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Enduro CRF range gets a 2019 makeover

Honda Motor Europe has announced its off-road line-up for 2019, featuring upgrades across the entire range, and the addition of two brand new names to the CRF family.

The flagship CRF450R moto-crosser – and its cross-country sibling the CRF450RX – both benefit from a stronger shot of top-end power and torque; for the CRF250R, one year after a full model change, performance upgrades focus on bottom-end torque for improved drive out of slower speed corners. Two brand new models for 2019 bring even greater depth to the CRF family: the cross country-spec. CRF250RX and dual-purpose, fully road-legal CRF450L.

Model details:

CRF450L **NEW MODEL**

CRF450L

Using the CRF450R moto-crosser as a base, Honda’s new dual-purpose motorcycle has a tough, lightweight chassis built to find all the available grip, powered by an engine that delivers strong, usable power right from the bottom. While offering maximum enjoyment for the off-road hobby rider, the CRF450L is also fully street legal and street-ready, with sidestand, increased fuel tank volume and all-LED lighting. Durable, high quality parts and long service intervals – with a first major service at 19,800 miles – aim for a worry-free riding and ownership experience.

The trailie-inspired L model

CRF450R

The CRF450R receives a major performance boost: 1.8kW more power and 2Nm more torque, plus stronger power delivery throughout the rev range thanks to a revised cylinder head, intake and exhaust. It also gets 3-level HRC Launch Control, electric start as standard, and durability upgrades. The chassis features revised suspension settings, redesigned front brake caliper, detailed weight-saving updates and Renthal Fat Bar handlebar which sits on a new top yoke adjustable for four positions.

CRF450RX

Like the CRF450R moto-cross machine, the cross country CRF450RX receives a major boost of top-end power and torque for its engine, and 3-level HRC Launch Control. While still featuring 18-inch rear wheel and 8.5-litre fuel tank, the chassis now offers a revised rigidity balance, new suspension settings, plus Renthal Fat Bar handlebar with 4-way adjustability and new black rims.

CRF250R

One year after a full model change, the CRF250R gets a range of new performance, utility and aesthetic updates. Bottom and mid-range torque output gets a major boost thanks to 2mm smaller throttle body, and revised cam, intake and exhaust profiles. Like the 450s, the CRF250R also receives 3-level HRC Launch Control to add to the choice of 3 riding modes. A new twin-piston front brake caliper, adjustable Renthal Fatbars and black rims round out the updates.

CRF250RX **NEW MODEL**

CRF250RX is all new

The new CRF250RX arrives to add yet another dimension to Honda’s off-road range. Mirroring the CRF450RX, the new machine takes the CRF250R as a base, with revisions such as 18-inch wheel, 8.5-litre tank and softer suspension that adapt it for its role as the ideal closed course cross-country machine. It inherits the moto-crosser’s upgrade for 2019, with rock-solid bottom-end torque, 3-level HRC Launch Control, new front brake caliper, Renthal Fatbars and black rims.

With these five machines, Honda underlines its commitment to continuously evolve and reinforce its CRF line-up to offer an off-road-focussed machine for every type of dirt-riding enthusiast.

Like the CRF450R moto-cross machine, the cross-country CRF450RX receives a major boost of top-end power and torque for its engine, which is also stronger everywhere in the rev-range; it also gets 3-level HRC Launch Control plus durability upgrades. The chassis features a revised rigidity balance and new suspension settings, plus Renthal Fatbar handlebar.

Model updates: Like the CRF450R moto-cross machine, the cross-country CRF450RX receives a major boost of top-end power and torque for its engine, which is also stronger everywhere in the rev-range; it also gets 3-level HRC Launch Control plus durability upgrades. The chassis features a revised rigidity balance and new suspension settings, plus Renthal Fatbar handlebar.

  1. Introduction

For 17YM Honda introduced an all-new, competition-ready cross country machine into its off-road line up; the CRF450RX. And it took as its rock-solid base the engine and chassis package of the 17YM CRF450R – Honda’s first totally new 450cc moto-crosser in eight years.

The CRF450R – Honda’s flagship off-road racer – has an engine that produces hard-hitting, useable power and a chassis that allows the rider to put that power to the best possible use. All of which makes it the perfect platform to expand, giving the CRF450RX both the pure moto-cross DNA to deal with any special enduro stage and the confidence-inspiring competence to handle flat-out trails, challenging climbs and tight, tricky sections with ease.

