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.

21YM HONDA CRF450RX

21YM HONDA CRF450RX

Like the CRF450R – every part of the CRF450RX is new for 2021, save for wheels and engine, with the comprehensive update benefiting directly from knowhow gained by the development of Tim Gajser and HRC’s 2019 championship-winning CRF450RW works machine. Its 2.3kg lighter and features a new frame and swingarm, plus changes to geometry and suspension, greatly improve cornering performance. The engine receives intake/exhaust upgrades, new decompression system plus single exhaust muffler to boost and smoothen low-mid-range driveability. A larger hydraulic clutch offers greater control with lighter lever pressure. More compact plastics and a smaller seat unit increase freedom of movement. Brush guards are now standard-fit and the sidestand tucks in more neatly for improved rider ergonomics.

 

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 enduro stage and the confidence-inspiring competence to handle flat-out trails, challenging climbs and tight, tricky sections with ease.

 

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 sees a major evolution for the CRF450RX. Starting from the exact same point as the 21YM CRF450R (which has been almost totally redesigned by HRC with developments taken directly from Tim Gajser’s 2019 MXGP championship-winning machine) it’s an even more formidable off-road weapon, devastatingly fast over the ground and, as importantly, with high build quality and reliability that makes it easy to live with over the years of ownership.

 

 

2. Model Overview

 

For 21YM, like its motocross sibling, the CRF450RX receives a wide array of improvements under a development theme of ‘The ultimate off-road weapon'. Firstly it’s 2.3kg lighter thanks to a revised frame and subframe. The new frame and swingarm’s rigidity balance, combined with tighter chassis geometry, heightened ground clearance and suspension changes, are all targeted at creating optimal cornering performance.

 

The engine also benefits from HRC’s knowhow to give a strong focus on low- to mid-range torque. The decompressor has been relocated, airbox volume is up, the throttle body redesigned and exhaust ports re-shaped. The exhaust downpipe is new and a single muffler replaces dual mufflers.

 

A larger-volume hydraulic clutch has an even lighter lever action, while other weight-saving details include a smaller fuel pump and optimised magnesium cylinder head cover. New plastics, too, are lighter and slimmer to aid rider freedom and the seat is a smaller unit, lower at the back. Brush guards are now standard fit and the sidestand tucks away more neatly. A smart new all-red graphic scheme completes this major update.

 

 

3. Key Features

 

3.1 Chassis

 

  • Narrower swing arm spars and swingarm pivot point, with revised swingarm rigidity balance
  • Geometry changes combine with the above to improve cornering ability
  • Re-valved front suspension with an extra 5mm stroke matched with re-valved rear shock
  • Improved ergonomics from smaller new seat, and more compact, redesigned plastics

 

 

The CRF450RX’s twin-spar aluminium frame was unchanged in 20YM; for 21YM it is completely renewed – with direct input from the HRC race team – to elevate every aspect of cornering ability.

 

Thanks to narrower main spars, at 8.4kg it weighs 700g less than the previous design, while a redesigned subframe also saves 320g at 910g. The chassis dynamic is also new: while torsional rigidity is maintained, lateral rigidity has been reduced by 20% to increase corner speed, traction and steering accuracy. The aluminium swingarm has a new rigidity balance tuned to match the frame, with narrower arms and pivot point. The Pro-Link ratio is also revised.

 

Both top and bottom yokes are revised, with more flex, for quicker steering and feel. Fully adjustable, the 49mm Showa USD coil spring fork is a version of the Showa ‘factory’ fork supplied to MX race teams in the Japanese championship. With the target of improved, smoother cornering performance, the forks have been revalved, stroke lengthened by 5mm to 310mm and the axle clamps’ rigidity increased. The Showa rear shock’s main piston valving is enlarged for faster response and improved bump absorption. Its spring also uses the world’s lightest steel – to save 200g.

 

The damping/spring rate of both front and rear suspension are new for 21YM – and lower than the CRF450R – to suit a wider range of conditions and help with comfort over longer rides.

 

The seat is now shorter, lighter and 10mm lower at the rear, to aid the rider’s freedom of movement. It’s also much easier to remove and install. Maintenance is also easier, as the number of 8mm bolts securing the bodywork goes from 6 to 4 each side. The new machine is also slimmer by 70mm (50mm on the left, 20mm on the exhaust side), and the plastics thinner, while the tank cover has been removed.

 

Rake and trail are now tighter, 27.1°/114mm (from 27.4°/116mm); wheelbase is 1481mm. Ground clearance goes up 8mm to 336mm, and the bottom yoke now sits 6.1mm higher at 928mm. The radius arc from swingarm pivot point to rear wheel spindle increases by 0.9°, to 14.5° while distance between the pivot and front spindle goes up 1.8mm to 914.6mm. Dry weight is 107.6kg, 2.3kg lighter than the previous model.

 

Designed with Computational Flow Dynamics (CFD) for maximum through-flow of air, the radiator shrouds are constructed from one piece of plastic, rather than two and now include a lower vent while the radiator grills are optimised for airflow. Holding 8L the plastic fuel tank has also been redesigned.

 

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. When it comes to weight saving, small contributions accumulate (‘with enough dust, a mountain can form’ as the Japanese saying has it); with that in mind, balanced control cable wiring saves 100g.

 

New knuckle guards protect hands and levers and add just 222g total between them. The forged aluminium sidestand also now tucks in much closer to minimise interference while riding.

 

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 is both stronger and lighter for 21YM and fitted as standard equipment are Dunlop’s bespoke enduro-ready Geomax AT81F/AT81 tyres: 90/90-21 front and 120/90-18 rear.

 

A striking new all-red graphic treatment complements the 21YM CRF450RX’s sharper lines.

 

3.2 Engine

 

  • Larger airbox plus revised throttle body and exhaust ports for bottom-end drive
  • New exhaust downpipe with single muffler boosts torque and saves weight
  • Larger volume hydraulic clutch replaces cable operation for consistent and light lever feel
  • Revised decompressor system gives improved stall resistance

 

Having received a peak power boost of 1.8kW, plus 2Nm more torque and a stronger bottom-end for 19YM, in 20YM development of the 449.7cc four-valve Unicam engine centred around refinements and optimisation of the PGM-FI mapping and HRC Launch Control, plus the addition of Honda Selectable Torque Control. For 21YM the focus – with upgrades derived directly from Tim Gajser’s championship-winning HRC machine – is on drivability in the low to mid-range, and weight saving, further enhancing cornering performance.

 

 

A significant increase (up to 0.6kW) in peak power above 5,000rpm is accompanied by a stronger low-rpm torque feel, the result of an air box increased in size by 1.8L to 4.1L on the ‘clean’ side. The new air box – which can now be accessed simply with the removal of one side shroud bolt – feeds a redesigned, lighter 46mm throttle body, which optimises intake efficiency and makes active use of latent heat vaporisation in the inlet ports.

 

The injector angle, too has gone from 30° to 60°, spraying fuel all the way back to the butterfly to improve intake efficiency, cooling of the charge and all-important throttle feel. The decompression system is also new: its counterweight is moved from the right of the camshaft to the left, giving more stable operation at low rpm with increased stall-resistance.

