FIRST RIDE: 2014 HONDA CRF250R/450R
DB’s Mark Tilley felt that the changes to
the 450 were positive: “The jumpiness of
the throttle down low is all but gone,
replaced by a smooth, gradual power delivery. I think that the key to fast laps is staying in the meat of the power curve, as it
likes to be short-shifted. Clutch pull for
2014 is slightly friendlier on the fingers
than the 2013 model, but still really lacks
feel and the stock setting of the fork, and
the shock fit my riding style better and the
stinkbug feel of years past.” ;
The 250R engine is pretty much new. A new cylinder head,
higher-compression piston, 46mm dual-pump Keihin throttle
body, Kashima-coated clutch and a new transmission highlight the powerplant.
The 250R makes far better out-of-the-hole power than last
year’s machine. Even a big, deep berm can be had with a
stab at the clutch and a generous whack at the throttle.
Here’s Shoemaker moving a little dirt.
They’re back! The new Honda dual-muffler exhaust is said to
be more about centralizing the bike’s mass than improving its
performance. It was noted that because they tuck in so close
that crash damage is actually limited.
With the 450, internally, the big news is better bottom power
via the dualburst injection design. The clutch, after much
debate, received no changes over the ’ 13 model.