2014 Honda CRF250R First Look

May 15, 2013

By Byron Wilson

Honda got an early jump on the industry by revealing several new 2014 models yesterday. In addition to the introduction of the 125cc Grom, other big news included sweeping changes to its championship-winning CRF250R. Honda cites a number of upgrades to its Lites machine, including the engine, exhaust system and chassis. While many of the bike’s characteristics remain unchanged from 2013, the stated alterations to the 2014 CRF250R make it one of the biggest overhauls the machine has seen in recent memory.

The four-valve 249cc Unicam engine receives a new cylinder head, porting and a new higher-compression piston resulting in a claimed compression ratio increase from 13.2:1 to 13.5:1. Honda also states that the PGM fuel injection system will include dual-stage injector timing and a new injector angle to help give more muscle in the low and mid-range. The gears on the 2014 CRF250R have been widened as well to make the best use of the claimed increase in power. The airbox was also redesigned to make accessing the filter easier and to improve airflow.

In an effort to lower the CRF’s center of gravity, a new aluminum frame was designed with lower frame spars. Following the lead of its 450cc brother, a shortened dual exhaust system was fitted into the new configuration to help centralize mass and improve power, a design feature which Honda says lends to a lighter subframe. The CRF250R also receives a new swingarm and linkage to help improve handling. The Showa Pro-Link single shock remains unchanged from 2013, though the 48mm Showa fork will come with new internal settings.

Fuel capacity has been increased from 1.5 gallons to 1.66 gallons and new cutaway bodywork has been added to help reduce weight. Despite weight-saving upgrades, the 2014 CRF250R’s claimed curb weight has increased by four pounds over the 2013 model. The braking system is unchanged for 2014 apart from new front and rear rotor covers. Wheels are shod in Dunlop MX51FA rubber out front and MX51 on the rear.

The 2013 Honda CRF250R earned nods from two MotoUSA testers in the 2013 250 Motocross Shootout comparison and gained accolades for its chassis, suspension and handling. We can’t wait to get our hands on the 2014 model to see if the power gains and redistribution of mass make an already commendable machine even better.