The name of the bike on every kid’s lips also makes the subject of today’s review. New for 2009, the Honda CRF50F is a fun, reliable and beginner-friendly off-road motorcycle that never misses a chance to put a smile on its rider’s face.
You simply can’t talk about four-stroke starter bikes without mentioning the CRF50F. The bike stands as one of the most popular small dirt spreaders out there, but all that popularity must have come from something, doesn’t it? Indeed!
Relying on its engine, the 49cc air-cooled single-cylinder, it offers manageable power and torque for a kid to get accustom with it and then have a lot of enjoyable riding days in which he or she will be gaining valuable confidence.
The engine is being backed-up by a three-speed transmission that is clutch-equipped, leaving junior worry-free about changing gears or pulling a clutch lever that would have never seem appropriate on a bike in CRF50F’s category.
Under close surveillance, all talents can end up on the podium’s first place, but all things must be made at the right time. That is why the 2009 Honda CRF50F comes equipped with an adjustable throttle limiter. If your kid only fools around, keep it tight, but if it is up for the challenge, then progressively give it more power to exercise with.
Part of Honda’s revamping process that took place in 2004 was also the CRF50F which came out all-new that year. But the bike had been around for decades under the XR50R name so the public was well accustomed with the small four-stroke engine, but not with the inverted fork, single-shock rear suspension, and the CRF-R inspired bodywork that were new additions..
Trying to find a decent competitor for this unique bike is a complete waist of time. Suzuki and Kawasaki simply stay out of the small dirt-bike battle preferring to start teaching riders that suit on 70, 85, or even 110cc bikes while Yamaha makes an attempt with the PW50.
Now, we shouldn’t criticize the PW in any way as if it has withstood the test of time, making it vary valuable in our point of view. And to be honest, it is a really decent companion when your kid has a dilemma between hitting the brakes or the throttle.
Because it is more docile than the CRF from all points of view, I would have to name the PW the only and not quite appropriate competitor for the red trainer.
Compared to the Yamaha PW50, the Honda CRF50F looks to be up for the challenge at a higher level. While the Yamaha is an unchanged (literally) piece of history, the Honda is modernity itself.
Designed to look like a CRF450R in miniature, you will find that the cool looking thing features racing plastics covered in as well racing graphics, mudguards and number plates. The seat is low to the ground (21.6 inches) while still retaining that racing inspirations.
But as much as you’ll try to make such a bike look alike its bigger motocross siblings, there are a few things that can’t be changed. For example, the engine is leaned forward in order to allow the small seat height and great ground clearance (5.8 inches) and the swingarm features a triangular form. The machine gun-like exhaust is specific to Honda’s small dirt bikes and couldn’t miss the smallest of them. So it finds its way under the right (rider side) number plate.
Also, the spoked wheels are more appropriate for a dirt bike, even at this size, and this makes for an advantage compared to the PW.
Color can never be an advantage, but it ca sure help you guess which one is your small racer as the thing can be easily taken on tracks for weekend races.
That is possible without much expense as the 2009 Honda CRF50F comes with an MSRP that doesn’t dare going higher then $1,349. Compare it again with the PW50 ($1,199) and you find out which is the most appropriate for it. Now you’ve got new summer homework, kids!
Without having a proper base of comparison, we must declare the Honda CRF50F winner of the 50cc off-road category. There is no wonder Honda never stopped producing it as it never stopped selling and the numbers continue to positively evolve even today, decades after XR50R’s introduction.
Not very much refined as the years gone by, but not as neglected as the blue and white alternative, the 2009 Honda CRF50F remains the same reliable and user-friendly motorcycle that conquered rider’s hearts long time ago.
Engine and Transmission
Type: air-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke
Bore and Stroke: 39.0mm x 41.4mm
Compression Ratio: 10.0:1
Valve Train: SOHC; two-valve
Induction: 13mm piston-valve carburator
Transmission: Three-speed with automatic clutch
Final Drive: #420 chain; 14T/37T
Chassis and Dimensions
Front Suspension: Inverted telescopic fork; 3.5-inch travel
Rear Suspension: Single-shock; 2.8-inch travel
Front Brake: Drum
Rear Brake: Drum
Front Tire: 2.50-10
Rear Tire: 2.50-10
Rake: 25.0 degrees
Trail: 32.0mm (1.3 inches)
Wheelbase: 36.0 inches
Seat Height: 21.6 inches
Ground Clearance: 5.8 inches
Curb Weight: 110 pounds
Fuel Capacity: 0.7 gallons, including 0.2-gallon reserve