2019 Honda CRF125F and CRF125F Big Wheel First Look: New Frame and EFI
The 2019 Honda CRF125F and CRF125F Big Wheel return to the dirt with a new frame and EFI feeding the torquey undersquare four-stroke single.Let’s take a look at what is new on the CRF125Fs, along with reacquainting ourselves with the differences between the 2019 Honda CRF125F and CRF125F Big Wheel.
1. There is a new twin-spar steel frame on the 2019 Honda CRF125F and CRF125F Big Wheel that give the bikes the same look as the larger Honda racing motorcycles. In addition to the frame being new, the geometry has changed on the standard CRF125F. The smaller wheeled CRF125F now has the same rake as the Big Wheel, replacing a much steeper front end. This will make the standard CRF125F more stable and predictable for new off-road riders.2. Both 2019 CRF125Fs have updated suspension travel numbers—some longer, some shorter. The standard CRF125F loses about a quarter-inch of fork travel, while picking up an inch of shock travel. That makes the travel at both ends about equal, for improved balance. Fork travel is unchanged on the CRF125F Big Wheel, with the rear wheel getting nearly three-quarters of an inch more travel. In both cases, rear wheel travel is a bit longer than the front.3. Keihin fuel injection with a 22mm throttle body replaces a 20mm carburetor. Both motorcycles share the same motor, and they both get the upgrade. That means riders won’t have to fiddle with a choke on cold mornings to warm-up the 125cc two-valve engines. There won’t be a petcock any longer, and that means no reserve. Instead, when the tank gets low, a warning light tells the rider to add more gas. The EFI system will also make the CRF125Fs run better at varying altitudes.4. Along with the EFI, the 2019 Honda CRF125F gets transistorized ignition. CDI works fine, but a transistor ignition is a superior, less complex, and more reliable technology.5. The new steel fuel tank holds a bit less gas due to the fuel pump, but expect improved fuel economy for a net increased range. There’s room for about 13 fewer ounces of 87 octane fuel in the new tank, putting it at an even gallon capacity.6. The new chassis and EFI adds a few pounds to each CRF125F. The standard CRF125F weighs two pounds more, while the CRF125F Big Wheel picks up five pounds.7. The seat heights are down on the new CRF125Fs, along with the ground clearance. With the new frame and suspension travel, the 2019 Honda CRF125F has a seat height and ground clearance about a quarter-inch lower than last year. The 2019 Honda CRF125F Big Wheel’s seat height is unchanged, and the ground clearance is down just a hair. The standard CRF125F’s 29.1-inch seat height is 1.8 inches lower than the CRF125 Big Wheel. The Big Wheel has 10.3 inches of ground clearance—a full two inches more than the standard CRF125F.8. As you would expect, the 2019 Honda CRF125F Big Wheel has a larger set of wheels than the CRF125F. The CRF125F has a 17-/14-inch pairing, while the CRF125F Big Wheel goes with a 19-/16-inch set. That gives the CRF125F Big Wheel access to some high-quality off-road racing rubber used on 85cc motocrossers. Both 2019 CRF125F models use CST tires (a rebranding of the long-running Chinese budget brand Cheng Shin).
KTM Super ADV R + Lightning Motorcycles’ Richard Hatfield
byMotos and Friends by Ultimate Motorcycle
Hello everyone and welcome once again to Motos and Friends—the weekly Podcast brought to you by the editorial team at Ultimate Motorcycling. My name is Arthur Coldwells.
In this week’s first segment, Editor Don Williams rides KTM’s new 1290 Super Adventure R. This hardcore ADV bike is big, powerful, and a true expert-level machine. Interestingly, it has multiple points of adjustment within its highly capable electronics package, and Don discovered several big surprises where the bike changed personality completely. His is an intriguing look at one of the most capable off road ADV bikes on the market today.
In the second segment, I chat with Richard Hatfield, CEO of Lightning motorcycles. This silicon valley based manufacturer was founded in 2006, and having racked up several notable race victories (including Pikes Peak in 2013 with the late Carlin Dunne on board) Lightning have certainly dominated in racing terms. In another first, Lightning has just announced a new rapid-charging battery technology that may well bring electric motorcycles into becoming real-world, practical transport.
So from all of us here at Motos & Friends… we hope you enjoy this episode!