TRANSWORLD MOTOCROSS RACE TEST. GOURMET FEAST: Realizing the 2004 Honda CR250R’s True Potential-ROUND 2

By The Testing Staff Of TransWorld Motocross: Photos By Maeda

Yes, we do realize that this is the second CR250R project bike that we’ve brought your way in 2004, but the last one turned out so good, we just couldn’t stop there. You see, for some time now the Honda CR250R has been one of our staff’s favorite bikes when it comes to handling. We know that with a little massaging and a few tweaks here and there, the red rider can be made into a machine so potent that some short redheaded kid could go out and wax his way to four consecutive championships on it. Not bad, huh! And not only that, but with so many great companies out there producing kickass product and mods, how does the motocross connoisseur know where to start shopping? Well, nice guys that we are, we proudly present to you another absolutely outstanding modified CR250R cooked up by a fresh collection of notable industry chefs for your viewing and reading pleasure. Enjoy!

MEAT AND POTATOES

By now we’re guessing that you’ve read our 2004 250cc Shootout and the “Unleashed Fury” article in the February issue, and you know that in stock form the 2004 CR250R has a bland motor at best. In “Unleashed Fury” you read that thanks to the capable hands of Terry Varner, the CR250R has plenty of potential to breathe new life and ooze with flavor. With a number of other skilled engine builders to choose from, we delivered our next bone-stock, unseasoned motor to the boys at Pro Circuit to see what they had cookin.’ Knowing full well through past experience that PC would prepare our motor to mouthwatering perfection, we couldn’t wait to get it back. So like a fat kid on Thanksgiving, we harassed our pal Travis Wicks until he rang the dinner bell. The motor was prepared to perfection, and we couldn’t wait to sink our teeth into it.

Meanwhile, right down the freeway at their new West Coast facility, the boys at Factory Connection were busy modifying a stock set of suspension to our specified needs. Like a vegan’s order at a steakhouse, our suspension request was probably not the easiest to fill. With Factory Connection’s experience and reputation with Honda suspension, however, we had faith that they’d prepare it to our liking. You see, and if you’re a SoCal native you’ll understand, our local tracks range widely in terrain offerings. On any given day we could be enjoying a meal at the hard-packed jump-oriented track of Lake Elsinore Motocross Park, or we could be sinking our teeth into the softer terrain, natural outdoor circuit of Cahuilla Creek. If you know suspension then you also know that these two track styles require handling qualities that are vastly different. But with only one set of legs to prepare, we asked the crew at FC to whip up an “all-inclusive” buffet of handling prowess.

ALL THE TRIMMINGS

To ensure that we had everything needed to make this dish the tastiest it could be, we enlisted the services of a few other cooks to help us garnish the plate. Applied Racing threw in a CR rubber-mounted triple clamp set, which made for the perfect bed for a topping of Pro Taper handle bars and a Pro Taper Twister frictionless throttle tube. Is your mouth watering yet? Hang on a second, there’s more, so we hope you brought your appetite. To finish the dish we sweetened it with a set of N-Style Hot Wheels graphics, and the ARC Axis clutch perch and brake lever. Now that the cooking was done we were ready to eat, so we set the table out at Cahuilla Creek for a mid-morning feast.

THE FEAST

Our first sitting consisted of a gloriously-prepped, high-speed track with very little chop. We knew that this would make for an ideal time to critique the meat prepared by Pro Circuit. From the second the motor was fired it was more than obvious that the bland taste of the stock slab of beef was gone. The new-and-improved PC unit was crisp, responsive, and jetted to perfection. After a few laps around the table let the seasonings sink in, we were ready to carve into her. From the drop of the knife the power was explosive, yet maintained a smooth feel that melted in the mouth. With a one-tooth jump in the rear sprocket matched up to the newly carved powerband, we were indulging in a meal that was as tasty as any we’d devoured before. The big hit on the bottom continued to pull hard…real hard… through the mid section of the power. Up the long, sweeping Cahuilla Creek uphill the motor continued to produce until it was time to brake for the corner. This is a strong motor, but probably the thing that we enjoyed most about the new recipe, similar to the last CR250R we munched on, is that there’s no funny aftertaste. It’s smooth as butter and nowhere through the course of the meal did we have the urge to spit it out. Even the less skilled eaters with sensitive tummies could handle the smooth feel of the PC motor.

