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Honda CRF “R” Review 

The Honda CRF motorcycle series is one of the most popular and well-recognized lineups among riders. The CRF series was launched in 2000 as a replacement for the CR series, and it now includes a wide range of four-stroke motocross, trail, and dual sport motorcycles.

One of the unique aspects of the Honda CRF lineup is the naming conventions used to identify the different models. The "CRF" prefix stands for "Competition Racer Four-stroke", indicating that the bike has a four-stroke engine. The number that follows (e.g. 50, 250, 450, etc.) represents the motorcycle's engine displacement in cubic centimeters (cc). Finally, the last letter indicates the specific type of motorcycle:

CRF - F: Trail

CRF - R: Motocross

CRF - L: Dual Sport

CRF - M: Supermoto

CRF - RX: Enduro 

When looking for the right Honda CRF motorcycle, it's important to consider the type of riding you'll be doing and your desired power output. Once you know these factors, it will be easier to select the right model for your needs. In this article, we will be focusing specifically on the "R" series of Honda CRF motorcycles, which are designed for motocross riding. To look at any of the other CRF motorcycle series click here. CRF L, CRF F, CRF RX


Designed for closed-course racing: The Honda CRF R lineup is specifically designed for racing on closed courses, such as motocross tracks or dirt bike tracks. As such, these motorcycles may have features and characteristics that are optimized for high-performance racing, such as powerful engines, lightweight frames, and advanced suspension systems.


Not a beginner bike: Honda CRF R motorcycles are designed for experienced riders and may not be suitable for beginners or riders with limited off-road riding experience. These motorcycles may have more advanced features and require more skill to operate than some other types of motorcycles, so they may not be the best choice for those who are new to riding.

Is the Motorcycle a Good Motorcycle?

Sure thing! The Honda CRF R series is a top choice for many motocross racers because of its track record of success in the sport. With over 50 years of experience in the industry, Honda has honed their skills and technology to create some of the best motocross bikes on the market. The R series, in particular, has been designed with closed-course racing in mind and has won numerous awards and championships over the years.

One of the standout features of the CRF R series is its reliability. These bikes are built to withstand the rigors of motocross racing and are known for their durability and longevity. This makes them a great choice for racers who want a bike they can count on to perform at its best every time they hit the track.

In addition to their reliability, the CRF R series also offers top-notch performance. These bikes are equipped with powerful engines, advanced suspension systems, and responsive handling, all of which contribute to their speed and agility on the track. Whether you're a seasoned pro or just starting out in motocross racing, the Honda CRF R series has a bike that will suit your needs and help you reach your full potential as a racer.

Overall, the Honda CRF R series is a fantastic choice for anyone looking for a high-quality motocross bike that combines reliability, performance, and a long history of success in the sport. Whether you're a seasoned racer or just starting out, these bikes are sure to impress.

How Much Power Does The Motorcycle Have?

CRF150R - 23.47 hp @ 12,500 rpm

CRF250R - 37.6 hp @ 14,000 rpm

CRF450R - 53.8 hp @ 9,300 rpm

Which Motorcycle Model Is Right for Me?

The Honda CRF “R” series is the ultimate choice for closed-course motocross racing. These bikes have everything you need to dominate the track and come in a range of sizes and styles to suit your needs.. At the time of writing this, the 2023 CRF lineup is the most current so we will discuss those models. 

CRF150R - The CRF150R is the smallest bike in the series and is designed for riders aged 12-16. It features a powerful 150cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder Unicam engine, an accelerator pump for improved throttle response, and a lightweight chassis optimized for turns on the track. This bike is perfect for more experienced riders looking to get into racing, but may not be suitable for riding novices. There is also an ‘Expert’ version of the CRF150R, which has bigger wheels, a longer swingarm, and higher seats to better suit taller riders.

CRF250R - The CRF250R is a top-selling motorcycle in its class and has won numerous championships over the years. It boasts a 249cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke engine, nine-plate clutch assembly, and Honda Racing Club launch control. This bike was used by HRC’s Jet Lawrence to win the 250 East Supercross title this year and back-to-back 250 AMA Motocross National Championships. If you’re looking for a midrange, lightweight, and responsive bike that can handle all the critical track sections like whoops, jumps, and deep loam and berms, then the CRF250R is the way to go.

CRF450R - The CRF450R is a reliable, agile, and accurately turning bike that has been updated for the 2023 model year with modifications to the intake tract for increased low-midrange torque, a new chassis with stronger key points, and a stronger muffler. This bike is available in three distinct styles: the standard CRF450R, the CRF450RWE (works edition), and the CRF450R 50th Anniversary Trim. The 50th Anniversary model is a special limited edition trim with a retro vibe, featuring a blue seat, gold handlebar and rims, commemorative graphics, and more. The CRF450RWE includes all the updates from the 2023 model plus exclusive touches like a Yoshimura exhaust, Twin Air filter, Throttle Jockey seat cover, Hinson clutch basket and cover, premium DID DirtStar LT-X rims, Kashima and titanium oxide-coated fork, a red cylinder head cover, and special cylinder-head porting. Any one of these models would make an amazing addition to any MX enthusiast's collection.

How Much Does the Motorcycle Cost?

CRF150R - $5,299

CRF150R Expert - $5,499

CRF250R - $8,199

CRF450R - $9,599

CRF450R 50th Anniversary - $9,899

CRF450RWE - $12,399

Motorcycle vs. the Competition

Honda CRF250R vs. Yamaha YZ250F

The CRF250R and the YZ250F are not as different as one might think. Both are great motorcycles on the track and have won plenty of awards in their own right. As usual, the Yamaha excels when it comes to suspension and throttle response, while the Honda is known for its cornering and peak power. On paper these bikes are nearly identical, so choosing between the two will all come down to the rider's preference. 

Honda CRF450R vs. KTM SX450F

Same as before the CRF450R and KTM SX450F are as similar on paper as two bikes can be. Just by looking at a stat sheet, you wouldn’t know which bike is which. If you’re choosing between these two bikes, then you’ll want to take them for a test ride because that’s where you’ll notice the real difference between them. The KTM is a little bit wider between the legs and the Honda has a lower seat height. Additionally, your riding style will be a big factor when making your purchase. The Honda is superior when it comes to cornering and creating your own path, while the KTM is a bit more planted and better for those wanting to hold a line. 

What Does Maintenance Look Like For The Motorcycle?

Check out the CRF R’s owner's manual for full details, because taking care of your bike isn’t a task to take lightly. 

What After-Market Parts Can You Add To The Motorcycle?

Many of the motorcycles in the CRF lineup feature Special Editions of the bikes that we did not include in this breakdown, so if you’re interested in a Honda CRF but don’t want a basic stock version, take a look at the Special Edition models. 

As for aftermarket parts, there are plenty of ways to make your new Honda CRF your own and Honda even has a Red Rider rewards contingency program to help you out.

Max Horsepower
Max Torque
Top Speed
Seat Height
Single cylinder, four-stroke
53.0 hp @ 9,000 rpm
35.4 lb-ft @ 7,000 rpm
244 lbs
38 in



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