MOST SIGNIFICANT DIRT BIKES
behind closed doors at Honda. He had been badgering the
engineers for a stronger frame throughout these years, but
it didn’t come until 1994. Unfortunately, Jeremy McGrath
still preferred the handling of the older frame—once it had
been gusseted for more stiffness. According to DeCoster,
Jean-Michel Bayle had a gift for developing and setting up
race bikes. The race team’s CR250R from the early ’90s
was the mainstay of Honda’s racing effort for years afterward and was the version that McGrath rode throughout
his Honda career. In 1995, Honda made a shocking switch
to KYB suspension, although Roger pointed out that it felt
In 1991 the era of splash graphics was upon us. Honda didn’t
go as gaudy as some other manufacturers.
In 1993 DeCoster considered the frame too flexy; it would
later be strengthened. Jeremy McGrath, on the other hand,
loved the 1993’s turning ability and stuck with that geometry
about the same. The price by then had gone up to $5099.
Some say the best year in the entire run of Honda
CR250Rs was 1996. Even though that model wasn’t significantly changed, it was the end product of an accumulation of upgrades. McGrath had gone to Suzuki by that
time, and so had Roger DeCoster—even though he was
still writing stories for Dirt Bike.
In 1983 Donnie Hansen, Johnny O’ and a crew of Indian
Dunes celebrities clowned around with the DB editors. The
factory bike at that time was called the “peanut tank” Honda
and was nothing like the production machine.