Thread: Video: Honda CRF250L Rally vs Kawasaki Versys X-300

  1. #1
    haven is offline Expedition Portal Moderator Expedition Leader
    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    Default Video: Honda CRF250L Rally vs Kawasaki Versys X-300

    Motorcyclist Magazine has a video series called On Two Wheels. In this episode, the hosts take lightweight bikes for a spin up the Big Sur coast. A landslide blocks the paved road, so they travel on dirt along the mountain ridges. The video does a good job of highlighting strengths and weaknesses of the bikes in a real-world travel scenario.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Possum Kingdom Lake, TX
    I watched the video (which was actually a pretty fun review...).

    They talked a lot about the Kawi, but not a whole lot about the CRF. I'm guessing it was because the CRF was more suited to the roads they were on, and therefore was not as surprising as the Versys (which I would love to test ride after watching this). I was a little disappointed they didn't highlight the CRF a little more, though. It is a great bike for the kind of riding they were doing, and while soft sprung (as they said), I think the power is actually okay for a small dual sport. It won't win any races, but it's well mannered on road, and great fun in the dirt (the front end pushes a little in the soft stuff, but not bad).

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  3. #3
    Not a bad review. I'm a fan of making smaller dirt bikes in to street legal adventure bikes because they handle the mix soooo much better than a street bike with knobbies (done that, too!). If you're not screaming down the interstate, the smaller bikes are really fun. I converted an 85 Honda XR350R over and was a real blast in the twisties and on-trail. Just might do that to my 1996 KTM 300 once I get a newer one for trails only. Would need to gear it up a tad to keep it off the pipe when cruising.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Newnan Ga. grand rapids/ Ludington mi

    Arrow Depends on your usage I think

    I chose to go versys x300's for wife and I. It is up for dual sport useage but crash bars and a skid for any rougher use are good idea. I also ditched the stock tires for tkc 80 twinduros that's what changes the bikes identity. I'm bit surprised Kawi didn't go just a bit more dual purpose on the tires not that I'd expect knobbies but the stockers are basically full street use to me.
    I personally like the power delivery, feels strong and power builds with rpms which makes it fun to ride aggressively on dirt without any worry of a bounce on the throttle kicking out traction. It will break loose and send roost but you do need to ask for it not something that'll happen accidentally. This makes it friendly to newer riders and enough to be fun for more experienced rider.
    Now that it has some praise I'll make sure to say flat out it's not a dirt bike! Front suspension is modest handles dirt track and rough road surfaces well but for jumping, extremely rocky rough terrain there's other more offroad options may give you bit better if that's your use.
    On gravel/rocky road surface and dirt track I feel very engaged and controlled even at speeds. The suspension does well soaking up lighter rough terrain.
    Weight is generally light considering amount of body and displacement, seat height low but seats not very plush

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana area
    Since this was resurrected, I thought the KLX250 was Kawasaki's competition to the CRF250L? Maybe they should have compared the KLX250 with the Versys X-300 to see which was better for various tasks.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    San Francisco
    Quote Originally Posted by Trailboss View Post
    Since this was resurrected, I thought the KLX250 was Kawasaki's competition to the CRF250L? Maybe they should have compared the KLX250 with the Versys X-300 to see which was better for various tasks.
    I agree, the little KLX250 is a killer small dual sport. My friend rides his a lot and takes it on our annual Baja trip that's 1k miles for a week. If I was looking at a small dual sport I'd be looking at the KLX or the CRF-L
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