Thinking about a Honda CRM 250 as a back up trail bike

KTMphil

Senior member
Joined
Jan 11, 2011
Location
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Bikes
2007 KTM 990 Adventure Suzuki DRZ 400
For the kind of jungle riding/ mapping we do, I'm totally sold on the 2 stroke engine simplicty.








If you give them a good dunking in the river, spark plug out, turn them upside down, engine in gear, rotate the back wheel to move the piston and you can get all the water out. New spark plug and off you go. With a four stroke bike, when the bike takes a swim, there's a good chance you have contaminated oil, then everything is a problem - 2-strokes, crossing rivers are far less stressful hands down.



I've been told that you can pick up a tidy Honda CRM 250 for 50,000 Bht, great as a backup bike or for when a friend is in town.
 

KTMphil

Senior member
Joined
Jan 11, 2011
Location
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Bikes
2007 KTM 990 Adventure Suzuki DRZ 400
From the Honda CRM250.com website:



CRM250 Mkl 1989 - 1990 So this is where it all started, and it's not hard to see why the japanese (and the rest of the 2 wheeled world) fell in love with the bike straight away, with it's good looks straight from the current CR250 of it's day, (although thats where it's similaritys end) superb chassis and suspension put the CRM into a new market and Honda sold loads of them.
The Mk1 looked very similar to the CR250 but was actually quite different. Oil injection, pillion pegs, twin ring piston & low reving 2 stroke engine were only a few of the differences, Yet the CRM was more like the MTX than the CR. The Mk1 was sold in red or white and is actually quite small in size compared to later models, yet with it's peakier motor and less weight this model is preferd by the shorter rider and it can be easier to manage off road than later models.
Prices in the UK start at around £600 for a tatty example going upto £1100 for mint low mileage models.


CRM250 Mk2 & 2.2 1991 - 1993 The MK2 & Mk2.2 are the same bike in practice, and the MK2 was launched in 1991. This model was a huge step up from the MK1 with all new frame and now wears large upside down Showa forks. Oil is now held in the frame which is much larger than the MK1 and stiffer too. This bike feels far more substantial than the MK1 yet feels more nimble to ride. Power has also increased with the redesigned engine and offers more tourqe than before.
The bike still had it's little quirks though and with a couple of design flaws including the wheel bearing securing plate (Made from a soft alloy which screw into the hub also made from soft alloy - Cue bad corrosion, and a seized plate. But even still this bike is the most popular CRM250 and holding it's own in the values game even when so old. Beware for balancer shaft wear in the engine, if regular oil changes are not done done this seems to be the first thing to fail resulting is a death rattle from the engine that still runs with no problems.
The MK2.2 had few differences including foot pegs that were different and a new set of graphics.
Prices vary between £700 for a rough looking H plate but useable bike to £1500 for a very clean tidy example on a K plate with around 8000kms on the clock.





CRM250 Mk3 1994 - 1996 So here we have the MK3, and this was the model that looked so different to the MK2, yet it was actually a very similar bike. The frame and bodywork was all new again, with much more modern styling, Oil was held back in a plastic tank, but the main difference was the suspension. The suspension while looking very similar to the MK2 was actually very well refined, and while still quite soft still actually seemed to climb up those muddy hills and soak up the bumps much better than the previous models.
The engine was actually the same as the MK2 and performed about the same too. Overall bike weight remained the same at 125kg but actually felt lighter to ride (until you got stuck in that 2 foot deep muddy bog and tried pulling it out anyway). This is actually my favoured bike as it is relatively cheap still, and looks far newer than the MK2 model. The paint schemes for the MK3 were a little sinister to say the least and did nothing to help the bikes sales, yet it was still the favoured choice over the RMX range.
Prices start at around £1000 for a rough worn out example to £2000 for a low mileage minter.



CRM250 AR 1996 - 1999 And this is where it all stopped. Honda like all manufacturers were under increasing pressure from the USA and it's own country to clean up it's act and this is the first and only production bike that used Honda's development "Active Radical System". The "Active Radical System" or AR as it was known was a clever way to reduce emmisions from the unfreindly 2 stroke engine while giving more low down grunt at the same time. To ride a AR for the first time is quite odd. On the over-run it feels more like a 4 stroke engine and almost feels like the ignition has been cut, yet as soon as the throttle is opened up it kicks straight back into life. The AR models are very different not only in the engine area, but also the ignition and carburation, And features many electronic pickups and sensors to give the maximum burn with maximum efficiency. Dont let the style fool you with a Mk3 as the frames and motor are not interchangeable. Regarded by many as the Ultimate CRM250.
Prices are quite high for this model, and older well used bikes go for around £1400+ while the latest low mileage bikes are still changing hands for as much as £2200.
Prices are based on typical private sales on ebay / biketrader and "gut feel" prices at this monent in time. dec 2007
 
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