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2012 Honda CRF150R First Ride Photo Gallery

Big Red returns to the youth racing scene with the release of Honda's updated mini motocross entry - the 2012 Honda CRF150R. Check out the full story in our 2012 Honda CRF150R First Ride.

Slideshow
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Dirt Digits helped give the 2012 CRF150 a professional racer look with personalized numbers.
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The 2012 Honda CRF150R includes new graphics taken from the CRF250R and CRF450R models.
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Our tester found the 2012 CRF150 easy to start but had problems getting it into neutral.
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The 2012 Honda CRF150R features a 'direct push' accelerator pump that gives it better throttle response.
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The 2012 CRF150 focuses its updates to the engine as a redesigned cylinder head, piston and camshaft complement the new 32mm Keihin FCR style flat-slide carburetor.
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Our youth tester was pleased with the bike's overall power and clutch action.
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The 2012 CRF150 is available with a 14-inch rear wheel and 17-inch front. The CRF150RB, or 'Expert' is designed for taller riders and features a 16/19 wheel combination - giving it a taller seat height of 34.1 inches over the standard (32.8).
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Finally, five years after its original release, Honda has decided to update the little thumper for 2012 and address any flaws that the previous model may have had.
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The CRF150R is the standard-sized mini with a 14-inch rear wheel and 17-inch front. The CRF150RB, or “expert,” is designed for taller riders and features a 16/19-inch wheel combo.
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Honda claims a four-pound weight difference between the standard model and our fully fueled expert model weighing in at 188 pounds.
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The big-wheel sees a slight increase of travel in the rear with 11.1 inches, up from the standard 10.7 on the R model.
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Our mini test rider was so impressed with the new CRF that we begged Honda to hold onto the new bike and further test the machine at a variety of tracks and trails to see if it’s really as good as he first thought.
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The larger wheels on the expert version give it a slightly taller seat height of 34.1 inches compared to the standard version at 32.8.
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Despite being slightly heavier than its two-stroke rivals, the 2012 CRF150 proved easy to handle at speed and tracked well through ruts.
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The standard model ends up with a 49.6-inch wheelbase and a ground clearance of 11.9 inches. The expert version increases to 50.6 inches for the wheelbase and 13.2 inches for ground clearance.
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The CRF use a 149cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke engine with a bore and stroke of 66mm x 43.7mm.
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The left footpeg gets stuck any time the bike is tipped over on its side.
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We dropped the fork 5mm in the clamps to help stability.
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The standard 150R retails for $4990, about $1000 more than a comparable 85, and the expert model increases the cost to $5090.
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Our testing showed Honda successfully eliminated its carburation gremlins and had our rider not wanting to go back to his 85.
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The design also features new valving on the front and rear suspension for better performance over small bumps.
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After getting some time on the bike we decided to soften up the compression slightly both front and rear. Since most of the tracks we were riding were pretty fast and hard pack we sped up the rebound on both ends slightly as well.
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Our 95-pound test rider was pretty happy with the new suspension and really likes how well it soaks up big landings.
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The CRF's new carburetor allows it to rip out of corners without any hesitation or bog.
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After sampling the CRF150RB, we can't get our 12-year-old tester back on his 85cc two-stroke.
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The 2012 CRF150RB is legal in the supermini class but it has been banned from the 85 division for AMA-sanctioned events.
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Up top is Honda’s Unicam valve train with a four-valve cylinder head using 26mm intake and 22.5mm exhaust valves. All four valves are steel.
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The original machine had finicky carburation and was hard to jet correctly, often resulting in a small flat spot in the otherwise linear power curve.
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Honda engineers addressed this hiccup by giving the 2012 model a new 32mm Keihin FCR style flat-slide carburetor and an improved “direct push” accelerator pump.
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Honda uses its Unicam valve train and the single-cylinder is good for almost 22 horsepower.
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New suspension valving makes the CRF a great jumper. We haven't had any problems with big impacts or small chop.
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Like its big brothers, the air box is a tight fit in the 150.
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It's difficult to get the filter on the cage, but there is a small clip that does help align the cage into the air box.
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The high revving four-stroke delivers strong, smooth and usable power all the way through its power curve. The motor is so strong that the AMA determined the bike would not be legal to compete in the 85cc class in AMA-sanctioned events.
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A stock 56-tooth rear sprocket is a bit short for wide-open tracks, but it works well on tight MX layouts and in the woods.
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Honda redesigned the cylinder head, piston and camshaft to give the CRF improved power, torque and drivability throughout the powerband.
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Aesthetically, the bike received updated graphics to match its larger siblings.
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While the new 2012 CRF150 may look similar to the previous generation, Honda has made a number of significant changes to the mini ripper.
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After our first ride at Piru MX in SoCal, we took the bike to a number of other tracks both in California and back home in Oregon.
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Our 5’3” test rider found the CRF’s ergo’s perfectly suited for his stature. He’s able to touch with both feet and the tall bars allow him to stand comfortably.
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We noticed a huge improvement in his starts at the MX track, not only due to the bike’s ability to pull down the start straight, but also because of his ability to finesse the clutch during launch.
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Our fully fueled big-wheel 150 weighs 188 pounds, which is about 30 lbs. more than a small-wheel 85cc, but once in motion our test rider said the additional weight doesn’t bother him.
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In addition to gaining rider feedback, we also performed a number of non-subjective performance related tests including dyno runs, sound testing and a fully wet weigh-in.
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We tweaked the steel subframe but it is removable and replaceable.
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Our test rider is happy that the little four-stroke is easy to start whether hot or cold. There's no issue recovering from a crash or stall.
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We put the CRF through the paces in an actual race environment by entering it in the 85cc 12-13 year old class at our local MX track.
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Our test unit cranks out a peak horsepower of 21.6 HP at 12,600 rpm and 9.73 lb-ft of torque at 9,800 rpm.