 

The biggest change is to the twin exhaust ports: like the CBR1000RR-R Fireblade their exit is oval rather than round in shape for improved efficiency, and the 5.08 kg 2-1-2 exhaust design of the previous model has been replaced by a single 3.84kg downpipe and muffler (which also does away with a heat shield) saving a full 1.24kg. The downpipe also tucks in 74mm closer to the centre line (improving rider ergonomics) while the pressed muffler features twin resonators that reduce noise while boosting power.

 

One update drawn directly from Gajser’s bike is the addition of a hydraulic clutch. This improves both control and feel at the lever (it’s 10% lighter) as well as delivering consistent lever clearance under arduous riding conditions. The clutch capacity has been increased by 27% with an extra plate – from 7 to 8 – and works with an extra friction spring to maximise power transmission and durability. Slippage has been reduced by 85% at peak power.

 

Bore and stroke remains 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, 3rdand 4th, and 5th.

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 lubrication.

 

Saving more precious grams, the magnesium cylinder head cover has been redesigned with thinner material and the fuel pump made smaller – it secures with 4 bolts instead of 6, saves 120g and offers the same pressure and filter life as the previous design.

 

 

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
  • HSTC button now rationalised into the left-hand switchgear
  • HRC Setting tool updated for changes to Aggressive and Smooth modes

 

The CRF450RX gained HSTC in 20YM and the system is unchanged for 21YM. It works to minimise rear wheel spin (thus 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:

 

In Mode 1 the system 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.

 

An obvious update for 21YM is the rider controls and display switchgear. The Launch Control indicator, EFI warning, EMSB mode button and LED indicator – are sited on the left handlebar, with HSTC button now incorporated.

 

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 characteristics 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.

 

Gaining a 21YM mapping update the HRC Setting Tool can deliver a much more easy-going Smooth mode, with gentler throttle response for novice riders. It can also inject Aggressive mode with a hyper-sensitive throttle reaction and engine response for high-test 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

8 litres

ELECTRICAL SYSTEM

 

Ignition

Digital CDI

Starter

Self-Starter

DRIVETRAIN

 

Clutch Type

Wet type multi-plate

Transmission Type

Constant mesh

Final Drive

Chain

FRAME

 

Type

Aluminium twin tube

CHASSIS

 

Dimensions (L´W´H)

2,182 x 839 x 1,282mm

Wheelbase

1,481mm

Caster Angle

27.1°

Trail

114mm

Seat Height

965mm

Ground Clearance

336mm

Kerb Weight

107.6kg

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 disk

Rear

Single 240mm disk

 

All specifications are provisional and subject to change without notice.

21YM HONDA CRF450R

21YM HONDA CRF450R

Model updates Every part of the CRF450R is new for 2021, save for wheels and engine, with the comprehensive update benefiting directly from knowhow gained by the development of Tim Gajser and HRC’s 2019 championship-winning CRF450RW works machine. The new frame and swingarm, plus changes to geometry and suspension, save weight and greatly improve cornering performance. The engine receives intake/exhaust upgrades, new decompression system plus single exhaust muffler to boost and smoothen low-mid-range driveability. A larger hydraulic clutch offers greater control with lighter lever pressure. More compact plastics and a smaller seat unit increase freedom of movement.

 

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 2002. The package it offers has become a byword for balance and agility, and as such has consistently offered its rider – whether amateur enthusiast or pro-racer – total control and the chance to get the very best from their ability. Plus, of course it’s built with the quality, durability and longevity that Honda has long been famed for. 

And it’s a machine that has constantly evolved, with every upgrade – large or small – drawing on lessons fed back from Honda’s racing programmes throughout the world. In 17YM, under a development 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 peak power and torque considerably. 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 Fatbars.

The 20YM CRF450R gained Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC), and provided the base for the CRF450RW HRC race machine ridden to the 2019 MX GP World Championship in the expert hands of #243 Tim Gajser. The 21YM CRF450R draws heavily on what he, and HRC, learnt on their long road to overall victory in 2019.

 

 

2. Model Overview

 

For 21YM the CRF450R receives a wide array of improvements and upgrades under a development theme of ‘Razor-sharp Cornering’. Firstly, it’s 2kg lighter, thanks to a revised frame and subframe. The new frame and swingarm’s rigidity balance, combined with tighter chassis geometry, heightened ground clearance and suspension changes, are all targeted at creating optimal cornering performance. Learnings from Tim Gajser’s championship-winning 2019 campaign reduce rider fatigue, allowing enthusiasts of all ability levels to consistently post optimal lap times.

The engine also benefits from HRC’s knowhow to give a strong focus on low- to mid-range torque. The decompressor has been relocated, airbox volume is up, the throttle body redesigned and exhaust ports re-shaped. The exhaust downpipe is new and a single muffler replaces dual mufflers.

A larger-volume hydraulic clutch has an even lighter lever action, while other weight-saving details include a smaller fuel pump and optimised magnesium cylinder head cover. New plastics, too, are lighter and slimmer to aid rider freedom and the seat is a smaller unit, lower at the back. A smart new all-red graphic scheme completes this major update. 

 

3. Key Features

 

3.1 Chassis

  • Narrower main spars and new rear subframe save weight, drawing on HRC knowhow
  • Narrower swing arm spars and swingarm pivot point, with revised swingarm rigidity balance
  • Geometry changes combine with the above to improve cornering ability
  • Re-valved front suspension with an extra 5mm stroke matched with re-valved rear shock
  • Improved ergonomics from smaller new seat, and more compact, redesigned plastics

 

The CRF450R’s twin-spar aluminium frame was unchanged in 20YM; for 21YM it is completely renewed – with direct input from the HRC race team – to elevate every aspect of cornering ability.

 

Thanks to narrower main spars, at 8.4kg it weighs 700g less than the previous design, while a redesigned subframe also saves 320g at 910g. The chassis dynamic is also new: while torsional rigidity is maintained, lateral rigidity has been reduced by 20% to increase corner speed, traction and steering accuracy. The aluminium swingarm has a new rigidity balance tuned to match the frame, with narrower arms and pivot point. The Pro-Link ratio is also revised.

Both top and bottom yokes are revised, with more flex, for quicker steering and feel. Fully adjustable, the 49mm Showa USD coil spring fork is a version of the Showa ‘factory’ fork supplied to MX race teams in the Japanese championship. With the target of improved, smoother cornering performance, the forks have been revalved, the stroke lengthened by 5mm to 310mm and the axle clamps’ rigidity increased. The Showa rear shock’s main piston valving is enlarged for faster response and improved bump absorption. Its spring also uses the world’s lightest steel – to save 200g.

 

The seat is now shorter, lighter and 10mm lower at the rear, to aid the rider’s freedom of movement. It’s also much easier to remove and install. Maintenance is also easier, as the number of 8mm bolts securing the bodywork goes from 6 to 4 each side. The new machine is also slimmer by 70mm (50mm on the left, 20mm on the exhaust side), and the plastics thinner, while the tank cover has been removed.

