Honda celebrates 50 years of Motocross legends

                                    

The 23YM CRF450R marks 50 years since the arrival of Honda’s first motocrosser intended for all riders, not only racing teams. The five decades since have been marked by a number of technological leaps that have made the letters ‘CR’ and then ‘CRF’ synonymous with off-road performance. Here is a look back at just some of those major landmarks.  

1973

CR250M Elsinore

Win on Sunday, sell on Monday

The CR250M Elsinore was a product of growing motocross competition (and sales demand) in the USA and Europe. It was Honda’s first built-from-scratch, two-stroke production MX machine and met with instant success, thanks to its user-friendliness, high build quality and reliability. Promotional activities for the new bike included a much-loved advertising film featuring Steve McQueen.

Named after the legendary Elsinore Grand Prix (held by Lake Elsinore, California), the air-cooled 247.8cc engine propelled 104kg while the chassis comprised a semi-double tubular steel frame, telescopic forks, steel swingarm, twin rear shocks and drum brakes front and rear. Honda’s MX journey had begun…

1981

CR250R

Liquid-cooling and Pro-Link arrive

A big year for development. The CR250M had an earned its racing ‘R’ in the late ‘70s, and in 1981 Honda unleashed their factory-bike technology to the buying public with the first production, liquid-cooled machine. The engine was a long-stroke design cooled by two small radiators. Perhaps more telling is the chassis; the aluminium swingarm and single, remote-reservoir Pro-Link rear shock pointed to the future, complementing the known quantities of steel frame and double-leading shoe drum brake.

Only one year later in 1982, Honda’s Racing Service Centre was reborn as the Honda Racing Corporation. HRC soon became synonymous with motocross racing success.

1985

CR500R

The ‘golden era’ of 500s

Originally launched in 1984 in an air-cooled form (with over 70Nm torque on tap) the CR500R was water-cooled in 1985. Now very much a bike of myth and legend, it perhaps defined the motocross heydays of the 1980s with an aesthetic that has inspired the 2023 CRF450R 50th Anniversary model. It tested the limits of chassis technology – and most riders’ ability – to the very limit.

 

1997

CR250R

The revolution begins

To make use of the advancements in engine technology and consequent increases in power and torque, Honda took the bold step of producing the first aluminium frame for a production MX bike. Tubular steel’s rigidity was replaced by twin-spar flexibility and other parts combined for a more high tech feel, like fully adjustable Showa suspension and disc brakes front and rear. Recognised as one of the most influential machines of the ‘90s, the CR250R started an off-road revolution that can still be seen in the MX bikes of today.

 

2002

CRF450R

Open-class power in a 250-sized package

Honda kicked off a new MX mission with its first generation of 450, the first four-stroke and a direct replacement for the CR250R. And with its 250-based chassis, it was slim and lightweight. The 449cc engine was powerful, smooth and with a wide powerband which made it no less potent, but much less intimidating, than a comparable 250cc two-stroke engine. The CRF450R made going faster, easier.

 

2009

CRF450R

An injection of technology

After steady evolution the CRF450R was reborn with a fuel-injected engine with a 50mm throttle body and 12-hole injector. Owners were also able to make adjustments to fuel delivery and ignition timing via an HRC PGM-FI setting tool. The engine redesign and new chassis were built together with a focus on mass centralisation, making for a compact machine carrying its weight more forward and lower. Suspension was by Kayaba: 48mm Air-Oil-Separated (AOS) USD forks and compact rear shock.

 

 

2017

CRF450R

All-new and made for the holeshot

Under the concept of ‘ABSOLUTE HOLESHOT!’ Europe’s favourite open-class MX machine was given a ground-up redesign, with completely new chassis, full Showa suspension and a major top end power boost from a brand-new engine. Standard-fit electric start was a convenient addition a year later and in 2019 an HRC-developed cylinder head upped power and torque considerably; HRC launch control was also added. In 2020 3-level Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) gave the rider options to manage rear wheel traction.

 

2022

CRF450R 50th Anniversary

Success builds success, and celebration

In 2021, aside from the wheels and fundamental engine architecture, the CRF450R was effectively a totally new bike, drawing heavily on developments from the 2019 MX GP championship-winning CRF450RW of Tim Gajser. He and HRC secured the title for a second year in 2020 and finished a close third in 2021.

As ever with motocross, and the CRF450R, the game moves on and the latest machine is armed with a host of factory rider led and HRC updates to engine and chassis aimed at making going fast – really fast – that much easier. And 2023 marks 50 years since the bike that started it all, the CR250M Elsinore. The CRF450R 50th Anniversary limited edition pays stunning homage to the mighty CRs of the 1980s and, true to Honda’s roots in the sport – and to the blueprint laid down all those years ago – remains an HRC-bred racer that it is possible to buy.

The CRF450R, CRF450R 50th Anniversary and CRF450RX headline the 23YM CRF family updates

  • CRF450R and CRF450RX benefit from HRC factory rider chassis set-up and engine changes that make them easier to ride faster, for longer
  • New intake ports, air funnel, throttle body, valve timing and ECU settings deliver over 10% more torque @ 5,000rpm and extra, smoother power at low rpm
  • New rear muffler now made of tougher aluminium, with no extra weight
  • Revised frame rigidity matched to new, shock setting deliver extra traction and drive; 49mm Showa forks also feature revised damping
  • 23YM CRF450R 50th Anniversary marks half a century of Honda’s MX journey
  • Striking new 23YM graphics include brand new HRC logo

 

The new 23YM CRF450R, CRF450R 50th Anniversary and CRF450RX headline the latest round of updates to Honda’s multi championship winning off-road family. HRC rider feedback from the FIM World MXGP, AMA Supercross and Pro Motocross championships has steered the direction of CRF450R development. As a result, the 23YM CRF450R and CRF450RX are easier to rider faster, for longer.

The 23YM CRF450R features new, narrower intake ports, longer air funnel, smaller 44mm diameter throttle body and revised, factory rider-spec. cam timing that help the engine deliver over 10% more low-rpm torque; this is complemented by an increased – and smoother – low-down power delivery, helping the CRF450R drive harder through the corners. The rear muffler is also more durable through the use of tougher aluminium, but with no weight gain.

Controlling the power increase, revised frame rigidity allows for an increase in the rear spring rate ­and damping for improved rider feedback, control and drive over rutted ground.  Likewise, front tyre grip is heightened and overall, the 23YM CRF450R is more stable and turns even faster with better suspension reaction and bump absorption.

New graphics feature a redesign of the iconic HRC logo, representing the expansion of HRC’s activities into automobile racing, while the 23YM CRF450R 50th Anniversary marks half a century since the CR250M Elsinore took to the track. Paying tribute to the mighty CRs of the 1980s, it comes complete with signature features including the blue seat, white number boards, gold wheels and handlebar, metallic grey top/bottom yokes and unique radiator shroud graphics.

The 23YM CRF450RX benefits from the same updates as its motocross sibling but is cross-county prepped with 8L plastic fuel tank, 18-inch rear wheel, specific ECU settings for ignition/injection, forged aluminium sidestand and knuckle guards.

There are also sharp new graphics for the 23YM CRF250R and the CRF250RX, complete with the new HRC logo proudly displayed on the shrouds.

