I have a Harley Electraglide which is terrific for the American freeway. What I needed was something to go hunting with as well as driving in and around the city. I've spent the last couple of months boring everyone with my discussions of the pros and cons of different enduro scenarios..
The advantage of the enduro to hunting is that as I've got older I prefer to stay in a motel or my RV. This has put me at a distance from the hunting wilderness. When I stayed in Clinton's Caribou Lodge I drove out about 20 miles to the logging roads. The on road capacity of the Honda CRF 230 made this possible.
In British Columbia, unlike Europe and Mexico, ATV's or Quad's aren't legal on the road. This meant loading it on and off the truck each day where I was hunting and leaving the truck out in the woods. There's some advantage to this and the motorcycle rides just as easily in the back. There's more room for deer or moose when it's a motorcycle not a quad. I tend to get off the motorcycle and hike more than when I'm on a quad which is like driving a cadillac in the back woods by comparison. Not a whole lot different than driving around in a truck when it came right down to it . Nothing beats a motorcycle in comparison. With the motorcycle though I'd have to go back to get the truck once I've shot game.
There's the fear someone will take the game while you're away but that's pretty unlikely in Canada. The only time I heard of a deer being stolen was when my friend rode his motorcycle back to get the truck and found a black bear dragging his fresh shot deer away. If he'd had a bear tag he'd have had a black bear as well, the deer serving as bait. As it was he scared the bear away with from shots and collected his deer
The fact is I love off roading with the Honda CRF. I took the 230 on deer trails and loved riding on the cross country ski trails.H
This year, 2013, Honda came out with an amazing deal, the CRF250L, a thousand dollars less than I paid for the CRF230 with a superior engine and greater performance.
I've just driven it through the city and up to Harrison Hot Spring along the old Barnett and No. 7 Highway. This has got to be one of finest roads to motorcyle on as it weaves through the city wanders along the river then farmer's fields up into the hills and down back to Agazziz.
Gilbert my cockapoo was on the back, very much enjoying the ride. And what a ride it was. It got up to 100 km/hr without being full open throttle, something the 230 would have been able to do so easily. I did ride the 230 in a Vets Motorcycle Run at Sturges North, all the other bikes being mostly big harleys. One of the guys fresh back from Afghansistan, said of my bike then, "It may be small but I can see it's a real trouble maker!" . This Honda CRF250L could do freeways but handles amazingly on the highway. In the city it's light weight (320 lbs loaded) made the stopping and starting not an issue at all.
When I went back to Honda Marine, (terrific folk, incredible service, super accomodating,) (just off Boundary in Vancouver) I'd already been there several times to look the bike over. They put a special rack in for Gilbert's box and I got the same Oxford tank bag I'd used on my old Harley Roadster.
The Honda CRF250 performed superbly climbing up the hills by Kilby. Nice sounding engine. Great gear shifting. We'd stopped to looked at a 150 year old Anglican Church. Gilbert had a pee break. It got real cold after that and I was glad I made him wear a coat with his harness. He pawed off the helmut and goggles I got him last year leaving them in the dust but nudist that he is he tolerates clothing when he has too. His friends Laura, Aim and Joanne were always dressing him in different costumes for the city. He had a leather jacket but outgrew is so a new one's on the way.
I got out a navy turtleneck but was shivering and shaking by the time I got to Harrison's. There's a sport windshield for the Honda CRF 250L. The folks at Honda Marine will have mine in by next week. Then it will be warmer but I still like a windshield.
Night driving the last bit I was concerned about getting to the Ramada Hotel (old Executive) before there was black ice on the road. The lights on the Honda CRF250L were perfect though and brighter. I rode the 230 enduro year round so the tires handle a heck of a lot that regular tires don't. Still I was glad to pull up to the Ramada and let Gilbert off. He ran right inside, having been several times to this motorcycle and dog friendly luxury hotel.
Today I may take it off the road and try it out on some trails. It's a promise of another sunny spring British Columbia day. This is God's country where we can begin motorcycling in March! I love this Honda CRF250L too. I'd planned to get the Harley out in April but it may not be till I go on a road trip. This little powerhouse is everything I need for now. The insurance is a third of what I pay for the 1600 cc and I did 120 km on a tank of gas at about $6. It's a 2 gallon tank and that's estimating.
I always think of my brother driving across Canada with a Yamaha 150 cc motorcycle back in the late 60's. I like all the extra power but it's not at all necessary for anything but freeways and maybe mountains, especially if your passenger weighs more than the 20 lbs Gilbert does.
Honda CRF250L Specifications:
Overall length 86.4 inch (2,135 mm)
Overall height 47.inch
Minimum ground clearance 10. inches
- it's a tall bike
Curb weight 320 lbs ( 145 kg)
Passenger capacity - 1 rider plus passenger - it has the extra foot pegs (Gilbert the cockapoos feet wouldn't reach them though)