Honda CRM 250 AR test

Honda CRM 250 AR test

Matter of the heart

When a two-stroke engine performs like a four-stroke engine, it is not magical powers, but active radicals at play.

It’s a shame that this motorcycle is neither available for money nor for good words in Germany – this conclusion on the occasion of the presentation of the CRM 250 AR (MOTORRAD 1/1998) is now outdated: At the direct importer Red Baron (Hammerstraße 83 A, 41460 Neuss, phone 02131/21037) the petite two-stroke enduro is now for sale at a price of 11600 marks including TÜV approval.


Completely unscathed, because a little too loud, the CRM does not get through the approval hurdle. A rear silencer duo equipped with catalytic converters, contributed by two-stroke expert Hans Becker, can help – making the engine, which is already advertised as low in emissions, even cleaner and quieter.
As expected, this intervention has consequences that go beyond the emissions behavior: the CRM-Single only produces 35 hp at 7100 rpm instead of the popular 40 hp at 8000 rpm on the roller dynamometer. Also slipped down by 1000 rpm, but with 40 Nm fully in line with the factory specifications, the torque peak is.
Be that as it may, the AR (Active Radical) principle, which is an aid to an exhaust flap and complex engine management in the lower speed range – to put it simply – is supposed to use unburned fuel components by means of spontaneous ignition to promote performance, already shows an effect on the test stand protocols.
The user-friendly characteristics of the CRM engine are largely confirmed when driving. Over the entire speed range, the engine hangs greedily on the gas and pushes the 130-kilogram machine vigorously even without constant shifting. Unfortunately, there are two thick hairs in the soup. In overrun mode and with the throttle valve slightly open, the AR-Single is jerking and bucking as a spoilsport, and if taken correctly, it turns out to be by no means the food lover it is advertised as: Consumption of eight liters per 100 kilometers at constant 130 km / h really does not mark a revolution in two-stroke technology.
Regardless of this, the engine, in conjunction with the extremely agile chassis, ensures high entertainment value. With his pulling power, he helps out of allegedly confused situations again and again. Whether on inclines that are steeper than they seemed, or when it comes to quickly lifting the front wheel or accelerating out of the corner with pressure – a courageous twist on the throttle usually helps to achieve a satisfactory result. Thanks to the long spring travel, the machine is in principle well equipped for flight insoles, but when it comes to serious bolts like Moto Cross, the chassis quickly reaches its limits because it is too softly tuned in series production.
A.The CRM can be moved extremely cheekily and effortlessly on country roads and in city traffic, not least thanks to the powerful and easy-to-dose front brake. Lightning-fast lean changes, last-minute course corrections or braking maneuvers in the curve – everything is playfully easy and without unpleasant side effects. The fact that the spring elements do not respond particularly sensitively to small bumps in the road is often forgotten, as on the other hand they always keep the machine under control when the heating is lively on really nasty streets. In this context, it should be pointed out that Red Baron is preparing a Super Moto conversion, which – fitted with high-quality road-tire 17-inch wheels – promises to be an even more enjoyable motorcycle.

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