 

Rake and trail are now tighter, 27.1°/114mm (from 27.4°/116mm), and wheelbase marginally shorter 1481mm (1482mm). Ground clearance goes up 8mm to 336mm, and the bottom yoke now sits 6.1mm higher at 928mm. The radius arc from swingarm pivot point to rear wheel spindle increases by 0.9°, to 14.5° while distance between the pivot and front spindle goes up 1.8mm to 914.6mm. Dry weight is 105.8kg, a full 2kg lighter than the previous model.

 

Designed with Computational Flow Dynamics (CFD) for maximum through-flow of air, the radiator shrouds are now constructed from one piece of plastic, rather than two and include a lower vent while the radiator grills are optimised for airflow. Holding 6.3L, the titanium fuel tank has also been redesigned.

 

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. When it comes to weight saving, small contributions accumulate (‘with enough dust, a mountain can form’ as the Japanese saying has it); with that in mind, balanced control cable wiring saves 100g.

 

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 is both stronger and lighter for 21YM and now Dunlop’s MX33F/MX33 soft-terrain tyres are fitted as standard equipment.

 

A striking new all-red graphic treatment complements the 21YM CRF450R’s sharper lines.

 

 

3.2 Engine

 

  • Larger airbox plus revised throttle body and exhaust ports for bottom-end drive
  • New exhaust downpipe with single muffler boosts torque and saves weight
  • Larger volume hydraulic clutch replaces cable operation for consistent and light lever feel
  • Revised decompressor system gives improved stall resistance

 

Having received a peak power boost of 1.8kW, plus 2Nm more torque and a stronger bottom-end for 19YM, in 20YM development of the 449.7cc four-valve Unicam engine centred around refinements and optimisation of the PGM-FI mapping and HRC Launch Control, plus the addition of Honda Selectable Torque Control. For 21YM the focus – with upgrades derived directly from Tim Gajser’s championship-winning HRC machine – is on drivability in the low to mid-range, and weight saving, further enhancing cornering performance.

 

A significant increase (up to 0.6kW) in peak power above 5,000rpm is accompanied by a stronger low-rpm torque feel, the result of an air box increased in size by 1.8L to 4.1L on the ‘clean’ side. The new air box – which can now be accessed simply with the removal of one side shroud bolt – feeds a redesigned, lighter 46mm throttle body, which optimises intake efficiency and makes active use of latent heat vaporisation in the inlet ports.

 

The injector angle, too has gone from 30° to 60°, spraying fuel all the way back to the butterfly to improve intake efficiency, cooling of the charge and all-important throttle feel. The decompression system is also new: its counterweight is moved from the right of the camshaft to the left, giving more stable operation at low rpm with increased stall-resistance.

 

The biggest change is to the twin exhaust ports: like the CBR1000RR-R Fireblade their exit is oval rather than round in shape for improved efficiency, and the 5.08 kg 2-1-2 exhaust design of the previous model has been replaced by a single 3.84kg downpipe and muffler (which also does away with a heat shield) saving a full 1.24kg. The downpipe also tucks in 74mm closer to the centre line (improving rider ergonomics) while the pressed muffler features twin resonators that reduce noise while boosting power.

 

One update drawn directly from Gajser’s bike is the addition of a hydraulic clutch. This improves both control and feel at the lever (it’s 10% lighter) as well as delivering consistent lever clearance under arduous riding conditions. The clutch capacity has been increased by 27% with an extra plate – from 7 to 8 – and works with an extra friction spring to maximise power transmission and durability. Slippage has been reduced by 85% at peak power.

 

Bore and stroke remains 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, 3rdand 4th, and 5th.

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 lubrication.

 

Saving more precious grams, the magnesium cylinder head cover has been redesigned with thinner material and the fuel pump made smaller – it secures with 4 bolts instead of 6, saves 120g and offers the same pressure and filter life as the previous design.

 

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
  • HSTC button now rationalised into the left-hand switchgear
  • HRC setting tool updated for changes to Aggressive and Smooth modes

 

The CRF450R gained HSTC in 20YM and the system is unchanged for 21YM. It works to minimise rear wheel spin (thus 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:

 

In Mode 1 the system 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.

 

An obvious update for 21YM is the rider controls and display switchgear. The Launch Control indicator, EFI warning, EMSB mode button and LED indicator – are sited on the left handlebar, with HSTC button now incorporated.

 

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 characteristics 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.

 

Gaining a 21YM mapping update the HRC Setting Tool can deliver a much more easy-going Smooth mode, with gentler throttle response for novice riders. It can also inject Aggressive mode with a hyper-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

6.3 litres

ELECTRICAL SYSTEM

 

Ignition

Digital CDI

Starter

Self-Starter

DRIVETRAIN

 

Clutch Type

Wet type multi-plate

Transmission Type

Constant mesh

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

27.1°

Trail

114mm

Seat Height

965mm

Ground Clearance

336mm

Dry Weight

105.8kg

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 disk

Rear

Single 240mm disk

 

All specifications are provisional and subject to change without notice.

 

CRF450R TIMELINE 2002-2020

CRF450R Timeline 2002-2020

2002-2004

  • Unicam engine
  • Aluminium twin-spar frame
  • Lightest production four-stroke MX bike

The lightest four-stroke motocrosser of its day, the original CRF450R set the stage for years of class-leading performance. Highlighted by Honda’s all-new Unicam engine and an aluminium twin-spar frame, the 2002 model’s early success was due not only to its outright performance, but also to the friendly characteristics that aided riders’ transition from two-strokes. The model made headlines for its plush, well-controlled Showa suspension, establishing from the very beginning a reputation for controllable, agile handling.

There were minor changes in both of the following two years, the most noteworthy being the move to a longer shock that sharpened the handling even further in 2003.

 

2005-2008

  • Reduced weight
  • New frame with revised flex characteristics
  • Wider powerband
  • HPSD steering damper introduced in 2008

The second generation CRF450R had big shoes to fill, and it managed the challenge exceptionally. Centred on a heavily updated engine, the 2005 model impressed with improved top-end power and wider power band. An updated design enhanced the overall look, while subtle revisions to the frame altered the bike’s flex characteristics, enhancing the plush feel for which the first generation had already been well known.

Maintenance intervals for valve adjustments were widened in 2005 thanks to new valve seat material, while 2008 saw the introduction of the HPSD steering damper. Additional changes for 2008 included geometry revisions, clutch updates and a rev-limit increase that combined to further solidify the model’s reputation as a benchmark in its class.

 

2009-2012

  • New, more compact engine
  • Fuel injection
  • New frame with revised geometry
  • KYB AOS fork

For 2009, Honda engineers challenged themselves to create a CRF450R that was lighter than its predecessor despite adding electronic fuel injection. The result of their efforts was the third-generation CRF450R. Benefitting from an extreme focus on weight reduction and mass centralisation, this all-new model was highlighted by a new twin-spar aluminium frame with multiple design changes, including a repositioned steering head, lower overall height and reworked geometry. These changes combined with an all-new, more compact engine to create a bike that was known both its agile handling and strong responsiveness off the bottom.

