Looks like new-bike season is under way. American Honda just announced two new upgraded off-road models, the CRF450R and CRF250R. The upgrades include improved suspension and power delivery as well as exhaust system changes.
Honda’s engineers have altered the 450’s 449cc liquid-cooled four-stroke Single to deliver more bottom-end and midrange power, which should make the bike easier to ride. Throttle response is enhanced with a new 50mm throttle body and new ECU programming, and starting should be easier thanks to a redesigned decompression system.
The suspension goes under the knife as well. The KYB fork gets new valving, and the rear shock also gets new valving, as well as a new high-speed compression adjuster and new piston.
The CRF250R is similarly refined. The motor is retuned for better response and more midrange power. The fork and shock get new valving, and the steering damper gets a larger-diameter piston to keep the shakes at bay. A redesigned muffler brings noise levels to a more-tolerable 94 decibels.
Pricing on the 450 is $8199, while the 250 is $1000 less. Both bikes should be in dealers by October.