2023 HONDA CRF450RX

Model updatesHonda’s ultimate cross-country machine evolves once more, thanks to HRC’s fight at the very front of a world-class pack; considerably more low-down torque and a smoother power delivery for the engine promote corner-exit drive, while revised frame rigidity and suspension allow greater stability on braking, quicker turning, elevated front tyre grip and improved ability on rutted ground. It’s a bike designed to make going faster, easier. New graphics feature a brand new redesign of the iconic HRC logos.

 

Contents:

1 Introduction                                                                                                                 

2 Model overview

3 Key features

4 Technical specifications

 

 

  1. Introduction

 

For 17YM Honda introduced an all-new, competition-ready cross-country machine into its off-road line up – the CRF450RX. And it took as its rock-solid base the engine and chassis of the 17YM CRF450R – Honda’s first totally new 450cc motocrosser in eight years – with modifications including larger fuel tank,18-inch rear wheel, revised PGM-FI mapping and suspension changes.

 

The CRF450R was the perfect platform to expand on and gave the CRF450RX both the pure MX DNA to deal with any special stage and the confidence-inspiring competence to handle flat-out trails, challenging climbs and tight, tricky sections. And, just as importantly to an owner, it’s a high-quality machine built with the long-term Honda reliability that makes it easy to live with over years of use.

 

Development has mirrored the CRF450R, too. An HRC-developed cylinder head upped peak power and torque considerably in 19YM; HRC launch control was also added along with revised rigidity balance for the frame and swingarm, a new front brake caliper and adjustable-position Renthal Fatbar. For 20YM, just like its MX sibling, it received Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC).

 

21YM saw a major evolution for the CRF450RX. Starting from the exact same point as CRF450R – almost totally redesigned by HRC with advances taken directly from Tim Gajser’s 2019 MXGP championship-winning machine. 22YM bought ECU settings and suspension updates.  

 

Now, for 23YM – underpinned by the factory rider feedback of the CRF450R – it follows the same direction of development; more low-down torque for the engine, matched to chassis changes that make going faster, easier for longer.

 

  

 2. Model Overview

 

Whether you’re a world-class racer, enthusiastic weekend campaigner or trail explorer, the easier it is to go fast, the faster you go. Since Tim Gajser’s 2019 MXGP championship win, the focus for the CRF450R has been around making everything – handling ability, power output and ergonomics – as rider-friendly as possible. And what’s good for the MX machine is equally important for the CRF450RX.

 

Newly revised rigidity for the frame allows an increase in rear damping force, for improved control, without unwanted stiffness. Likewise, front tyre grip is heightened and the 23YM machine (compared to the 22YM) is more stable and turns faster with better suspension reaction and bump absorption.

 

Driving the new chassis harder through and out of corners, the engine now produces much greater low-rpm torque with increased, smoother low-down power delivery; new intake ports, a longer air funnel, smaller diameter throttle body and revised, factory rider-spec. cam timing are responsible. The rear muffler has also been made more durable

 

New graphics feature new redesigned iconic HRC logos, representing the expansion of HRC’s racing activities

 

 3. Key Features

 

3.1 Chassis

 

  • New frame rigidity balance improves stability and suspension action
  • The rear shock has an increased damping force to match for extra drive over ruts and increased traction
  • 49mm Showa forks also features revised damping
  • Compact seat design and plastics aid rider freedom; new 23YM graphics feature a brand new HRC logo

 

The 23YM CRF450RX pushes its handling ability further; it’s more stable on braking, turns faster and exits harder.

 

Detail adjustments to frame rigidity allow the suspension – with revised settings – to work more efficiently. The front downtube/cradle joint now uses 6mm wall thickness (rather than 4mm) at its joint; likewise, the upper shock mount is now also constructed from 6mm wall thickness (also up from 4mm). Steel cylinder head hangers replace the aluminium parts used by the 22YM machine; balanced to work with the frame’s new rigidity setting, front tyre traction is greatly improved.

 

All suspension settings are specific to the CRF450RX, given the wider variety of terrain and conditions the bike will cover compared to the pure MX machine. To match the frame ‘tune’, the rear shock features increased compression and rebound damping to gain drive, especially in rutted conditions without a stiffer feeling. There are 11 adjustment positions for rebound and 6 for high and low-speed compression. Oil volume is 421cc. The aluminium swingarm is 585.2mm long and works the shock through Pro-Link.

 

The Showa 49mm USD coil spring fork is based on the ‘factory’ unit supplied to MX race teams in the Japanese championship. It employs a 310mm stroke with 396cc oil volume and 13 adjustment positions for rebound, 15 for compression; damping settings have been revised – increased rebound and slightly less compression – for optimum front/rear balance.

 

Rake and trail are specific to the RX and set at 27°2’/115mm with 1477mm wheelbase. Ground clearance is 334mm. Dry weight is 107.6kg with a 49/51% front/rear balance.

 

Standard-fit, lightweight Renthal Fatbar flex for optimal comfort; the top yoke features two handlebar-holder locations for moving the handlebar rearward and forward by 26mm. When the holder is turned 180°, the handlebar can be moved an additional 10mm from the base position, resulting in four unique riding positions.

 

Up front, the twin-piston brake caliper employs 30 and 27mm diameter pistons and 260mm wave-pattern disc; along with low-expansion rate brake hose it gives both a strong feel and consistent staying power. The single-piston rear caliper is matched to a 240mm wave-pattern disc. Knuckle guards protect hands and levers while the forged aluminium sidestand tucks away neatly to minimise interference while riding.

 

DID aluminium rims, with directly attached spoke pattern layout are finished in black; the front is a 21 x 1.6in, the rear an 18 x 2.15in. The rear wheel was made both stronger and lighter for 21YM and tyres are Dunlop’s bespoke enduro-ready AT81 Geomax 90/90-21 front and 120/90-18 rear.

 

Minimal bodywork aids rider movement around the machine; maintenance is easy with only four 8mm bolts securing the plastics each side. Designed with Computational Flow Dynamics (CFD) for maximum through-flow of air, the one-piece radiator shrouds include a lower vent, with the radiator grills optimised for airflow. The plastic fuel tank holds 8L.

 

For 23YM, complementing its aggressive lines, CRF450RX features a striking all-new graphic treatment which includes the new redesigned iconic HRC logos, now italic, which has been introduced as HRC’s activities expand into 4W racing.

 

 

3.2 Engine

 

  • 7% more torque @ 5,000rpm and extra, smoother power available at low rpm
  • Narrower intake port shape, longer air funnel, 44mm throttle body, new valve timing and revised ECU settings create the change in output
  • Rear muffler now made of tougher aluminium, with no weight penalty

 

A much heavier low-range punch is the development direction of the 23YM 449.7cc four-valve Unicam engine – to make getting off a corner much quicker and easier. Maximum torque remains exactly as before, but at 5,000rpm there’s an extra 10.7% to make use of higher gears, reducing fatigue. The engine also starts making more power in the lower rpm range, with a 5% reduction at absolute peak.

 

To generate the stronger bottom-end torque the air funnel (a part drawn directly from the CRF450RW HRC race machine) is longer, and intake port shape narrower, increasing gas flow. Likewise, another HRC-developed part now found on the customer machine is a 44mm diameter throttle body, 2mm smaller and smoothing power delivery low-down. New valve springs and valve timing are direct result of feedback from HRC’s factory riders and the spec. they themselves use.