 

2013-2016

  • New frame and swingarm
  • New bodywork
  • KYB PSF fork
  • Dual-muffler exhaust

With an all-new frame and updated engine, the 2013 CRF450R had a design brief that was focused on improved cornering performance. The result of the redesign was great turn-in performance and more consistent steering through corners. A milestone model for Honda, the 2013 was recognised for its dual-muffler exhaust, new styling and KYB Pneumatic Spring Fork (PSF), which used air pressure to provide spring resistance in place of coil springs.

2016 saw Tim Gajser win the MXGP world title for the first time, becoming the youngest MXGP champion ever, at the age of 20.

 

2017-2020

  • Introduction of ‘Absolute Holeshot’ philosophy
  • New engine with focus on improved acceleration / power
  • Sixth-generation twin-spar aluminium frame
  • 49mm coil-spring Show fork

The design brief of the 2017 CRF450R followed Honda’s new ‘Absolute Holeshot’ ethos. An all-new engine featured a downdraft intake, new compression chamber and finger rocker arm, among other changes aimed at increasing efficiency. A lighter, sixth generation twin-spar aluminium frame was designed with improved traction in mind, featuring a reduction in torsional rigidity. The 2019 model marked a return to coil-spring front suspension; other key changes included a new lighter titanium fuel tank and updated plastics with in-mould graphics.

The CRF450R’s major overhaul was followed up by minor changes in 2018, including updates to the suspension and mapping. In 2019, Honda once again made revisions to the frame, swingarm and shock linkage. Launch control and black D.I.D wheels were added. For the 2020 year model, Honda added Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) to the package.

2022 HONDA CRF450R

Model updatesAfter a major evolutionary leap in 21YM the CRF450R receives further refinements for 22YM, offering smoother drivability from new ECU settings, plus a re-valve for the Showa suspension to improve damping balance between front and rear. The frame remains unchanged, and is the exact same frame used on the CRF450RW piloted to back-to-back MXGP World Championships by Tim Gajser in 2019 and 2020.

 

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 a development 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. For 20YM the CRF450R gained Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC).

 

Aside from the wheels and fundamental engine architecture, for 21YM the CRF450R was effectively a totally new machine, drawing heavily on developments from the 2019 MX GP championship-winning CRF450RW. And, while the 2020 MXGP championship was a challenge for a variety of reasons, Gajser and HRC secured the title for a second year in a row at the 18th round in Trentino, Italy in November 2020.

 

Backed up by this continued proof of its top level racing pedigree, the 22YM CRF450R features further refinements to engine and suspension. And it remains, at its core, an HRC racer it is possible to buy.

 2. Model Overview

 

The redesigned 21YM CRF450R was based on the development theme of ‘RAZOR-SHARP CORNERING’, centred around stronger low/mid-range torque, ultra-accurate handling and rider-friendly ergonomics. The new (2kg lighter) frame and swingarm’s rigidity balance were combined with a tighter chassis geometry and heightened ground clearance to target peak cornering performance. HRC’s engine knowhow delivered strong low- to mid-range torque and the revised decompressor system gave more consistent off-the-bottom driveability. A new hydraulic clutch and comprehensive electronics package ensured that the new bike’s ergonomics made it easier for the rider to go consistently fast throughout a race – helping not only MXGP riders but also MX enthusiasts of all ability levels to constantly post optimal lap times.

 

Building on these solid fundamentals from the new 21YM model, for 22YM the CRF450R receives an ECU update boosting drive plus extensive re-valve of the front and rear Showa suspension, elevating damping performance.

 

 3. Key Features

 

3.1 Chassis

 

  • For 22YM, firmer suspension damping creates more balanced suspension performance
  • HRC input running through frame, swingarm, rigidity balance and geometry combines for outstanding cornering ability and ease of use, lap after lap
  • Compact narrow plastics aid rider freedom

 

For 22YM the CRF450R’s chassis is unchanged aside from internal adjustments to the front and rear Showa suspension. The aim for the 22YM evolution is to deliver noticeably improved ‘hold up’ – raising the compression damping ride height of the stroke both front and rear in use – optimising balance between the front and rear of the machine.

 

The Showa 49mm USD coil spring AF2 fork is based on the ‘factory’ unit supplied to MX race teams in the Japanese championship. Through the 21YM update the fork received 5mm more stroke, to 310mm, and increased rigidity for its axle clamps. For 22YM the low-speed shim-stack has been re-valved to generate firmer settings for both compression and rebound damping. Oil volume reduces 8cc to 380cc; there are now 13 adjustment positions (rather than 15) for rebound with 15 for compression, as before.

 

A complete re-valve of the Showa MKE AF2 rear shock’s low-mid- and high-speed shim stack delivers a firmer overall setting for compression damping. There are now 11 adjustment positions for rebound (from the 8 of the previous iteration) and 6 for high and low-speed compression (from 12). Oil volume increases 1cc to 422cc.

 

The 21YM evolutionary leap saw the cycle parts and ergonomics greatly improved. Thanks to narrower main spars the weight of the main frame was reduced by 700g, while the redesigned subframe also saved 320g. The chassis dynamic was also new; with torsional rigidity maintained, lateral rigidity reduced 20% to increase corner speed, traction and steering accuracy. Both top and bottom yokes were redesigned for greater flex, for quicker steering and improved feel, and the aluminium Pro-Link swingarm given a rigidity balance tuned to match the frame.

 

To aid movement around the machine the seat was made shorter, lighter and 10mm lower at the rear compared to the previous design. It was also made easier to remove and install, and maintenance was simplified with only four 8mm bolts securing the bodywork each side.

 

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 while the radiator grills are optimised for airflow. 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; 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.

 

Rake and trail remain at 27.1°/114mm with 1481mm wheelbase and 336mm ground clearance. Dry weight is 105.8kg.

 

The striking all-red graphic treatment complements the 22YM CRF450R’s aggressive lines.

 

3.2 Engine

 

  • Revised ECU mapping for 22YM enhances smoother power delivery
  • Hydraulic clutch gives consistent and light lever feel
  • Decompressor system delivers improved stall resistance

 

22YM sees the 449.7cc four-valve Unicam engine unchanged, except for updated ECU mapping further promotes linear throttle control enhancing the boost that it received in 21YM.  

 

Those changes for 21YM were very significant. An increase (up to 0.6kW) in peak power above 5,000rpm – accompanied by a stronger low-rpm torque feel – was the result of an extra 1.8L volume (to 4.1L) on the ‘clean’ side. The injector angle, too went from 30° to 60°, spraying fuel all the way back to the butterfly to improve intake efficiency, cooling of the charge and all-important throttle feel. The decompression system was also new: its counterweight moved from the right of the camshaft to the left, giving more stable operation at low rpm with increased stall-resistance.

 

The biggest change was to the twin exhaust ports: like the CBR1000RR-R Fireblade their exit became oval rather than round in shape for improved efficiency. The downpipe was also tucked in 74mm closer to the centre line while the single muffler featured twin resonators to reduce noise while boosting power.

 

Drawn directly from Gajser’s bike was the 8-plate hydraulic clutch. This gives outstanding control and feel at the lever as well as delivering consistent lever clearance under arduous riding conditions. Slippage was also reduced by 85% at peak power.

