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Launch: Honda CRF250L

Almost everything is new on this machine, except for the motor.

Excitement started to build quickly in the fall of 2011 when Honda announced its new CRF250L street-and-trail on the show circuit. Honda’s been building dual-sports in the 200-250cc range for decades, but many riders were underwhelmed with 2008’s CRF230L. That bike’s motor traced its roots back to the 1970s, and didn’t have the performance of previous quarter-litre street-and-trails, like the XL250R.

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Honda bike bravely caters to new riders In a move to broaden appeal, NC700 X does all things well

I know it's going to be difficult for traditional motorcyclists - especially young, traditional motorcyclists - to believe this, but there's more to motorcycling than speed. Indeed, with the onslaught of ever more hyper-powered superbikes, speed is largely becoming irrelevant. What use are 175 horses if you're stuck in traffic? How many times will you actually go 300 kilometres an hour when the speed limit is an increasingly and stringently regulated 100 or 110 km/h? And what use are third-gear power wheelies when popping the front wheel is likely to buy you a one-week ban for "stunting"? READ ON

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