 

The exhaust muffler is now constructed from heat-treated aluminium to better withstand contact from the rider’s boot. Testing to prove its ability to resist distortion took place with impact from a 2.2kg weight travelling from 600mm away. After 5 strikes there was very little deformation compared to the 22YM design. Importantly, the material itself (and heat treatment) ensure zero weight gain.

 

Bore and stroke is set at 96 x 62.1mm with compression ratio of 13.5:1. A gear position sensor allows the use of three specific ignition maps for 1st and 2nd, 3rd and 4th, and 5th. An 8-plate hydraulic clutch gives outstanding control and feel at the lever as well as delivering consistent lever clearance under arduous riding conditions. It also reduces slippage at peak output.

 

Rock-solid reliability has always been a big factor in the CRF450RX’s success and a 5-hole piston oil jet and dual 12mm drum scavenge pump manage all-important lubrication.

 

3.3 Electronics

 

  • Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) with 3 riding modes (plus OFF)
  • HRC Launch Control offers 3 start options
  • Engine Mode Select Button (EMSB) features 3 maps to adjust output character
  • HRC Setting tool tailors Aggressive and Smooth modes

 

The CRF450RX’s HSTC works to minimise rear wheel spin (thus reducing wasted forward drive) and maximise traction. It doesn’t use a wheel speed sensor, and critically maintains feel at the throttle while managing power; ignition timing is retarded and the PGM-FI controlled when the rate of change of rpm is detected to have gone over a set amount.

 

The three Modes differ in drive management level for different riding conditions:

 

Mode 1 intervenes most lightly, and after the longest time ­– useful for reducing wheelspin and maintaining control in tight corners.

 

Mode 3 has the system intervene more quickly and strongly, and is therefore useful in more slippery, muddy conditions.

 

Mode 2 naturally offers a mid-point between 1 and 3 in terms of speed and strength of intervention.

 

The Launch Control indicator, EFI warning, HSTC and EMSB mode button, and LED indicator are sited on the left handlebar. Pressing and holding the HSTC button for 0.5s will cycle the system to the next mode, with a green LED indication – 1 blink for Mode 1, 2 for Mode 2 and 3 for Mode 3 – to confirm selection.

 

The HSTC system can also be switched off completely. When the engine is turned on, the system uses the last-selected setting.

 

HRC Launch Control gives any rider the best option for a strong start and also has 3 modes to choose from:

 

Level 3 – 8,250rpm, muddy conditions/novice.

Level 2 – 8,500rpm, dry conditions/standard.

Level 1 – 9,500rpm, dry conditions/expert.

 

Activating HRC Launch Control is easy: to turn on, pull in the clutch and push the Start button on the right. The purple LED will blink once for Level 1 selection. Push the Start button again, for 0.5s or longer, and the LED will blink twice for Level 2. Repeat the process and the LED will blink 3 times, indicating that Level 3 has been chosen.

 

The Engine Mode Select Button (EMSB) alters the engine’s character and three maps are available to suit riding conditions or rider preference:

 

Mode 1 – Standard.

Mode 2 – Smooth.

Mode 3 – Aggressive.

 

The LED also displays mode selected, but with a blue light.

 

The HRC Setting Tool can deliver an ECU map with a much more ‘easy-going’ Smooth mode, with gentler throttle response for less experienced riders. It can also inject Aggressive mode with a ultra-sensitive throttle reaction and engine response for race conditions.

 

 4. Technical Specifications

 

Technical Specifications 

 

ENGINE

 

Type

Liquid-cooled 4-stroke single cylinder Uni-cam

Displacement

449.7cc

Bore ´ Stroke

96.0mm x 62.1mm

Compression Ratio

13.5: 1

FUEL SYSTEM

 

Carburation

Fuel injection

Fuel Tank Capacity

8 litres

ELECTRICAL SYSTEM

 

Ignition

Digital CDI

Starter

Self-starter

DRIVETRAIN

 

Clutch Type

Wet type multi-plate

Transmission Type

Constant mesh, 5-speed, manual

Final Drive

Chain

FRAME

 

Type

Aluminium twin tube

CHASSIS

 

Dimensions (L´W´H)

2,174 x 839 x 1,280mm

Wheelbase

1,477mm

Caster Angle

27.2°

Trail

115mm

Seat Height

961mm

Ground Clearance

334mm

Weight

Dry 107.6kg – Wet 113.6kg

SUSPENSION

 

Type Front

Showa 49mm USD fork

Type Rear

Showa monoshock using Honda Pro-Link 

WHEELS

 

Type Front

Aluminium, spoke

Type Rear

Aluminium, spoke

Tyres Front

90/90-21M Dunlop Geomax AT81F

Tyres Rear

120/90-18M Dunlop Geomax AT81

BRAKES

 

Front

Single 260mm disc

Rear

Single 240mm disc

ADDITIONAL FEATURES

 

Electronics

HRC Launch Control

HSTC

 

All specifications are provisional and subject to change without notice

Please note that the figures provided are results obtained by Honda under standardised testing conditions prescribed by WMTC. Tests are conducted on a rolling road using a standard version of the vehicle with only one rider and no additional optional equipment. Actual fuel consumption may vary depending on how you ride, how you maintain your vehicle, weather, road conditions, tire pressure, installation of accessories, cargo, rider and passenger weight, and other factors.

2023 HONDA CRF450R

Model updatesHonda’s MX flagship evolves once more, thanks to lessons learned from fighting at the very front of a world-class pack. The 23YM has considerably more low-down torque and a smoother power delivery for the engine to promote corner-exit drive, while revised frame rigidity and suspension generate greater stability on braking, quicker turning, elevated front tyre grip and improved ability on rutted ground. It’s a bike designed to make going faster, easier. As well as a new graphic treatment featuring a brand new redesign of the iconic HRC logos, for 23YM only, to mark 5 decades since the iconic CR250M Elsinore took to the track as Honda’s first MX racer, a special CRF450R 50th Anniversary model will also be available, drawing its aesthetic inspiration from the legendary CRs of the 1980s.

 

Contents:

1 Introduction

2 Model overview

3 Key features

4 Technical specifications

 

 

  1. Introduction

 

The Honda CRF450R has been the benchmark motocrosser since its introduction in 2002. Its package has always aimed to offer its rider – whether amateur enthusiast or pro-racer – total control through balance and agility. Plus, of course, it’s built with the quality, durability and longevity that Honda has long been famed for. 

 

And it’s a race bike that has constantly evolved. In 17YM, under the concept of ‘ABSOLUTE HOLESHOT!’, Europe’s favourite open-class MX machine was given a ground-up redesign, with completely new chassis and a major top end power boost from a brand-new engine. Standard-fit electric start was a convenient addition in 18YM and, for 19YM, an HRC-developed cylinder head upped power and torque considerably; HRC launch control was also added. In 20YM the CRF450R gained Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC).

 

For 21YM, aside from the wheels and the fundamental engine architecture, the CRF450R was effectively a totally new bike, drawing heavily on developments from the 2019 MX GP championship winning CRF450RW of Tim Gajser. He and HRC secured the title for a second year in 2020 and finished a close third in 2021.

