Photos by Scott Hoffman
I’m not a tall guy and a dirt bike in stock form has my feet swinging in the air when in the saddle so the chance to ride a Factory race bike designed for someone only five feet tall was a golden opportunity. Ashley Fiolek spent a few weeks off from the nationals recently recovering after a crash and Honda was nice enough to let us spend an afternoon doing our best to make it go as fast as Ashley does. To make the Honda CRF250R fit Ashley better the subframe is cut down, the seat is radically chopped, the pegs are raised, the shifter and brake pedal are shortened and the A Kit suspension is shortened. Even at 5’8” I initially felt cramped on the bike but quickly realized I wasn’t as much cramped as I was just used to riding average dirt bikes, which usually are a little big for me.
Ashley is a full Factory Honda rider so her bike gets the same love that the boys get and all the best of the best parts. The rev limiter on her bike is 13,500, a whopping 2000 rpm higher than stock and the team removes the counter balancer so the engine vibrates more, helping her feel what the engine is doing since she can’t hear it. I personally didn’t feel the extra vibration, I was busy loving the smaller compartment and ultra smooth power delivery. The lowered and softer suspension made cornering a blast but overshooting jumps a fender rubbing experience. Ashley is easily 75 pounds lighter than me so the suspension was way too soft on the big hits but I like it most of the time because it soaked up everything else really well. As it should, it is factory A Kit! Check out the November issue of Dirt Rider to get the full report on riding Ashley Fiolek’s factory Honda CRF250R.