A motorcycle should be first and foremost about function. Right?
I mean riding is about having fun on the road / trail and enjoying the camaraderie of people you are with as you experience the adventure together. The bike is the tool used to have this adventure, and because there are so many types of roads, trails, journeys, adventures, there are also many types of motorcycles.
How you ride should dictate the bike you choose… right?
Right now, I’m working on a Honda CT70 mini-bike that I fully plan to take on at least one, if not several long adventure rides. I’ve tried to explain the reasons for doing such a silly thing in a previous post. (Link HERE) While the CT70 project is a ridiculous amount of fun right now, I also know that down the road (literally) I will want to ride a bike more suited to my use.
So what is my intended use for a motorcycle?
Well, to start, lets quickly cover what I have no interest to do. (not that these are bad or wrong, just not my intention at this point in my life). I have no desire or plans to race, stunt-ride or otherwise participate in any form of “hooning” around. I also don’t intend on using a motorcycle for daily transportation, or highway / interstate riding. Finally, I really want to avoid a bike that is “fast” because I know how I am wired and I lets just say I don’t think it would end well for me.
I do want a bike that I can explore the back roads of the midwest, with the occasional rough road or trail through the woods as well. I want to ride to the local coffee shop and back for an afternoon break, and on a few occasions, I would like to take off and go camping with the motorcycle allowing me to access remote locations (without hiking for days).
Cost is also a consideration, as is durability, reliability, serviceability, and general ease of ownership.
What bike fits my function perfectly?
I’ve added all those criteria up and the bike that lands on the top of the list is the Honda CRF250L. It is small, inexpensive, easy to ride, super reliable, and parts are available everywhere. It is perfectly at home on backroads, trails, fields, and would take me to the coffee shop and back just fine.
In fact, for the type of riding I want to do, it is hard to find a flaw with the Honda CRF250L (or the 250L Rally version) except I can’t stand the way it looks.
The trouble – What about style?
Really, we all know that the bike you ride is more than just a utilitarian tool. Like it or not, the truth is, the motorcycle you choose to ride reflects who you are. You can’t escape the style of your bike transmitting to others what kind of rider you are, and in many cases your motorcycle will dictate what communities of riders you are welcomed in or excluded from. It really is a big deal. Should it be? Probably not. But it just is.
So, while Honda has built the CRF250L to perform nearly perfectly for my desired form of riding, they have styled the bike after their hard core off road racers. In fact, it is almost impossible to distinguish the 250L from the 250R with the exception of the headlight and turn signals.
Of course I think off-road / motocross bikes are cool, and so are the people that ride them, but I would feel similarly out of place riding a motocross styled bike as I would be on a Orange County Chopper.
On the other hand, there are some great bikes out there that offer a more classically styled bike that I could easily find myself riding. However, when I compare these bikes, the styling can’t outweigh the Honda 250L’s price, durability, serviceability and just plain ol’ quality.
So I utilized my photoshop skills to see if there might be a way to convert the Honda CRF250L into a more classically styled bike that would fit not only the functionality of my riding, but the form as well.
This is my Perfect Motorcycle:
Watch the video of how the transformation takes place:
Could this be done?