2012 Honda Motorcycle
When Honda released their revolutionary CRF150 back in 2008 it shook the mini-cycle and small-bore racing world to its core. Honda welcomes this class-leading machine back into its line-up for 2012.Presented as an “R” and an “RB” (for the expert mined racer), the 150 has undergone some changes to ensure its place at the top of the class.Honda claims improved power, torque and drive throughout the powerband due to a new cylinder head, piston, camshaft and carburetor. Revised suspension settings on both the front forks and rear shock promise to improve suspension travel action to smooth out the rough stuff.The CRF150RB/R possesses a 149cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke/four-valve engine (bore & stroke: 66mm X 43.7mm) with an impressive compression ratio of 11.7:1. Carburetion is through a Keihin 32mm flat slide.The five-speed transmission with a #420 chain, the RB model is fitted with a 15-tooth countershaft sprocket and a 56-tooth rear sprocket (the R model has a 50-tooth rear sprocket). Front forks are 37mm, leading axle, fully adjustable Showa cartridge type that deliver 10.8-inches of travel. Pro-Link, fully adjustable Showa single shock on the rear provides 11.5-inches of usable travel.Brakes are single disc front and rear, with a 220mm rotor on the front and a 190mm disc on the rear. The RB wheels are 70/100-19-inch front, and a 90/100-16-inch on the rear.The R model has a 17-inch front and a 14-inch rear. Wheelbase is a nimble 50.6-inches (49.6-inches for the R). Seat height on the RB is 34.1-inches, while the R model is slightly lower at 32.8-inches.Ground clearance on the RB is 13.2-inches, on the R it’s 11.9-inches. The gas tank holds 1.14 gallons of petrol. Fully fueled the CRF150RB-Expert weighs in at 187 pounds, and the R at 183 pounds.Back in the day (i.e. my day), the idea of a 150cc mini-cycle would have been a quaint concept for a pit bike. However, given the new realms of technology and suspension, the CRF150RB and R are substantial mounts.It makes me wish I were a kid again with this type of quality race bike being made available. If you have a budding Motocross racer at home, the Honda CRF150RB (and R) deserve taking a serious look at.