pression ratio is up from 12.5:1 to 13.5:1, which was
made more practical by a revised oil-jet design for better
piston cooling. In fact, the whole oil system is different.
Now, the Honda only has one oil chamber to serve both
the crankcase and gearbox. Along the way the clutch
was reworked, but, contrary to some early reports, it’s
not hydraulically activated. On the other hand, the electric-start rumors are true. The bike doesn’t have a starter
as delivered in motocross trim, but a kit will be offered to
make the conversion. The price will be in the $650 range.
Honda’s sixth-generation frame is an aluminum twin-spar design. It’s a little lighter, a little more compact and
has reduced torsional stiffness, which the engineers say
results in improved cornering. What’s really interesting is
the move back to coil-spring forks. The new Honda will
have a 49mm Showa fork with a spring in each leg, just
like old times, but the internals are said to be new and
based on the A-kit race suspension. One of the most
intriguing new features is the material used for the 1.6-gal-
lon fuel tank. It’s titanium.