By Adam Simpson
HONDA has just unveiled a heavily-updated CRF250R for 2018, with an all-new engine offering 9% more power.
Here are the key updates:
- Brand-new engine
The 2018 CRF250R is the first Honda motocross bike to feature double overhead cam engine, and sees a 9% increase in power from the previous model. A larger bore and a shorter stoke as well as new intake tract and piston offer riders a higher red line.
- Dual exhaust ports
For increased power and superior balance. The system is light, compact, and positioned close and low in the frame to take weight off the rear end and bring more mass to the bike’s centre for improved handling. It also gives more airflow, which results in the added horsepower, according to Honda.
- Downdraft Air Intake
Honda has straightened out the CRF250R's intake and exhaust tracks, meaning the exhaust flows more efficiently, resulting in higher RPM's and a claimed improvement in acceleration.
- Electric start
A lightweight lithium-iron-phosphate battery means there is no energy and time-sapping kicking to be done when you need to restart immediately mid-race.
- Engine mode select button
A handlebar mounted button allows riders to customise the settings to suit track conditions on that particular day. Options include standard, smooth and aggressive modes.
- New sub-frame
With a claimed lower centre-of-gravity, helpinh riders to keep the front end down when getting on the power.
- Spring fork
No longer using air forks, Honda have gone back to tried and tested spring forks, installing 49mm Showas. A plush feel and supple action is claimed to result in improved handling.
- Titanium tank
Light and strong, the weight-saving new tank is also thinner than the old plastic one, freeing up space and allowing Honda to keep the fuel weight centred.
- Updated styling
New bodywork is said to aid moving around the bike while riding.
Mikio Uchiyama, Project Leader on the model, said: “Our new CRF250R has been redesigned to achieve outstanding hole shot start acceleration and much greater engine performance over a lap. We have replaced the unicam power unit with a brand new DOHC engine that revs so much harder, and higher.
"It’s matched with our CRF450R chassis that improves handling and rear wheel grip. Developed with direct input from HRC to be the complete package, the 2018 CRF250R is a competitive, durable and formidable race machine.”