This time of year is great for motocross riders. The fall season is upon which offers the year’s best riding conditions, and the new bikes all released for media to test. They go hand in hand. Last week it was the 2014 CRF250R Guaranteedmx.com got to put through its paces. Let me just say that as per usually Honda has once again built an awesome product. This shouldn’t be a surprise to any Honda fan. The new bike is just that, NEW from top to bottom shadowing its big brother the CRF450R. Last year the 450 got its makeover and now Honda has done the same with the CRF250R. In fact the only part of the 250 that doesn’t mimic the 450 is the air fork. Basically this bike is all new. Just look at all these new features on the 2014 CRF250R:
Cost: 8,699.00 MSRP
- The all-new aluminum frame is designed to lower the bike’s center of gravity to make a decidedly flickable machine even more nimble than ever before.
- All-new, lighter subframe and airbox
- All-new short and compact dual-muffler exhaust system further sharpens handling by centralizing the bike’s mass.
- A thoroughly revised 249cc Unicam® engine adds a big load of midrange punch, thanks to a new cylinder head, new piston and higher compression ratio.
- A new Dual-Timing PGM-FI fuel injection system also helps boost power while also delivering better throttle response and control at partial throttle openings.
- A new transmission adds toughness and durability to the overall package.
- Improved footpeg mount features a patented debris-shielding design.
- All-new radiators are mounted lower in the chassis to help lower the bike’s CG.
- Bold new styling features an aggressive look.
- Fuel capacity is increased from 5.7 litres to 6.3 litres.
2014 CRF250R spec sheet right HERE
We headed up to Motopark to throw down some laps and see what this all new 2014 CRF250R had to offer. Excitement was an understatement for Danny Brault (Vet/Intermediate), and Cory Mountain (Beginner/Junior), and I (Pro/Vet).
Cory Mountain: Junior/Beginner Rider Impressions
The track conditions at Motopark last week were ideal which allowed me to get a good feel for my first ride on the 2014 Honda CRF250R. Having rode the 2013 CRF 450 last year, and feeling very comfortable on that bike right from the get-go, I was impressed with the 2014 250 as it instills lots of the same confidence found with the 450.
This bike is extremely nimble and has a much lighter handling feeling to it, making it easy to put it where you want it to be. The low- end and mid-range power are notable from other 250’s I have ridden. Feeling as though the engine could be lugged a bit more without falling on its face.
The cockpit on the bike feels great for a guy my size (6ft). I found it very easy to transition from the seat to standing position, and being in a position to get over the front of the bike when needed. Suspension on the bike did feel a bit soft for me (180lbs), specifically the rear. Although nothing some tuning, and adjusting couldn’t combat.
Overall, having only limited amount of time on the 2014 Honda at one track the bike performed extremely well for me. It had a comforting and confident feeling as soon as I turned the first lap. Almost to the point where I felt like I had been riding this bike for more than a day. As a junior rider I think a few small adjustments to the suspension on this bike, to accommodate your weight and riding style are all that would be required to take this bike racing each weekend and chase for the top of the box..
Danny Brault: Vet/Intermediate Rider Impressions
I’ve been a Honda rider quite a few times in my life, and normally, a “magic Honda” feels comfortable right away. Surprisingly, though when I jumped onto the new ’14 CRF250R, it took some time getting used to. My biggest discomfort came from the large gap between the bars and tank/front of the seat. At 5’8″, the bar-to-seat area felt stretched out for me, but after Gauldy told me to suck it up and just ride the damn thing; I spun a few more laps and eventually found my groove.
Every year OEMs are working to thin out their machines, and Honda is no different. I think their new CRF250R might just be the skinniest competition 4-stroke ever made. I haven’t performed the actual measurements, but rest assured the new CRF is light, skinny and begs to be scrubbed (which I can’t do, but the CRF tries to convince me otherwise).
The Honda makes good power, not great. Compared to the new YZ250F, the Honda didn’t feel as “strong” to me, but it still produces meaty power down low and continues pulling well into the higher rpms. More than enough power for novice to intermediate riders, but serious racers may want more.
Of course, as per the norm with Honda, the new CRF250R is outfitted with strong brakes, quality levers and bars, and a very polished fit and finish: Honda quality all around.
As a Vet/ Plus 30 racer, it’s sometimes difficult to consider racing a 250F when so many Vets are on 450s. Although this is a 250F report, so why am I comparing it to a 450? Anyways … That said, I wouldn’t hesitate to line up beside my fellow Vet Warriors on the new CRF. Sure I may give up a little in the HP department, but its incredible how much harder you can push on a 250F. (It feels like you’re riding the bike, instead of the bike riding you).
If you’re looking for thin, trim and slim, the new Honda CRF250R is for you.
Ryan Gauld: Pro/Vet Rider Impressions
I’ve owned two Hondas in my racing career; A 1992 CR80 and a 2005 CRF450. Both machines were very important to my racing career. In 1992 on the CR80 I realized that I was pretty good, and motocross could be something of a job for me. In 2005 the 450 revitalized my career with a new confidence in my racing abilities. Now I’m not saying the new 2014 CRF250R can do the same for you my Honda’s did for me those years, but this bike is solid for any level rider right out of the box.
I still race pro pretty competitively at a local level here in Ontario so I know what’s needed in a bike for me or for any pro that would ride this bike. Suspension always feels good on a brand new bike right away because it’s all new and stiff feeling. Pro’s need stiff stuff because we hit things harder and charge deeper into corners. Right away I felt good on this bike. The comfort zone on a Honda is always big. These bikes always make you feel like you’ve been riding it for a long time. After a few laps I knew I would need to beef up the rear shock as it was too soft for my skill level. The berm’s were magic this day so I could charge hard into them but the shock would always stand me up once I hit the berm. An easy fix, but a fix needed for me to feel better as I entered the turns.
The motor on this bike seems to have lots of jam and revs to the moon. There were a lot of sections where you could stay in 3rd gear and not worry of the motor topping out which is always nice. Less shifting, more comfort, and the faster you will go: simple. I would still need to get some extra ponies under the hood to feel more competitive in Pro, but I think just adding a pipe and suspension would make this bike a beauty for Vet class. This baby is so nimble that you knife through the air. The “scrub” generation will be uber happy with this ride because it feels almost BMX like. You just float around the track with ease with little to no worry about getting tired. Yes I said I didn’t get tired riding this bike. LOL
Overall I was happy with this ride. I would need to upgrade a few things for me to ride at optimum level, but its simple stuff and affordable for anyone. Honda bikes instill confidence. Like I said it may not do the same thing for you that it did for me in ’92 and ‘05, but you wouldn’t be disappointed if you purchase the 2014 CRF250F.
There you have it. A pro look, an Intermediate look, and a Beginner/Junior look at the CRF250R. It’s hard these days to find anything wrong with all these new machines. Honda did their homework, and passed the test.
Big thanks to: