Taking lessons learned from the CRF450R, the 2022 Honda CRF250R sees a small series of upgrades that make it lighter and more powerful for the upcoming year. For Malaysia, the current model 2021 Honda CRF250 Rally was released in the domestic market at RM27,599 and enquiries with official distributor Boon Siew Honda Malaysia did not indicate if the 2022 CRF250R will be imported.

It should be noted the CRF250R is designed from the outset to be a motocrosser, competing in the MX2 class and improvements made to the engine and chassis reflect this. The frame on the CRF250R weighs 700 grams less than previous, along with a sub-frame 320 grams lighter giving an overall weight savings of 3 kg.

However, lateral rigidity in the frame has been reduced 20% to improve corner speed, traction and steering accuracy while maintaining the frame’s previous level of torsional stiffness. The swingarm pivot support rib has been redesigned to match the change in the CRF250R’s frame stiffness, with the swingarm also modified to suit the new balance in rigidity.

Suspension has been tuned to match, with the 49 mm diameter Showa upside-down front fork being a version of the race unit supplied to the motocross race teams in the Japanese championship. The forks have been re-valved with a larger main piston giving faster response and smoother bump absorption while the spring uses lightweight steel, saving 120 grams.

In the engine room, a revised intake tract and cylinder head yields 10% more power and 15% more torque from the previous model’s 249.4 cc DOHC, liquid-cooled single-cylinder, preserving the gains from the 2020 model CRF250R in the top-end but increasing power and torque in 2022.

Three levels of launch control are available on the CRF250R, to suit track conditions and rider skill. At level 3, the engine revs to 8,250 rpm for muddy conditions and novice riders, while level 2 gives 250 rpm more for dry track riding with level 1 letting the engine spin out to 9,500 rpm, meant for expert riders.

The Engine Mode Select Button (EMSB) adjusts power delivery of the CRF250R to one of three levels. Mode 1 is standard, while Mode 2 and Mode 3 and smooth and aggressive, respectively with the selected mode displayed on the instrument panel via LED.

Rider ergonomics is also improved with the seat now 10 mm lower than before at 961 mm with the CRF250R weighing 104 kg in racing trim. Ground clearance is increased to 333 mm and wheelbase is shorter at 1,486 mm with the 2022 CRF250R now slimmer by 70 mm in width.