I didn't intend to buy a trail bike at all, in fact, it was a long way from my mind when this journey began around 2 years ago, but bear with me, I'll get to the point eventually.
Over the last thirty years, I have done a good amount of mountain biking as you can see over on the other half of this website, however since an injury some 10 years ago now it has been rather hit and miss, partly due to work commitments but mainly due to a lack of effort on my part. This is unfortunate as I really enjoy exploring the tracks and trails in the area and getting out into nature a bit, not a tree hugger yet though, don't worry. So around 2 years ago I started again with cycling and realised that I couldn't manage the hills, as well as I, used too and my stamina was an issue, my choices were to train harder and get back to my previous levels of fitness or to make the whole experience a little easier, somehow.
I started therefore to look into an e-bike or electric mountain bike, as clearly the constant training wasn't going to be an option, I started slowly looking in all of the usual places on the internet, places I'd bought parts from for previous bikes such as Chain Reaction and Bici Market and with the help of some review sites I started to put together a plan. Unfortunately whenever I start along this path, especially with bicycles I often get out of hand, starting off with a well-priced model but then looking at some of its limitations and moving on to the next, only slightly more expensive option. Therefore the e-bike options went from around the €2000 mark to a more realistic €4,000 to €5000 and then I started to have a problem, basically, if I was going to spend up to €5000 on a two-wheeler, then it should really have an engine.
At this point, I gave up, I didn't really want another motorcycle in the garage, three is a good number, and I had kind of promised my wife that an off-roader was off the table after I injured myself previously. But over time the longing to explore comes back and I started mountain biking again, then start looking at e-bikes then duel sport bikes then give up again, it's a never-ending circle.
This time however I finally followed through, I sat chatting with my wife, she's very tolerant of me, about small-capacity trail bikes and maybe exploring a bit near home. I had made the decision and contacted the local Honda dealer about a new CRF300L, she thought it was a good idea, or probably just wanted to shut me up. it was at this point I was told that there was a waiting list for CRF300Ls of at least 6 months, and I would need to pay a deposit and then just wait, Not happy.
I sat for a few days looking at different options but always came back to the Honda as a cheap, reliable bike that would suit my requirements perfectly and I had ridden a 250 version earlier in 2022 at Catalan Adventure. I decided to try to find a 2nd hand 300L or a newish 250L instead, this only lasted a few days. There were only 2-second hand 300Ls in dealers and they were both more than the new price by €1000, I knew they were popular but that was ridiculous. The 250s were a little more sensible but once you looked closely there was a lot of rubbish for sale and after travelling to look at rubbish in the past I didn't fancy it again.
I almost gave up again, my son, however, got me to look again, he opened an app on his phone and found one straight away and it was in Alicante, I was amazed, I'd used the same app that morning. It turns out that Motorrad Alicante had listed it just 3 hours earlier after I'd been looking. A call was made, we drove down to look and arranged to buy it there and then and it's awesome.
It's a 2017 CRF250L in near-perfect condition, with no damage and no modifications and it's been looked after, I couldn't believe my look. It has a higher mileage than most listed at 21,000km but it looks genuine whereas many others don't.
After 1 week of ownership, I'd ridden it 3 times and covered around 200km of small roads and trails local to where I live in the Costa Blanca and I love it, it's fast enough, cheap on fuel, easy to handle and great fun.
Plans for the future.
I have some protection arriving soon in the form of a skid plate and hand guards.
More local exploration and practice.
Maybe a little bit of a TET adventure, once my confidence is a little higher.