 

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. 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 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 hyper-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

6.3 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)

2,182 x 827 x 1,267mm

Wheelbase

1,481mm

Caster Angle

27.1°

Trail

114mm

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 disk

Rear

Single 240mm disk

 

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.

2022 HONDA CRF450RX

Model updatesLike its superstar MX sibling Honda’s cross-country, competition-ready CRF450RX took a major evolutionary leap forward in 21YM and receives further refinements for 22YM, offering smoother drivability from new ECU settings plus a damping re-valve for the Showa suspension improving balance between front and rear, and overall control. The frame remains unchanged, and like the 22YM CRF450R, is the exact same frame used on the CRF450RW piloted to back-to-back MXGP World Championships by Tim Gajser in 2019 and 2020.

 

 

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 enduro 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 developments taken directly from Tim Gajser’s 2019 MXGP championship-winning machine.

 

Now, for 22YM (and after another championship win for Gajser), Honda’s formidable off-roader gains an ECU remap and suspension updates further polishing a complete off-road package.

 

 

  1. Model Overview

 

In the major 21YM update – carried out under the development theme of ‘Ultimate Off-Road Weapon’ – the new (2kg lighter) frame and swingarm’s rigidity balance were combined with a tighter chassis geometry and heightened ground clearance to target peak cornering performance. HRC’s engine knowhow delivered strong low- to mid-range torque and the revised decompressor system gave more consistent off-the-bottom driveability. A new hydraulic clutch and comprehensive electronics package ensured that the new bike’s ergonomics made it easier for the rider to go consistently fast. A new sidestand and brush guards completed the update and improved practicality.

 

Building on these solid fundamentals from the new 21YM model, the 22YM the CRF450RX receives an ECU update boosting drive plus extensive re-valve of the front and rear Showa suspension, elevating damping performance.

 3.Key Features

 

3.1 Chassis

 

  • For 22YM, firmer suspension damping creates more balanced suspension performance
  • HRC input running through frame, swingarm, rigidity balance and geometry combines for amplified cornering ability and ease of use
  • Compact and narrow plastics aid rider freedom

 

For 22YM the CRF450RX’s chassis is unchanged aside from internal adjustments to the front and rear Showa suspension. The aim for the 22YM evolution is to deliver noticeably improved ‘hold up’ – raising the compression damping ride height of the stroke front and rear in use – optimising balance between the front and rear of the machine.

 

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. The Showa 49mm USD coil spring AG2 fork is based on the ‘factory’ unit supplied to MX race teams in the Japanese championship. Through the 21YM update the fork received 5mm more stroke, to 310mm, and increased rigidity for its axle clamps.

 

For 22YM the low-speed shim-stack has been re-valved to generate firmer settings for both compression and rebound damping. Oil volume reduces 8cc to 380cc; there are now 13 adjustment positions (rather than 14) for rebound with 14 for compression, as before.

 

A complete re-valve of the Showa MKE AF2 rear shock’s low-mid- and high-speed shim stack delivers a firmer overall setting for compression damping. There are now 13 adjustment positions for rebound (from the 10 of the previous iteration) and 7 for low-speed compression (from 9) and 2-1/3 for high-speed (from 2-1/6). Spring pre-set length goes from 6.1mm/305N to 6.5mm/325N. Oil volume increases 1cc to 422cc.

 

The 21YM evolutionary leap saw the cycle parts and ergonomics greatly improved. Thanks to narrower main spars the weight of the main frame was reduced by 700g, while the redesigned subframe also saved 320g. The chassis dynamic was also new; with torsional rigidity maintained, lateral rigidity reduced 20% to increase corner speed, traction and steering accuracy. Both top and bottom yokes were redesigned for greater flex, for quicker steering and improved feel, and the aluminium Pro-Link swingarm given a rigidity balance tuned to match the frame.

 

To aid movement around the machine the seat was made shorter, lighter and 10mm lower at the rear compared to the previous design. It was also made easier to remove and install, and maintenance was simplified with only four 8mm bolts securing the bodywork each side.

 

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 while the radiator grills are optimised for airflow. The plastic fuel tank holds 8L.

 

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.

 

A striking all-red graphic treatment complements the 22YM CRF450RX’s aggressive lines.

 

3.2 Engine

 

  • Revised ECU mapping for enhanced bottom-end drive drivability
  • Hydraulic clutch gives consistent and light lever feel
  • Decompressor system delivers improved stall resistance

 

22YM sees the 449.7cc four-valve Unicam engine unchanged, except for updated ECU mapping further enhancing the boost in low to mid-range driveability that it received in 21YM.  

 

Those changes for 21YM were very significant. An increase (up to 0.6kW) in peak power above 5,000rpm – accompanied by a stronger low-rpm torque feel – was the result of an extra 1.8L volume (to 4.1L) on the ‘clean’ side. The injector angle, too went from 30° to 60°, spraying fuel all the way back to the butterfly to improve intake efficiency, cooling of the charge and all-important throttle feel. The decompression system was also new: its counterweight moved from the right of the camshaft to the left, giving more stable operation at low rpm with increased stall-resistance.

 

The biggest change was to the twin exhaust ports: like the CBR1000RR-R Fireblade their exit became oval rather than round in shape for improved efficiency. The downpipe was also tucked in 74mm closer to the centre line while the single muffler featured twin resonators to reduce noise while boosting power.

 

Drawn directly from Gajser’s bike was the 8-plate hydraulic clutch. This gives outstanding control and feel at the lever as well as delivering consistent lever clearance under arduous riding conditions. Slippage was also reduced by 85% at peak power.

 

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. 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 CRF450RX’s HSTC works to minimise rear wheel spin (thus 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 hyper-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

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)

2,182 x 839 x 1,282mm

Wheelbase

1,477mm

Caster Angle

27.2°

Trail

115mm

Seat Height

965mm

Ground Clearance

336mm

Weight

Dry 107.3kg – Wet 113.4kg

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 disk

Rear

Single 240mm disk

 

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.

2022 HONDA CRF250R

Model updatesThe new CRF250R is stronger than ever, gaining the MXGP championship-winning chassis of the 22YM CRF450R, plus extensive cylinder head development for a considerable low-rpm torque boost. New radiators improve efficiency, the clutch now has 9 plates, while the strengthened gearbox features revised ratios.

 

Contents:

1 Introduction

2 Model overview

3 Key features

4 Technical specifications

 

 

  1. Introduction

 

The MX2 class is 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.

 

For 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.

 

Just one year on from this full model change 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.

 

Now, for 22YM, the CRF250R receives major upgrades to make it ‘The Strongest Ever’ including chassis upgrades inherited from the 21YM CRF450R improving both ability and agility, plus stronger low-rpm torque to make best use of the new chassis, and improved toughness and durability.

 

2. Model Overview

 

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, the CRF250R’s new 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 gets brand-new valving, improving bump absorption, traction and control.

 

Riders have always loved the CRF250R’s top-end power hit. To link up with the healthy mid-range, extensive revision to both intake and exhaust efficiency yields much-improved low-rpm drive; a great deal of work has also gone into enhancing high-rpm cam timing accuracy and long-term reliability. A 9-plate clutch and optimised ratios for the strengthened gearbox ensure none of the engine’s extra punch is wasted.

