Honda presents their upgraded 2009 CRF250R motocrosser, a dual-muffler machine which in these past few years stood as a class leader and the choice of those who stay with the best. Fuel injection hasn’t yet come to quarter-liter engines so the bike doesn’t follow the trajectory of its bigger sibling, the CRF450R, but at least it is a sharper handler.
Creating the 2009 CRF250R, Honda engineers aimed towards power at all rpm levels as well as handling, resulting in a very well balanced motorcycle which’s small changes make all the difference. For example, the engine’s lower-to mid-rpm range was improved by reshaping the cylinder-head combustion chamber. This required the lengthening of the exhaust header in order for that rhythm to be sustained all through the rpm range of that already strong pulling four-stroke 249cc liquid-cooled four-valve Unicam motor.
The engine now mates to a new transmission with four-dog gears, new shift drum and shift drum arm for more precise shifting so the most important things when revising a bike have been totally covered up.
Motocross bikes in general and 250cc ones in particularly are acknowledged as being the fastest through tight corners and the secret behind CRF250R’s success is the Honda Progressive Steering Damper. The system attaches to the lower triple clamp and the forged –aluminum steering head increasing stability on high speed straights and also the bike’s ability to corner sharper.
On bikes such as this one, the twin-spar aluminum frame is nothing out of the ordinary neither the Inverted Twin-Chamber cartridge forks and the pro-link rear suspension. New for 2009 are the lighter and better ventilated 240mm works-style front and 240mm rear brake rotors.
Like, Honda, Yamaha bases the 2009 revamp on small, but significant changes which are meant to improve throttle response as well as handling, while having an overall lighter motorcycle. The YZ250F is powered by the liquid-cooled, five-titanium-valved, DOHC, four-stroke engine that is slightly retuned for greater low-rpm response with the help of a redesigned exhaust system. The silencer is now a little shorter so Yamaha respects the latest tendencies in this domain.
With an aluminum frame, subframe and Kayaba forks, Yamaha seems to have also achieved a good balance between power and handling, making for a strong (a little more powerful, but not as aggressive cornering, if you ask me) CRF250R competitor. The $6,549 MSRP has also much to do with that.
Suzuki doesn’t miss this highly important battle as the RM-Z250 is new for 2009. With a lightweight aluminum chassis, Showa suspensions and a powerful 249cc, 4-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, 4-valve engine, it challenges both the Honda and Yamaha while the $6,299 MSRP sustains it very well. Read more about the 2009 Suzuki RM-Z250.
Kawasaki also revamps their 250cc racer, the 2009 KX250F. It redesigns the cylinder head’s intake port and adds titanium valves as well as a tapered titanium exhaust pipe. The crankshaft is now better balanced so fewer vibrations will be making their way through the pegs and handlebars. Now better performing, KX250F’s 249cc four-stroke single-cylinder engine with DOHC and four valves features a new water jacket routing for increased engine cooling capacity. Together with weight reduction and chassis refinements, Kawasaki is in with a potential winner so the MSRP is $6,499.
Year after year, Honda visually upgrades their motocross models and the goal is almost always the same: lightening the overall product and making it more aggressive. This is, partly, also what happens to the 2009 CRF250R motocross model. I am saying partly because the curb weight remains exactly the same (227 pounds), but the side plates are now skinnier and feature new graphics.
The narrow seat is now totally red while the rear fender gets all white in order to match the side plates like on the 2009 CRF450R. But, a unique feature of Honda’s 250cc motocross bike is the dual exhaust system. Even though the silencers are spotted only from the back as the number plates do their covering up part pretty well, they look damn aggressive and give this CRF a distinctive note.
A veritable motocrosser, the 2009 Honda CRF250R features a front number plate, mudguards and a front disc guard (all white) which for 2009 is smaller and also a little bit lighter. The cylinder head cover, clutch cover and left sidecover are gray-colored for 2009.
With a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $6,549, the 2009 Honda CRF250R is not the cheapest in its class, but you don’t really want that, don’t you? The Yamaha YZ250F comes with that exact MSRP so the choice is up to you. Both bikes aren’t heavily refined as next year’s models, but stand as leaders of this class and that’s enough to start some serious controversy.
However you may put it, Honda did its homework even though it didn’t fill a whole notebook, but simply the small gaps which they considered necessary: power delivery, shifting and looks. Now the CRF250R can carry on making a strong name in this business. That is if it hasn’t already done that and you already search for the fastest solution to get into the possession of your 2009 model year.
Engine and Transmission
Engine Type: liquid-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke
Bore and Stroke: 78mm x 52.2mm
Compression Ratio: 13.1:1
Valve Train: Unicam, four-valve; 31mm intake, titanium; 26mm exhaust, steel
Induction: Keihin 40mm flat-slide carburetor with Throttle Position Sensor (TPS)
Ignition: CD with electronic advance
Transmission: Close-ratio five-speed
Final Drive: #520 chain; 13T/51T
Chassis and Dimensions
Suspension Front: 47mm inverted Showa cartridge fork with 16-position rebound and 16-position compression damping adjustability; 12.4 inches travel
Rear: Pro-Link Showa single shock with spring preload, 17-position rebound damping adjustability, and compression damping adjustment separated into low-speed (13 positions) and high-speed (3.5 turns); 12.4 inches travel
Brakes Front: Single 240mm disc with twin-piston caliper
Rear: Single 240mm disc
Tires Front: 80/100-21
Wheelbase: 58.2 inches
Rake (Caster Angle): 27.9°
Trail: 125mm (4.9 inches)
Seat Height: 38 inches
Ground Clearance: 14.2 inches
Fuel Capacity: 1.9 gallons
Curb Weight: 227 pounds
New for 2009