And, just as the 19YM CRF450R is updated with HRC-led improvements, the 19YM CRF450RX follows suit and upgrades its riding package – creating a formidable off-road weapon that’s both devastatingly fast over the ground, and easy to live with over the years of ownership.

  1. Model Overview

For YM19 the CRF450RX’s performance parameters expand again; considerably more power and torque has been extracted from the engine – via HRC-led head, intake and exhaust tuning – without sacrificing low-rpm tractability.

3-mode HRC Launch Control is a significant addition, helping any rider from beginner to expert to hit the mark out of the gates every time. A shift sensor enables the use of specific ignition maps for each gear, and PGM-FI has been optimised to inject twice per cycle. Oil pump capacity has been uprated, and the clutch lifter and pressure plate redesigned.

The aluminium twin-spar frame has been optimised for rigidity, as has the swingarm. A new front brake caliper shaves vital grams. Revised oil and spring/damping settings for the 49mm Showa USD fork enhance reaction, complemented by a ‘Super Finish’ process for the rear shock’s damper, plus revised Pro-Link ratio.

The new Renthal fatbars can also now be adjusted through four positions on the top yoke; a revised sidestand replaces the previous design.

  1. Key Features

3.1 Engine

  • +1.8kW power, +2Nm torque and considerably stronger from 3,000rpm up
  • Revised cylinder head, intake and exhaust plus tailored ignition maps
  • 3 level HRC Launch Control optimises start performance
  • Durability improved with 5-hole piston jet and larger-capacity scavenge pump

While the architecture of the YM19 CRF450RX’s 449cc four-valve Unicam engine remains essentially unchanged, a host of detail changes deliver the increase in power and torque.

And while the peak boost is significant – 1.8kW more power at 9,500rpm and 2Nm more torque at 7,500rpm – it has not been achieved at the expense of low-down performance: the strength of the YM19 engine’s power and torque curves from 3,000rpm up are well above the previous design, and corner-to-corner over-rev has also been enhanced.

Bore and stroke remains 96mm x 62.1mm with compression ratio of 13.5:1. Combustion chamber squish has been revised, as has the piston skirt profile, piston ring and conrod; both right and left engine cases have been optimised for strength versus weight.

A new air cleaner element base has more than double the surface area, and flows much more air as a result; revised PGM-F1 settings make use of upgrade and injects fuel twice per cycle. In step with the improved engine output, a revised radiator grill improves air flow for maximum radiator efficiency. A gear position sensor allows the use of three specific ignition maps for 1st and 2nd, 3rd and 4th, and 5th.

The exhaust too now uses differing, larger diameter bores where it splits from the downpipe; 35mm right and 42mm diameter left (both were 31.8mm before). And the total length of the left side exhaust – from port to tip – has been increased 187mm, with the right muffler tube 98mm longer.

It’s not all about performance. Reliability is a crucial element of the CRF450RX’s appeal. A new 5-hole piston oil jet replaces the 4-hole design and the scavenge pump, which used a single, 16mm diameter pickup drum now employs twin 12mm drums, resulting in greater capacity. The clutch lifter and pressure plate are redesigned for improved durability, and a lighter load at the lever. Final drive is via 13T front and 50T rear sprockets.

The rider controls and displays – engine stop button, EFI warning, EMSB mode button and LED indicator – are all in one place on the left handlebar:

New for YM19, HRC’s Launch Control system gives any rider the best option for a strong start and has 3 modes to choose from:

Level 3 – 8,250rpm, muddy conditions/novice

Level 2 – 8,500rpm, dry conditions/basic

Level 1 – 9,500rpm, dry conditions/expert

Activating HRC Launch Control is easy – to turn on, pull in the clutch and push the Start button (on the right). The LED will blink once for Level 1 selection. Push the Start button again, for .5s or longer, and the LED will blink twice for Level 2. Repeat the process and the LED will blink 3 times, indication Level 3 has been chosen.

Honda’s EMSB (Engine Mode Select Button) puts instant engine character adaptability at the rider’s control. With the machine stopped, and engine at idle, a simple press and hold of the button for just under a second selects the next map in sequence.

The LED built into the button signals the map in use with a quick press and number of subsequent flashes (like HRC Launch Control, 1 flash for Mode 1, etc). If a new map is selected the choice is also confirmed to the rider.

Mode 1 uses the standard combination of ignition and fuelling maps to present a balanced power and torque delivery. Mode 2 is more mellow in nature, giving easy-to-manage throttle feel. Mode 3 hits sharply, with aggressive and responsive power. Mode 2 and 3 can be further tailored via the existing HRC setting tool for mapping hardware and software.

