After biting our tongues for what seemed like a long, long time, we are now finally able to talk about our day aboard arguably one of the trickest stock mini bikes out there.
After a three-hour drive out to the top-secret Honda testing facility in the middle of the California desert, Honda unveiled their all-new 2007 CRF150R—a true born and breed racing machine that they have apparently been working on for quite a while now. Just one look at the bike and it’s easy to see Honda has done their homework—it basically looks like a miniature CRF250R.
So, was the little red bike even half as fun as it appeared to be? Well… you’re just going to have to read on and find out…
Why exactly did Honda create the CRF150R you ask? Easy. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that the world of motocross is changing from a world of two strokes to four. And as the thumpers quickly begin to take over, every manufacturer is racing to be the first to raise the bar. With this new 150cc bike, Honda is just that—the first to move the bar up to the next rung.
Since this bike is all new, we won’t bore you with every single detail; we’ll just go over a few of the key features.
The CRF150R features a close-ratio five-speed gearbox with a Unicam powerplant up on top, just like its bigger brothers. Feeding the powerful little motor is a 32mm Keihin carburetor. As for suspension, the bike is held up by Showa stuff front and rear, just like the 85cc two-stroke machines. While the chassis is made of steel, which Honda says is to cut down on cost and keep the CRF in the same price range as the two-strokes. The frame is matched up to a fully removable aluminum frame, with an aluminum swingarm finishing off the chassis. The bike also comes equipped with steel bars and steel foot pegs.
HOW WAS IT?
Since all of our mini testers were out of the state competing at the Loretta Lynn’s Amateur National Championships in Tennessee when the call came to ride the CRF150R, we were left without a true tester. But since we aren’t ones to pass up an opportunity to ride a completely new bike, we decided to give it a go.
Thankfully, the bike comes in two sizes—big wheel and regular—so we were actually able to fit on the bike relatively well. According to Honda, this bike is also made to appeal to not only little kids looking for an advantage, but adults who want to have a little fun. It definitely takes a little getting used to, though, but once that happens, the little 150 is a ton of fun. Pounding the bike into the ground isn’t an easy task to do, as it even holds up to the abuse of a full-size adult.
The motor is super fast for a stock mini bike and, like we said, it can even pull a full-grown adult around the track. The bike easily gets up and goes when prompted, and blasts out of turns like a fully built mini bike. Suspension-wise, we aren’t too sure how it really performs, because we are obviously a little too big for the bike, but after dialing up the clickers and sag, the bike is a blast. We found our adult testers soaring over some pretty hefty jumps.
Like we said, we really didn’t have a proper test aboard the bike since our mini testers were MIA, but with the little time that we did spend aboard it, we can say with certain that this bike is going to turn a lot of heads. It’s super fast, lightweight, and definitely looks cool while just sitting on a stand.
So, will this bike change the face of mini bike racing as we know it? Probably, because if the way the four-strokes are taking over the bigger bike classes is any indication, this bike is no doubt going to be a sure bet come race day. Look for a full review in an upcoming issue of TransWorld Motocross as well as a comparison to an 85cc two-stroke machine.
FIRST IMPRESSION VIDEO
Be sure to check out tthe TWMX video of the 2007 KTM250SX-F. Hear from KTM about the changes to the bike, see it in action and get a first hand review from Brendan Lutes.
To get to the videos, you can click the individual link in the right column, or click the Video link on the left to get to our ever-growing collection of movies.
To view the videos, you’ll need the latest version of Quicktime, which works for both Mac and PC, is available as a free download at www.apple.com/quicktime/download.