What You Really Need To Know About The 2022 Honda CRF250R and RX
The big news was expected and Honda has confirmed an all-new, or mostly all-new CRF250R and RX. So sorry internet rumor mongers, no 350cc bike, no two-stroke. Following the typical 4-model year refresh cycle for the motocrosser, it shares all the features, including the identical frame from the 2021 CRF450R. We reviewed the information, asked a few questions, and collected a few answers. So here is what we can tell you now ahead of riding the bike early next week.
1.Honda has two major hurdles to achieve with this model to bring it to the top of the class. Gain more bottom and mid-range power and re-establish the lightest and most nimble feeling bike in the category. The new chassis has worked wonders for the CRF450R and we will see if it has the same effect on the smaller CRF. Engine revisions primarily in the cylinder head, ECU setting, and exhaust system could address the power needs.
2. Engine updates include a fully revised cylinder head with a major change to a single centered exhaust port and back to a single muffler. The intake tract is claimed to deliver cooler air and more of it with the fuel injector placed at a steeper angle. Port shape and cam timing are claimed to provide a 20% increase in power at 6500 RPM without any loss of top power. Riders who have ridden the bike say the increase is noticeable. The CRF will have three maps and start modes at the (long) push of a button. The overall architecture of the engine is largely unchanged.
๏ Dual springs for intake valves (one inside the other)
๏ Press-fit intake camshaft sprocket
๏ More Rigid camshaft holder
๏ Redesigned rocker-arm shaft alignment
๏ Increased oil flow to camshaft by 80%
๏ New ratio for oil pump driven gear
3. The new chassis should give the same sort of “revived” nimble feel that the 450 achieved–but like most 250cc machined it isn’t as critical with the lower power category. Since the ’21 bike already felt light and was less picky even in the older chassis, we suspect it won’t be the same huge gain that we saw on the 450. Test riders again hinted at this but also stated that if you were to ride a 2021 and 2022 bike back-to-back there would be no question as to which one performed better on all accounts.
4. Other changes to the engine include a longer gear ratio for 1st and 3rd gear, a revised shift drum, an additional plate in the 5-spring, cable activated clutch, some durability updates to the piston and connecting rod, and a focus on better oiling internally. A hydraulic clutch was considered but a claimed 4% less lever pull feel favored keeping the cable system.
๏ Revised shift drum 17% lighter
๏ 1 shift fork (vs. 2) for 2nd to 3rd gear
๏ Optimized gear ratios
๏ 9 clutch discs vs. 8
๏ Additional friction spring
๏ Clutch basket more rigid
๏ Improved lubrication
๏ Lower primary ratio (3.047 vs. 3.47)
5. With the all-new chassis (100% identical to the 450 using different engine hangers to make it work), the frame, bodywork, radiators, airbox are all shared the CRF450R. Showa suspension is utilized. But a huge change is to the tire supplier where the Pirelli Scorpion MX32 will grace the wheels. The weight is claimed to have dropped a full eight pounds from the 2021 MXer. The only thing missing is a hydraulic clutch but that could be a cost-related issue or a future improvement. Price is set at $8099.
6. The 2022 CRF250RX receives all the same changes as the R model and retains the RX features. Amazingly handguards are finally included. This bike is claimed six-pounds lighter than the previous model. The fuel tank was slimmed in comparison to the older RX to match the rest of the off-road competition model. It continues to ride on the Dunlop AT81 tire set. The 2022 CRF250RX retails for $8499.
๏ 2.1-gallon resin fuel tank
๏ Dedicated suspension settings for improved
๏ Dedicated ECU mapping
๏ 18-inch rear wheel
๏ Plastic hand guards
๏ Aluminum side stand