Honda today unveiled a new sportbike and announced "significant updates" to its CRF450R and CRF250R off-road motorcycles.
June 5, 2014
TORRANCE, Calif. - Posted by Mary Slepicka, Dealernews
"We're unveiling some exciting new models along with returning favorites," said Lee Edmunds, manager of motorcycle marketing communications at Honda. The OEM has given its MX bikes performance enhancements, while unveiling what aims to be a fun and affordable sportbike for street riders. The company also is rolling out the CRF150R/CRF150R-Expert, CRF230F, CRF150F and CRF125F/125F Big Wheel, plus a new version of the Rincon ATV (see separate story HERE).
Honda positions the new sportbike as "great for beginners and experienced motorcyclists alike."
The new 300R has a 300-class engine delivering a 17 percent boost in peak power compared to the CBR250R. It takes its styling cues from Honda's larger displacement CBRs, with a full sport fairing, dual headlights and a new exhaust system. A new seat shape and side covers provide riders with an easier reach to the ground.
"With more power, nimble handling, affordable price and low operating cost, the CBR300R makes every ride a fun one," Honda said. The sportbike comes in black, red, pearl white/red/blue and matte black metallic/yellow. MSRP: $4,399 standard, $4,899 with ABS. Availability: August.
Honda announced a number of engine changes to the CRF450R to yield higher performance, added durability and an extra level of tuning adjustability to match track conditions.
The 450R's Engine Mode Select button ("an industry first among motocross machines," according to Honda), allows the rider to easily select one of three different EFI/ignition maps. An HRC accessory tuning tool can be used to program custom maps actuated by the Engine Mode Select button. A new cylinder head -- identified by its right-side exhaust port -- and new exhaust system plus revised fuel and ignition timing settings for the Dual-Timing PGM-FI fuel injection help generate more top-end power and added overrev. Peak power now hits higher than ever before, Honda said.
A new KYB PSF air fork with high-low compression and rebound damping adjustments offers wider adjustability and delivers improved suspension action. Braking is enhanced with new front/rear wave-style rotors and a larger 260mm front brake disc. The 450R comes in red with new graphics for 2015. The bike will be available in September; however, Honda at press time did not reveal pricing.
Coming off its AMA 250 SX championship, the 250R gets a host of improvements, with a 49mm Showa Separate Function Fork, Triple Air Chamber (SFF-Air) air fork leading the way.
The fork eliminates steel springs to drop 2.8 lbs. from the bike's overall weight, yet offers a wider range of adjustments than a conventional spring fork, Honda noted. A redesigned muffler and new fuel map settings for the Dual-Timing PGM-FI fuel injection system increase engine performance for smoother acceleration, improved throttle response, quicker revving and more peak power. Like the 450R, the 250R also incorporates Engine Mode Select.
Finally, the 250R features front/rear wave-style rotors, the larger 260mm front brake disc and new graphics. Availability: August, with an MSRP of $7,599.
For serious amateur racers, these full-on race bikes offer a high-output 149cc liquid-cooled four-valve, four-stroke engine with "exceptional torque and rideability throughout the powerband," Honda reported. "There's plenty of race-tuned suspension travel front and rear in this championship-winning chassis." The bikes will be available in September 2014 for an as-yet undetermined price.
At the top of Honda's family of fun off-road bikes is the CRF230F, with an electric start and easy-to-handle size that makes this model suited to adult riders as well as younger riders making a step up the model ladder. New styling for 2015 makes the 230F's resemblance to the 250R and 450R race bikes stronger than ever, Honda noted. The bike will be available in August; price not yet disclosed.
CRF125F/125F Big Wheel
These two rider-friendly models offer different wheel sizes to accommodate riders of varying size and skill levels.
With a seat height of just 28.9 inches, the 125F places riders two inches closer to the ground than the Big Wheel version (shown here), which caters to those with longer inseams.
Both bikes feature a four-speed, electric start 124.9cc single-cylinder SOHC four-stroke engine "with loads of low-end grunt plus plenty of pull throughout the powerband," Honda said. Both bikes are styled after the CRF machines, and feature quality suspension and brake components front and rear. Availability: August; price not yet disclosed.