With the ever expanding scene of dirt bikes and our increasing love for these lean, mean dirt machines, we take a look at the cream of the crop in this particular segment.

  • Crossfire HJ 250: With similar body proportions and the design and coloring of the body panels, one might even mistake the HJ 250 for the likes of KTM EXCs. Powering the HJ is a 249 cc liquid cooled single pumping 30.15 HP of max power at 9000 rpm and 22.5 Nm of max torque at 7000 rpm.

Now this, together with a taller gearing of final drive (with a 48 mm rear sprocket), feels as if it is underpowered compared to other bikes in the category. But the company claims that this has been done to not stress the engine at higher speeds and help with the longevity of the engine. The bike however weighs in at a mere 109 kg which is very low for a dirt bike and translates to excellent maneuverability.

Further aiding the cause of handling and control are the suspension package from SZC with adjustable upside down cartridge type forks at the front and shock absorbers at the rear. The bike comes with a carburetor from Keihin which is now more refined and the fueling of the bike is on point.

Braking is also taken care of by SZC, and features steel braided lines as standard for maximum feel and braking force transfer. The bike boasts of a powerful LED headlamp and LED indicators all around as well. Ground clearance is an impressive 350 mm and the bike looks ferocious in the latest dark avatar. Plus the availability of CNC parts also help with easy customization of the bike.

  • Asian Beast HYPER X 250: The Asian Beast Hyper X 250 is an improved version of the outgoing RE250F with updates to make bike lighter and easier to ride. Sitting at the heart of the bike is a 249.6 cc liquid cooled single that produces an impressive 30.2 HP of peak power at 9000 and 22.5 Nm of peak torque at 7000 rpm.

Nibbi Racing carburetor takes care of the fueling of the bike which is actuated by a single cable quick throttle. This along with the engine and the final drive, results in an explosive delivery of power. Equipped with MTN adjustable USD front forks and rear suspension, the bike is easily capable of accompanying the toughest of trails.

Coming in at about 112 kg, the bike is light and feels easy to manage. A ground clearance of 300 mm and a bash plate fitted as standard ensures nothing comes in the way of the bike even in the harshest if terrains. Further, the use of CNC parts for the hubs, triple clamps and the handlebar mounts as standard and the availability of optional extras like the pivot levers, clutch cover, water pump cover, radiator cover, lifts the overall appeal of the bike while the fairings, side panels and the paint scheme really complete the look of the bike.

  • Honda CRF 300 L: The CRF 300 L is somewhat of an odd entrant in this category of dignified dirt bikes. The bike has been tagged more as a dual sport than an out and out dirt machine but it has a lot of credentials to not be counted as one. And since the bike is an improvement on the much loved CRF 250 L, the bike makes a case for itself more so now.

And like the name suggests, the displacement of the bike has increased by 36 cc to a 286 cc liquid cooled, fuel injected single that now produces improved power and torque figures of 27 PS at 8500 rpm and 26.6 Nm at 6500 rpm respectively.

The performance from the engine is not what one would call mind blowing but the engine revs smoothly and power delivery is linear helping riders of different experience levels enjoy off roading. What Honda has done is also made subtle changes to the chassis and the suspension components which had helped the bike drop roughly 5 Kg of weight. Plus the bike gets fresher design on the graphics, like the ones seen on the works edition CRFs, which frankly looks awesome. 

There are updates on the gearbox which puts the first five gears closer together and a tall sixty gear for relaxed highway cruising. Also notable is the slip/assist clutch that allows for a light clutch feel that the fingers don’t tire after constant clutch modulation on the trails. The tires on the CRF 300L are not enduro/trail oriented and dual purpose in nature to allow for an easier time on the tarmac.

This might be an issue on hardcore dirt trails but the bike can perform well enough in capable hands. The front brakes from Nissin could do with a bit more bite, more so while riding in the street. The bike comes equipped with suspension setup from Showa which are a tad too soft and not damped enough to do big bumps and jumps. And since they lack any damping adjustments, they will bottom out, especially with a heavier rider on board and this is one of the biggest downsides of the bike.

While the CRF 300L can’t hide its weight against the likes of other dirt oriented bikes in the category, its nimble handling and friendly nature helps adapt a rider quite quickly. A ground clearance of 285 mm is also not the biggest but sufficient enough. What stand out easily are the fit and finish and the quality of the bike.

The paint, quality of the plastics, switchgear and related equipments is very good but the CRF is priced as such, it sometimes feels hard to justify. But then again, one gets the bulletproof reliability of the Honda engine and powertrain, and it’s a perfectly fun and enjoyable bike to take on the trails as well as on paved roads.

  • Crossfire RM 250 Race Edition: The Crossfire brand is easily the most recognizable dirt bike manufacturer here and the RM 250 Race Edition is the flagship model in its stable. That means it gets all the bells and whistles to make it as fast as possible.

The engine on the RM 250 is. 249.6cc liquid cooled single producing 30.2 HP of max power at 9000 rpm and 22.5 Nm of max torque at 7000 rpm. The bike also gets a NIBBI PWK34 Sport carburetor to feed the engine and it works wonders to provide that instantaneous power delivery. Together with a short final gearing and a 51 teeth rear sprocket, one can pop wheelies on a whim.

The inclusion of an O-ring DID chain help with the durability and assurance required to tackle the worst. Plus, the exhaust system features iconic street legal dual endcaps lending a dramatic look and sound (quite similar to Honda’s 2020 CRF250R layout).

Handling the bumps superbly are Fast ace’s heavy duty suspension that are up to the task no matter the nature of the road surface. The brakes on the RM 250 with a 290 mm disc at the front with steel braided lines and 240 mm disc at the rear give optimum braking force and feel.

Furthermore, a revised radiator for better heat management, inclusion of pivot levers and CNC parts and an all new steel bash plate make the RM even more appealing. The combination of a powerful R-Tech headlamp and LED indicators help with visibility during the night. Crossfire has left nothing to spare and the RM 250 goes like a bike that has everything in it to take the toughest terrains head on.

  • CrossX 250 R 2022: The Cross X 250 R was always a very capable bike and now for year 2022 it gets various updates from the engine, fueling, the braking and the suspension components. But what’s clearly visible is the reworked design of the bike which looks striking and modern, and also somewhat reminiscent of the Honda CRF450 L. From the shape of the body panels to the neat front end with the LED headlamps, every part the bike now feels purpose built.

Now the engine, which has also been revised sees a bump in power now producing 32 hp of max power and 28.9 Nm of torque. The bike features an electronic fuel injection system which has a lot of advantages against a carburetor system and this can be felt, especially how the bike starts and has crisp throttle response. The engine feels the most responsive and punchy but also predictable and manageable.

This is complimented by a dual exhaust system and the bike looks and feels like a serious thing ready to take on the trails. The braking incorporates a setup from Nissin both front and rear and this has clearly help with the feel and the amount of braking force applied helping the bike stop more confidently. The suspension of the bike is top notch with a 48 mm inverted cartridge type USD forks and a single shock at the rear, both of which are fully adjustable, making for a ground clearance of 361 mm. They’ve got plenty of travel and feel very well sprung, damping the undulations of the road surfaces very effectively. The final drive is achieved via a chain drive which is from RK Racing.

The usage of CNC parts for the wheel hub, the scar triple clamps made of high quality aluminum alloy offer increased stiffness and help to reduce the overall kerb weight of the bike down to only 108 kg helping with the stopping and maneuvering of the bike as well as standing up the bike in challenging trails and if in case of a fall. All of these changes have made the 250 R one of the best dirt bike current available here that is well and truly race ready.