It wasn’t until the second sitting of our feast that we were able to really put our freshly-seasoned Factory Connection legs to the taste test. This day the track was rough…real rough… and more than ideal for our challenge. Heading into the meal we knew that the CR250 was a great-handling bike in stock form. It tracks smooth, drips with stability, and jumps and corners with balanced authority. With this in mind, we had a pretty good feeling that even our pickiest test connoisseurs would gobble up the FC offerings with delight. Setting only the sag at the recommended 105mm level, we tore into our new dish with great pleasure. The overall action of the FC-tuned suspension is fantastic. Plush and very well balanced, our CR gobbled up and digested everything in sight. In addition to its ability to soak up the nasty square-edged bumps with relative ease, the most impressive characteristic was the Factory Connection Honda’s ability to track straight and stable through even the nastiest of conditions. Whether gnarly braking bumps or vertical acceleration bumps, there are few bikes that promote confidence like our Factory Connection Honda. This is one of the plushest overall set-ups we’ve had the pleasure of consuming, hands down!

THE RECIPES

After a couple of delightful dining experiences on our new dish, we simply had to get our hands on the recipes. Like most fine chefs, however, the little details were excluded, but here’s what we know for sure. Our stock powerplant underwent Pro Circuit’s cylinder and head modifications that consist of altering the transfer ports, polishing the exhaust ports, matching the power valves, machining the head to tighten the squish band, and increasing the compression ratio. After the top-end was prepared, the Pro Circuit chefs matched the cases to remove casting flaws, and surfaced the center cases to prevent air leaks. The final garnishing was accomplished by using the legendary Pro Circuit “Works” Pipe and Pro Circuit Factory Sound End Cap Silencer to round out the powerplant.

Our friends over at Factory Connection put our stock legs, both front and rear, through a complete revalving session. Spring rates were left at standard in the front and rear, and a number of “special” parts, including a pressure spring set, oil lock collar, and FC-updated high-speed compression adjusting spring, were used to finely season and complement the dish. Finally, high-quality FC fluids at specific oil levels were used to round out the system.

We’re extremely pleased with our new dish, and would recommend it to anyone. If you’re looking for a new way to prepare your CR250R, this may very well be the recipe for you.

THE INGREDIENTS

Pro Circuit Cylinder & Head Modification $290.00

Pro Circuit Match Cases to remove casting flaws $ 80.00

Pro Circuit Split Cases Clean & Inspect $295.00

Pro Circuit “Works” Pipe $199.95

Flour $1.95

Pro Circuit Factory Sound End Cap Silencer $112.95

Factory Connection Shock Revalve $170.00

Factory Connection Fork Revalve $170.00

Olive Oil $4.65

Factory Connection Fluids $30.00

Factory Connection Special Parts $107.00

Applied CR Rubber Mount Triple Clamp Set $336.95

Pro Taper Handle Bars $89.95

Pro Taper Twister Frictionless Throttle Tube $79.95

N-Style Hot Wheels Graphic Kit $189.95

X-Large Eggs $3.35

ARC Axis Perch $189.95

ARC Brake Lever $99.95

CHEFS

Pro Circuit 909/738-8050 www.procircuit.com

Factory Connection 800/221-7560 www.factoryconnection.com

Applied 800/853-0555 www.appliedrace.com

Pro Taper 909/736-5369 www.protaper.com

N-Style 800/831-9043 www.n-style.com

ARC Levers 800/204-7411 www.arclevers.com

Connection Shock Revalve $170.00

Factory Connection Fork Revalve $170.00

Olive Oil $4.65

Factory Connection Fluids $30.00

Factory Connection Special Parts $107.00

Applied CR Rubber Mount Triple Clamp Set $336.95

Pro Taper Handle Bars $89.95

Pro Taper Twister Frictionless Throttle Tube $79.95

N-Style Hot Wheels Graphic Kit $189.95

X-Large Eggs $3.35

ARC Axis Perch $189.95

ARC Brake Lever $99.95

CHEFS

Pro Circuit 909/738-8050 www.procircuit.com

Factory Connection 800/221-7560 www.factoryconnection.com

Applied 800/853-0555 www.appliedrace.com

Pro Taper 909/736-5369 www.protaper.com

N-Style 800/831-9043 www.n-style.com

ARC Levers 800/204-7411 www.arclevers.com