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The 2020-2021 Honda CRF250R chassis is one of the most fun to ride in the 250 class, with its easy to corner nature as well as a great suspension package. However, Honda focused a lot of their engine R&D on peak horsepower and not torque, which to me the CRF250R lacks the most of. When riding the Honda back to back with other models in its class, it’s obvious that the Honda needs a little help/pulling power out of corners. I went to FMF to see if they had what I needed in a muffler package and came away with these thoughts for you to digest.
Let’s address the elephant in the room first. Can I even get one at this time? Sadly, most likely not. COVID has done a number on a bunch of stock with anything related to dirt bikes! This is not just with FMF, Pro Circuit, Yoshimura, etc., as this is happening with a lot of other key parts to our industry as well. The reasons go from not enough workers/employees to keep up with the demand to not enough material to build the product. This pandemic affects eery business and our industry is no different. This is a good thing and bad thing. Our industry seems to be booming, which is great, but us die hard moto dudes have to wait for months to get a damn muffler! That sucks and I get, but you need to breathe! FMF plans to have Honda mufflers back in stock in March, so if you have placed an order for one of these or any other Honda FMF muffler system for that matter, look towards the middle of March for delivery. Give these muffler companies some time and patience as we all are dealing with some sort of back log because of the pandemic. Plus I have heard that some people just simply don’t want to work at this time!
I like the fact that even though there are two headpipes and two mufflers it still didn’t take that long to install. The headpipes go on super easy and the mufflers slide into the slip fit joints with ease, yet are tight enough so the joints don’t wear out too soon. I have over 20 hours on the FMF 4.1 RCT mufflers and the slip fit joints are great, which is rare for titanium slip fit joints. Another added feature is that you will be losing close to two pounds off of your CRF250, which can also aid in helping the Honda’s chassis even more.
So let’s start off with a couple things I didn’t like from the FMF 4.1 RCT system. The pitch/sound of the FMF 4.1 RCT mufflers are LOUD! The sound is deep and throaty but it is loud compared to other aftermarket mufflers! I didn’t run the quiet inserts, but I plan on trying these to see what it does to power and sound. Once I rode with the system for an hour or so the sound actually improved/dampened as the packing inside expanded. So don’t completely freak out when you first start it up. The second thing that you must pay attention to is that the headpipe springs can break and that could cause your headpipes to pop away from the exhaust ports of the cylinder head. I had this happen two times over the course of almost 22 hours so make sure you keep new springs on the headpipes. I learned if you keep new springs on, the headpipes remain on and don’t give you any issues. I would go no more than 8-10 hours on a set of pipe springs.
Now with everything I did like about this muffler system: The power delivery is great and FMF made more power where the CRF250R needed it! The Honda needs bottom end and this is the only dual muffler system that has given me more grunt/low end out of corners! THANK YOU! The Honda CRF250R comes out of ruts/deep soil stronger and pulls harder through the mid range. Second and third gear recovery is improved as well as low-mid RPM response. The FMF 4.1 RCT muffler system makes the Honda feel more exciting and lighter around the track, which helped me improve my cornering. Top end/over-rev is as good as the stock mufflers and to me that is just fine because now I am able to short shift the CRF250R more than I could with the stock system. I am running a 13/49 gearing spec with the FMF 4.1 RCT system and that gives me more options with third gear through corners. With the stock muffler and 13/48 gearing, using third gear wasn’t even a thought in my head.
The FMF system will set you back $1500.00 which is my last gripe of this article! Holy crap that is expensive, but at least I know if I have my mind made up on spending my money on an aftermarket muffler system, I know I am getting something out of it with the power increase. You can visit rockymountainatvmc.com or fmfracing.com to get yourself on the list for the next production run.