TEST RIDE | CROSS-X 250 R : FLYING THROUGH THE DIRTPosted On: September 6, 2018 By : AutoLife Team
Before we start off this review let us ask you a question, if you had an enduro bike for the day what would you do? Would you just ride it around the city or would you take it out for an adventure ride into the hills? Well, you can get the answer to that later on in this review but first let us clear out the meaning of an enduro bike. An enduro bike is designed to tackle different terrains while travelling long distances on the off-road trails. This really tests the endurance of the rider both physically and mentally hence the name “Enduro”.
Although dual sport motorcycles look quite similar to enduro motorcycles, they are built with a mixture with both off road and on road riding qualities in mind. Kind of like a jack of all trades and the king of none. Another very common misconception is that super moto bikes are just the enduro bike with smaller wheels, while it is true that the super moto bikes have smaller rims than the enduro bike but despite the smaller diameter, it has wider tires for better grip on the tarmac. The suspensions are also stiffer to make it less bouncy, the gearing is changed to suit road riding and has a slightly lower seat height due to the smaller rims. With that cleared out the bike that we were presented with was the Cross X 250 R Enduro. Although a motard version of this bike is available, we just got the enduro variant and here we discuss on how the motorcycle performed and our thoughts on the 250cc dirt contender.
DESIGN AND FEATURES
The Cross X 250 R looks very similar to the bigger and more premium Cross X 250 SE. The most notable change has to be the Dual exhaust offered only in the Cross X 250 R, which is not available in the higher end 250 SE. It has the dirt bike vibe with sharp angled body panels which are made out of very sturdy materials to make sure that it can tank heavy abuse, which is common while enduro riding. Unlike road bikes, it’s very common for dirt bike riders to fall over due to the extreme conditions of the roads, so to ensure that it doesn’t break easily, the tough materials used in its composition comes in very handy. This, however, doesn’t mean it’s unbreakable; it will obviously have its limits.
The one that we got for the test drive was finished in black and the color looked very nice on the bike especially with the white and orange REVZILLA livery to make it pop out even more. And we must say this is definitely one gorgeous looking bike. The bike does lack the anodized aluminum parts of the 250 SE but the price difference between the two models show why they are missing. It gets a skid plate under the engine as standard to protect it from potential damage from underneath. On top of that, it also gets Acerbis hand guards as standard across all models along with other premium features such as Nissin brakes and RK Japan Chain and sprocket set.
ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE
The Engine however is unchanged from the 250 SE and it gets all the power of the SE; producing 29.8 HP @ 9000 RPM. The peak power is on the higher side of the rev range, however, the torque does cover up for this very well as it can be felt from the lower rev ranges. The torque is pretty evident and will be quite thrilling when you crack open the throttle. The rumble and the crackling that the twin exhaust produces just makes the off road trail experience that much more exciting. The engine has been tuned to provide the best performance possible with very good reliability, hence their tagline: “Built to last”.
There wasn’t a moment where we wished for more power; it pretty much powered through anything that we threw at its way, be it big rocks, mud, molehills, etc. and ripped through everything with relative ease. Plus, if you know how to, then you can pop a few wheelies to make your adventures more interesting. (Disclaimer: we do not advise you to perform these stunts without proper guidance and riding gear.) If you do know how to do it then the 250R will support you with the power that you need to pop the front wheel. The stock gearing is 14T (Teeth) front and 49T on the rear sprocket. You get the option to swap out the 49T rear sprocket for a bigger 51T sprocket that will increase the initial pull of the bike but will adversely reduce the top end performance of the bike. If you are going to go hardcore off-roading then having more initial punch will be a better idea.
BRAKING AND SUSPENSION
The braking duties are handled by Nissin which has a very good reputation in the motorcycling industry for producing excellent brakes and this unit that is shipped with 250R is no different. It has an excellent feel and feedback even after constant abuse; we didn’t feel much of the brakes fading at all. The Enduro variant comes equipped with 240mm disc brakes front and back while the motard version comes with a much bigger 310mm front disc brakes and 240mm rear brakes for added braking power required on the streets. The front caliper is a dual piston unit and a single piston unit at the rear for both variants.
The suspensions were AJ1 inverted hydraulic suspension and AJ1 Coil spring hydraulic shock absorber at the rear. Both units are fully adjustable so you can adjust it to get the perfect setup that is specific for your body weight and riding style, trust us, this will be one of the biggest and the best changes that you can make to your bike. However, if you set it up wrong then it can significantly reduce the bikes handling capabilities. So, make sure that if you do decide to get your suspension worked on, you get it done by the hands of someone that you trust and has proper knowledge of what they are doing. The suspensions were set up pretty well on our test bike; it felt plush and absorbed all the bumps very well. As we mentioned earlier, we had some fun with the bike popping some wheelies and doing some jumps and the suspension took all of it without any problem and it handled it very well.
HANDLING AND COMFORT
“Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree then it will live the rest of its life believing that it’s stupid.” – Albert Einstein.
Just as Albert Einstein has popularly quoted, if you take something and test it some place it’s not designed for then it will not deliver its full potential. Similarly, if you compare the handling of the 250R Enduro to other street bikes on the tarmac then it will definitely lack a bit behind and that’s the reason for the Motard’s existence. We are not trying to say that the enduro variant is bad on the roads but what we are trying to say is that if you are riding the enduro variant only on the streets then you are missing out on a lot of fun. The enduro variant with 80/100- 21-inch knobby tires upfront and the 100/90- 18-inch knobby tires at the rear had exceptional grip when we took it off road. If you opt for the motard which would suit you better for road riding, then the front tire will be a 100/80- 17 inch and the rear will be a 140/70- 17 inch. The grip inspired confidence and the only feelings you will get in turns are to push harder, but we made sure that we knew our limits and didn’t go overboard.
The suspensions did their job very well as mentioned above but the Aluminum Perimeter Frame provided the bike with the stability that it needed to be able to do all of the maneuvers. The feedback was always present and we could feel the terrain under the tire properly so that we could figure out how much traction we had available. The grip made it a little difficult to let the rear tire lose, but when it did go lose, boy, did we have fun sliding around corners through the dirt.
The Cross X 250R was a joy to ride and we had a memorable time onboard the beauty. It proved its capability and more importantly, it showed us the exciting side of riding around the dirt. Considering that the Cross X 250 R comes in at Rs. 5,84,000/-, it is a very good and viable option for people looking into buying a dirt bike but don’t want to spend exuberant amount of money on it. There are a few dual sport bikes that will come at this price range but other enduro bikes are priced a little higher than the 250R. So, swing your leg over the Cross X 250 R and find out for yourself if it is what you are looking for.