 

Detail refinements followed for the 22YM CRF450R but the game moves on constantly, and the 23YM machine jumps out of the gate with a host of factory rider and HRC-led updates (from Europe and America) to the engine and chassis aimed at making going fast, really fast, that much easier. For all riders, lap after lap.

 

And 23YM is a special year for Honda’s off-road range – it marks 50 years since the arrival of the first ‘straight out of the crate’ MX racer, the CR250M Elsinore. To commemorate such an impressive milestone, while the standard CRF450R gets updated graphics and a new HRC logo there will also be a CRF450R 50th Anniversary limited edition, only available in 23YM, which pays stunning homage to the seminal bikes of the 1980s.

 

As always, the CRF450R remains to its core the HRC racer it is possible to buy.

 

 2. Model Overview

 

HRC rider feedback from the FIM World MXGP, AMA Supercross and Pro Motocross championships has steered the direction of CRF450R development. As a result, the 23YM machine is easier to rider faster, for longer.

 

Revised rigidity for the frame allows an increase in rear spring rate and damping, for improved control, without unwanted stiffness. Likewise, front tyre grip is heightened and the 23YM machine (compared to the 22YM) is more stable and turns faster with better suspension reaction and bump absorption.

 

Driving the new chassis harder through and out of corners, the engine now produces much greater low-rpm torque with increased, smoother low-down power delivery; new intake ports, a longer air funnel, smaller diameter throttle body and revised, factory rider-spec. cam timing are responsible. The rear muffler has also been made more durable.

 

New graphics feature new redesigned iconic HRC logos, representing the expansion of HRC’s racing activities, while the 23YM CRF450R 50th Anniversary marks 50 years since the CR250M Elsinore took to the racetrack, starting Honda on its MX odyssey.

 

 3. Key Features

 

3.1 Chassis

 

  • New frame rigidity balance improves stability and suspension action
  • The rear shock has an increased spring rate with damping to match for extra drive over ruts and increased traction
  • 49mm Showa forks also features revised damping
  • Compact seat design and plastics aid rider freedom; new 23YM graphics feature a brand new HRC logo
  • Limited Edition 50th Anniversary Edition only available for 23YM

 

The 23YM CRF450R pushes its handling ability further, as an evolution of the Razor Sharp Cornering banner that led the 21YM redesign; it’s more stable on braking, turns faster and exits corners more strongly.

 

Detail adjustments to frame rigidity allow the suspension – with revised settings – to work more efficiently. The front downtube/cradle joint now uses 6mm wall thickness (rather than 4mm) at its joint; likewise, the upper shock mount is now also constructed from 6mm wall thickness (also up from 4mm). Steel cylinder head hangers replace the aluminium parts used by the 22YM machine; balanced to work with the frame’s new rigidity setting, front tyre traction is greatly improved.

 

Also, to match the frame ‘tune’, a new spring rate for the Showa rear shock ­– 56N/mm from 54N/mm ­– with revised damping, gains drive, especially in rutted conditions without a stiffer feeling. There are 11 adjustment positions for rebound and 6 for high and low-speed compression. Oil volume is 421cc. The aluminium swingarm is 585.2mm long and works the shock through Pro-Link.

 

The Showa 49mm USD coil spring fork is based on the ‘factory’ unit supplied to MX race teams in the Japanese championship. It employs a 310mm stroke with 387cc oil volume and 13 adjustment positions for rebound, 15 for compression; damping settings have been revised for an optimum front/rear balance.

 

Rake and trail are set at 27°7’/113.9mm with 1481mm wheelbase and 336mm ground clearance. Dry weight is 105.8kg with a 49/51% front/rear balance.

 

Standard-fit, lightweight Renthal Fatbar flex for optimal comfort; the top yoke features two handlebar-holder locations for moving the handlebar rearward and forward by 26mm. When the holder is turned 180°, the handlebar can be moved an additional 10mm from the base position, resulting in four unique riding positions.

 

Up front, the twin-piston brake caliper employs 30 and 27mm diameter pistons and 260mm wave-pattern disc; along with low-expansion rate brake hose it gives both a strong feel and consistent staying power. The single-piston rear caliper is matched to a 240mm wave-pattern disc.

 

DID aluminium rims, with directly attached spoke pattern layout are finished in black; the front is a 21 x 1.6in, the rear a 19 x 2.15in. The rear wheel was made both stronger and lighter for 21YM and Dunlop’s MX33F/MX33 soft-terrain tyres are fitted as standard equipment.

 

Minimal bodywork aids rider movement around the machine; maintenance is easy with only four 8mm bolts securing the plastics each side. Designed with Computational Flow Dynamics (CFD) for maximum through-flow of air, the one-piece radiator shrouds include a lower vent, with the radiator grills optimised for airflow. The titanium fuel tank holds 6.3L.

 

For 23YM, complementing its aggressive lines, CRF450R features a striking all-new graphic treatment which includes the new redesigned iconic HRC logos, now italic, which has been introduced as HRC’s activities expand into 4W racing.

 

 

23YM CRF450R 50th Anniversary

 

 

2023 will mark 50 years since the Honda’s first ever production MX racer – the CR250M Elsinore – took to the track in Japan. In celebration of this milestone Honda is making available a very special, limited edition CRF450R 50th Anniversary, for 23YM only. Drawing inspiration from the HRC machines of the 1980s, it’s a visually stunning statement of pure racing intent and history. Key differences over the ‘stock’ machine are:

 

  • Blue seat cover
  • White number board on the rear side covers, plus white front number board
  • Unique radiator shroud graphics
  • Gold wheels and handlebar
  • Metallic Grey top and bottom yokes
  • Honda Wing logo on front mudguard

 

 

 

3.2 Engine

 

  • 7% more torque @ 5,000rpm and extra, smoother power available at low rpm
  • Narrower intake port shape, longer air funnel, 44mm throttle body, new valve timing and revised ECU settings create the change in output
  • Rear muffler now made of tougher aluminium, with no weight penalty

 

Much stronger low-range punch is the development direction of the 23YM 449.7cc four-valve Unicam engine – to make getting out of a  corner much quicker and easier. Maximum torque remains exactly as before, but at 5,000rpm there’s an extra 10.7% to make use of higher gears reducing fatigue over the duration of a race. The engine also starts making more power in the lower rpm range, with a 5% reduction at absolute peak.

 

To generate the stronger bottom-end torque the air funnel (a part drawn directly from the CRF450RW HRC race machine) is longer, and intake port shape narrower, increasing gas flow. Likewise, another HRC-developed part now found on the customer machine is a 44mm throttle body, 2mm smaller in diameter and smoothing power delivery low-down. New valve springs and valve timing are direct result of feedback from HRC’s factory riders and the spec. they themselves use.

 

The exhaust muffler is now constructed from heat-treated aluminium to better stand up to the rider’s boot. Testing to prove its ability to resist distortion took place with impact from a 2.2kg weight travelling from 600mm away; after 5 strikes there was very little deformation compared to the 22YM design. Importantly, the material itself (and heat treatment) ensure zero weight gain.

 

Bore and stroke is set at 96 x 62.1mm with compression ratio of 13.5:1. A gear position sensor allows the use of three specific ignition maps for 1st and 2nd, 3rd and 4th, and 5th. An 8-plate hydraulic clutch gives outstanding control and feel at the lever as well as delivering consistent lever clearance under arduous riding conditions. It also reduces slippage at peak output.

