Performance updates to CRF250R highlight extensive CRF lineup
From the fire-breathing, high-flying CRF450RWE all the way down to the friendly, cute CRF50F, Honda’s off-road motorcycle lineup is the most all-encompassing and versatile on the powersports market, a fact that was driven home when American Honda today made its first new-model announcement of the 2020 model year. With eight and four machines respectively, Honda’s CRF Performance and CRF Trail families offer something for everyone, whether they be pro-level racers looking to give Ken Roczen and Cole Seely a run for their money, youngsters preparing for their first two-wheel forays, or anyone in between.
The newest iterations of Honda’s proven full-size motocross models—the CRF250R and CRF450R, as well as the elite CRF450RWE—all receive important upgrades to raise performance levels even higher, while the CRF150R mini is back again in 2020. The CRF450RX and CRF250RX closed-course off-road racers benefit from the same improvements as their track-focused siblings, while the CRF450X off-roader and CRF450L dual-sport machine return for the new model year with updated graphics. At the other end of the spectrum, the approachable, fun 2020 CRF250F, CRF125F, CRF110F and CRF50F await recreational riders with trail-focused performance and proven reliability.
“For generations, Honda has demonstrated its commitment to the dirt bike market, and that’s never been truer than now,” said Chris Cox, American Honda’s Manager of Experiential Marketing/Press. “Our 2020 lineup of off-road models, including the CRF Performance and CRF Trail families, comprises machines that are top-of-class for motocross, off-road competition, trail riding and, in the case of the CRF450L, even using streets to extend off-road adventures. With such a capable and diverse collection of motorcycles, you can once again expect to see a lot of red on tracks and trails from coast to coast.”
CRF PERFORMANCE LINE
Last year saw Honda significantly expand its CRF Performance family to include machines for riding applications including motocross, closed-course off-road, pure off-road, and even dual sport. For 2020, a number of models in the lineup get important upgrades to keep Red Riders running at the front of the pack.
For 2020, Honda’s flagship CRF450R—the same platform raced by Team Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen and Cole Seely—puts more engine-management choices at the fingertips of racers, with the addition of Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC). Developed through HRC’s worldwide racing effort, the system maximizes rear-tire hookup to keep all of the Unicam® engine’s horsepower driving the bike and rider forward, improving racing success regardless of track conditions. In keeping with racing-body regulations, the system measures rate of rpm increase and adjusts delivery accordingly, and a handlebar-mounted switch enables selection from three levels of delivery (most in class). In addition, the CRF450R’s front-rear balance is refined and handling is improved thanks to internal suspension updates, and a new battery position that lowers the machine’s center of gravity. Improved rear-brake pad performance and durability, and the exclusive specification of Dunlop Geomax® MX3S tires round out a machine that’s ready to take riders to the next level.
Following a successful debut year in which it quickly caught the eye of performance-hungry enthusiasts who demand the absolute best, the CRF450RWE (“Works Edition”) gets even better for 2020, with updates based on the machines in the Team Honda HRC factory race shop. Already a dominant force when it comes to lap times, this exclusive model now features a full titanium Yoshimura exhaust system, as a lightweight Ti header (the first of its kind on a Honda motocross model) joins the titanium Yosh muffler, all specifically designed to work with the model’s hand-polished ports. Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC), developed through HRC’s worldwide racing effort, now comes standard, enabling three levels of intervention via a handlebar-mounted switch, and a new battery position lowers the machine’s center of gravity. Rounding out the changes are internal suspension updates, improved rear brake-pad performance and durability, new dual-compound Renthal grips and graphic updates.
Ridden to the 2018 AMA National Grand Prix Championship (NGPC) by JCR Honda’s Trevor Stewart, the CRF450RX returns for 2020 with the addition of Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC), improving rear-wheel hookup in the limited-traction situations so common in closed-course off-road racing. A new battery position lowers the center of gravity for improved handling, and internal suspension updates yield improved machine balance. Just like the 2019 platform campaigned by Stewart, SLR Honda’s Ricky Dietrich and Phoenix Racing Honda’s Andrew Delong, the 2020 CRF450RX maintains its off-road pedigree with a model-specific ECU and 18-inch rear wheel, aluminum side stand and large fuel tank.
With wins in 21 of the last 22 Baja 1000s (including 12 with the CRF450X), it’s no secret that Honda rules the legendary off-road race, and in the Baja debut of the model’s new iteration, SLR Honda kicked off the 2019 SCORE International series with a win in the San Felipe 250. A true off-road machine, the CRF450X is 50-state off-road legal and is suitable for year-round racing and trail riding. With off-road appropriate features like a sidestand, 18-inch rear wheel, headlight, sealed chain and six-speed transmission, it’s ready for desert expanses or tight woods, and it gets new graphics for the 2020 model year.
