The Motorcycle

Honda CRF250 Rally 2018

I bought the bike about 6 months old with 4,000km on the clock. It came with hand guards, upgraded fork spring, upgraded rear shock and was as expected with the exception of some light scrapes to the sticker/plastics.

I paid a total of £3700 and with only a handful of modifications it was ready to go. These bike really do not require much done to go around the world and could definitely go in stock form.

Contents:
Modifications – How I start my trip
Service history
Issues/break downs
Spare pairs required
Spare parts carried
Tools
Tyres

Modifications :

Version one: – How I started my trip – Very nearly stock with the exception of upgraded suspension.

  • Heat grips
  • Crash bars
  • Hand guards
  • Speedohealer used to change the speed when sprockets are not the stock ones
  • Electric sockets – 1 x front, 1 x rear
  • Covers for spokes
  • Installation of a waterproof camera box to rear
  • Created a holder for a Rotopax
  • Hagon rear shock (previous owner)
  • Upgraded progressive front fork spring (previous owner)
  • Phone holder
  • Tool box from Pipe (110mm plumbing pipe)
  • Loops installed on sub frame for Kriega luggage bags (scrap yard)

Version two: Couple of mods but main change to rear sub frame due to snapping it in India

  • Upgraded clutch springs for a more responsive throttle
  • Added tubing to reinforce frame
  • Removed tool tube and created central tool box
  • Moved Rotopax to the side
  • Tightened rear shock to make harder
  • Drilled the shock to lower the bike as the firmer ride increase seat height by 2.5 inches.
    (Note: No geometric changes were made to shock and the clearance is still the same height as it was when my suspension was too soft).

Services history

0 – 3500km:

2 x Honda services

11,000km:

Oil change (no filter change due to availability)
No air filter available

13,000km:

Chain and sprocket – only had 13/45 available

16,000km:

Air filter

18,000km:

Oil and oil filter changed
Spark plug checked
Steering bearing replaced and greased

26,000KM:

Oil and oil filter
Air filter
Replaced the spark plug
General big service
Chain and sprockets (13/42)
Change clutch plates (very little wear didn’t need changing but for £8 I may as well change them when I was upgrading the clutch springs).
Upgraded the clutch springs (15% stronger)

Notes: Biggest surprise was going through 2 chains by the time of 26,000km! I used DID and JP Sprocket branded chains and looked after the chains so didn’t expect to change it so much.

37,000KM:

Oil, oil filter, air filter changed. Rear aluminium sprocket had to be changed around 34,000km.

Issues/break downs

11,000km – Leaking fork seal – no seals available and I wasn’t carrying one. Opened up the fork and tightened the spring (made it shorter) and cleaned the seal/fork. Issue resolved.
14,000km – Return of the leaking fork, I think it was due to altitude. I didn’t have time to repair it in China due to guide/cost as I kept the oil topped up. By the time I got to Kathmandu it has stopped leaking on it’s own. (Note: When at height in the Himalayas a new air filter would have greatly helped performance.
17,000km – Steering head bearing needed replacement. Upon inspected it was rusted, more grease from the factory or putting a new one in where I knew it was greased properly would have probably made this not be be an issue.
19,000km – Snapped sub-frame. Welded but snapped 2 days later. Since I was on a deadline to get into and through Myanmar it would have to wait. I strapped up the back end and continued another 3,000km where I could get it sorted. In Thailand I could have either gotten another sub-frame for £60 (£770 in the UK) or had it welded. I decided to opt for the repair and went on to further strength the sub frame(see photos).
25,000km – First flat tyre
28,000km – A day of flat tyres

Spare Parts Required

  • Steering head bearings and seals
  • Fork seals
  • Air filters
  • Oil filters
  • Puncture repair kits
  • Rear tube would have been helpful but not required

Spare parts carried

  • Air filters
  • Oil filters
  • Steering head bearing and seals
  • Fork seals
  • Front and rear wheel bearings with seals
  • Spare clutch plates (upgraded previous so carry as spare instead of throwing away)
  • Front inner tube
  • Fuses
  • Spark plug

Tools :

I haven’t taken away all the items I haven’t needed, instead this is simply a list of all of the tools I carry. I would rather carry that little extra weight in tools and know that I have them all than be stranded at the side off the road without that extra one that weighed 20 grams. Plus it’s possible I can help other travelers if I have those extra few sizes of sockets and spanners.

  • 2 x breaker bars
  • Sockets 8 – 19 + 21 +24
  • Socket extensions
  • Socket for removing spark plug
  • 4mm – 12mm hex keys
  • Screw driver with 1 x flat head and 1 x positive
  • Wire clippers
  • Mole grips 7 inch
  • 3 x tyre levers
  • Air pump
  • multi-meter

Tyres:

0km:

Front: MT21
Rear: MT21

Comments:

These were the tyres I bought the bike with.

11,000km:

Front: Changed from MT21 (lasted 11,000km) to Heidenau K60
Rear: Changed from MT21 (lasted 11,000km with maybe 3,000km remaining) to a really aggressive offroad tyre (not for road use stamped into it)

0 to 11,000km
Road: 90%
Offroad: 10%

Comments:

I was really impressed for such as aggressive tyre so how long it lasted, as I did alot of road riding on it to get to China on time. Also I found the grip to be amazing. Given the opportunity I would have put another set of MT21’s on!

18,000km:

Front: Heidenau K60 with plenty of life left
Rear: Offroad only tyre changed (lasted 5,000km) to Indian branded more road orientated tyre

11,000 to 18,000km
Road: 50%
Offroad:50% (Pamir highway/Wakhan Corridor/Nepal)

Comments:

I was greatly impressed by how well the K60 did offroad, when I first put it on I was disappointed there wasn’t a more aggressive tyre available but it did great! (Here’s a link to some offroad in Nepal it managed no problem)
Given the choice, I would have gone with something on the rear much different but no other tyre available.

22,0000:

Front: Heidenau K60
Rear:Indian brand changed (4,000km)to Mitas E07+

18,000 to 22,000km
Road: 90%
Offroad: 10%

Comments:

I didn’t get on with the Indian road tyre, I found it didn’t have the grip I was looking for I the roads never mind the off road.

31,000km:

Front: Heidenau K60 changed to Shinko 705
Rear: Mitas E07+

22,000 to 31,000km
Road: 70%
Offroad: 30%

Comments:

Impressed by how long the K60 has lasted. At 31,000km it has done 18,000km. I feel that it could have done a further 3/4,000km if you wanted.

Changed the the Shinko as no other real choice, I’d of liked something more aggressive but that’s what I had said about the K60 and that preformed amazingly off road. It’s said that the 705 is a 80% road tyre 20% off road but I shall see how it preforms and if it compares to the K60.

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