 

Rock-solid reliability has always been a big factor in the CRF450R’s success and a 5-hole piston oil jet and dual 12mm drum scavenge pump manage all-important lubrication.

 

3.3 Electronics

 

  • Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) with 3 riding modes (plus OFF)
  • HRC Launch Control offers 3 start options
  • Engine Mode Select Button (EMSB) features 3 maps to adjust output character
  • HRC Setting tool tailors Aggressive and Smooth modes

 

The CRF450R’s HSTC works to minimise rear wheel spin (thus reducing wasted forward drive) and maximise traction. It doesn’t use a wheel speed sensor, and critically maintains feel at the throttle while managing power; ignition timing is retarded and the PGM-FI controlled when the rate of change of rpm is detected to have gone over a set amount.

 

The three Modes differ in drive management level for different riding conditions:

 

Mode 1 intervenes most lightly, and after the longest time ­– useful for reducing wheelspin and maintaining control in tight corners.

 

Mode 3 has the system intervene more quickly and strongly, and is therefore useful in more slippery, muddy conditions.

 

Mode 2 naturally offers a mid-point between 1 and 3 in terms of speed and strength of intervention.

 

The Launch Control indicator, EFI warning, HSTC and EMSB mode button, and LED indicator are sited on the left handlebar. Pressing and holding the HSTC button for 0.5s will cycle the system to the next mode, with a green LED indication – 1 blink for Mode 1, 2 for Mode 2 and 3 for Mode 3 – to confirm selection.

 

The HSTC system can also be switched off completely. When the engine is turned on, the system uses the last-selected setting.

 

HRC Launch Control gives any rider the best option for a strong start and also has 3 modes to choose from:

 

Level 3 – 8,250rpm, muddy conditions/novice.

Level 2 – 8,500rpm, dry conditions/standard.

Level 1 – 9,500rpm, dry conditions/expert.

 

Activating HRC Launch Control is easy: to turn on, pull in the clutch and push the Start button on the right. The purple LED will blink once for Level 1 selection. Push the Start button again, for 0.5s or longer, and the LED will blink twice for Level 2. Repeat the process and the LED will blink 3 times, indicating that Level 3 has been chosen.

 

The Engine Mode Select Button (EMSB) alters the engine’s character and three maps are available to suit riding conditions or rider preference:

 

Mode 1 – Standard.

Mode 2 – Smooth.

Mode 3 – Aggressive.

 

The LED also displays mode selected, but with a blue light.

 

The HRC Setting Tool can deliver an ECU map with a much more ‘easy-going’ Smooth mode, with gentler throttle response for less experienced riders. It can also inject Aggressive mode with an ultra-sensitive throttle reaction and engine response for race conditions.

 

 4. Technical Specifications

 

ENGINE

 

Type

Liquid-cooled 4-stroke single cylinder uni-cam

Displacement

449.7cc

Bore ´ Stroke

96.0mm x 62.1mm

Compression Ratio

13.5:1

FUEL SYSTEM

 

Carburation

Fuel injection

Fuel Tank Capacity

6.3L

ELECTRICAL SYSTEM

 

Starter

Electric

DRIVETRAIN

 

Clutch Type

Wet type multi-plate

Transmission Type

Constant mesh, 5-speed,manual

Final Drive

Chain

FRAME

 

Type

Aluminium twin tube

CHASSIS

 

Dimensions (L´W´H)

2,182 x 827 x 1,267mm

Wheelbase

1,481mm

Caster Angle

27.7°

Trail

113.9mm

Seat Height

965mm

Ground Clearance

336mm

Weight

Dry 105.8kg – wet 110.6kg

SUSPENSION

 

Type Front

Showa 49mm USD fork

Type Rear

Showa monoshock using Honda Pro-Link 

WHEELS

 

Type Front

Aluminium, spoke

Type Rear

Aluminium,  spoke

Tyres Front

80/100-21-51M Dunlop MX33F

Tyres Rear

120/80-19-63M Dunlop MX33

BRAKES

 

Front

Single 260mm disc

Rear

Single 240mm disc

ADDITIONAL FEATURES

 

Electronics

HRC Launch Control

HSTC

 

All specifications are provisional and subject to change without notice

Please note that the figures provided are results obtained by Honda under standardised testing conditions prescribed by WMTC. Tests are conducted on a rolling road using a standard version of the vehicle with only one rider and no additional optional equipment. Actual fuel consumption may vary depending on how you ride, how you maintain your vehicle, weather, road conditions, tire pressure, installation of accessories, cargo, rider and passenger weight, and other factors.

2023 HONDA CRF250RX

Model updatesMechanically unchanged for 23YM the off-road ready CRF250RX is stronger than ever; in 22YM it got the lightweight chassis of the CRF450RX plus extensive cylinder head development for a considerable low-rpm torque boost. Cooling efficiency was also improved, while a strengthened gearbox got revised ratios and nine-plate clutch. The Showa suspension is set to deal with a variety of terrain and conditions and knuckle guards are also standard fit. A new graphic treatment marks out the 23YM machine and features a brand new redesign of the iconic HRC logos

 

Contents:

1 Introduction

2 Model overview

3 Key features

4 Technical specifications

 

 

  1. Introduction

 

In 19YM Honda’s stable of competition machines grew with a cross-country option in the form of the CRF250RX; based on the CRF250R and with off-road specific modifications drawn from the CRF450RX including larger fuel tank,18-inch rear wheel plus off-road specific engine mapping and suspension changes to ensure it was equally at home speeding up a root-strewn climb or slicing precious seconds off an Enduro special test.

 

For 20YM it followed development of the CRF250R and gained a major low to mid-range power and torque boost, plus the frame and swingarm of the 19YM CRF450RX. 22YM saw a major step forward for the CRF250RX, including chassis upgrades inherited from the 21YM CRF450RX improving both ability and agility plus a boost in low-rpm torque for the engine.

 

The CRF250RX is mechanically unchanged for 23YM apart from a crisp new graphic treatment which features the new redesigned iconic HRC logos, representing the expansion of HRC’s racing activities. 

 

 2. Model Overview

 

It’s worth recapping why 22YM was such a big advance for the CRF250RX; to make going fast easier, the cumulative learnings of recent CRF450R developments have focused around reducing rider fatigue – which helps riders not only of world-class calibre but also MX enthusiasts of all ability levels to post constantly optimal lap times.

 

And what’s good for a 450 is even better for a 250. A full 3kg lighter than the 21YM design, the CRF250RX’s frame and swingarm’s rigidity balance – combined with tighter chassis geometry and heightened ground clearance – target peak cornering performance and ease of handling. In support, the Showa suspension received brand-new valving, improving bump absorption, traction and control.

 

Engine performance was not forgotten either. Riders have always loved the top-end power hit and, to link up with the healthy mid-range, extensive revision to both intake and exhaust efficiency yielded much-improved low-rpm drive. Enhanced high-rpm cam timing accuracy was also a focus alongside long-term reliability, while a 9-plate clutch and strengthened gearbox (with optimised ratios) ensures none of the extra punch is wasted.

