Honda is showing the 2019 CRF250L Rally at the 2019 Overland Expo, but we are here to tell you about it in case you can’t get there to see it. Have you looked at these bikes? Because they’re pretty awesome.
Honda’s whole CRF line is one of lightweight, capable dirt and motocross bikes, and the “L” designation means it’s street legal: LED lights and all. The CRF250L Rally has a larger gas tank for longer trip capability, more bodywork, a skid plate, a little more suspension travel, and a windscreen and handguards for longer-term wind protection that’ll knock down that beat-up-by-the-wind fatigue. Plus, I mean, look at it.
The 250L models have disc brakes front and rear with the option to add ABS. The 250cc single-cylinder, electric-start, double-overhead-cam, liquid-cooled engine is fuel-injected and counterbalanced to smooth out the pop-pop-pop of a single. It provides plenty of low-end torque for a 250. The pro-link rear suspension and upside-down front forks help damp all those rocks you’re going to ride over, and the 18” rear wheel and 21” front help too.
The L has a more comfortable seat and seating position than its dirt-dedicated brethren, since Honda knows you’ll probably be on these bikes longer. You’ll be able to ride to the trail head, after all. The Rally version is what you see in the photo above with the fantastic carbon-fiber-style eyeballs and the tall windshield. The non-Rally doesn’t have that styling but does have plenty of capability as well as being a bit lighter on the scale.
The ABS models are switchable: the ABS will save your bacon on the street, but with an easy off switch you can get rid of the ABS for when your going gets you off the pavement and everything under you gets loose and steep. Once you’re out the other side of the trail and on pavement, you can simply switch it back on without any shenanigans like turning off the ignition, that you’ve got to go through with some other bikes. That alone is a huge advantage.