D研

A glamorous presence in the motorcycle world, Megumi Tamon, who climbs aboard, writes about, talks about, and even models for motorcycles, took a test ride on the CRF250L to examine its design.

Megumi Tamon "Mode-rider" is the term created by Ms. Tamon to describe herself based on her career as a model, writer, and rider. She actively appears in magazines, movies, and as the MC of events that are primarily about motorcycles. Her reviews on riding impression based on her build standard for a Japanese woman are well regarded.

Munehiro Sugimoto Assistant Chief Engineer, Department 2, Styling Design Development Division, Motorcycle R&D Center, Honda R&D Co., Ltd. 
Since joining Honda R&D in 1985, Sugimoto has taken part in designing various models. He was sent to work in Los Angeles, the home of off-road motorcycles, for five years starting in 2000. He is a designer with no boundary between “On (weekdays)” and “OFF (weekends)” who sets off to the mountains with a motorcycle in his transporter when weekend arrives.

Megumi Tamon often rides a motorcycle on a forest road. Well, how did she like the CRF250L?

"It feels like I can go anywhere on it!" "That feel lies in the heart of the off-road model design."

Sugimoto
I hear that you have ridden a lot on forest roads. How did you like riding the CRF250L off road?
Tamon
In a nutshell, it is easy to ride! When combined with my skills, the CRF250L makes me believe I can go anywhere on it.
Sugimoto
Thank you for your appreciative words. This feeling that you can go anywhere is an essential factor for an off-road model. From the start of development, we were determined to apply the styling of the motocrosser CRF series to the CRF250L. A motocrosser can be a “weapon” for winning races, but the CRF250L needed to be tweaked to run on public roads.
Tamon
Which parts and how did you change to transform a motocrosser to the CRF250L?
Sugimoto
The biggest challenge was the seat height. On racers, riders do not necessarily have to put their feet down on the ground except to start the machine. But for everyday use on a public road, a motorcycle must have the right seat height. When seat height is simply lowered, that unique CRF styling, its “centralized mass with triangular proportions,” may not be delivered. We paid meticulous attention to balancing the styling and seat height.
Tamon
Changing the seat height by itself required such rework on the overall balance?
Sugimoto
Right. It is not as simple as making the design complete by just lowering the seat. Besides, no one from the development team would accept such an easy way out.
Tamon
So, in a way, is the CRF250L totally different from the rest of the CRF series?
Sugimoto
As long as it has CRF in its name, the CRF250L will basically belong to the series. But to me, if a motocrosser is a “weapon,” then the CRF250L is a “gear.” That is the difference in impression.
Tamon
This may not be exactly what you mean, but there is no vehicle other than an off-road model that gives such a strong impression of “gear.” If they could have more than one motorcycle, everyone would pick at least one off-road bike, I think. As a tool for fun that they can run anywhere they like.
Sugimoto
I agree. I only have an off-road model. (Laughs) The “feel of going anywhere on it” means that function is expressed in the form itself. It is the heart of off-road model design. I understand your view of the CRF250L as a tool for fun. Personally speaking, I think nothing else can give such joy by playing with it, except an off-road bike.
Tamon
You looked like you really enjoy riding around on the CRF250L during breaks from the photo-shoot. I felt then and there that I really like the CRF250L, especially the happy air it brings.
Sugimoto
Well, I don’t mean to brag about it, but the CRF250L is so well-designed that I had such fun taking a ride.

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