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.”

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.


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.

The 2019 WESS gets underway at the challenging Extreme XL Lagares stop.

Briton Billy Bolt used his victory at the 2018 World Enduro Super Series season opener to propel him towards the inaugural title, however he faces a tough task if he wants to retain his crown in 2019 with eight brutal stops on the calendar.

The rider fended off German Manuel Lettenbichler, compatriot Nathan Watson and Spaniard Josep Garcia to triumph.

Bolt and his rivals return to Portugal again for the 2019 season opener this weekend with the Toyota Porto Extreme XL Lagares the first of eight European stops that culminate in the season finale at Germany’s GetzenRodeo from November 2-3.

World Enduro Super Series 2019 calendar
May 10-12: Toyota Porto Extreme XL Lagares, Portugal
May 17-19: Trèfle Lozérien AMV, France
May 30-June 2: Erzbergrodeo Red Bull Hare Scramble, Austria
June 21-23: Hixpania Hard Enduro, Spain
July 30-August 4: Red Bull Romaniacs, Romania
September 21-22: Hawkstone Park Cross-Country, Great Britain
October 5-6: BR2 Enduro Solsona, Spain
November 2-3: GetzenRodeo, Germany



Here is a look at the riders to watch as champions from Beach Race, Cross-Country, Enduro, Hard Enduro, SuperEnduro and Trials take to the start line:

Billy Bolt
Nationality: British
Team: Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
Bolt has had to overcome a knee injury he sustained during winter to defend his crown, however his supreme all-round bike skills mean that he is the rider to beat again.

Manuel Lettenbichler
Nationality: German
Team: KTM
Lettenbichler came of age in 2018 to take the title race down to the wire and a pre-season victory in the Dominican Republic suggests that he is firing on all cylinders again.

Nathan Watson
Nationality: British
Team: Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
Beach Race and Classic Enduro specialist Watson scored a fantastic victory at 2018’s Red Bull Knock Out and can use the addition of BR2 Enduro Solsona to his advantage in 2019.

Josep Garcia
Nationality: Spanish
Team: Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
Garcia’s Hawkstone Park Cross-Country win in 2018 saw him challenge for the title and the Classic Enduro specialist’s speed and raw talent will see him back in the mix this year.

Taddy Blazusiak
Nationality: Poland
Team: Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
Five-time Erzbergrodeo Red Bull Hare Scramble winner Blazusiak’s 2018 thumb injury ruined his chances, but he looks set to prosper fresh off his SuperEnduro campaign indoors.

Wade Young
Nationality: South African
Team: Sherco Factory Racing
Young became the youngest winner of Red Bull Romaniacs before going on to win the Red Bull 111 Megawatt, so look for the Hard Enduro rider to battle it out again with the elite.

Graham Jarvis
Nationality: British
Team: Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
At 43 years of age, Jarvis is Enduro’s elder statesman however he stormed to victory at the Erzbergrodeo Red Bull Hare Scramble in 2018 and can still excel on his day.

Jonny Walker
Nationality: British
Team: Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
Despite leading for the majority of 2018, Walker’s hopes of being the inaugural champion ended with a Poland crash so he will be out to rectify that now he is back healthy.

Lars Enöckl
Nationality: Austrian
Team: X-Grip
As Austria’s leading Enduro rider and top privateer, Enöckl switches colours for 2019 as he has moved from Gas Gas to X-Grip Husqvarna to try and improve on 10th overall in 2018.

Alfredo Gomez
Nationality: Spanish
Team: Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
Injured prior to 2018, Gomez missed the opening three rounds of the season but he is now back to his best and more determined than ever to win every Hard Enduro on the calendar.

Travis Teasdale
Nationality: South African
Team: Eurotek KTM
Part of the new-look Eurotek KTM team for 2019, Teasdale is a rising talent on the world stage and should challenge for a top-five result on a consistent basis this season.

Will Hoare
Nationality: British
Team: Eurotek KTM
Hoare was one of the standout privateer riders during 2018 and he has since gone on to win the FIM SuperEnduro Junior World Championship so look for him to be in the 2019 running.

Pol Tarres
Nationality: Spanish
Team: TTR Officine Rigamonti
A relative newcomer to Enduro, the former FIM Trials Junior World Champion is a rider with lots of potential and has now signed to the new Italian outfit of TTR Officine Rigamonti.

Mario Roman
Nationality: Spanish
Team: Sherco Factory Racing
Aiming to excel at the series’ Hard Enduro races, Roman is a front runner and he will sight round four as his best opportunity as a proven winner of the Hixpania Hard Enduro.

David Cyprian
Nationality: Czech
Team: JD Gunnex KTM Racing Team
Cyprian is the Czech Republic’s leading Enduro rider and he heads into the new WESS season fresh off a classy top-three finish at the 2019 FIM SuperEnduro Junior World Championship.

