We already knew how good the Honda CRF250R was for
tight trails. Even in stock form, it’s more than a match for
most off-road 250Fs, and this bike simply built on that natural aptitude. What impressed us most was the comfort factor. Usually, pro bikes are harsh, unforgiving things. Not this
one. The attention to detail in the chassis department makes
it a very friendly, easy-to-ride bike. We never would have
believed that the work to the motor mounts and subframe
could have such a dramatic effect. In tight woods racing,
even top pros are forced to sit down for extended periods of
time, making the subframe and seat part of the overall suspension. The Honda is cushy, seated or standing. The rear
shock is a big part of that plushness. Oddly, the fork seemed
much stiffer than the shock. Trevor is a big boy for a 250,
and he rides with his weight way over the front of the bike.
As rough as recent GNCC courses have been, it’s critical for
a rider of Bollinger’s level to keep the front end from collapsing, even if the bike is carrying 20 pounds of mud.
Another dramatic improvement over a production
CRF250R is in power delivery way down low. As we
said, the stock bike already has excellent torque,
but it was never really made to operate at such low
rpm. The stocker can be glitchy and abrupt. With the
remapped ignition, the bike is smooth and has more of
an unstoppable feel, even at rpm barely above idle. You
never feel like you’re on the verge of stalling, and clutch
work isn’t mandatory. Clearly, this is one of the best off-road 250 four-strokes we’ve ever ridden. Most Honda
riders are eagerly awaiting the announcement of an
all-new 2018 model, which should re-energize Honda’s
motocross fans. We only hope that it will provide this
good of a starting point for an off-road racer.
Justin’s eastern adventure has just begun and will
doubtlessly be a shocking introduction to woods racing
for a California native. To check up on his progress, go to
The love and attention that a factory-level racer receives is impressive.
All the motor mounts on the CRF250R
were re-engineered for the perfect
amount of frame flex.
We built a replica of the bike that Trevor Bollinger rode to his
2016 XC2 championship. Trevor was forced to move out of
the class, leaving behind the bike he’s ridden since age 13.
BOLLINGER’S HONDA CRF250R