You want some signs of health for the industry? Honda keeps investing in new product, first with a sweeping expansion of the race-oriented CRF-R line of bikes (redesigned 450 motocrosser and a Works Edition alongside it, new CRF250X and CRF450X off-road racers and the CRF450L dual sport) and now with significant changes to three bikes in its popular CRF trail bike line.
The CRF110F and CRF125F get big changes including electronic fuel injection and new twin-spar frames, which allow for more suspension travel and thicker seats without increasing the height of the bikes. The old CRF230F is gone, replaced by an all-new CRF250F.
"While Honda made waves this year with its CRF Performance models, we didn't forget about recreational riders," said Lee Edmunds, American Honda's Senior Manager of Powersports Marketing in a press release. "Technological advances give the 2019 CRF250F, CRF125F and CRF110F improved trail performance for new and experienced riders alike, while also making them easier to own."
The EFI indicates a sign of the times in the off-road market. We've heard rumors that California green-sticker (public lands) emissions requirements are growing even more stringent. With Honda adopting fuel-injection for these bikes as well as steel gas tanks (which are probably cleaner from a fuel-evaporation standpoint) the bikes are set up to meet emissions standards well into the future. A lot of the manufacturers and hand-ringing (and lobbying) over these ever-stricter standards, because obviously adding EFI isn't going to decrease the costs in the very price-sensitive trail bike market segment. Honda is going for it, though. The CRF250F will retail for $4,599; prices and release dates are TBA on the 110, and both versions of the 125, regular and big-wheel. They look like they'd be quite fun for a backyard pit bike session, just sayin.
Here's the full PR:
The flagship of the CRF Trail line, the new CRF250F has Keihin electronically controlled fuel injection and a SOHC long-stroke, air-cooled engine for a linear power delivery. Meanwhile, the secure chassis is a great platform for learning while also providing capability that many riders will never outgrow. The engine boasts 22cc more displacement than the outgoing CRF230F, while the new chassis has 12mm more rear-wheel travel and 5mm taller seat foam; however, the 34.8 inch seat height is only .2 inches higher. The 1.6 gallon steel fuel tank contains an internal fuel pump with a reserve level sensor; a bar-mounted "low fuel" indicator light means no more reaching down to switch the tank's petcock to reserve. More power, intuitive handling, race-bike technology and styling, and Honda's legendary reliability ensure that this starter bike will also be a keeper bike.
- Color: Red
- Price: $4,599
- Availability: February 2019
CRF125F / CRF125 Big Wheel
Already an ideal midsize trail bike for the mid-height recreational rider, the CRF125F now has a new twin-spar steel frame and a Keihin electronic fuel injection system, making it smoother, stronger and more stable, instilling even more confidence in its rider. Returning is the proven SOHC 124cc engine and four-speed transmission. Thanks to the design of the new frame, the seat height is only .2mm higher at a low 29.1 inches, despite thicker seat foam and 10mm and 12mm more front and rear suspension travel, respectively. Customers have the choice of a Big Wheel version that swaps the 17- and 14-inch rims for 19- and 16-inches, raising seat height by 1.8 inches and increasing front and rear suspension travel. The new steel fuel tank houses a fuel pump and a sensor that indicates low fuel via a handlebar-mounted light. There's no mistaking the CRF Performance line-inspired bodywork, which improves looks and allows easier rider maneuverability.
- Color: Red
- Price: TBA
- Availability: TBA
Fuel injection reaches the kid-friendly CRF110F, making the 109cc engine even smoother than before. A four-speed semi-automatic transmission is ideal for new riders, and a more supple ride comes courtesy of a twin-spar steel frame that takes the harshness out of big impacts. Although there's 12mm more rear-suspension travel and a 5mm thicker seat, the seat height is actually .4 inches lower! An indicator light on the handlebar illuminates when only .2 gallons of fuel remain in the tank, grips are now a half-waffle pattern for better feel with smaller hands, and a ratchet-style fuel cap minimizes the chance of loosening during a ride. Parents and riding instructors get the peace of mind of knowing their rider is on a smooth and secure machine that will last through the years, and the CRF110F's new features instill even more confidence and independence in its young rider.