 

 3. Key Features

 

3.1 Chassis

 

  • 3kg weight saving, with HRC input running through frame, swingarm, rigidity balance and geometry for enhanced cornering ability and ease of use
  • 49mm Showa front fork with 5mm extra travel and more rigid axle clamps
  • Optimised spring rate and compression/rebound damping front and rear
  • Compact new seat design and plastics aid rider freedom

 

Where the CRF450R leads, the CRF250R follows. So while its chassis was unchanged for 21YM, for 22YM it is equipped with the same platform that debuted on the production 21YM CRF450R, after intense development from HRC. And it’s a base point that has now carried Tim Gajser to two consecutive MXGP World Championships.

 

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.

 

Thanks to narrower main spars, the frame weighs 700g less than the previous design, while a redesigned subframe also saves 320g. The chassis dynamic is also new: while torsional rigidity is maintained, lateral rigidity has been reduced by 20% to increase corner speed, traction and steering accuracy. The swingarm pivot point has rib placement optimised; the aluminium swingarm has a new rigidity balance tuned to match the frame.

 

Both top and bottom yokes feature increased flex, to give sharper, more agile cornering and bump reaction. Fully adjustable, the 49mm Showa USD coil spring fork is a version of the Showa ‘factory’ fork supplied to MX race teams in the Japanese championship. With the target of smoother cornering performance the forks have been re-valved, the stroke lengthened by 5mm to 310mm and the axle clamps’ rigidity increased to improve grip and rut ride-over ability.

 

The Showa rear shock’s main piston valving is enlarged for faster response and smoother bump absorption and rut ride-over. Its spring uses lightweight steel, ­saving 120g. The Pro-Link ratio is also new.

 

The seat is now shorter, lighter and 10mm lower at the rear, to aid the rider’s freedom of movement. It’s also simpler to remove and install. Maintenance is also easier, as the number of 8mm bolts securing the minimal bodywork goes from 6 to 4 each side. The new machine is slimmer by 70mm (50mm on the left, 20mm on the exhaust side) and the plastics thinner, while the tank cover has been removed.

 

Rake and trail are tighter, 27.2°/115mm (from 27.4°/116mm) and wheelbase shorter 1477mm (1486mm). Ground clearance goes up 6mm to 333mm, and the bottom yoke now sits 5.1mm higher at 927mm. Kerb weight is 104kg, a full 3kg lighter than the previous model.

 

Designed with Computational Flow Dynamics (CFD) for maximum through-flow of air, the radiator shrouds are now constructed from one piece of plastic, rather than two and include a lower vent while the radiator grills are optimised for airflow. Holding 6.3L, the titanium fuel tank has also been redesigned.

 

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.

 

A striking new all-red graphic treatment complements the 22YM CRF250R’s sharper lines.

 

3.2 Engine

 

  • Intake and cylinder head development plus straight exhaust port/downtube and single muffler yield up 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 revised for roll-on ‘snap’; new shift drum for smoother changes
  • More efficient radiator cooling

 

The CRF250R’s 249.4cc DOHC engine has long established a top-end that’s one of the best trackside, and the 20YM received a heathy peak power and mid-range torque boost. Improved torque and power from low rpm – while maintaining all the gains of 20YM – drove development for the 22YM tune. And the dyno curves clearly demonstrate a significant increase.

 

Picking up earlier 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 for fluid, same gear corner-to-corner over-rev.

 

The overall result? A big-hitting engine just got an even heavier hit, delivering strong, accessible drive from low down to make real use of the new chassis’ agility. And it’s the culmination of many improvements – some large, some small – that have upped performance.

 

Low-rpm combustion stability and gas flow in, and out, of the chamber served as main focus. Headlines are a revised air intake funnel and cone tube, fed by a 78% larger-capacity airbox, now 4.1L, an injector angle now set at 60° (rather than 30°) and a straight exhaust port. Air intake efficiency is improved, alongside air intake cooling. The air filter’s also easier to access.

 

A myriad of detailed improvements have gone into the top-end of the engine; the intake cam sprocket is now press-fit, saving weight with more accurate timing accuracy. Double springs for the intake valves (rather than single) give extra high-rpm control. The oil’s pathway to the camshaft journals has been modified, alongside a more rigid camshaft holder and head to reduce journal friction.

 

Valve timing has been optimised; precise re-alignment of the rocker arm shaft position aids high-rpm performance while the piston and connecting rod design maximise efficiency. Bore and stroke remains 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 single muffler replaces the dual mufflers of the 21YM machine. The downpipe allows a straight shot for the spent gases; optimised internal dimensions enhance combustion stability and exhaust efficiency. Its compact nature also allows a slimmer body and saves 1.7kg over the previous design.

 

To cope with the extra heat generated by a harder-working engine, the radiator’s mounting angle and number of fins have been adjusted, through fluid analysis, increasing the surface area by 2% and heat radiation by 6%. Redesigned shrouds generate extra airflow.

 

Other 22YM developments build-in extra levels of reliability. The water pump gear is thicker to better deal with high-temperature oil. And to increase the flow of oil, the pressure to the cylinder head has been modified. A 5-hole piston oil jet maintains optimum piston cooling and ignition timing. The combined oil pump/drive gear is on the left 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.

 

The drivetrain has also received attention. To improve endurance, engagement feel and a lighter lever action the clutch gets an extra disc, to 9, 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 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 revised for extra strength. The ratios, too are adjusted with 1st taller, 2nd a little shorter, 3rd taller and 4th/5th shorter.

 

A new shift pattern uses one shift fork going up from 2nd to 3rd (rather than two) with two lead grooves rather than 3 and improved countershaft rigidity reduce friction. The result is a much better shifting feel between two critical gears; the shift drum is also 17% lighter. A gear position sensor allows the use of three specific ignition maps for 1st and 2nd, 3rd and 4th, and 5th.

 

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 – 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 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

6.3 litres

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 degrees

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.

2022 HONDA CRF250RX


Model updatesThe new CRF250RX is the strongest it’s ever been, inheriting the chassis of the 22YM CRF450RX, plus extensive cylinder head development producing a considerable low-rpm torque boost with enhanced reliability. New radiators improve efficiency, the clutch now has 9 plates and lighter lever feel, while the strengthened gearbox features revised ratios for improved ‘roll-on’ performance. The Showa suspension is re-valved for enhanced bump absorption, and knuckle guards are also standard fit.

 

Contents:

1 Introduction

2 Model overview

3 Key features

4 Technical specifications

 

 

  1. Introduction

 

The battle in MX2 is close competition and generates rapid, constant evolution. For 19YM – and after 18YM’s full redesign, with seventh-generation 17YM CRF450R frame and swingarm, new Showa suspension and brand-new DOHC engine – Honda gave their CRF250R much stronger bottom-end torque and HRC launch Control.

 

And for the same model year, a cross-country option in the form of the new CRF250RX was added to the range, 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 frame and swingarm of the 19YM CRF450RX. 22YM sees a major step forward for the CRF250RX, including chassis upgrades inherited from the 21YM CRF450R improving both ability and agility plus a boost in low-rpm torque for the engine.

