Honda CRF250L (2013-2020) Maintenance Schedule and Service Intervals

This is the maintenance schedule and associated service intervals for the Honda CRF250L.

The Honda CRF250L is a dual-sport motorcycle, part of the Honda CRF series, manufactured by Honda for their global market. It was first released in 2012 for the 2013 model year, and has remained basically unchanged since.

The CRF250L was also released in the “Rally” trim, which gave it a small windscreen, slightly more suspension travel, hand guards, skid plate, re-styled fairings, and asymmetrical headlights that remind you quite a bit of a BMW adventure bike.

But the core of the motorcycle is the same — a 249cc water-cooled fuel-injected single that makes 18 kW (24 hp), and is mostly built for not going too fast. It’ll clear 75 mph (or 110 km/h) but barely, and on a straight.

In 2021, Honda upgraded the engine capacity slightly with the CRF300L and CRF300L Rally.

For those looking for a bit more off-road excitement, the CRF450L is higher spec (and more highly strung).

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What you need to service your Honda CRF250L

Maintaining a fuel-injected dual-sport bike is a must! You’re going to get the chain dirty, the air cleaner clogged up, and put the suspension and pivot points through abuse. Aside from regular motorcycle maintenance tools, here are a few other things you’ll need to keep your CRF250L in spec.

PartHonda CRF250L and CRF250L Rally
OilHonda recommends SAE 10W-30, JASO T 903 standard MA (or API classification SG or higher) oil such as Pro Honda GN4 10W-30. Use a torque wrench to tighten the bolt to 24 Nm (18 lb-ft).
Oil filterYou can use Hiflofiltro HF112 for the oil filter as a drop-in replacement
Air filter (OEM)You can use the K&N air filter, whose part number is K&N HA-2513.
Spark plugsUse NGK spark plug part SIMR8A9.
Chain maintenanceTo maintain your chain, Motul chain paste is quite well-liked. There’s also the Motul chain care kit which is affordable and good.
Brake fluidYou can use any fluid, but Honda recommends Honda DOT 4.
Brake pads (front)EBC front brake pads have part number FA465R.
Brake pads (rear)EBC rear brake pads have part number FA629R.
CoolantUse Zerex G05, which is based on ethylene glycol, with corrosion inhibitors
GreaseStock up on lithium soap-based grease and silicon grease to keep pivots and moving parts lubricated and protected.
Honda CRF250L maintenance parts

Honda CRF250L Maintenance Schedule

Below is the maintenance schedule for the Honda CRF250L.

There are some changes in the maintenance schedule of the CRF250L manuals. We’ve included notes where relevant at the bottom. The most important change is that Honda now has time intervals for some service components like changing brake fluid — it didn’t used to.

Maintenance Procedures:

  • I: inspect and clean, adjust, lubricate, or replace, if necessary
  • C: clean
  • L: lubricate
  • R: replace
  • Honda also marked changing brake fluid and radiator coolant as “requiring mechanical skill” but… does it?

Notes:

  • At higher odometer readings, repeat at the frequency interval established here
  • Honda recommends you get a qualified mechanic to service the wheels/tires and steering bearings
  • The break-in schedule is not relevant to a bike no longer sold new, so is removed from the below.
  • See the comments below for how the service schedule has changes relative to prior versions of the manual.
mi x 10004812162024
km x 10006.412.819.225.63238.4Every
Fuel LineIII
Throttle OperationIII
Air Cleaner (K&N HA-2513)RRMore often if riding in rain / dusty conditions
Crankcase BreatherCCCCCCMore often if riding in rain or at full throttle
Spark Plug (NGK SIMR8A9)I32000 mi (51200 km): R
Valve ClearanceI
Engine Oil (Pro Honda GN4)RRR1 Year
Engine Oil Filter (C1) (HF112)R
Engine Idle Speed (C2)III
Radiator Coolant (C3) (Zerex G05)III3 Years
Cooling SystemIII
Secondary Air Supply SystemI
Evaporative Emission Control System (if fitted)I
Drive Chain SliderIIIIII
Brake Fluid (C5) (Honda DOT 4)IIIIII2 Years, R
Brake Pad WearIIIIII
Brake SystemIII
Brake Light SwitchIII
Headlight AimIII
Clutch SystemIIIIII
Side StandIII
SuspensionIII
Spark Arrester (if fitted — USA only)CCCCCC
Nuts, Bolts, FastenersIIIMore often when riding off-road
Wheels/TiresIIIIIIMore often when riding off-road
Steering Head BearingsIII
Honda CRF250L maintenance schedule

Changes relative to previous services

  • C1, C2: Used to be every service; reduced to every other service
  • C3: Previously had no time interval; now it’s 3 years.
  • C4: Intervals these days are double what they once were.
  • C5: Previously there was no time interval attached, now it’s 2 years.

