it meets AMA sound limits (although just barely).

WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? No complaints. Be sure to watch the muffler packing, because if it tamps down it could produce a hot spot on the muffler can.

The MXA test crew is giving this pipe five stars because, unlike a typical exhaust that just runs better, the DR.D single-sided CRF250 pipe runs better, weighs less, is quieter than stock, costs less and makes more sense.


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