2015 Honda CRF450R & CRF250R First Look

June 3, 2014
Byron Wilson
Byron Wilson
Associate Editor|Articles|Articles RSS

Byron's sure to be hunched over a laptop after the checkers are flown, caught in his own little version of heaven. Whether on dirt, street or a combination of both, MotoUSA's newest addition knows the only thing better than actually riding is telling the story of how things went down.

Honda recently released information on a number of its 2015 models planned for the American market, including a new CBR300R for road-going motorcyclists seeking a budget-friendly, entry-level mount. The bulk of the announcement is dedicated to Honda’s off-road line though, in particular its flagship motocrosser the CRF450R and smaller sibling, the CRF250R.

2015 CRF450R

While testing the 2014 version of the CRF450R, MotoUSA’s Adam Waheed observed that the machine’s powerband was “one of the most tractable and rider-friendly in the 450-class. It will be appreciated by all but those who are seeking a really aggressive and hard-hitting punch.” For 2015 Honda addresses this issue head-on with a revised mill that includes a brand-new, three-setting EFI/ignition map system. Big Red mounted an Engine Mode Select button which allows riders to cycle through Standard, Smooth and Aggressive settings to suit a variety of track conditions. With the aid of the optional HRC tuning tool riders can also program custom maps. Other engine improvements include a new heat-treatment on its piston as well as a revised cylinder head layout that allowed Honda to shorten the header by 320mm.

The 2015 CRF450R keeps the Dual-Timing PGM-FI fuel injection introduced last season, but has revised fueling and ignition settings for improved performance.

On the suspension side, the KYB PSF air fork, which made its debut on the premier-class motocrosser in 2014, remains. Honda asserts that updates to this year’s front suspension offer a wider range of damping adjustability. The rear Kayaba shock was also tweaked, now sporting a relocated rebound adjustment screw to help ease set-up. Braking performance is enhanced by a larger 260mm front wave-style rotor (up from 240mm in 2014).

MSRP is still to be determined, through Honda plans to have the new CRF450R in dealers by September 2014.

2015 CRF250R

Honda gave its 250 machine a significant overhaul in 2014, with a new chassis and an updated engine configuration. For 2015 the CRF250R gets a few more tweaks, among them a new 49mm Showa Separate Function Fork with Triple Air Chamber. Going the way of most other motocrossers these days, the CRF250R employs the new air fork to drop weight and offer a wider range of adjustability. Honda reports that by ditching the steel springs equipped on its 2014 version, it dropped 2.8 pounds.

Big Red also outfits the 2015 CRF250R with a new Engine Mode Select button to allow riders the choice of utilizing three different EFI/ignition maps. New fuel settings are designed to improve the Dual-Timing PGM-FI injection system’s performance while reconfigured dual mufflers with larger outlet pipes are geared to give the low-end a little more pep.

The 2015 CRF250R will be available starting August 2014 and price is set at $7599, the same as the previous year’s MSRP.

Additional Models

Honda also returns its CRF150R and CRF150RB-Expert option in 2015, though they didn’t receive any significant upgrades over the previous year’s iterations. They will be available September 2014 and price has yet to be determined.

The 2015 CRF230F and CRF150F get new graphics and styling to better resemble the CRF450R and CRF250R; price isn’t listed yet but they will be available August 2014. Finally, Honda brings the CRF125F and 125F Big Wheel version back to dealerships this year, having introduced the two models in 2014 as replacements for the CRF80F and CRF100F. Again, price is TBD with availability set for August 2014.


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