Honda unveils 2018 CRF250R at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch focusing on upgrades in handling and power.
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In a special unveiling event with top Honda amateur motocrossers during the AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch, American Honda unveiled the all-new 2018 CRF250R. Designed and developed following the same “Absolute Holeshot” philosophy as the CRF450R, the highly anticipated motocross model features a host of updates aimed at achieving maximum power and optimum handling.
“We’re excited to show this all-new, no-compromise model to our customers, and it’s appropriate that we do so with our family of Red Rider amateur motocrossers here at Loretta Lynn’s,” said Lee Edmunds, American Honda’s Manager of Motorcycle Marketing Communications. “The CRF450R has become the top-selling 450cc motocross model, and now that the CRF250R shares many of the same performance- focused updates, we’re confident it will enjoy similar success in the market and on racetracks everywhere.”
In order to achieve their powerplant development goal of increased power (particularly at higher revs), engineers gave the 249cc engine an all-new dual-overhead-cam design, using a finger rocker arm with Diamond Like Coating (DLC). The titanium intake and exhaust valves are larger and have a higher lift and narrower angle, while the valve springs’ coils now have an oval cross-section to keep engine height as low as possible. The engine has more over-square dimensions, the cylinder offset has been increased, and the piston now features a bridge-box design–a first for a production Honda motocrosser. The intake system is now of a downdraft design for maximum efficiency, there are twin exhaust ports, and the dual exhaust features smoother routing and optimized pipe length. An electric starter is standard, powered by a small, lightweight lithium-iron phosphate battery. The end result of the copious changes is an engine with more power across the rev range, especially impressive at peak rpm.
The 2017 CRF450R set new standards for vehicle packaging in a motocross machine, with highly concentrated mass and a very low center of gravity; the 2018 CRF250R follows suit, with weight reduced overall but particularly up high and at the ends of the vehicle. Layout is slim and low, and the machine has superb rear-wheel traction but minimal front-end lift–ideal for strong starting and acceleration. The main spars of the new-generation, lighter aluminum frame are now tapered to optimize flex characteristics and provide good stability and reliable rider feedback, while a shorter wheelbase improves overall agility. An all-new titanium fuel tank and extruded subframe end save precious weight up high, a new Showa coil-spring fork contributes a plush suspension feel, and a lower, more centralized shock location improves stability. Bodywork mirrors the design of the CRF250R’s bigger brother in form and function, with a minimalist appearance and in-mold film graphics. Dunlop’s superb Geomax® MX3S tires are standard.
As a result of the engine and chassis updates, the 2018 CRF250R enjoys a three- percent improvement in start performance compared to its predecessor, along with improved acceleration and handling.
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