The big news from Honda last week was the official introduction of the RC213V-S, but along with the somewhat disappointing MotoGP-based replica announcement, American Honda announced updates for its 2016 CRF motocrossers.The CRF250R receives significant changes aimed at adding more horsepower and improving handling while the CRF450R‘s updates are more subtle, after receiving more extensive updates last year (enough to win our Reader’s Choice Best Dirt Bike award!) Also announced were the CRF150R and CRF150R Expert which return unchanged for 2016.
2016 Honda CRF250R
The CRF250R’s engine remains a 249cc Single with a 76.8mm bore and 53.8mm stroke, but features new cylinder head porting, a lighter piston and a reshaped connecting-rod. Honda also increased cam lift and replaced the steel exhaust valves with titanium ones (matching the intake valves) while increasing the compression ratio to 13.8:1, compared to the 13.5:1 ratio on last year’s model. The exhaust system also gets a larger outlet diameters and a new header pipe resonator.
While American Honda didn’t release any numbers, its European counterpart claims peak power output has increased by 1.8 hp to 39.4 hp at 11,500rpm while peak torque increased to 20 lb-ft. at 9000rpm from the previous peak of 19.5 lb-ft. Honda claims these increases were achieved without sacrificing performance anywhere else on the rev range. Honda also updated the fuel injection system and enlarged the left radiator to offset the extra heat generated by the updated engine.
The suspension also gets some tweaks, most notably with a 5mm increase to the fork. The Separate Front with Triple Air Chamber (SFF-TAC) Air Fork from Showa now have reduced internal friction thanks to changes to the construction, shape and number of inner air seals. The air fork’s outer cylinder chamber receives 80kPa of air pressure (from 0 kPa) and now has a dedicated adjustment air valve. The air pressure in the inner and balance chambers are both reduced to 1075 kPa (1200 kPa and 1125 kPa, previously). The updated fork also offers a wider damping adjustment range, now with eight clicks of adjustment compared to four on the 2015 model.
To balance the updates to the fork, the rear Showa shock now uses a heavier spring rate during the start of its stroke. Rebound damping settings went unchanged though Honda updated the compression damping from mid-stroke as piston speed increases.
The 2016 Honda CRF250R arrives in showrooms in September with a $7,599 price tag.
2016 Honda CRF450R
For 2016, Honda engineers focused on upgrading the CRF450R’s suspension. The 48mm KYB Pneumatic Spring Fork is now 5 mm longer than the previous fork while the outer tube offers more rigidity. Compression and rebound rates are firmer than on last year’s fork, while offering a wider range of adjustment, increasing to eight clicks from four. The KYB rear shock receives more rebound damping in the middle-upper range of its stroke as well as a new Pro-Link ratio.
The engine is unchanged from 2015, as is the three-way engine mode selection. Honda Europe claims a peak output of 53.0 hp at 9000 rpm and 35.4 lb-ft. at 7000rpm from the 449cc Single.
The 2016 CRF450R will be in Honda dealerships in July, priced at $8,699.
2016 Honda CRF150R/CRF150R Expert
Returning unchanged is the CRF150R as well as the Expert variant which offers larger-diameter wheels and a longer swingarm. The 2016 Honda CRF150R retails for $4,990 while the CRF150R Expert goes for $5,140. Expect both versions to show up in dealerships in August.