Having taken the dual-sport world by storm since its debut last year, the road-legal CRF450L expands customers’ off-road possibilities by enabling access to the best riding trails on public lands, even when that means connecting them via asphalt roads. Based on the CRF450R, the CRF450L is a performance off-road machine, but it also has the comfort and durability to make riding it and owning it a pleasure in the long run. Already armed with features like a titanium fuel tank, six-speed transmission and LED lighting, the CRF450L gets new graphics for 2020.
The machine that took Jace Owen to the 2019 Kicker Arenacross title victory and powered Amsoil Honda’s Jo Shimoda to the win at the 2018 Monster Energy Cup Amateur All-Star race gets a host of important updates for 2020, including engine enhancements aimed at bettering low-to-midrange power, and chassis revisions that improve handling. To increase torque and improve driveability, the cam profile is new, the intake and exhaust valves have been revised, the combustion chamber is reshaped, and the exhaust resonator has been removed. At the same time, maneuverability has been improved through a lighter frame and swingarm with optimized flex characteristics, along with a lower battery position and internal front-and-rear suspension updates.
Campaigned in national championship off-road racing by JCR Honda’s Preston Campbell, SLR Honda’s Tallon LaFountaine and Phoenix Racing Honda’s Austin Lee, the CRF250RX features closed-course off-road specific components like a large fuel tank, aluminum sidestand, and 18-inch rear wheel, and for 2020, it receives a host of important updates, including engine enhancements aimed at bettering low-to-midrange power, and chassis revisions that improve handling. To increase torque and improve driveability, the cam profile is new, the intake and exhaust valves have been revised, the combustion chamber is reshaped, and the exhaust resonator has been removed. At the same time, maneuverability has been improved through a lighter frame and swingarm with optimized flex characteristics, along with a lower battery position and internal suspension updates.
CRF150R (above)/ CRF150R Big Wheel (below)
Honda’s smallest motocrosser delivers smooth, ample torque across the rev range thanks to its Unicam four-stroke engine—unique in the mini MX world. Showa suspension components include a rear shock working through a Pro-Link rear suspension system, and a 37mm inverted fork. The CRF150R is offered in both standard and Big Wheel versions, the latter featuring larger wheels, a taller seat height, and more rear suspension travel to better suit larger riders.
CRF TRAIL LINE
Motorcycling is armed with legions of riders who got their start on Honda trail bikes, and with the 2020 lineup of CRF Trail models, that trend is sure to continue long into the future.
The flagship of Honda’s CRF Trail line, the CRF250F can take riders from their first time on dirt to tackling challenging trails. Electronically controlled Keihin fuel injection, it’s 50-state off-road legal, and and the SOHC long-stroke, air-cooled engine delivers quality power for smooth acceleration and excellent rear-wheel hookup. A steel perimeter frame and Showa suspension deliver confidence-inspiring handling and a compliant ride, both at speed and through technical sections. Add it all up and the result is a fun-but-capable trail bike that’s ready for anything—and any rider.
CRF125F / CRF125F Big Wheel
A mid-sized trail bike with power for full-sized trail obstacles, the CRF125F is available in both a standard version and the Big Wheel, which accommodates taller riders via larger front- and rear wheels, longer-travel suspension and a higher seat. The SOHC 124cc engine delivers its power smoothly, and Keihin electronic fuel injection offers dependability and clean running for 50-state off-road legality, while the steel twin-spar frame and Showa suspension deliver a smooth, nimble ride. With their fun performance and CRF Performance line looks, both versions of the CRF125F promise years of recreational trail-riding enjoyment.
No model more perfectly encapsulates Honda’s proud heritage—extending all the way back to the 1973 XR75—of offering four-stroke dirt bikes that are kid-sized but full-featured, and that beckon new riders to experience the trails. With a clutch-less four-speed semi-automatic transmission and a predictable power delivery, the CRF110F makes learning a breeze. Of course Honda’s proven durability means the machine will continue delivering smiles long after riding skills develop, so there’s no telling where it could take generations of youngsters.
The modern version of the classic, beloved, Z50, the pocketsize CRF50F delivers kids’ first riding thrills (and lifelong memories!) via a 49cc air-cooled engine with an automatic clutch. Ten-inch wheels enable a low seat height and facilitate spirited, nimble handling, helping pack more fun per cubic centimeter into this kids bike than any motorcycle around.