front fork and a more modern exhaust valve called the
“Honda Power Port.” In 1987, it got a hydraulic rear disc
brake, and the Keihin carb was increased from 36mm to
38mm. Most significant of all was the switch to an inverted Showa fork in 1989. This was considered a step backward at first, but within a few seasons, the new front suspension design was accepted. Even the 1989 version
could be made to work much better than stock once suspension tuners figured it out.
1990: This was a big year for cosmetic changes to the
Honda, but it should be pointed out that massive
redesigns became less frequent. The 1990 machine got
The first liquid-cooled, single-shock CR hit the track in 1981.
It was visually stunning, but didn’t quite live up to its looks.
Some of the greatest years for Honda’s CR250R were 1987
and 1988. The bikes had good suspension and disc brakes.
The upside-down fork was introduced in 1989 and, from that
point on, the fork would be the bike’s weakest point.
all-new bodywork, a white frame and upgrades in suspension. It sold for $3995. After that came a brief period that
most riders try to forget. We entered the splash years. The
most offensive look came in 1991; it was a virtual mullet
on wheels. In 1992, the motor became more powerful and
the frame became weaker. This was a bad combination for
handling, which most riders blamed on the suspension.
Roger DeCoster came to work for Dirt Bike magazine a
few years later and explained what had taken place
Johnny O’Mara turned a few laps on Dirt Bike’s 1982 CR250R
test bike. That was the last year of the right-side output shaft
and the best of that era.