 

2. Model Overview

 

A full 3kg lighter the CRF250RX’s new frame and swingarm’s rigidity balance – combined with tighter chassis geometry and heightened ground clearance – target peak cornering performance in any riding situation. In support the Showa suspension gets a re-valve, improving bump absorption, traction and control.

 

Riders have always loved the CRF250R’s top-end power hit. To link up with the healthy mid-range, extensive revision to both intake and exhaust efficiency yields much-improved low-rpm drive; the ECU mapping is also revised optimising air/fuel mixture and ignition timing.

 

A great deal of work has also gone into enhancing high-rpm cam timing accuracy and long-term reliability. A 9-plate clutch and new ratios for the strengthened gearbox ensure none of the extra punch is wasted. For 22YM the CRF250RX also wears standard-fit knuckle guards.

 

3. Key Features

 

3.1 Chassis

 

  • 3kg weight saving, with HRC input running through frame, swingarm, rigidity balance and geometry for amplified cornering ability and ease of use
  • 49mm Showa front fork with 5mm extra travel and more rigid axle clamps
  • Optimised spring rate and compression/rebound damping front and rear
  • Compact new seat design and plastics aid rider freedom

 

For 22YM the CRF250RX is equipped with the same chassis that debuted on the 21YM CRF450RX. Alongside the punchier engine a 3kg weight saving, geometry changes and suspension upgrades cohere to create a package that’s easier to ride faster for longer.

 

Thanks to narrower main spars, the frame weighs 700g less than the previous design, while a redesigned subframe also saves 320g. The chassis dynamic is also new: while torsional rigidity is maintained, lateral rigidity has been reduced by 20% to increase corner speed, traction and steering accuracy. The swingarm pivot point has rib placement optimised; the aluminium swingarm has a new rigidity balance tuned to match the frame.

 

Both top and bottom yokes feature increased flex, to give sharper, more agile cornering and bump reaction. The CRF250RX’s suspension uses specific settings, with a broader performance range than the CRF250R. Fully adjustable, the 49mm Showa USD coil spring fork is a version of the Showa ‘factory’ fork supplied to MX race teams in the Japanese championship. With the target of smooth all-round action, the forks use have been re-valved, the stroke lengthened by 5mm to 310mm and the axle clamps’ rigidity increased to improve grip and rut ride-over ability.

 

The Showa rear shock’s main piston valving is enlarged for faster response and smoother bump absorption and rut ride-over. Its spring uses lightweight steel, ­saving 120g. The Pro-Link ratio is also new.

 

The seat is now shorter, lighter and 10mm lower at the rear, to aid the rider’s freedom of movement. It’s also much easier to remove and install. Maintenance is also easier, as the number of 8mm bolts securing the minimal bodywork goes from 6 to 4 each side. The new machine is also slimmer by 70mm (50mm on the left, 20mm on the exhaust side), and the plastics thinner, while the tank cover has been removed.

 

Rake and trail are now tighter, 27.9°/114mm (from 27.4°/115mm), and wheelbase shorter 1477mm (1486mm). Ground clearance goes up 8mm to 335mm, and the bottom yoke now sits 6.1mm higher at 928mm. Kerb weight is 108kg, a full 3kg lighter than the previous model.

 

Designed with Computational Flow Dynamics (CFD) for maximum through-flow of air, the radiator shrouds are now constructed from one piece of plastic, rather than two and include a lower vent while the radiator grills are optimised for airflow. They’re also 17mm narrower in width compared to the 21YM machine. The plastic fuel tank holds 8L.

 

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. New for 22YM knuckle guards now 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 90/90-21 front and 110/100-18 Dunlop AT81 rear.

 

A striking new all-red graphic treatment complements the 22YM CRF250RX’s sharper lines.

 

3.2 Engine

 

  • Intake and cylinder head development plus straight exhaust port/downtube and single muffler yield up 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 revised for roll-on snap, shift drum for smoother changes
  • ECU remapped specifically for the CRF250RX for smoother off-road delivery
  • More efficient radiator cooling

 

The CRF250RX shares the 22YM engine of its motocross sibling for a fully-rounded performance throughout the rev-range – with the same peak power and low-rpm torque upgrade – but has new fuelling and ignition mapping to soften the power delivery for the wide-ranging conditions off-road riding presents.

 

Picking up earlier 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 for fluid, same gear corner-to-corner over-rev.

 

The overall result? A big-hitting engine just got an even heavier hit, delivering strong, accessible drive from low down to make real use of the new chassis’ agility. And it’s the culmination of many improvements – some large, some small – that have upped performance.

 

Low-rpm combustion stability and gas flow in, and out, of the chamber served as main focus. Headlines are a revised air intake funnel and cone tube, fed by a 78% larger-capacity airbox, now 4.1L, an injector angle now set at 60° (rather than 30°) and a straight exhaust port. Air intake efficiency is improved, alongside air intake cooling. The air filter’s also easier to access.

 

A myriad of detailed improvements have gone into the top-end of the engine; the intake cam sprocket is now press-fit, saving weight with more accurate timing accuracy. Double springs for the intake valves (rather than single) give extra high-rpm control. The oil’s pathway to the camshaft journals has been modified, alongside a more rigid camshaft holder and head to reduce journal friction.

 

Valve timing has been optimised; precise re-alignment of the rocker arm shaft position aids high-rpm performance while the piston and connecting rod design maximise efficiency. Bore and stroke remains 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. For greater off-road enduro riding performance, the FI settings have been remapped for smoother power delivery.

 

A single muffler replaces the dual mufflers of the 21YM design. The downpipe allows a straight shot for the spent gases; optimised internal dimensions enhance combustion stability and exhaust efficiency. Its compact nature also allows a slimmer body and saves 1.7kg over the previous design.

 

To cope with the extra heat generated by a harder-working engine the mounting angle and number of fins in the radiators have been adjusted, through fluid analysis, increasing the surface area by 2% and heat radiation by 6%. Redesigned shrouds generate extra airflow

 

Other 22YM developments build-in extra levels of reliability. The water pump gear is thicker to better deal with high-temperature oil. And to increase the flow of oil, the pressure to the cylinder head has been modified. A 5-hole piston oil jet maintains optimum piston cooling and ignition timing. The combined oil pump/drive gear is on the left 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.

 

The drivetrain has also received attention. To improve endurance, engagement feel and a lighter lever action the clutch gets an extra disc, to 9, 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 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 revised for extra strength. The ratios, too are adjusted with 1st taller, 2nd a little shorter, 3rd taller and 4th/5th shorter.

 

A new shift pattern uses one shift fork going up from 2nd to 3rd (rather than two) with two lead grooves rather than 3 and improved countershaft rigidity reduce friction. The result is a much better shifting feel between two critical gears; the shift drum is also 17% lighter. A gear position sensor allows the use of three specific ignition maps for 1st and 2nd, 3rd and 4th, and 5th.

 

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 – 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 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

8 litres

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.

