How can Honda possibly make an already great bike even better? Well, you’ll have to ask Honda to find out for certain, but we’re willing to bet that making a plethora of small changes—like they have done with the 2007 CRF250R—has something to do with it.
Recently, we took delivery of the new and improved ’07 CRF250R, and, we must say, came away both impressed that we noticed the improvements, and happy that Honda didn’t mess up an already excellent bike. So, what exactly did Honda change on this, the first-to-be-released of ’07, 250f? Read on to find out what’s new under the hood.
Like we said, Honda didn’t make any drastic changes to the bike, and, in fact, at first glance, it looks strikingly similar to the 2006 model. But as anyone knows, looks can be deceiving.
For starters, they slightly massaged the power plant in an attempt to coax a few more ponies out of the red bike. Honda began with the camshaft, which they redesigned and matched up to new cylinder head porting and a new exhaust header; all of which are aimed at giving the bike some more low-end grunt. They then designed new crankcase venting for yet again, more power. And finally, a stronger clutch basket was installed to help improve durability.
In the suspension and handling department, Honda made a few minor changes to help improve handling. Up front, the fork received new valving to help with the overall handling of the bike and improved turning prowess. But as for the shock, it didn’t get any changes and remains just the same as ’06. One piece of the bike that Honda is particularly proud of is the front brake. Like the ’07 CRF450R, Honda gave their 250f the same front brake, which they claim gives the bike 15 percent more braking power thanks to the new link-type brake master cylinder and lever. Finally, to wrap it all up, Honda completed the winning combination with an all-new Dunlop 742FA.
How is it?
Out on the track, the ’07 CRF still feels like a winner. It handles well with good overall power. And with the little changes that Honda made, it does all of this even better than the ’06 model.
The power delivery of the ’07 bike is exceptional. It’s smooth and very user-friendly, and just like Honda wanted, has a little more power up on top. In fact, it pulls for quite a long time down straights before signing off—something that is definitely nice on any bike.
Up front, the new fork valving helps to keep the front end planted in turns, which allows for the rider to be more aggressive when entering a corner. And while we are on the subject of corners, the front brake works really well. On the 450, some of our testers complained about the brake being a little too much at times, but on this bike, the brake works magically. And on the Supercross-style track that we tested at, it definitely came in handy when setting up for the tight turns.
What we really think…
So, can this bike be another shootout winner? Only time will tell. But we do know one thing, the minor changes that Honda did make to the bike have added up to an overall improved ride, making us sweat with anticipation of what the ’07 250cc four-stroke shootout might bring. Before the shootout, though, be sure to check out an up-coming issue of TransWorld Motocross for a complete test of the bike, along with rider opinions, dyno charts, and more.
Be sure to check out the video of the new 2007 CRF250R. You get a chance to watch Sleeter put the bike to the test and hear his opinion of the improvement.
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 frree download at www.apple.com/quicktime/download.