3.2 Chassis

  • Nearly 1kg lighter; frame and swingarm revised in detail
  • New settings for 49mm Showa USD fork and rear shock
  • Redesigned footpegs and front brake caliper
  • Renthal Fatbars can be adjusted forward/back/up/down

The goal for the seventh generation of CRF aluminium beam frame, debuted in YM17 were clear and defined: improved corenring performance and front-end stability/traction – plus rear wheel drive – while delivering elevated levels of rider feedback and predictability.

And if the focus of YM19 revolves around more power (and its control) from the engine, the CRF450RX’s chassis has also improved in step, with even better balance, turning ability and tracking through a corner. 0.9kg has been shaved from the wet weight (dry weight is now 109.5kg, wet weight 115.6kg) while suspension action front and rear has been revised. Rake and trail are set at 27.4°/116mm, with wheelbase of 1,477mm.

The tapered twin-spar frame design has been optimised for rigidity around the swingarm pivot plates. The swingarm too has been subtly re-shaped and features a lower rigidity balance to improve traction and feel while the right and left cylinder head hangers have also been optimised. A useful detail – that also saves 20% weight – are the footpegs, which now use a 4-web (rather than 6) internal structure to clear mud faster.

The fully adjustable 49mm Showa USD coil spring fork is a version of the Showa ‘factory’ fork supplied to MX race teams in the Japanese championship.

For YM19 spring rate, compression/damping settings and oil weight have been revised. The fully adjustable Showa rear shock has received a ‘Super Finish’ treatment, which improves its stroke action. A revised Pro-Link ratio softens slightly as it reaches full compression.

Also new on the CRF450RX for YM19 is the Renthal Fat Bar (839) aluminium handlebar, reduces the weight of the steering system and flexes for optimal comfort; the top yoke features two handlebar-holder locations for moving the handlebar rearward and forward by 26mm. When the holder is turned 180 degrees, the handlebar can be moved an additional 10mm from the base position, resulting in four total unique riding positions. A Bar Pad is also included.

A new twin-piston front brake caliper uses 30 and 27mm diameter pistons (the previous design used 2 x 27mm pistons). This allows for a lighter body and, along with low expansion rate brake hose, improves brake feel and staying power. It works on a 260mm wave-pattern disc, matched by a rear 240mm wave-pattern disc and single-piston caliper.

Lightweight DID aluminium rims, with directly attached spoke pattern layout are now finished in black; the front is 21 x 1.6in, the rear 18 x 2.15in. Fitted as standard equipment are Dunlop’s bespoke enduro Geomax AT81 tyres: 90/90-21 front and 120/90-18 rear.

The CRF450RX uses a lightweight 8.5L plastic fuel tank; range is approx. 40 miles. The smooth external lines of the plastics help the rider move easily, and the narrow frontal area and front mudguard directs an efficient funnel of air to the radiator – for YM19 the radiator grills have been redesigned to flow more air.

The bodywork uses durable film inset graphics that cover a wide area with scratch-resistant style.

  1. Technical Specifications
ENGINE
Type Liquid-cooled 4-stroke single cylinder uni-cam
Displacement 449.7cc
Bore ´ Stroke 96.0mm x 62.1mm
Compression Ratio 13.5 : 1
FUEL SYSTEM
Carburation Fuel injection
Fuel Tank Capacity 8.5 litres
ELECTRICAL SYSTEM
Ignition Digital CDI
Starter Electric
DRIVETRAIN
Clutch Type Wet multiplate
Transmission Type Constant mesh
Final Drive Chain
FRAME
Type Aluminium twin tube
CHASSIS
Dimensions (L´W´H) 2,175mm x 827mm x 1,260mm
Wheelbase 1,477mm
Caster Angle 27.4°
Trail 116mm
Seat Height 960mm
Ground Clearance 328mm
Kerb Weight 115.6kg
SUSPENSION
Type Front Showa 49mm USD spring fork
Type Rear Showa monoshock using Honda Pro-Link
WHEELS
Type Front Aluminium spoke
Type Rear Aluminium spoke
Tyres Front 90/90-21 54M Dunlop MX3SF
Tyres Rear 120/90-18 65M Dunlop MX3S
BRAKES
Front Single 260mm disk
Rear Single 240mm disk

CRF250RX

The new CRF250RX arrives in cross-country specification to further strengthen Honda’s off-road line-up. Sharing the frame and engine hardware of the CRF250R moto-crosser, it is fully adapted to its role, with 8.5L fuel tank, forged aluminium sidestand and 18-inch rear wheel, plus revisions to power delivery and suspension settings. It also features 3-level HRC Launch Control as standard.

