Instead of offering two or even more versions of the same motorcycle, Honda has one and good. Mechanically, we’ve seen that the CRF150F is very competitive, but in what concerns the looks, it is absolutely great. Take in consideration that this is a small motorcycle, destined mostly to beginning riders and it looks like a big boy’s toy.
Features such as the aggressive side panels, side number plates and rear fender could have it easily pass as a motocross bike and with a sharp front fender and front number plate instead of a headlight, I’m actually going to argue about this being a veritable dirt bike. And it actually is, only that one which won’t through you off its seat at every twist of the throttle. The seat is narrow and grippy, blending perfectly in with the overall compact design of the small CRF.
The minuscule engine looks like having no surprises reserved for nobody (how wrong I can be…) as it sits in between those 19-inch front and 16-inch rear wheels.
Like all Honda dirt bikes, the 150F is Red colored with white number plates. In this case, the silencer is black painted which makes it quite distinguishable.
The first ride on a motorcycle is an unforgettable experience for most people, but when teenagers get into dirt riding there’s nothing to stop them and the memories start from there. So I was to test ride the Honda CRF150F from a first timer’s point of view and see how it does.
To begin with, the electric start is the first goodie encountered. This brings a reassuring feel that when you’ll stop the engine there will be no need to go through the kick starting routine or if you invite your friends over to ride your new bike, they won’t be required magicians skills in order to start the small engine.
First gear and away I went steady at low speed. I barely managed to cover 100 yards or so that my luck said its word as passing over a rocky portion. More exactly, the Pirelli-dressed front wheel slipped a little bit and if it wasn’t for those 32.5 inches of seat height, I’d probably be still laughing of the fall I would have suffered.
So I said to myself “stop playing!” and got down to serious stuff. The four-stroke motor deals very well with a rider’s demands as it revs high enough and with immediate response. Power is delivered linear all through the five speeds of the quiet operating gearbox and there’s plenty than you would expect there. The engine shows no weaknesses neither when you do second gear takeoffs or even go for the hills.
Although for a smaller kid, the 236 pounds of CRF would seem a little bit demanding, but still manageable, in these two pair of hands, there was no need for an aluminum frame or for an e-start removal. The bike sits good around turns and spins that rear wheel nicely and with a pretty strong exhaust note.
What I could have appreciated is a pair of fully-adjustable suspensions, but I guess that the approximately 9 inches of travel on both ends get the job done anyways so why add more to the price tag? This is also the case of the rear drum brake: it gets the job done nice and effectively and manages to keep costs down. Still, the 240mm front disc brake is the key feature in what concerns braking. But remember kids: always hit the clutch before strong pulling that brake lever in order to stop. But if you forget, don’t worry as it happens to experienced fellows also. Take my example.
Honda manages to provide a decent MSRP of $3,199, one that is very competitive considering what the competition has to offer and at what price. For those bucks you get lifetime reliability, cheap maintaining and lots and lots of fun.
In conclusion, we can definitely say that the Honda CRF150F meets the purpose of its creation with great accuracy and can be ridded with pleasure long after gaining enough experience to go for something bigger…but no necessarily better.
Being reliable, strong performing and user-friendly, there isn’t pretty much anything else you can ask from it. Just give it gas and it will go on and on forever.