The Dual-Sport motorcycle for beginners

Often overlooked by new riders, small bisports are a great way to learn to ride. They are light and easy to maneuver, and thanks to an upright riding position, they are relatively comfortable.

“It’s a bike you can use at the entry level and it’s not intimidating,” says Johnny Campbell, an off-road riding legend and 11-time Baja 1000 champion. “The power is subtle enough. so you don’t tear it out of your hands. Really, it’s the agility of having a dual sport that’s easy to ride.

For the curious, these utility bikes are not only fun, but also great for speeding up the learning curve; Cyclists who spend time off-road in the inconsistent world of dirt, sand and mud learn to ride a bike when the going gets tough.

Year after year, the Honda CRF250L has been the go-to choice for small-displacement doubles sports. Honda sold 4,000 of these bikes last year, and representatives say the category is growing in double digits. (The bisport segment as a whole is one of the few that is currently experiencing growth.) Thanks to a major redesign for 2017, the CRF250L has never looked so good.

But you shouldn’t buy it. Instead, ditch the extra $ 750 for the all-new CRF250L Rally.

Before we get into the CRF250L rally, here are the details on the CRF250L: At 317 pounds, it’s 26 pounds lighter than the previous model, thanks to a new exhaust. The 2017 model also features a larger throttle body, for more power and better low and mid-range response.

The CRF250L Rally shares the same 250cc powertrain mated to a six-speed transmission. It produces a reasonable 24 horsepower so it doesn’t become too squirrel-like – even if you unintentionally slow it down.

Recently we rode both bikes about 60 miles each, on the roads and trails around Murrieta, CA. Aesthetically, the Rally wins in the realm of badass looks thanks to a windshield, aviator-style glasses headlights and a different hood, as well as radiator fairings. On the highway, the windshield provides some protection against the wind and can help pick up speed.

The Rally has 11 inches of front suspension via an inverted telescopic fork and 10.3 inches at the rear, and has done a good job negotiating the huge crevices on the trails caused by the recent record spring rain in California. The Rallye is also available with ABS, which adds around $ 300 to the price of the bike along with a few pounds, but will help beginners control the bike, especially on the pavement. The Rally also has a 2.7-gallon tank, about a half-gallon larger than the standard CRF250L. And it’s the bigger tank, windshield and improved suspension that make the Rally the better choice.

A great choice for the beginner or the seasoned rider who wants a fun, small-displacement bike, the CRF250L Rally is not for riders who want to dive into the world of adventure riding – for that you’ll need a bigger bike with better suspension. But it’s a great starter bike. [$5,899 (non-ABS);]

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