Among the many things expected and waited by motocross enthusiasts, 2018 CRF250R from Honda is one of them. Since the company has decided to do some extensive work and updates, many have been willing to wait patiently. It is a good thing that Honda has decided to do smart changes that cover almost every area of the bike.
Honda doesn’t seem to hesitate about the updates they are doing. The all new small bore bike does get it all with a new frame, new bodywork, an electric start, a spring form from Showa, and two different exhaust pipes. All of these updates are meant to improve performance as well as changing the exterior appearance of the bike.
During the test, it is obvious that CRF250R has gained a lot of improvement due to the updates. Even the smallest change has brought significant upgrade to the bike. Of course, the major update is happening to the engine.
The idea of having DOHC engine is smart enough although it is a huge step for Honda. They had been used to Unicam SOHC engine since 2004 so the fact that they are now using the DOHC is a big step. Obviously, Honda did it for the sake of higher power that can happen in bigger rpm. It is related to the electric starter that will activate the bike with an instant press. However, the bike may have a tad throttle when starting up cold. This unit works best and smoothly when warm.
There are different outcomes from the new CRF250R when compared to the previous one. The midrange power is still responsive because it is usually the time when the engine starts its pace before hitting higher. The new engine works best for the top end level but Honda did give up the bottom end.
When compared to last year’s unit, this one lacks the lowest power but it does make up with the higher level. Honda has observed most of the riders’ performance where they use only the upper and higher rpm so why wasting resources to work on the lower power, anyway? It is one of their strategies to focus on the top power so there will be variations on it.
CRF250R is another bike with 3 different engine modes that can be switched through a special button. The basic mode will deliver standard outcome, made perfect with the midrange and higher power arrangement. The second mode will deliver smooth power; smoother and somewhat mellower than the standard mode. The last one will deliver a more aggressive power with over rev and top end power. Expect a little bottom end punch than the basic mode.
The new engine has higher revs that can affect performance in the overall. For rough terrain and more powerful boost, the third mode is considered the best because it is able to deliver stronger punch for the bottom range without sacrificing the top end power.
It is smart that Honda pairs up the powerful engine with another good suspension, especially by choosing Showa spring fork with its 49mm specs. It is the same suspension used in CRF450R but with bouncier and softer valve and spring rate. This spring fork turns out to deliver outstanding outcome, giving great balance between performance and comfort.
The chassis comes with nice combination of the old and new. It retains the impressive signature characteristics but with modern improvement. It is more nimble and lighter, affecting the response in direction changes.
Honda has done quite an impressive work with this new CRF250R, especially with some of the major updates. Some parts are missing but Honda makes it up with standout updates on other areas.