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Words, Photo, and Video by Red Bull Content Pool

The 2019 AMA Supercross series came to a close for Team Honda HRC at Las Vegas’s Sam Boyd Stadium, with Ken Roczen racing to a solid fourth-place finish aboard his CRF450R, while teammate Cole Seely secured a respectable sixth-place result. In the final main event of the year, Roczen got off the line to a seventh-place start and advanced to fifth by lap two. The German continued his charge, closing in on fourth and making an impressive pass through the whoops to secure the position. Toward the end of the 22-lap race, Roczen advanced on third but was unable to make the pass, taking the checkered flag in fourth. Meanwhile, Seely struggled off the line, coming around the first turn outside the top 10. By the completion of the 20-minute-plus-one-lap race, he had methodically advanced through the pack to sixth.

Ken Roczen  94

“I’m pretty happy with how tonight went. I struggled in the heat but we went back to an earlier setting and things were a lot better in the main. I still didn’t get the best start but made some passes pretty quick, working my way into fourth. I actually felt good throughout the whole race and didn’t lose steam, which is what I’ve been fighting a lot this season. We’re still trying to fully figure out what was or is going on, but it seems to be a little better than before. I’m so happy to make it through a whole supercross season and am looking forward to heading into outdoors.”

Cole Seely  14

“Vegas as a whole went pretty well. Practice was okay. I qualified decent but not great, which I kind of expected because I’m not normally the best qualifier, especially in Vegas. It normally takes some time for me to figure out the track. I had a good heat, running in second for most of the race, then finishing third, so I was pretty happy with that. Going into the main, I knew if I could get a good start I’d be able to end the season on a positive note. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the start I wanted and ended up just outside the top 10. I had a good a flow going though, so I knew if I just put my head down and hit my marks that I could end up in a good position. I just started picking my way through the pack. I felt like I wasn’t using a ton of energy, so I was able to maintain my pace throughout the whole race more than normal. I was really happy with how I was riding and ended up sixth.”

Erik Kehoe

Team Manager

“Once again, our starts hindered us tonight in the main event. Both Ken and Cole didn’t get the best jumps out of the gate, so we really need to dial those in. It’s hard to battle for the lead or podiums when you’re not putting yourself in a good position from the start. However, I think they both rode well. Their intensity was better tonight throughout the entire race and didn’t taper off. This season as a whole was definitely up and down, but we’re happy that both riders were able to make it through uninjured.”

Oscar Wirdeman

Mechanic (Ken Roczen)

“We got fourth tonight, which isn’t necessarily what we want, but overall it’s still pretty good. It would have been great to end the season with a podium, but Ken rode well. Bike-wise, we made a few changes after practice and for the heat race, but Ken struggled so we ended up switching back for the main. Time to focus on prepping for outdoors.”

Jordan Troxell

Mechanic (Cole Seely)

“I think tonight went pretty decent. Things started a little slow but I think Cole rode well in his heat, getting a good start and putting in some solid laps. He rode well in the main too but got a bad start and had to make his way through the field. He still managed to finish sixth, which is good. It’s been a rollercoaster season for Cole. He’s shown good speed at times but also struggled to put it all together. I’m happy that we were able to make it through the whole season though, and now we’ll turn our focus to outdoors.”

Overall Rider Standings

Pos. Rider Num Nation Points Team
1 WEBB Cooper 2 USA 379 Red Bull KTM
2 TOMAC Eli 3 USA 361 Monster Energy Kawasaki
3 MUSQUIN Marvin 25 FRA 350 Red Bull KTM
4 ROCZEN Ken 94 GER 319 Team Honda HRC
5 BAGGETT Blake 4 USA 290 Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM WPS
6 WILSON Dean 15 GBR 223 Rockstar Husqvarna
7 SEELY Cole 14 USA 211 Team Honda HRC
8 SAVATGY Joey 17 USA 208 Monster Energy Kawasaki
9 BOGLE Justin 19 USA 171 RCH Racing
10 BRAYTON Justin 10 USA 163 Smartop MotoConcepts Racing
11 HILL Justin 46 USA 162 Autotrader/ JGR/ Yoshimura/ Suzuki Factory Racing
12 BOWERS Tyler 69 USA 155 Bowers Racing
13 OSBORNE Zach USA 154 Rockstar Husqvarna
14 BARCIA Justin 51 USA 154 Monster Energy/ Knick/ Factory Yamaha Team
15 REED Chad 22 AUS 151 Autotrader/ JGR/ Yoshimura/ Suzuki Factory Racing
16 PLESSINGER Aaron 7 USA 123 Monster Energy/ Knick/ Factory Yamaha Team
17 CHISHOLM Kyle 11 USA 119 Chisholm Racing
18 LAMAY Ben 907 USA 113 Racing
19 RAY Alex USA 73 Cycle Trader Rock River Yamaha
20 FRIESE Vince 45 USA 65 Smartop MotoConcepts Racing
21 GARDNER Carlen 805 USA 53 None
22 BREECE Ryan 86 USA 48 None
23 ANDERSON Jason 21 USA 46 Rockstar Husqvarna
24 ALESSI Mike 800 USA 37 Smartop MotoConcepts Racing
25 BLOSE Chris 111 USA 36 RJC Racing/AEO Powersports
26 GRANT Joshua 33 USA 34 Monster Energy Kawasaki
27 MARTINEZ Cole 68 USA 29 Cycle Trader Rock River Yamaha
28 POLITELLI Austin 981 USA 24 Old Town Construction/ TripTagger/ Yamaha
29 STARLING Justin 68 USA 18 AJE Motorsports
30 STEWART Malcolm 27 USA 17 Smartop MotoConcepts Racing

Words and Photos: Honda Racing Corporation

The world-beating KTM SX motocross range just got better. From the junior KTM 50 SX right up to the KTM 450 SX-F powerhouse the model year 2020 KTM SX line-up, which will be arriving in dealers soon, has received refinements and performance updates to ensure these machines are more READY TO RACE than ever.

