1. Forks. We didn’t like the 2008 Showa forks, and, surprise, we didn’t like the 2009 forks either. We dropped the oil height by 10cc to greatly reduce the midstroke harshness. This was a must-do.

2. Jetting. Bigger might be better, but that wasn’t the case with the CRF250’s 40mm Keihin carburetor. It bogs and coughs at the least opportune times. We have always preferred the older 37mm carb, but we have to work with what Honda specs. As a rule, we change the pilot, needle and leak jet. In addition, we replace the stock float bowl with the R&D Racing Keihin Power Bowl2, which improved jetting and throttle response (and gave us an adjustable leak jet).

    Main: 185
    Pilot: 45 (42 stock)
    Needle: NNWT (NNSU stock)
    Clip position: 3rd from top
    Fuel screw: 1-1/4 (2-1/4 stock)
    Leak jet: 60 (70 stock)
    Notes: Adjusting the fuel screw creates a tradeoff between ease of starting and richness in bottom-end power. The stock Honda jetting works best in hot conditions. Otherwise the needle, fuel screw, pilot and leak jet will need to be changed. The NNWT needle is 1/2 a clip richer than the stock NNSU needle.

3. Footpegs. The 2009 Honda has the worst footpegs of any modern bike. The stockers are narrow and quickly pack up with dirt. Any aftermarket peg will be wider.

4. Front tire. We have yet to find an MXA test rider who likes the stock Dunlop D742FA over any other front tire. Changing to a Bridgestone 403 will immediately improve the turning characteristics of the Honda CRF250.

5. Front brake guard. We remove the front plastic disc guard. The plastic guard reduces air flow and causes heat fading. The front guard has to be hacksawed away from the stock axle spacer. Of course, if you gave it more thought, and didn’t do it at the track, the wheel spacer can be pressed out. If you don’t want to butcher the disc guard, Ride Engineering makes a new aluminum spacer.

6. Twin pipes. The stock twice pipes worked well on the 2009 CRF250. We would, however, opt for replacing the stock twin pipes with a single-side aftermarket muffler when the time comes.

7. Miscellaneous. We were pleased with the stock 13/51 gearing on the 2009 CRF250, but for tighter tracks we elected to go to one tooth more in the rear. We ran DeCal Works preprinted number plate backgrounds,, and used a K&N XStream air filter,

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