Front: (90–95) 41mm cartridge forks with 11 in (280 mm) of travel (96-04) 41mm KYBcartridge forks with 10.6 in (270 mm) of travel Rear: (90-95) Single shock with 11 in (280 mm) of travel
(96–04) KYB Single shock with 10.6 in (270 mm) of travel
In 1981, the XR250 was updated with a single rear shock. In 1984, the bike was introduced with Honda's Radial Four Valve Combustion Chamber (RFVC). It has a 110 kg (240 lb) claimed dry weight, and a 36-inch seat height (96–04). Honda said the engine produces 19.6 peak hp and 14-15 lb feet of torque. The 1996–2004 versions of the XR250R had 10.6 inches of suspension travel front and rear and 41mm front cartridge forks. The tire size was 80/100-21 front and 100/100-18 rear. It had 13–48 tooth gearing and a stock top speed of around 66 mph at 8000 rpm. The XR250L was a heavier, street-legal version which was introduced in 1991 and should not be confused with the older XL250R. Starting in 1981, the XR250 had a 21-inch front wheel. 1979 and 1980 versions had a 23 inch front wheel (3.00 x 23 tire size).
Unlike the CRF230F, which effectively replaced the XR200R in Honda's lineup as an air-cooled off-road motorcycle, the XR250R has no air cooled successor, but was replaced by the liquid-cooled CRF250X.
The engines in both the XR250R and XR250L are identical. In the United States the L has a 3 mm smaller header pipe and a different carburetor to satisfy emissions regulations, though both carburetors have a 30 mm bore. The engine has a four-valve head with splayed rocker arms to actuate the valves. Unusual for a single-cylinder engine, it has a two-into-one header pipe. Throughout its production, the R version is kickstart only, has a six-speed transmission with chainfinal drive, and has stator ignition. For the pre-1996 models, the suspension travel was 280 mm (11 in) front and rear. The XR250R is the enduro (competition) model; however, the L version is electric start, (except for the USA market XR250L, which never had electric start and which was discontinued after the 1996 model year), with pillion pegs, softer suspension and lower seat height. The changes between 1996 and 2004 consisted of decal updates, the mechanical parts being identical. The XR250R was discontinued after 2004. In Australia a XR250Y was released with upside-down forks and electric start in 05-06.
Revised suspension with 10.6 in (270 mm) of travel and a steeper steering angle. Updated dry-sump engine with lighter flywheel and counterweight now produces 19 hp. New engine mounts, exhaust valves, revised decompression system for easier starting
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^ abcdefghijkHonda 1986-1995 Service Manual. November 1993.