 

 3. Key Features

 

3.1 Chassis

 

  • HRC input running through frame, swingarm, rigidity balance and geometry for enhanced cornering ability and ease of use
  • 49mm Showa front fork with spring rate and compression/rebound damping optimised front and rear for off-road use

Compact seat design and plastics aid rider freedom; new 23YM graphics with a brand new HRC logo

 

Where the CRF450RX leads, the CRF250RX follows. So it is equipped with the same platform that debuted on the production 21YM CRF450R and RX, after intense development from HRC. And it’s a championship-winning base point –Tim Gajser secured two consecutive MXGP titles with it. Alongside the punchier engine, a 3kg weight saving, geometry changes and suspension upgrades cohere to create a package that’s easier to ride hard.

 

The CRF250RX’s chassis dynamic was also new; while torsional rigidity was maintained lateral rigidity reduced 20% to increase corner speed, traction and steering accuracy. The swingarm pivot point features optimised rib placement while the aluminium swingarm has a rigidity balance tuned to match the frame.

 

Both top and bottom yokes use increased flex over the previous design to give sharper, more agile cornering and bump reaction. The CRF250RX’s suspension uses specific settings, with a broader performance range than the CRF250R.

 

For smooth cornering performance the 49mm Showa USD coil spring forks use 310mm stroke with axle clamps designed to improve grip and rut ride-over ability. The Showa rear shock’s main piston uses valving – with matching Pro-Link ratio – set for faster response and smoother bump absorption and rut ride-over.

 

Rake and trail are set at 27.15°/114mm with wheelbase of 1477mm and 335mm ground clearance. Kerb weight is 108kg. The compact seat aids the rider’s freedom of movement around the slimline machine. It’s also simple to remove and install. Maintenance is easy, with just 4, 8mm bolts securing the minimal bodywork.

  

Standard-fit, lightweight Renthal Fatbar flex for optimal comfort; the top yoke features two handlebar-holder locations for moving the handlebar rearward and forward by 26mm. When the holder is turned 180°, the handlebar can be moved an additional 10mm from the base position, resulting in four unique riding positions.

 

Up front, the twin-piston brake caliper employs 30 and 27mm diameter pistons and 260mm wave-pattern disc; along with low-expansion rate brake hose, it gives both a strong feel and consistent staying power. The single-piston rear caliper is matched to a 240mm wave-pattern disc. Knuckle guards protect hands and levers while the forged aluminium sidestand tucks away neatly to minimise interference while riding.

 

DID aluminium rims, with directly attached spoke pattern layout are finished in black; the front is a 21 x 1.6in, the rear an 18 x 2.15in. Tyres are Dunlop’s bespoke enduro-ready AT81 Geomax 90/90-21 front and 110/100-18 rear.

 

Designed with Computational Flow Dynamics (CFD) for maximum through-flow of air, the radiator shrouds are constructed from one piece of plastic and include a lower vent. The plastic fuel tank holds 8L.

 

For 23YM, complementing its aggressive lines, CRF250RX features a striking all-new graphic treatment which includes the new redesigned iconic HRC logos, now italic, which represents HRC’s racing expansion into 4W racing activities.

 

3.2 Engine

 

  • Last year’s development of intake and cylinder head plus straight exhaust port/downtube and single muffler equates to 10% more power and up to 15% extra torque.
  • High-rpm valve-timing accuracy and cylinder head oil delivery also improved
  • 9-plate clutch improves endurance with lighter lever feel
  • Gearbox ratios tailored for roll-on ‘snap’
  • Efficient radiator cooling

 

The CRF250RX shares the engine of its MX sibling for a fully-rounded performance throughout the rev-range – with the same peak power and low-rpm torque upgrade – but has its own fuelling and ignition mapping to soften the power delivery for the wide-ranging conditions off-road riding presents.

 

22YM’s update was significant; picking up early in the rev-range, power output is smooth and linear, while torque bulges at significantly lower rpm. Overall, there’s up to 10% more power and 15% torque across the rev range compared to the previous design, for fluid, same gear corner-to-corner over-rev. The result in your throttle hand is a big-hitting engine with an even heavier hit delivering strong, accessible drive from low down to make real use of the chassis’ agility.

 

Low-rpm combustion stability and gas flow in, and out, of the chamber are the main drivers of improvement. The air intake funnel and cone tube feeds to an injector set at a 60° angle and out to a straight exhaust port. A 4.1L airbox ensures high intake efficiency and air intake cooling; the air filter’s also easy to access.

 

The intake cam sprocket is press-fit, saving weight and increasing rigidity. Double springs for the intake valves give extra high-rpm control. The oil’s pathway to the camshaft journals – and a rigid camshaft holder and head – reduce journal friction.

 

Precise alignment of the rocker arm shaft position aids high-rpm performance while the piston and connecting rod design maximise efficiency. Bore and stroke is set at 79 x 50.9mm, with a 4.5mm cylinder offset to reduce friction and compression ratio of 13.9:1. The valves are titanium; 33mm inlet and 26mm exhaust.

 

A lightweight single muffler expels spent gases The downpipe allows a straight shot; optimised internal dimensions enhance combustion stability and exhaust efficiency. Its compact nature also allows a slim body. To cope with the extra heat generated by a harder-working engine cooling is improved, while the radiator shrouds generate extra airflow.

 

Extra levels of reliability are built in. The water pump gear design deals efficiently with high-temperature oil while pressure to the cylinder head ensures greater oil flow. A 5-hole piston oil jet maintains optimum piston cooling and ignition timing. The combined oil pump/drive gear is on the right-hand side of the engine, with the oil filter and oil way on the right side – the oil’s path around the engine is short and straightforward and the oil also lubricates the clutch and transmission, with a total oil capacity of 1.35L.

 

To improve endurance, engagement feel and a lighter lever action the clutch employs 9 plates, spreading the load applied to the friction material. Also, an additional friction spring in the damper chamber, optimised lubrication, friction materials and primary ratio – plus more rigid clutch centre – contribute to higher performance and (compared to the previous design) a 21% increase in endurance. The operational load on the clutch lever is reduced by 4%.

 

To deal with the load applied by the clutch, as well as maximise drive from any rpm point, the gearbox – without adding weight – features a layout built for extra strength. The ratios too are carefully tailored: a tall 1st, short 2nd, tall 3rd and short 4th/5th.

 

The shift pattern uses one shift fork going up from 2nd to 3rd with two lead grooves and countershaft rigidity designed to reduce friction. The result is much better shifting feel between two critical gears. A gear position sensor allows the use of specific engine maps for different gears.

 

3.3 Electronics

 

  • HRC Launch Control offers 3 start options
  • Engine Mode Select Button (EMSB) features 3 maps to adjust output character

 

HRC’s Launch Control system gives any rider the best option for a strong start and has 3 modes to choose from:

 

Level 3 – 10,000rpm, muddy conditions/novice.

Level 2 – 11,750rpm, dry conditions/standard.

Level 1 – 13,000rpm, dry conditions/expert.

 

Activating HRC Launch Control is easy – to turn on, pull in the clutch and push the Start button on the right. The LED will blink once for Level 1 selection. Push the Start button again, for 0.5s or longer, and the LED will blink twice for Level 2. Repeat the process and the LED will blink 3 times, indicating that Level 3 has been chosen.

