I rode a Honda CRF250L though some of Laos and Philippines and I dare anyone to try one of these and not have a good time.
Tall saddle and big wheels but the bike is a cinch to ride once moving and soaks up every bump. No effort to explore unsealed roads yet also very light with wide bars it can turn the tightest of switchback tarmac easy. The engine has only small amount of power but it has torque down low and revs smoothly and it is very satisfying to use all of the engine. With larger capacity bikes I find little chance to open them up, the engines are rarely enjoyed but with the CRF I was grinning every time I passed a bus or truck with the throttle at wide open feeling the little single spin up. It was addictive and I could enjoy it over and over since doing so didn’t engage warp drive.
Sure the CRF lacks a couple of items but it really just needed a seat pad, small screen and grip heaters to do everything I need. They are super reliable. Steph Jeavons rode one around the world 100,000km trouble free.
More is better – we are being bombarded by this message from every angle. With motorcycles it has always been about more power. Find me a motorcycle comparison that wasn’t won by the most powerful bike. But motorcycles surpassed having plenty of power years ago and now marketing might be about supporting the crazy pricing structure that has such a disproportionate difference for larger engines. Compare a current 300cc class bike to a 650 and then 1000cc in its family tree, there isn’t that much more to them except the power yet the prices might start around $6000A to $11,000 and on up to $20,000.
Maybe it is because I am removed from the bubble economy of Australia where suburban homes are auctioned like artworks for a million dollars but I find many motorcycles now seem too expensive. Away from the machismo there is plenty to be enjoyed riding more affordable machines that don’t break the bank. The mountains of the Philippines