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Old 06-12-2005, 12:36 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Last Online: 02-06-2006 01:26 PM
Location: Seattle, WA
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Default More 03 CR250 ?s - handling, power, and Jetting


Hey folks,

I recently picked up an 03 CR250 (completely stock) and had an opportunity to do some riding yesterday...the guy I went riding with has an 01 CR250 (all stock except for a FMF spark arrestor), a bike I used to ride about a year ago. Yesterdays terrain was pretty much all woods and trails...we took a break after a couple of hours and I mentioned to him that the reviews on this 03 CR250 complained of a low bottom end. I told him that the folks at ATM helped diffuse my concern by recommending a V-Force system. We decided to swap bikes for our next run and to see if there was really any difference between the bikes and low and behold there was a substantial difference. The 01 CR250 was snappier - much more throttle response than the 03 CR250 . I found that the 01 CR250 was effortless when wheeling through puddles or over roots yet the 03 CR250 was definitely able to do it but you needed to work it a little more by feathering the clutch. The other thing that surprised me and infact was the BIGGEST surprise of them all was that the 03 CR250 was much more stiff than the 01 CR250 - I felt much more in control with the 01 - seemed more nimble.

My questions to you folks...

1. I'm assuming that the stiffness is related to the suspension - Do the 03 CR250s have stiffer shocks? And can that be softened up without taking my bike to the shop? (I'm a 185lb rider) Or is it recommended to get it adjusted for a rider of my height (5'9") and weight?

2. I ride in the Seattle, WA area between 0-2000 ft above sea level, temps between 50 - 75 degrees - What jetting spec have you guys had luck with on a 03 CR250? I'm wondering if I dialed my jetting in a little would that improve throttle response.

3. Any other handling improving tips out there? I recognize that's a loaded question... I guess my pride is a little tainted because my buddies older 01 CR250 performs and rides better than my 03 CR250. I understand that newer doesn't always mean better but I'm trying to factor in all the R&D time that Honda has put into improving on the prior years bike that I'm just surprised there is a significantly noticeable difference.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts... I've learned a ton from you folks...You guys are great!

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Old 06-12-2005, 05:32 PM
pintlermotocros's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2005
Last Online: 07-17-2005 10:33 PM
Posts: 487
Default Re: More 03 CR250 ?s - handling, power, and Jetting


1. Your CR is new so the suspension is not going to be soft from the factory(they have those things soooo stiff!). And if he bought that bike in 2001 the suspension will have softened naturally giving it better handling and your friend or previous owner (if there was one) may have set up the suspension.

When dialing in the suspension you do it according to your weight mainly. I am 5'9" as well, and I didnt have to do anything to my bike's suspension as far as height related.

2. Sorry I am from Montana and me house is about right on 6,000 ft. above.

3. For trails they make Handlebar "stableizers". Dont know if it would help but I noticea all of those GNCC/ WORCS and other trails riders have them.

IF you really wanted to pay some serious cash (serious enough for me) you could get like a Factory Connection suspension or something.

The main thing that will help it handle better is tuning that suspension!

Power Related: Like we all said in a dif. one of your threads, get the V Force 3's, and a Pro Circuit pipe would also help as well. Or for trails perhaps a FMF GNARLY pipe. They help with bottom end so you wont have to use the cluth AS MUCH.

Also helping the bottom end is putting on a dif. sprocket. WE just put on a Renthal sprocket and wow what a difference. And it was just one tooth difference from the stock!

WEll hope you get that baby dialed.

And thanks for buying a 2 STROKE!

And also joing the "No Blue Bike Allowed Association"! Because remember "Friend's don't let friend's ride Yamaha!"

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Old 06-12-2005, 05:40 PM
mtk's Avatar
mtk mtk is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Last Online: 01-24-2008 07:41 PM
Location: Finleyville, PA
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Default Re: More 03 CR250 ?s - handling, power, and Jetting

Pull the top end and send it off to Eric Gorr for a "Mo Betta" port job. That will solve the lack of bottom end power quite nicely. At least it did on my 2002. Everything else isn't going to be nearly as effective as a good port job. Total cost, including return shipping, is $200 so it's fairly cheap too.
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Old 06-13-2005, 02:51 PM
Intermediate Class
Join Date: Feb 2005
Last Online: 05-19-2014 04:10 PM
Location: Cambridge MA for now
Posts: 424
Default Re: More 03 CR250 ?s - handling, power, and Jetting

I wouldn't worry about the bottom end much. In truth you will probably be faster on the tamer 03.

IMHO where you will see the bigest improvements is in suspension mods. First, do what you can with the stock set-up and if that doesn't do the trick get it re-valved. Take advantage of the stock clickers, counter-clockwise = less damping. Make sure the sag is set correctly and the forks are the proper height in the clamps for the front wheel/tire size you are using (I think its +7mm for the 21" and level for the 20").
After that you can mess with the oil level in the forks, less oil = less progressive = softer in the last ~1/2 of the travel. If you have any trouble with head shake or instability a steering damper will help a lot.

Don't expect the 03 to feel as snapy as the 01. The electronic powervalve doesn't open as quickly as the old mechanical one and the crank is reportedly much heavier (same affect as a flywheel weight). This is not necessarily a bad thing, it makes it easier to find traction and manage the power.

I can't help with jetting - I ride an 01
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Old 06-13-2005, 06:00 PM
AaronRider's Avatar
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Last Online: 01-15-2013 01:17 AM
Location: California
Posts: 1,098
Default Re: More 03 CR250 ?s - handling, power, and Jetting

I dont think the CR250 is necessarily "lacking power", I just think that the power band is shaped to work well with a fast rider. Since they are always revved out, they dont need to worry about the lack of bottom end
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Old 06-20-2005, 01:27 PM
Welcome To ATM
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Last Online: 06-24-2005 01:12 PM
Location: nashville
Posts: 2
Default Re: More 03 CR250 ?s - handling, power, and Jetting

my 03' cr250 was the same way. I went with a 50 tooth in the rear and changed the reeds to the 4 petal fiberglass boyesens. This all helped off the bottom. I was having a problem clearing doubles out of tight turns. Also when I set the suspension for my 225 big butt, that helped a great deal (heavier springs and sag adj.). Alot of 250s have more hit but that same hit can really slow you down.
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