After the race is before the race and when it comes to competing in the most prestigious championships around the world, this mantra is an important one to live by. KTM’s desire to win in AMA Supercross and the FIM Motocross World Championship continues to be demonstrated with outstanding performances in each series thanks to KTM’s focus on creating the sharpest weapons for the toughest battles. This READY TO RACE mindset and development in the most challenging arenas is translated directly into our serial production models.

Following on from last year’s ground-breaking introduction of a new KTM SX generation, for model year 2020 the 2-stroke KTM 125 SX, KTM 150 SX and KTM 250 SX, and the 4-stroke KTM 250 SX-F, KTM 350 SX-F and KTM 450 SX-F have received performance-enhancing engine updates to ensure they remain at the fore and as battle-ready as ever. These detailed refinements, that have been developed with KTM´s test riders in Europe and the USA along with factory racers around the globe, complement the high-quality serial components that the KTM SX range already boasts.

2020 KTM 250 SX

New graphics and colors give the range a fresh look for the new season, while an E-starter and a map select switch with integrated traction control and launch control on 4-stroke machines, premium brakes supplied by Brembo, No-Dirt footpegs are fitted as standard to KTM’s class-leading line-up. High-quality exhaust systems, plastics, and seats join the reworked WP XACT suspension with the proven AER technology, which offers enhanced handling for the model year 2020.

Designed by the very same engineers that are responsible for the bikes raced by the likes of Jeffrey HerlingsAntonio Cairoli and Cooper Webb, the KTM sport mini-cycle line-up continues to set the benchmark in out-of-the-crate performance for junior riders. For the model year 2020, the KTM 50 SX, KTM 65 SX, and KTM 85 SX have a new look and feature the WP XACT suspension for precise handling and stability in the toughest motocross terrain.

All of the junior models boast premium components such as high-quality Formula brakes, a high-strength steel frame, ergonomically designed bodywork, and high-performance engines. For the model year 2020 the KTM 65 SX has a reworked ignition curve for improved performance, while the carburetor has been optimized for better power delivery. Its bigger brother, the KTM 85 SX, has a new transmission drive shaft fixing for safer sprocket fixation. The KTM 85 SX also has a reworked muffler with improved packing wool, which saves weight.

2020 KTM 85 SX

In addition, the KTM SX-E 5 will join the sport mini-cycles as another competitive option for junior riders. Based on the KTM 50 SX with its high-end chassis, but powered by an electric motor, the KTM SX-E 5 is easy to ride, has zero emissions, low noise and requires minimal maintenance – giving riders more options for places to ride, whilst being easy to use. The height of the bike is also completely adjustable, and it is aimed at riders aged from 4 to 10 years old, making it an exciting new model in the KTM line-up. The KTM SX-E 5 will be launched this summer.

“To be the consistent performer at any level of racing, you have to continue to progress in development. The work never stops – whether that’s here in Mattighofen, or with our engineers in the USA. The KTM SX range model year 2020 has received a number of updates to complement last year’s groundbreaking new generation models, and we can see that our continued efforts in development are paying off – our athletes both in Supercross and Motocross have enjoyed some fantastic results so far this season. Utilizing the same R&D team as their bigger brothers, the KTM sport mini-cycle models remain at the very forefront of junior racing competition with detailed refinements for MY2020. In addition, we are excited for the highly anticipated launch of the all-new KTM SX-E 5 electric mini-cycle, which will arrive this summer,” said KTM´s Senior Product Manager Offroad, Joachim Sauer.

2020 KTM 450 SX-F

As reported yesterday, Tony Smith from Palmerston North and Gary Smith formerly from Fielding have been competing at The Don Matthews CZ World Championships in Marysville, California, and have successfully concluded the event with a World Title and two class wins between them! Gary won the World CZ 500cc class title in the expert under-50’s class, and Tony won the intermediate class.

Gary, who was riding in two classes, also won the pre-1970 250cc expert class, and also ‘accidentally’ competed in a Legends Race, finishing in a very respectable second place against John Desoto and Gary Jones, to name a few.

The event was a fantastic experience, with the Kiwi boys rubbing shoulders with Jaroslav Falta, Brad Lackey, Mary Tripes, Jim Wilson… and banging bars with some of the best riders in the world. Both Gary and Tony enjoyed the event so much they are already planning return visits to defend their titles! Out of a field of 361 riders, the two Kiwi lads definitely left a lasting impression. Congratulations on the wins from the team here at DRD, you’ve made the whole country very proud.






Photos by JD Art Wrk, and Gary Smith