The CRF250R and CRF250RX headline the 2022 CRF family updates

  • Major upgrades for CRF250R and CRF250RX target peak cornering performance, ease of handling and gate-to-flag consistency in lap time
  • Both models inherit the multi MXGP championship-winning frame of the 21YM CRF450R
  • Extensive cylinder head revisions and improved intake and exhaust efficiency substantially improve low to mid rpm drive and increase top end power by 10%
  • Suspension receives brand new valving to improve bump absorption, traction and control
  • New 9 plate clutch for improved performance and endurance
  • New lighter bodywork
  • 3kg weight saving compared to previous design
  • Off-road CRF family all now available in striking new all red colour scheme

The new 22YM CRF250R and CRF250RX headline the latest tranche of updates to Honda’s multi championship winning off-road family.

Following updates to the 22YM CRF450R and CRF450RX that saw both bikes receive suspension refinements to further build on their 21YM ground-up ‘Razor Sharp Cornering’ redesign, the 22YM CRF250R and CRF250RX inherit several of their bigger siblings’ recent technical advancements to make it easier for riders of all levels to go consistently faster for longer, lap after lap.

The 22YM CRF250R now uses the multi MXGP championship-winning frame and swing arm from the 21YM CRF450R, receives extensive engine upgrades, a new 9 plate clutch, revised suspension and benefits from a 3kg weight saving.

The 22YM models’ engines benefit from extensive revisions to both intake and exhaust efficiency, including a larger airbox, re-angled fuel injectors, revised valve timings, ‘straight down’ exhaust port and new lighter single exhaust. Drive is delivered via a new 9 plate clutch developed to improve both endurance and feel (with a lighter lever action) and the power is transmitted through revised gear ratios. The overall effect of the engine changes are a 10% improvement in top power and 15% more mid-range torque, enhancing both top speeds and low to mid range drive.

The new frame and swingarm as found on the current CRF450R, which has taken Tim Gajser to back-to-back MXGP Championships in 2019 and 2020, has its rigidity balance and geometry optimised and is supported by new re-valved Showa suspension to enhance cornering ability and handling.

All the bodywork is new. Designed with Computational Flow Dynamics, the radiator shrouds are now made from a single piece of plastic and feature a new lower vent to improve airflow to the radiator. The new seat is shorter, lighter and 10mm lower at the rear to improve rider freedom and movement.

The 22YM CRF250RX benefits from all the same updates as its motocross sibling, but features a unique ECU fuel injection mapping for improved enduro performance, an 8L plastic fuel tank, instead of the CRF250R’s 6.3L titanium tank, a forged aluminium sidestand and the inclusion of new knuckle guards as standard.

The 22YM CRF250R, CRF250RX, along with the smaller CRF150R, CRF125F, CRF110F and CRF50F follow the lead of the 21YM CRF450R and CRF450RX and feature a striking new all-red graphic update.

2022 HONDA CRF50F

Model updatesThe 2022 CRF50F receives a new graphic upgrade to bring it in line with its larger family members, the CRF250R and CRF450R

 

Contents:

1 Introduction

2 Key features

3 Technical specifications

 

 

  1. Introduction

 

There's simply no better choice for introducing kids to motorcycling than the CRF50F. The pocketsize machine is armed with a fun-but-reliable 49cc air-cooled four-stroke engine with an automatic clutch, and its 10-inch wheels and low seat height instil confidence in young riders who are just getting started on collecting lifetimes of motorcycling memories. For 22YM it receives a graphic update to being it in line with it larger CRF250R and CRF450R siblings.

 

2 Key Features

 

2.1 Chassis

 

  • Steel frame and reinforced swingarm
  • Inverted telescopic front forks
  • 10 x 2.5 spoked wheels for excellent manoeuvrability and ride quality
  • CRF450R style bodywork
  • Low 548mm seat height
  • New all red paint scheme for 2022

 

With a kid-friendly layout and low seat height, the CRF50F is unintimidating for young new riders.  The steel frame and reinforced swingarm offer an excellent balance of strength and compliance. Inverted telescopic front forks deliver confidence-inspiring performance with 9.4cm of travel, and are paired with a single rear shock to ensure fun, predictable handling. Spring and damping rates are dialled in for optimum comfort and bump absorption.

 

10 x 2.5in wheels feature 28 spokes and die-cast aluminium hubs and are fitted with wide

off-road tyres for excellent manoeuvrability and smooth ride quality. Drum brakes front and rear provide ample stopping power.

 

The CRF50F wears its heritage with pride. Featuring CRF450R-inspired bodywork, the narrow 11cm wide seat, slim fuel tank and extra-low 548mm seat height provide excellent comfort and mobility for a broad range of young riders.

 

The motocross style bars feature a padded protector in the middle and high-quality grips to aid control. Folding, serrated foot pegs offer secure footing even in muddy conditions and the plastic mudguards are strong and durable.

 

For 2022, the CRF50R wears a striking new all red paint scheme and bold new graphics to celebrate Honda’s off-road racing pedigree. 

 

 

 

2.2 Engine

 

  • Fun and practical 49cc single
  • 11 piston valve carburettor for excellent feedback and throttle response
  • Adjustable throttle limiter
  • Automatic cam chain tensioner
  • Smooth 3 speed transmission

 

For youngsters who are new to riding, the priority is having fun, while parents typically look for reliability and ease of maintenance. The CRF50F excels in both.

 

The CRF50F's SOHC 49cc four-stroke engine delivers smooth, easy to use power. Bore and stroke are 39 x 41.4mm and the 10:1 compression ratio means good performance and easy kickstarting.  The 11mm piston valve carburettor gives the rider excellent feedback and throttle response across the rev range, while strong fuel efficiency means more fun from each tank.

 

The throttle limiter is adjustable, giving a greater level of security, and a closed crankcase ventilation system safeguards against engine oil contamination.

 

CD ignition is maintenance-free and the engine features an automatic cam-chain tensioner to maximise endurance. Final drive is taken care of by a durable 420 chain that is both dependable and low maintenance. The air filter is both easy to access and washable.

 

The CRF50F features a smooth shifting, three speed transmission and a simple-to-use automatic clutch. A keyed ignition and quiet and efficient exhaust give further peace of mind.

 

3. Technical Specifications

 

 

ENGINE

 

Type

Air cooled, two valve, four stroke SOHC single cylinder

Displacement

49cc

Bore x Stroke

39.0 x 41.4mm

Compression Ratio

10.0:1

FUEL SYSTEM

 

Carburation

11 piston valve carburettor

Fuel Tank Capacity

4.1L (inc. reserve)

ELECTRICAL SYSTEM

 

Starter

Kickstarter

DRIVETRAIN

 

Clutch Type

Automatic

Transmission Type

Manual 3-speed

Final Drive

Chain

FRAME

 

Type

Steel

CHASSIS

 

Dimensions (L´W´H)

1298 x 581 x 775mm

Wheelbase

912mm

Caster Angle

25°

Trail

32mm

Seat Height

548mm

Ground Clearance

152mm

Kerb Weight

50.34 kg

SUSPENSION

 

Type Front

Inverted telescopic fork. 9.4cm of travel

Type Rear

Single shock. 6.9cm of travel

WHEELS

 

Type Front

Aluminium spoke

Type Rear

Aluminium spoke

Tyres Front

2.5 x 10

Tyres Rear

2.5 x 10

BRAKES

 

Front

Drum

Rear

Drum

 

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.