Honda crossers slim down and power up

New bikes

 02 June 2004 00:00

Honda's new motocross lineup for 2005 is leaner and meaner with the firm managing to shave off weight from almost every component of the 2004 bikes.

The CRF450, CRF250 and CR85 all get a complete overhaul with the focus on saving weight and improving rideability.

The major change for the 450 is the new fourth-generation twin-spar aluminium frame, which has been developed from the one introduced on the 250 last year. The frame is now narrower and stronger. Geometry is also tweaked to offer sharper handling.

It also gets a host of revisions across the bike including a new swingarm, gearbox revisions for better shifting and suspension revisions including valving, shock spring and pro-link ratio.

The airbox and intake are new providing increased power. The engine now produces 55bhp at 9000rpm but develops its peak torque of 36.9ftlb at 6500rpm.

The overall weight of the CRF450 drops by 1.6kg to just 99kg.

The CRF250's improvements are aimed at giving better power lower in the rev range with cylinder head porting, a revised cam profile and a new ignition map.

The rest of the modifications have all been aimed at reducing the bikes overall weight by 1kg to just 92.5kg.

The CR85 has also been treated to more power with a new piston and cylinder, while the crankshaft and conrod have been changed along with a new reed valve for better durability.

Honda has also shown a new four-stroke fuel-injected trials bike at the Motegi round of the World Trials championship. No technical details were released but the bike is thought to use the Unicam system from Honda's motocross bikes. The bike was used in competition for the first time at the event getting two respectable ninth place finishes.