Maintaining Your Chain on the Honda CRF250L

It’s important to maintain your chain on the CRF250L, as on any chain-driven motorcycle, but particularly for a dual sport where the chain might get dirty a lot.

Use a good-quality chain lubricant like Motul chain paste, or a Motul chain care kit which comes with a couple of handy tools to maintain the chain.

Honda recommends you follow the following chain maintenance schedule:

Chain maintenance itemEvery
Check drive chain lubrication condition, lubricating if necessary600 mi / 1000 km
Check drive chain slack, adjusting if necessary600 mi / 1000 km
Chain maintenance — Honda CRF250L

Notes:

  • Do these items (checking/adjusting slack, and checking/applying lubrication) more often if you ride your Honda CRF250L off-road — i.e. if you use your bike as a dual-sport, or in rainy / muddy conditions.
  • Always lubricate the chain after washing the motorcycle.

Tyre size and tyre pressure for the Honda CRF250L

The Honda manual refers to the following tyre sizes, recommended tyres, and tyre pressures (when cold). These are tubed tyres.

TyreSizeBrand(s)Tyre pressure
Front3.00-21 51PIRC GP-21F Z22 psi (150 kPa , 1.50 kgf/cm2 )
Rear120/80-18M/C 62PIRC GP-22R22 psi (150 kPa , 1.50 kgf/cm2 )
Tyres and tyre pressures

About the Honda CRF250L

Honda CRF250L Rally on a dirt road
Honda CRF250L Rally on a dirt road

The CRF250L is the motorcycle industry’s top-selling dual-sport model by a large margin, and it’s easy to understand why. It’s affordable, reliable, and does really well on- and off-road.

With the CRF250L’s long-travel 43mm inverted fork, single-shock rear suspension, styling cues from the bigger bikes in the CRF line (like the Africa Twin), and ABS as an option (and standard in many markets), the CRF250L is an excellent low-cost and low-maintenance adventure bike.

It combines a high-efficiency, fuel-injected dual overhead cam single-cylinder counterbalanced engine and electric starter with a comfortable, neutral seating position.

The core of the Honda CRF250L is a 249.6cc single-cylinder four-stroke engine. It’s the same engine as in the Honda CBR250R, and is produced in Honda’s Thailand production facility.

The tiny single has a dual overhead camshaft layout for better combustion efficiency (the cams are lighter and the valves are smaller), and has a centrally located spark plug for clean burning.

The combination of the lightweight valvetrain and oversquare short-stroke engine means that the engine is quite revvy.

The Honda CRF250L has some high-grade components as well. The front suspension is comprised of a 43mm Showa inverted fork with 250mm (9.8 inches) of travel — enough for a huge variety of terrains. The rear suspension is a Showa shock allowing a whopping 240mm (9.4 inches) of rear wheel travel.

The front brake is just a single 256mm disc gripped by a twin piston caliper, but that’s more than enough for the lightweight CRF250L. The disc is of a wave design, which helps with self-cleaning ability when it gets cake with mud.

The Honda CRF250L is very easy to maintain. Just keep it clean. The services come every 8000 mi (12800 km), but the valve inspection intervals are twice those — every 16000 mi (25600). Considering it’s just a single, the valve service and spark replacement job is a piece of cake.

The Honda CRF250L also comes in higher-spec “Rally” format from 2017-2020. When you get a Honda CRF250L Rally you also get a standard small windscreen, hand guards, skid plate, asymmetrical headlights, and longer-travel suspension. It’s a mini adventure bike. For many of the rougher parts of the world, the CRF250L is more than enough.

The Honda CRF250L was replaced in 2021 by the Honda CRF300L.

Manual for the Honda CRF250L

2017-2020 Honda CRF250L Maintenance Schedule Screenshot From Manual

The above maintenance schedule comes directly from the user’s manual for the 2017-2020 Honda CRF250L.

The manual changed in format since the 2016 model, and some service intervals changed. But fundamentally it’s the same bike, and so this is the latest guidance from Honda on servicing the CRF250L.

You can download it from here.

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