2012 Honda CRF250L Dual-Sport reveal at the 42nd Tokyo Auto Show. [fimg=right]http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/501/2012_Honda_CRF250L1.jpg[/fimg]Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG - Nov. 10, 2011 2012 Honda CRF250L Dualsport – Maybe < $6K to start while 75 + mpg should be a given. Along with an all new display and a number of BEVs, PHEVs and HEVs, Honda has announced its lineup of new production based motorcycles to be revealed or put on display at the 42nd Tokyo Motor Show 2011 taking place in Tokyo from Saturday, December 3 through Sunday, December 11, 2011. A Motorcycle at an auto show? In Japan in particular and periodically in the US, manufacturer’s bikes are displayed alongside their production and concept automobiles. BMW and Suzuki are two that usually have a bike or two on the show floor in the US but I digress. At this year’s Tokyo Auto Show, Honda’s display in the motorcycle section, they will display the planned production model of the CRF250L which offers both an ease of use in everyday life and the fun of off-road riding. So what’s the big deal about this bike? How about 128 mpgUS on our ride around downtown LA and into the Beverly Hills neighborhoods three years ago on its 2008 predecessor? CleanMPG Reviews the 2008 Honda CRF230L Since that time, we have had the chance to ride the 2009 Kawasaki KLX250SF and 2010 Yamaha WR250X Adventure Touring Project Bike to impressive results. And unfortunately, both bikes have far outclassed the aging Honda 230L with more modern ergonomics, displays and technology, more modern and capable suspension including upside down front forks and increased travel front and rear, larger discs front and rear, liquid cooling and probably more importantly, the HP on tap to do an all-highway run at 80 + mph if that need ever exists. Taking on a 25 mph headwind in full tuck reduced the powerful and fuel injected Yamaha WR250X to a 60-mph struggler whereas the Honda CRF230L would have had to be ridden off the Interstate with little chance of even besting the PSL minimums. The CRF250L Specification Guessing Game No specs of the all-new mighty miser have been released so I will make some assumptions and we all know what assumptions are good for… In other words, take them with a grain of salt. I will assume the all-new 2012 CRF250L will incorporate the fuel injected 250 cc engine out of the recently released 2011 CBR250R. It would make little sense not to in fact. This would mean an increase in HP from maybe 15 HP to a much more palatable 23 HP on tap. For a bike that probably weighs in the neighborhood of 265 pounds means a very large jump up in acceleration performance. We will make a few more stretches of the bikes capabilities given that excellent engine that was surely placed within a lightweight steel/aluminum hybrid frame. Let us guess at a 75 + mpgUS rating (non-adjusted EPA city cycle) from its extremely efficient 249cc liquid-cooled single cylinder engine featuring a four-valve DOHC cylinder head, engine counterbalancer, PGM-FI fuel injection and even the possibility of Honda’s low cost ABS ($500 option) being added to an CRF250M or Supermotard variant later on next year. The lightweight machine should provide more confidence inspiring handling and a much broader power band in which to slice and dice amongst the traffic of anywhere, USA. With a possible 2 - 2.5 gallon tank, the all-new dual sport should have a rated range of 150 to 185 miles and closer to 250 miles under our tutelage when pushed. All told, a very low total cost of ownership solution given an expected < $6,000 initial outlay and 100 mpg’s leading to essentially little cost at the pump on a week to week basis during the warmer riding seasons. 2012 Honda CRF250L Dualsport Features/Benefits 249.4cc single-cylinder engine with dual overhead camshafts driven by a Hy-Vo-type chain, forked roller rocker arms, four-valve head, shim-style valve adjustment, counterbalancer shaft and liquid cooling. The single-cylinder engine should produce a remarkably broad torque curve with peak torque generated at a somewhat high but accessible 7000 rpm. This should provide the opportunity for even better fuel economy but we shall see? Peak horsepower kicks in at 8500 rpm, well before the 10,500-rpm redline while. The crankshaft runs in plain bearings for quieter operation, and the big end of the connecting rod spins in a low-friction needle bearing. Gear-driven counterbalancer shaft helps quell engine vibrations for rider comfort. It's located so close to the crankshaft that the balancer weight passes between the two crank weights to keep the engine as compact as possible while boosting mass centralization. Engine countershaft sits lower than the mainshaft to further reduce the front-to-back engine dimension. Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI) continuously monitors several variables to ensure the correct fuel mixture for the existing riding and atmospheric conditions, thereby delivering optimal performance and remarkably crisp throttle response over a wide range of operating conditions, plus increased fuel economy. Finally PGM-FI system incorporates an Idle Air Control Valve (IACV) to minimize torque reaction and smooth responses to small changes in throttle position. This is accomplished through gradual reductions of air and fuel intake when the throttle is opened and closed. A six-speed transmission that works in concert with the engine's broad power delivery to produce quick acceleration plus excellent fuel economy during top-gear cruising. Aluminum/Steel hybrid frame plus an upside down 43 mm front fork (guessing here again) and a standard Honda Pro-Link single-shock rear suspension. An ABS version may be available on an M variant as discussed above. Curb weight of only 265 pounds gives the CRF230L outstanding maneuverability and helps instill rider confidence both on and off the road. New stylish light housing, fenders, and a much more aggressive appearance. Multi-function digital instrument cluster including speedometer, tachometer, engine temperature display, fuel gauge, clock, odometer and trip meter. We can only hope for an i/aFCD but that may be a bit to advanced for this class even in this day and age. All told, the once forgotten CRF may have been brought back to the head of the class and both Kawasaki and Yamaha will have to consider a redesign of their own if they want to keep up? This should be an interesting summer of 2012 for the fuel miser class.