It’s new-generation time for the 2022 Honda CRF250R—number six, if you’re counting. The support-class motocrosser gets major chassis and motor upgrades, dropping eight pounds in the process. Let’s start with the chassis and move onto the motor, which loses half its exhaust system.
- The chassis of the 2022 Honda CRF250R is heavily based on the flagship CRF450R. With a platform capable of handling more power, the CRF250R can best exploit its motor.
- Narrower twin spars help the frame shed 1.5 pounds. Lateral rigidity is reduced 20 percent for improved feeling in corners—much of that coming from new ribbing on the swingarm pivot plate. Torsional rigidity is retained for stability.
- There are some minor geometry changes. The wheelbase is 0.4 inches shorter, and the rake kicked out just a hair—0.02 degrees. The swingarm angle and trail are unchanged. Ground clearance is up just over 0.1 inches.
- The subframe of the 2022 Honda CRF250R is entirely new. The big change is the deletion of the seat mounting bracket—the bolt-on points are now integrated into the swingarm. The design is much cleaner and weighs 0.7 pounds less than last year.
- The swingarm is narrower, and also gets rigidity tuning. The narrowing of the swingarm is intended to keep the unit from dragging in ruts. The new rigidity settings are designed for “improved traction and cornering,” according to a Honda spokesman.
- The Showa shock is a new design, and is worked by new linkage ratios. The shock gets a 0.24-pound lighter spring, and adjustments are now made on the left side of the piggyback unit.
- The fork tubes are grasped by a new triple clamp, and suspension travel has been lengthened. Honda has gone with more flex in the new triple clamp—top and bottom—focusing on improved feel. The Showa fork now has 12.2 inches of travel, an increase of 0.2 inches.
- Dunlops are out, and Pirelli tires are in. This is a bit of a surprise, as Pirelli Scorpion MX32 Mid Soft tires will be mounted on the D.I.D DirtStar rims. Dunlop tires have been the standard-bearer in American supercross and motocross for years. However, Pirellis are popular in MXGP. Team Honda HRC’s Jett Lawrence is still running Dunlops on his factory CRF250R, however.
- Motor changes are from start-to-finish in the combustion process, as well as top-to-bottom mechanically. Honda claims a 20 percent increase in power production at 6500 rpm and no loss of top end.
- A new airbox supplies cooler air to the throttle body, and is easier to service. The airbox is 78 percent larger, with most of the increase on the clean side of the filter. You only have to remove one bolt to get to the filter, which is now held on with a no-tool spring-loaded clip.
- That cooler air is delivered to a wholly new angle for the fuel injector. Instead of a relaxed 30 degrees, the injector is now at a steep 60 degrees. This change moves the spray to the back of the butterfly valve on the 44mm throttle body. The result is even more cooling for the air/fuel charge.
- The air/fuel mixture is welcomed by more precise valve timing via several improvements. Each 33mm titanium intake valve now has a dual-spring setup—one spring sits inside another—to reduce slop at high rpm. The intake cam’s sprocket is now press-fit, further improving timing accuracy. A side benefit is some weight loss. Honda also made the cam holder more rigid for more precise movement and less friction. Next, the rocker-arm shaft has been realigned. Honda says it works better at high engine speeds.
- More oil is going to the new parts in the 2022 Honda CRF250R’s head. The oil supply journal is delivering 80 percent more oil than last year to the cam. Thanks to a new driven gear in the oil pump, the cylinder head gets more slippery stuff.
- The piston and con rod are updated. This is another high-rev mod, as the shape of each is optimized for maximum strength.
- With a focus on high-rpm performance, cooling has been improved. The number and angle of the radiator fins have been changed to flow more air to the radiator. The hot air is also exhausted more efficiently due to a shroud change. None of this matters if the water pump fails, so the water-pump gear has been thickened for reliability.
- The exhaust charge gets a new path. The dual exhaust ports have been replaced by a single straight port. While Honda has focused on high-rpm performance from the engine, this change is intended to increase torque and usability at low-rpm. The single-pipe exhaust system saves weight, and narrows the chassis for the rider. With just one muffler in 2022, the internal baffling has received attention.
- As the power flows from the 2022 Honda CRF250R’s motor, it encounters a new clutch and changes to the shift drum. The new 17-percent-lighter shift drum uses just a single fork for shifting between 2nd and 3rd gears. This change results in smoother shifting, according to Honda. The clutch now has an additional disc and one more spring. Honda also stiffened the basket and increased lubrication. The lever pull is reduced a claimed four percent, and there’s less slip. There’s also a claimed 21 percent increase in durability.
- All of these changes resulted in new gearbox ratios. Taller ratios are used for 1st and 3rd gears, while 2nd, 4th, and 5th gears are lower. You’ll definitely be revving out 1st and 3rd a bit more.
- The loss of the left side exhaust and new plastic gives the rider a motorcycle with narrowed ergonomics. The left side panel is moved in almost two inches, while the right side has nearly 0.8 inches shafted off. The shrouds are now one piece, so racers with knee braces will be happy. It now takes just eight bolts to remove the plastic, compared to 12 last year, and all the bolts have 8mm heads. Also, the back of the seat is nearly 0.4 inches lower—flattening the seat makes it easier to move around.
- The titanium fuel tank has been redesigned, and there’s no longer a cover on top. If you’re paying for titanium, you want to see it. Also, getting rid of the cover saves weight up high.
- You will be able to pick up a new 2022 CRF250R in mid-August. Budget for an MSRP of $8099—just $100 more than last year.
2022 Honda CRF250R Specs
- Motor: Four-stroke single
- Displacement: 249cc
- Bore x stroke: 70.9 x 50.9mm
- Compression ratio: 13.9:1
- Valvetrain: DOHC; 4 titanium valves
- Fuel system: EFI w/ 44mm throttle body
- Starting: Electric
- Transmission: Constant-mesh 5-speed
- Clutch: Wet multiplate; 9 plates and 5 springs
- Final drive: 520 chain
- Frame: Aluminum twin-spar
- Front suspension; travel: Fully adjustable 49mm Showa inverted fork; 12.2 inches
- Rear suspension; travel: Fully adjustable linkage-assisted Showa piggyback shock; 12.3 inches
- Rims: D.I.D DirtStar
- Tires: Pirelli Scorpion MX32 Mid Soft
- Front tire: 80/100 x 21
- Rear tire: 100/90 x 19
- Front brake: 260mm disc w/ 2-piston caliper
- Rear brake: 240mm disc w/ single-piston caliper
DIMENSIONS and CAPACITIES
- Wheelbase: 58.1 inches
- Rake: 27.3 degrees
- Trail: 4.5 inches
- Seat height: 37.8 inches
- Ground clearance: 13.1 inches
- Fuel capacity: 1.7 gallons
- Curb weight: 229 pounds
- Color: Red
2022 Honda CRF250R Price: $8099 MSRP
2022 Honda CRF250R Photo Gallery