CROSSER REVOLUTION HIGHLIGHTS
Major changes to new CRF250 as Honda bids to win off-road power struggle O All-new engine O Higher redline O Electric start as standard O 48mm Showa USD fork
Motocross is a fast-moving sport, and competition is tight at the top – so Honda are hoping they can move things on in a big way with the release of the new CRF250R. In fact, things have changed so much, all it shares with the old model is the name.
The biggest change comes from the engine, which produces 9% more power than the old one – but you’ve got to go looking for it. A new cam profile, bigger valves and a revised intake set-up mean the redline has increased by 900rpm, but this power up high is at the expense of bottom end. If you’re a hardcore racer that big charge from 8500rpm will be welcome, while if you’re an enthusiast the smoother bottom end might be a safety net. Either way, the selectable engine modes remain, so you can easily switch between Standard, Smooth and Aggressive.
The other big change to the engine is the inclusion of an electric start as standard, combined with the elimination of the kickstarter. Honda had shied away from this previously due to the increased weight, but the new set-up adds just 1kg, which is negated elsewhere by various weight losses. All in, the whole bike now weighs just 108kg fully fuelled.
The chassis, too, has undergone a makeover, essentially employing the same set-up as the CRF450R. It saves 350g over the previous design, but the new frame geometry is also different, with a lower centre of gravity and shorter wheelbase. Honda say these changes have given a rearward shift in weight bias, which they claim has resulted in more grip at the back wheel. In a move that’s pure Fireblade, the new petrol tank is titanium, saving 500g on the plastic one it has replaced.
Honda is yet to confirm either pricing or availability, but the bike is expected to arrive in dealers later this year.
‘You have to go looking for the extra power; it’s up high at the expense of bottom end’