Racer X Tested: The 2007 Honda CRF250RFriday, July 28, 2006 | 8:16 AM
The 2006 Honda CRF250R was an amazing motorcycle and the new version comes with an extensive list of updates and improvements. Usually when a manufacturer releases their bikes this early in the season, it means that they have changed very little from the previous model year; maybe some sweet new stickers or a different colored seat. That is not the case with this bike. Honda engineers just got their homework done quickly and it means we get our first ride on the new machines a few weeks early.
MSR man and former pro racer Randy Valade—he of the Michigan Mafia—offered to help out and he was up first. Our other test rider would be David Langran, otherwise known as Langers (though Jeremy now calls him “Dave”) and highly regarded as the art director at Racer X Illustrated. We shot video and pictures while Randy got comfortable on the new CRF. When he finally pulled in and stopped sweating here’s what he had to say:
“I felt that the front brake was great. I don't believe an after market cable would be needed. It worked great without the front wheel grabbing too much. The new Dunlop tire on the front was good too. It seemed to stick well in the hard pack sections. The motor was pretty strong. It seemed to have a pretty good bottom end, but did sign off a little on the top end. It even wheelied on the starts that I did all the way through third gear—not bad!
“All around I thought the bike was good, especially compared to last year’s stock bike.”
I adjusted the controls and hit the Perris Raceway circuit to find out if Valade had any idea what he was talking about. After just a lap or two I was comfortable on the bike. I remember thinking the same exact thing about last years CRF250 and, once again, I immediately felt right at home. The front brake is noticeably stronger. I had already ridden the 450F, which also received the upgrade, but the lighter 250 came to a stop in a hurry when I grabbed the brake lever. It is as good as most of the brakes I’ve had on my race bikes. I was impressed.
The motor was also a marked improvement over last year. I noticed the quicker throttle response and also felt like the bike pulled stronger through the mid and top over last year’s ride. Randy complained of a bog when he landed and the Honda technicians made a change to the jetting. It was over 100 degrees and much more humid than we were used to in Southern California so our jetting was off a touch. We leaned out the fuel screw and the bog disappeared. I rode until I was so sweaty I could have signed up for a wet T-shirt contest, then pulled in to give Langers a turn.
Look for a clip of the intro on racerxfilms.com later on today!
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The 2013 FIM Motocross of Nations at Teutschenthal, Germany, hosted teams from a record forty countries. Here’s how it played out for each of them. Page 90.