Much like a 125 the EXC-F has the knack of making you feel fast.

It has the stable characteristics four-strokes bring, around the rocky test track it’s a lovely characteristic to have, but it still handles fantastically well.

You hit every rut, every line, changing direction is easy and this makes it a fun bike to ride.The handling
is confidence inspiring and the bike feels light and easy to change line on.

The suspension was supple enough to work nicely in the sharp, rocky going we had to ride in. It took hits well too.It didn’t kick or step out of line the whole time I rode it but in more aggressive going – sand – for someone a little heavier it was on the soft side.

The engine is one of my favourites in the range, I love 250Fs in general for one simple reason – when it’s hard going, or you’re in the sixth hour of an enduro, the thing still hasn’t pulled your arms out of their sockets.

To get the best, the engine has to rev a lot, but it isn’t hard to make it do this and when called on there is a
smooth bottom end to play with.

The downside is the lack of power for a more serious racer, it doesn’t make an abundance of power and when switched into ‘torque’ mode the engine became positively gutless.