 

The Engine Mode Select Button (EMSB) alters the engine’s characteristics and three maps are available to suit riding conditions or rider preference: Mode 1 (Standard), Mode 2 (Smooth) and Mode 3 (Aggressive). The LED also displays Mode selected.

 

The rider controls and displays – engine stop button, EFI warning, EMSB mode button and LED indicator – are all sited on the left handlebar.

 

 4. Technical Specifications

 

 

ENGINE

 

Type

Liquid-cooled 4-stroke single DOHC

Displacement

249.4cc

Bore x Stroke

79mm x 50.9mm

Compression Ratio

13.9:1

Oil Capacity

1.35L

FUEL SYSTEM

 

Carburation

Fuel injection

Fuel Tank Capacity

8L

ELECTRICAL SYSTEM

 

Starter

Electric

DRIVETRAIN

 

Clutch Type

Wet multiplate

Transmission Type

Constant mesh

Final Drive

Chain

FRAME

 

Type

Aluminium twin tube

CHASSIS

 

Dimensions (L´W´H)

2,176 x 839 x 1,281mm

Wheelbase

1,477mm

Caster Angle

27.15°

Trail

114mm

Seat Height

964mm

Ground Clearance

335mm

Kerb Weight

108kg

SUSPENSION

 

Type Front

49mm Showa (Hitachi Astemo, Ltd) coil-spring USD fork

Type Rear

Showa (Hitachi Astemo, Ltd.) Mono shock with Honda Pro-Link

WHEELS

 

Type Front

Aluminium spoke

Type Rear

Aluminium spoke

Tyres Front

90/90-21 Dunlop AT81

Tyres Rear

110/100-18 Dunlop AT81

BRAKES

 

Front

260mm hydraulic wave disc

Rear

240mm hydraulic wave disc

INSTRUMENTS

 

Additional Features

HRC Launch Control

 

All specifications are provisional and subject to change without notice

Please note that the figures provided are results obtained by Honda under standardised testing conditions prescribed by WMTC. Tests are conducted on a rolling road using a standard version of the vehicle with only one rider and no additional optional equipment. Actual fuel consumption may vary depending on how you ride, how you maintain your vehicle, weather, road conditions, tire pressure, installation of accessories, cargo, rider and passenger weight, and other factors.

2023 HONDA CRF250R


Model updatesMechanically unchanged for 23YM the CRF250R is still the strongest it’s ever been; in 22YM it got the MXGP championship-winning chassis of the CRF450R plus extensive cylinder head development for a considerable low-rpm torque boost. Cooling efficiency was also improved, while a strengthened gearbox got revised ratios and nine-plate clutch. A new graphic treatment marks out the 23YM machine and features a brand new redesign of the iconic HRC logos.

 

Contents:

1 Introduction

2 Model overview

3 Key features

4 Technical specifications

 

 

  1. Introduction

 

The MX2 class is a relentless, close-quarter battle. And Honda’s CRF250R has proved itself a worthy weapon for the fight. Competition has led its evolution over time, through increments and steps, into a platform that the amateur MX enthusiast – as well as pro-racer – can extract the utmost out of, every metre of every lap.

 

Over the last 5 years it’s been on a massive development journey. In 18YM the CRF250R underwent a ground-up redesign that inherited the ‘Absolute Holeshot’ philosophy of the 17YM CRF450R, sharing its seventh-generation frame, revised geometry and Showa suspension. It was also armed with a brand-new DOHC engine and switchable engine mapping; rider-focused ergonomics ensured it remained an MX machine that the hobby rider could exploit to their individual level of ability.

 

The 19YM CRF250R received a boost to low-rpm torque, through extensive intake and exhaust development plus HRC launch control, revised front brake caliper and adjustable-position Renthal Fatbars. In 20YM it moved forward once again, with the frame and swingarm of the 19YM CRF450R and more mid-range for the engine.

 

For 22YM it made a significant performance leap to make it ‘The Strongest Ever’ including major chassis upgrades inherited from the 21YM CRF450R, improving both ability and agility. It also received stronger low-rpm torque to make best use of the new chassis, with improved toughness and durability.

 

The CRF250R is mechanically unchanged for 23YM apart from a crisp new graphic treatment which features the new redesigned iconic HRC logos, representing the expansion of HRC’s racing activities.  

 

 2. Model Overview

 

It’s worth recapping why 22YM was such a big advance for the CRF250R; to make going fast easier, the cumulative learnings of recent CRF450R developments have focused around reducing rider fatigue – which helps riders not only of world-class calibre but also MX enthusiasts of all ability levels to post constantly optimal lap times.

 

And what’s good for the 450 is even better for the 250. A full 3kg lighter than the 21YM design, the CRF250R’s frame and swingarm’s rigidity balance – combined with tighter chassis geometry and heightened ground clearance – target peak cornering performance and ease of handling. In support, the Showa suspension received brand-new valving, improving bump absorption, traction and control.

 

Engine performance was not forgotten either. Riders have always loved the CRF250R’s top-end power hit and to link up with the healthy mid-range, extensive revision to both intake and exhaust efficiency yielded much-improved low-rpm drive. Enhanced high-rpm cam timing accuracy was also a focus alongside long-term reliability, while a 9-plate clutch and strengthened gearbox (with optimised ratios) ensure none of the extra punch is wasted.

 

 3. Key Features

 

3.1 Chassis

 

  • HRC input running through frame, swingarm, rigidity balance and geometry for enhanced cornering ability and ease of use
  • 49mm Showa front fork with optimised spring rate and compression/rebound damping front and rear
  • Compact seat design and plastics aid rider freedom; new 23YM graphics with a brand new HRC logo

 

Where the CRF450R leads, the CRF250R follows. So, it is equipped with the same platform that debuted on the production 21YM CRF450R, after intense development from HRC. And it’s a championship-winning base point –Tim Gajser secured two consecutive MXGP titles with it. Alongside the punchier engine, a 3kg weight saving, geometry changes and suspension upgrades cohere to create a package that’s easier to ride fast, lap after lap.

 

The CRF250R’s chassis dynamic was also new; while torsional rigidity was maintained lateral rigidity reduced 20% to increase corner speed, traction and steering accuracy. The swingarm pivot point features optimised rib placement while the aluminium swingarm has a rigidity balance tuned to match the frame.

 

Both top and bottom yokes use increased flex over the previous design, to give sharper, more agile cornering and bump reaction. Up front are fully adjustable, 49mm Showa USD coil spring forks. For smooth cornering performance the forks use 310mm stroke with axle clamps designed to improve grip and rut ride-over ability. The Showa rear shock’s main piston uses valving – with matching Pro-Link ratio – set for faster response and smoother bump absorption and rut ride-over.

 

Rake and trail are set at 27.32°/115mm with wheelbase of 1477mm. Ground clearance is 333mm; kerb weight is 104kg. The compact seat aids the rider’s freedom of movement around the slimline machine. It’s also simple to remove and install. Maintenance is easy, with just 4, 8mm bolts securing the minimal bodywork.

 

Designed with Computational Flow Dynamics (CFD) for maximum through-flow of air, the radiator shrouds are constructed from one piece of plastic and include a lower vent. The titanium fuel tank holds 6.3L.

