The Honda CRF250R received a major upgrade this year, making it the sixth generation of the support class motocross racer. We went through extensive changes in our 2022 Honda CRF250R First Look, and now it’s time to go roosting.
For our first ride, Ultimate Motorcycling test rider Gordon Keck took to Mountain View MX Park in Sandy, Oregon—20 miles due south of Washougal MX Park—to wring out the new 2022 Honda CRF250R. We put it in its natural environment—a deep and soft track with the wood chips, plus a couple of hardpack sections.
- The best thing that stood out about the new 2022 Honda CRF250R is the power. Comparing to the last year’s model almost isn’t fair! The CRF250R prefers to have you ring its neck semi-close to the rev limiter to feed the power to the ground. It revs relatively slowly, though not too slow by any means. It made the CRF250R easier to adjust to and feel comfortable on.
- The CRF250R’s power is all mid to high rpm. I have to ride with incredible intensity to make the bike feel right to me, yet the bike is not fatiguing to ride. It works with you better at an increased intensity, so the CRF250R doesn’t wear you out. When I cruise around, it is just a normal bike. When I open it up, it becomes a monster for a stock 250F. The close gear ratios in the five-speed transmission make it easy to keep the revs up.
- As amazing as the power is, the handling is right there with it. The 2022 CRF250R handles like a dream. From sitting into ruts and berms with no hesitation, to opening the bike up as fast as it can go down the straightaways, there is never any head twitching or nose-diving.
- Overall, the 2022 Honda CRF250R is the best cornering bike I’ve ever ridden. You can do anything you want—it handles great on entries and exits. There were times where I would rail the entry of the rut and hit the brakes to cut out early. The bike worked with me perfectly. Still, it is much easier when you stick in the rut the whole time in fast corners. If I were to adjust the suspension exclusively for cornering, I would probably soften the shock a click or two to help it plant better in the chop. I did go two clicks stiffer on the fork compression damping, just for my riding style. I sit far back on the seat, so that adjustment helps in cornering.
- The new Showa suspension is balanced. It is at its best entering corners and at speed. The suspension’s only challenge is tight corners with breaking bumps leading. At times, it does not want to settle. As previously stated, I went two clicks stiffer on compression and rebound to help stay on top of the bumps rather than falling into them. This benefitted me in the sense of comfortability and being able to predict what the bike will do.
- The 2022 Honda CRF250R is very easy to jump, large or small leaps. There is a quad on the track that took every ounce of power the motor has. Every time I hit it, the CRF250R flew through the air seamlessly. A few other test riders and I had a whip competition to find out how the bike slices through the air. At all angles, no one had any issues. It is actually quite easy to soar through the wind, which earned the CRF250R some extra brownie points from me.
- Scrubbing the CRF250R is no problem. On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the easiest to lay over and shave some height and speed over a jump, I give it a 9. Getting the CRF250R leaned over is incredibly simple—it does almost all the work for you if your commitment is there.
- The track doesn’t have any whoops, but it does have rollers. Judging by how it handles larger breaking bumps, I would say that the CRF250R prefers to skim rather than jump whoops—if the rider is capable of that. It will handle either situation, however.
- The front brake is gentle to the touch, and braking increases progressively as you squeeze. It doesn’t lock up unexpectedly, yet provides the stopping power needed. The back brake is pretty standard—just exactly what you would expect hopping on a new motorcycle.
- For starts, the 2022 Honda CRF250R has an amazing 2nd-to-3rd gear transition. It’s easy to get a good jump and seemed effortless keeping the power to the ground.
- The new Pirelli Scorpion MX32 Mid Soft tires are winners. I always run Dunlops, so I didn’t know what to expect. The CRF250R’s Pirellis felt better than the showroom floor Dunlops. The Pirellis were amazing. The MX32s tracked very well and were consistent in all conditions!
- The ergonomics are excellent, to say the least! Honda narrowed the CRF250R considerably this year when it went back to the standard single-exhaust set-up. The bike positions you perfectly. Footpeg placement allows you to put the weight on the bike exactly where you want it to be, while still allowing a comfortable reach to the handlebars. I’m not necessarily tall, but I didn’t have to stretch to get to anything! The slim body of the plastics allowed me to easily slide around the bike and get to any position I needed to be in without ever getting caught up on a corner of the plastics.
- Honda put quite a bit of effort into boosting the mid-range and top end of the CRF250R, and it shows. With the rocketship motor, refined suspension, and improved ergonomics, the sixth-generation 2022 Honda CRF250R is an absolute winner for riders willing to put in 100 percent.
- Helmet: 6D ATR-2
- Goggles: Havoc Infinity
- Pants + jersey: O’Neal Prodigy Five One Limited Edition
- Gloves: O’Neal Matrix Stacked
- Knee pads: EVS TP 199
- Socks: O’Neal Pro MX
- Boots: Alpinestars Tech 10
Gordon Keck is sponsored by:
- O’Neal USA
- 6D Helmets
- MX Locker
- Rosie’s Vermont Beef Jerky
- Skin Industries
- Havoc Racing Co.
- UFO Plast
- EVS Sports
- Thrill Seekers
- Galfer USA
- Shop Buttery
- Motocutz MX
2022 Honda CRF250R Specs
- Type: 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: $8499 MSRP
2022 Honda CRF250R Review Photo Gallery