I'm an old rider with over 40 years and half a million miles of experience, and have owned 41 motorcycles, from Goldwings and 1500cc cruisers to tiny street and dual sport bikes. Also a few dirt only bikes. For a dual sport bike, I am currently riding an '01 Yamaha XT225, with a Clarke 4 gallon tank, Stearns seat cover, super heavy duty rear spring (I weigh 220), bar risers, a kickstart kit, an Immix Racing type rack (I got mine from Bryan Swenson before Immix stole his design), A Cigar Mike centerstand, a modified (drilled out) stock pipe, and upjetted carb. This is not a hardcore dirt bike, but may be the worlds best trail bike. Yet I find myself interested in the new CRF250L, and if a luggage rack became available for it, I could probably be persuaded to sell my XT and get one.
My XT has a foam air filter which can be cleaned, reoiled, and reused several times. After a day long ride in the AZ desert, it is so caked with dirt, chunks have fallen off and are laying in the airbox. I was considering an XT250, till I found out it had an expensive and uncleanable PAPER air filter. I'm hoping the CRF250L has a foam filter. If not, Honda made one huge mistake. Having to replace a $25 air filter after one days riding can get real expensive.
I do not believe the FI can be reprogrammed, it is what it is. It's only real purpose is to lower emissions, not make more power. I know for a fact that the Suzuki TU250 FI cannot be modified.
I absolutely positively DO NOT recommend getting any kind of extended warranty or service plan, About half my motorcycles were bought new (that's about 20 motorcycles) and I never needed it even once. And by not getting it on 20 new motorcycles, I saved an absolute fortune. If I get one of these baby's, I will pay cash, and save another fortune in interest and insurance. I am a fleet services mechanic, and work on everything from large diesel trucks and construction equipment, to cars and pickups, to weedeaters and chainsaws. I have always done my own service and repair. There should not be any maintenance on the CRF that an average owner cannot do, with the exception of the fuel injection. When it goes, it goes. With a manual, an owner should be able to troubleshoot it, but it uses several hundred dollars worth of electronics, and if the fuel pump or ECU fail, it will cost a fortune to replace them. You cannot tinker with FI like you could with carbs, and there is no way to rig it to get you home..
2002 Vulcan 750, 2001 XT225
2008 Vino 125, 2009 Genuine Stella
2012 Zuma 125, 1980 Puch Newport moped