Model updates: The new CRF250RX arrives in cross-country specification to further strengthen Honda’s off-road line-up. Sharing the frame and engine hardware of the CRF250R moto-crosser, it is fully adapted to its role, with 8.5L fuel tank, forged aluminium sidestand and 18-inch rear wheel, plus revisions to power delivery and suspension settings. It also features 3-level HRC Launch Control as standard.

Contents:

1 Introduction

2 Model overview

3 Key features

4 Technical specifications

  1. Introduction

Honda’s CRF250R has shown itself a worthy weapon for battle in the hard-fought MX2 class. For 18YM, it made a giant leap, with a full model change that shared the ‘Absolute Holeshot’ philosophy of the 17YM CRF450R, featuring a new seventh-generation frame, revised geometry and Showa suspension – plus a brand new DOHC engine.

Now Honda is expanding the CRF250R platform and adding a cross-country option to the range; the CRF250RX mirrors the CRF450RX and takes the 19YM CRF250R as a base. Fast, agile and easy to ride, it’s a potent machine, with modifications that tailor it perfectly for its new role, making it equally at home speeding up a root-strewn climb or slicing precious seconds off a special Enduro test.

  1. Model Overview

In common with the CRF450RX, the CRF250RX uses the rock-solid base of its moto-cross sibling and adds the essential ingredients for closed-course cross-country riding. Thus, it features a 8.5L fuel tank (like the CRF450RX), and also uses an 18-inch rear wheel plus revised suspension settings front and rear. Fuelling and ignition mapping have also been adjusted to deliver a softer power delivery compared to the moto-crosser, and a forged aluminium sidestand is fitted as standard.

The CRF250RX also benefits from the upgrades made to the CRF250R for 19YM: engine changes which boost low-rpm torque to gain time out of slower corners

(thanks to revisions from the throttle body all the way to the exhaust), a new front brake caliper, Renthal Fatbars and 3-mode HRC Launch Control to help any rider gain a good start, every time.

  1. Key Features

3.1 Engine

  • Strong bottom-end torque, same top-end power as CRF250R
  • Benefits from 19YM CRF250R upgrades: revised throttle body, cylinder head, intake and exhaust for improved low-down performance
  • 3 level HRC Launch Control optimises start performance

Strong peak power is a CRF250R core strength, and was further boosted by a massive 9% for the all-new 18YM machine. For 19YM, the base engine has been further refined with the focus on low-rpm improvements. Sharper jump out of slow-speed corners has been achieved with a 2mm smaller (now 44mm) diameter throttle body, to speed up low-rpm air flow. The inlet and exhaust ports have been re-shaped and the exhaust valve cam ‘closing’ profile also reduced by 2°, all to boost torque.

The CRF250RX shares the 19YM engine with is moto-cross sibling for a fully-rounded performance throughout the range – with the same peak power – but has revised fuelling and ignition mapping to soften the power delivery.

The fundamentals of the engine are: bore and stroke of 79 x 50.9mm, with a 4.5mm cylinder offset to reduce friction and compression ratio of 13.9:1. Titanium valves – 33mm inlet and 26mm exhaust. Lift is 10.5mm inlet and 9.5mm exhaust and the valve angle is set at 20.5°. The valve springs themselves are oval in section; the inlet valves are fed by symmetrical straight-shot downdraft intakes, which are shorter for improved high rpm snap.

The piston is a Bridged Box design. Its rigidity converts combustion pressure into high output efficiency; for YM19 a 5-hole piston oil jet replaces the previous 4-hole design, improving piston cooling and optimising ignition timing.

A scavenge oil pump system reduces friction and ‘pumping’ losses at high rpm, by discharging oil and air in the crankcase and maintaining negative pressure. The oil also lubricates the clutch and gearbox, with a total oil capacity of 1250cm3. The combined oil pump/drive gear, oil filter and oil way are on the right side of the engine – the oil’s path around the engine is short and straightforward.

Valve train lubrication is routed through the cylinder head to the inside of both inlet and exhaust cam, directly feeding the sliding surface of cam and rocker arm. The 5-speed gearbox drives a sealed 520 chain through a 13T front and 48T rear sprocket.