 

Standard-fit, lightweight Renthal Fatbar flex for optimal comfort; the top yoke features two handlebar-holder locations for moving the handlebar rearward and forward by 26mm. When the holder is turned 180°, the handlebar can be moved an additional 10mm from the base position, resulting in four unique riding positions.

 

Up front, the twin-piston brake caliper employs 30 and 27mm diameter pistons and 260mm wave-pattern disc; along with low-expansion rate brake hose, it gives both a strong feel and consistent staying power. The single-piston rear caliper is matched to a 240mm wave-pattern disc.

 

DID aluminium rims, with directly attached spoke pattern layout are finished in black; 80/100-21 Pirelli MX32 Midsoft front and 100/90-19 Pirelli MX32 Midsoft rear soft-terrain tyres are fitted as standard equipment.

 

For 23YM, complementing its aggressive lines, CRF250R features a striking all-new graphic treatment which includes the new redesigned iconic HRC logos, now italic, which represents HRC’s racing expansion into 4W racing activities.

 

3.2 Engine

 

  • Last year’s intake and cylinder head development plus straight exhaust port/downtube and single muffler yielded up to 10% more power and up to 15% extra torque.
  • High-rpm valve-timing accuracy and cylinder head oil delivery improved
  • 9-plate clutch improves endurance with lighter lever feel
  • Gearbox ratios tailored for roll-on ‘snap’
  • Highly efficient radiator cooling

 

The CRF250R’s 249.4cc DOHC engine has long established a top-end that’s one of the best trackside and improved torque and power from low rpm – with zero loss at peak – drove development for the 22YM tune, which carries on into 23YM.

 

Picking up early in the rev-range, power output is smooth and linear, while torque bulges at significantly lower rpm. Overall, there’s up to 10% more power and 15% torque across the rev range compared to the previous design, for fluid, same gear corner-to-corner over-rev. The result in your throttle hand is a big-hitting engine with an even heavier punch delivering strong, accessible drive from low down to make real use of the chassis’ agility.

 

Low-rpm combustion stability and gas flow in, and out, of the chamber are the main drivers of improvement. The air intake funnel and cone tube feeds to an injector set at a 60° angle and out to a straight exhaust port. A 4.1L airbox ensures high intake efficiency and air intake cooling; the air filter’s also easy to access.

 

The intake cam sprocket is press-fit, saving weight and increasing rigidity. Double springs for the intake valves give extra high-rpm control. The oil’s pathway to the camshaft journals – and a rigid camshaft holder and head – reduce journal friction.

 

Precise alignment of the rocker arm shaft position aids high-rpm performance while the piston and connecting rod design maximise efficiency. Bore and stroke is set at 79 x 50.9mm, with a 4.5mm cylinder offset to reduce friction and compression ratio of 13.9:1. The valves are titanium; 33mm inlet and 26mm exhaust.

 

A lightweight single muffler expels spent gases The downpipe allows a straight shot; optimised internal dimensions enhance combustion stability and exhaust efficiency. Its compact nature also allows a slim body. To cope with the extra heat generated by a harder-working engine cooling is improved, while the radiator shrouds generate extra airflow.

 

Extra levels of reliability are built in. The water pump gear design deals efficiently with high-temperature oil while pressure to the cylinder head ensures greater oil flow. A 5-hole piston oil jet maintains optimum piston cooling and ignition timing. The combined oil pump/drive gear is on the right-hand side of the engine, with the oil filter and oil way on the right side – the oil’s path around the engine is short and straightforward and the oil also lubricates the clutch and transmission, with a total oil capacity of 1.35L.

 

To improve endurance, engagement feel and a lighter lever action the clutch employs 9 plates, spreading the load applied to the friction material. Also, an additional friction spring in the damper chamber, optimised lubrication, friction materials and primary ratio – plus more rigid clutch centre – contribute to higher performance and (compared to the previous design) a 21% increase in endurance. The operational load on the clutch lever is reduced by 4%.

 

To deal with the load applied by the new clutch, as well as maximise drive from any rpm point, the gearbox – without adding weight – features a layout built for extra strength. The ratios too are carefully tailored: a tall 1st, short 2nd, tall 3rd and short 4th/5th.

 

The shift pattern uses one shift fork going up from 2nd to 3rd with two lead grooves and countershaft rigidity designed to reduce friction. The result is much better shifting feel between two critical gears. A gear position sensor allows the use of specific engine maps for different gears.

                                                                                                                

3.3 Electronics

 

  • HRC Launch Control offers 3 start options
  • Engine Mode Select Button (EMSB) features 3 maps to adjust output character

 

HRC’s Launch Control system gives any rider the best option for a strong start and has 3 modes to choose from:

 

Level 3 – 10,000rpm, muddy conditions/novice.

Level 2 – 11,750rpm, dry conditions/standard.

Level 1 – 13,000rpm, dry conditions/expert.

 

Activating HRC Launch Control is easy – to turn on, pull in the clutch and push the Start button on the right. The LED will blink once for Level 1 selection. Push the Start button again, for 0.5s or longer, and the LED will blink twice for Level 2. Repeat the process and the LED will blink 3 times, indicating that Level 3 has been chosen.

 

The Engine Mode Select Button (EMSB) alters the engine’s characteristics, and three maps are available to suit riding conditions or rider preference: Mode 1 (Standard), Mode 2 (Smooth) and Mode 3 (Aggressive). The LED also displays Mode selected.

 

The rider controls and displays – engine stop button, EFI warning, EMSB mode button and LED indicator – are all sited on the left handlebar.

 

 4. Technical Specifications

 

 

ENGINE

 

Type

Liquid-cooled 4-stroke single DOHC

Displacement

249.4cc

Bore & Stroke

79mm x 50.9mm

Compression Ratio

13.9:1

Oil Capacity

1.35L

FUEL SYSTEM

 

Carburation

Fuel injection

Fuel Tank Capacity

6.3L

ELECTRICAL SYSTEM

 

Starter

Electric

DRIVETRAIN

 

Clutch Type

Wet multiplate

Transmission Type

Constant mesh

Final Drive

Chain

FRAME

 

Type

Aluminium twin tube

CHASSIS

 

Dimensions (L´W´H)

2,177 x 827 x 1,265mm

Wheelbase

1,477mm

Caster Angle

27.32°

Trail

115mm

Seat Height

961mm

Ground Clearance

333mm

Kerb Weight

104kg

SUSPENSION

 

Type Front

49mm Showa (Hitachi Astemo, Ltd) coil-spring USD fork

Type Rear

Showa (Hitachi Astemo, Ltd.) Mono shock with Honda Pro-Link

WHEELS

 

Type Front

Aluminium spoke

Type Rear

Aluminium spoke

Tyres Front

80/100-21 PIRELLI MX32 MIDSOFT

Tyres Rear

100/90-19 PIRELLI MX32 MIDSOFT

BRAKES

 

Front

260mm hydraulic wave disc

Rear

240mm hydraulic wave disc

 

 

 

All specifications are provisional and subject to change without notice

Please note that the figures provided are results obtained by Honda under standardised testing conditions prescribed by WMTC. Tests are conducted on a rolling road using a standard version of the vehicle with only one rider and no additional optional equipment. Actual fuel consumption may vary depending on how you ride, how you maintain your vehicle, weather, road conditions, tire pressure, installation of accessories, cargo, rider and passenger weight, and other factors.