I have owned a Honda CRF250 Rally for about a year, but never really rode it until a few weeks ago. I wanted to test it so I decided to make the trip. But because I was limited for time, I would go on the roads which would be more direct. However, I prefer the off road. I prepped the bike the day before, including packing some tools and tubes I may need. I also took a change of clothes and my plan was to leave early the next morning.
I got away by 7:15am on a nice, cool, dry morning. My final destination of Boulapha in Khammoune Province, was 900km away. I was planning on riding Route 13 to Phoukhoun, then switching to Route 7. That would get me to Phonsavan by lunch time, with a very tidy 270km under my belt. A great morning, good roads, and good weather, what more could you ask? I arrived at Phoukhoun about 9.30am and things needed refilling. One was the tank and the other was my stomach; petrol for the first and noodles for the second.
I by-passed Phonsavan and headed down the 1c to Lak So. Arriving there about 6pm, I was surprisingly still in the mood for riding so carried on. Thalang is where I threw in the towel. It was 7:30pm and I had ridden 758km in a day. Despite having ‘numb bum’ the rest of me was fine. I woke up in the morning feeling good with a bonus of only being 140km away from my final destination.
Another beautiful morning with the prospect of a fun ride across the Nakai Plateau can’t be bad! So off I rode, enjoying the countryside around me, arriving at Boulapha a couple of hours later.
How good is the CRF250 Rally?
Is it comfortable? Yes, with the additional bonus of its big windscreen giving you great protection from the weather. The sitting position was also just perfect for me and it’s suspension is much better than the CRF250L. The CRF250 Rally’s suspension is softer with more travel on the rear, while the front feels the same as the CRF250L.
With the bike being so well balanced, riding it slowly is no problem. Speed wise, is it fast ? No, not really. It’s average speed has increased by 15-20km per hour compared with the L. It has more power than other models, but could maybe do with a bit more ‘beefing up’. Is it thirsty? The 10 litres took me 360km before the gauge started flashing, but the juice ran out very quickly after that. Luckily I was in a village where they had fuel. Overall, good fuel economy. Looks wise the bike is great.
Time though to get back home and I decided to do some off-roading. I had dodged the rain for three days, but it got me back with a vengeance. It just poured down, stopped for an hour, then poured down again. I went home the way I came until Tatom on the 1C where I stopped for the night. In the morning, I went through Anouvong, Nam Gnon to check out the ferries, and then around the lakes to Vang Veing, over Kasi which was a mess, and finally home.
Off-road, the bike works well. That huge travel of its suspension easily dealt with terrain . The bike dealt with all the on-road and off-road problems equally well. With a set of Ohlin’s, and a bit more power, it would be great for us here in Laos.
Overall verdict: A great bike!
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