The rider controls and displays – engine stop button, EFI warning, EMSB mode button and LED indicator – are rationalised together and sited on the left handlebar:

New for YM19 (and as with the CRF250R) HRC’s Launch Control system gives any rider the best option for a strong start and has 3 modes to choose from:

Level 3 – 8,250rpm, muddy conditions/beginner

Level 2 – 8,500rpm, dry conditions/basic

Level 1 – 9,500rpm, dry conditions/expert

Activating HRC Launch Control is easy – to turn on, pull in the clutch and push the Start button (on the right). The LED will blink once for Level 1 selection. Push the Start button again, for 0.5s or longer, and the LED will blink twice for Level 2. Repeat the process and the LED will blink 3 times, indication Level 3 has been chosen.

The Engine Mode Select Button (EMSB) alters the engine’s characteristics and three maps are available to suit riding conditions or rider preference: Mode 1 (Standard), Mode 2 (Smooth) and Mode 3 (Aggressive). The LED also displays Mode selected.

3.2 Chassis

  • Renthal Fatbar has 4-way adjustable positioning
  • DID rims finished in black, 18-inch rear wheel
  • Shares CRF250R upgrades for 19YM: new front brake caliper and hose for improved stopping performance; redesigned sump guard and fork protectors

The CRF250RX uses the same tapered-spar aluminium frame as the CRF250R, which returns excellent feedback and rear wheel grip due to its low centre of gravity.

Unchanged in its transition to RX-spec. it does use a new twin-piston front brake caliper – common with the YM19 CRF450R – which has 30 and 27mm diameter pistons. This allows for a lighter body and, along with low expansion rate brake hose, improved brake feel and staying power. It works on a 260mm wave-pattern disc, matched by a rear 240mm wave-pattern disc and single-piston caliper.

The Renthal Fatbar reduces the weight of the steering system and flexes for optimal comfort; the top yoke features two handlebar-holder locations for moving the handlebar rearward and forward by 26mm. When the holder is turned 180 degrees, the handlebar can be moved an additional 10mm from the base position, resulting in four total unique riding positions.

Rake and trail are set at 27.3°/115mm, with wheelbase of 1486mm. Wet weight is 111kg. The fully adjustable 49mm Showa USD coil spring fork is a version of the Showa ‘factory’ fork supplied to MX race teams in the Japanese championship; the cylinder has a 25mm diameter, the rod 14mm and the compression piston 39mm. The Showa rear shock is also fully adjustable

Lightweight DID aluminium rims, with directly attached spoke pattern layout are now finished in black; the front is a 21 x 1.6in, the rear an 18 x 2.15in. Fitted as standard equipment are Dunlop’s Geomax AT81 Enduro tyres, 90/90-21 front and 110/100-18 rear.

Like its big brother the CRF250RX uses an 8.5L plastic fuel tank, giving a potential range of 65km. The radiator shroud is CRF250RX-specific, while the smooth external lines of the plastics help the rider move easily and the narrow frontal area and front mudguard directs an efficient funnel of air to the radiator. A forged aluminium sidestand tucks neatly out of the way when not in use.

The bodywork uses durable film inset graphics that cover a wide area with scratch-resistant style; the engine sump guard has been redesigned to improve engine cooling and fork protector modified to reduce chance of stone damage.

  1. Technical Specifications
ENGINE
Type Liquid-cooled 4-stroke single DOHC
Displacement 249.4cc
Bore ´ Stroke 79mm x 50.9mm
Compression Ratio 13.9 : 1
Oil Capacity 1.3 litres
FUEL SYSTEM
Carburation Fuel injection
Fuel Tank Capacity 8.5 litres
ELECTRICAL SYSTEM
Ignition Full transistor
Starter Electric
DRIVETRAIN
Clutch Type Wet multiplate
Transmission Type Constant mesh
Final Drive Chain
FRAME
Type Aluminium twin tube
CHASSIS
Dimensions (L´W´H) 2185mm x 827mm x 1262mm
Wheelbase 1,486mm
Caster Angle 27.3 degrees
Trail 115mm
Seat Height 961mm
Ground Clearance 329mm
Kerb Weight 111kg
SUSPENSION
Type Front 49mm Showa coil-sprung fork
Type Rear Showa monoshock using Honda Pro-Link system
WHEELS
Type Front Aluminium spoke
Type Rear Aluminium spoke
Tyres Front 90/90-21 Dunlop AT81
Tyres Rear 110/100-18 Dunlop AT81
BRAKES
Front 260mm hydraulic wave disc
Rear 240mm hydraulic wave disc

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