If Honda brings back the CR250 2 stroke, I would just have to buy it and perhaps I am thinking if we talk about it enough, it just might happen. In reality, the thing that might cause Honda to rethink its 2 stroke MXers is the very thing that caused them to stop making them.. their pride with the thought that they lead the industry. Traditionally, Honda felt that Yamaha was its biggest competitor/ innovator. In fact it was Yamaha that came out with the 4-stroke Mxer first and the only Japanese manufacturer to hold on to the 2-stroke. They probably also see the tremendous success that KTM is having by giving the individual market segements exactly what it wants as opposed to the Honda way of telling the public what they want/ what it wants to make. KTM technology has made tremendous strides over recent years and really it challenging or surpassing the Japanese. They already have production 2 stroke motorcrossers that are making more power than the Japanese counterparts ever did. They are also starting to win a lot of the pro races. This must be making them nervous.. as KTM is taking market share because they are giving the customers exactly what they want. The 4 strokes have come a long way, but their expense to buy and maintain, heavier (also causing more likliehood of injury), as well as a diminishing of the fun factor in spite of their competiveness, is killing their blue-collar customer base. This sentiment has been expressed over and over by all levels of rider ability. In the hope that my post will give Honda one more kick in the pants, here is my wish list for an all new CR250 2-stroke.
1. Go back to the 2000-2001 piston port design that everyone loved or suck up your pride and flat out copy KTM's case reed design with about 50 horsepower. Make the power band broad that builds on power agressively, but smoothly as you roll open the throttle to appeal to a wide range of riders and easy to ride for anly level of ability like the old 200-2001 piston port engine did.
2. Honda would have to think long and hard about the target market, simplicity, and cost, but there might be a trade off of the newer technology and what the market really wants and values. Fuel injection and a hydraulic clutch and perhaps a programmable ignition would have to be carefully considered.
3. The KTM 250SX is already at 213lbs (advertised dry weight)! The new CR250 should be 215lbs or lighter. A 210lb CR250 would make me giggle like a school girl I would prefer R&D money/ manufacturing cost be spent on a lighter bike over fancy electronics in the theme of keeping things simple for the back yard mechanic.
4. The 2000-2001 CR's and the 2009-2012 CRF's had some of the best looking plastic. I am not to keen about the Husky-like plastic on the 2013 CRF450. Let's keep the plastic simple for a good looking bike instead of the sharp, pointed angles that make some of the recent bikes look cartoonish. I like the way Kawasaki keeps it's plastic simple and always has a good looking bike that appeals to everyone.
5. A sticker price of $5,900 would help keep the sport/ past time main stream and within reach of the weekend warrior, but I realize KTM has already set a precedent, so a slightly more competitive (than KTM's $7k) price of $6,900 would be more realistic and still sell a lot of bikes.
For those also hoping for a new CR250 2-stroke, anything you would like to add to the wish list?