The 2013 Honda CRF250R motocrosser was in essence an incremental development of the bike that won both US Supercross titles in 2012, but for 2014 HRC's development engineers felt something more radical was needed.
So they started with a slightly lighter version of the mass-centralised aluminium beam frame used on the badass open-class CRF450R, and comprehensively redesigned the engine for more power, more torque and improved throttle control.
Compression is up from 13.2:1 to 13.5:1 thanks to a new piston and re-shaped cylinder head, the porting has been optimised for improved gas-flow in the low to mid-range and the five-speed gearbox has been revised to improve durability.
Like its muscular big brother the new CRF250R has new PGM-FI mapping with dual injector timing and a revised injector angle, while a CRF450R airbox is mated to a special air boot and dual tailpipes.
The main spars of the new aluminium beam frame, which weighs only 9.35kg, join the steering-head tube about halfway down, rather than close to the top as on the previous model, lowering the centre of gravity for easier side-to-side transition.
Rake angle is 27.23 degrees on a 116.7mm trail, with a 1489mm wheelbase and all-up kerb weight of 106.2kg.
The engine is cradled in a special lower cradle, with all the electrical components - ECU, condensor, regulator and wiring harness - centrally mounted below the throttle body, while revised, lighter radiators are mounted lower on the frame.
IMPROVED RIGIDITY IS ALWAYS A GOOD THING
The aluminium swing-arm's front and centre-section beam height is taller for improved rigidity and the Showa rear shock - with a new spring plus revised compression and rebound damping rates - is 14.5mm shorter overall than previously, so the Honda hotshots simply moved the top mount 14.5mm lower in the frame, which they say reduces pitching inertia along the bike's centre line so you can brake harder without excessive nose-dive.
The Showa 48mm inverted cartridge forks also get new springs to suit the new frame, and the diameter of the internal sub-pistons has been increased from 35mm to 37mm to improve low-speed damping.
The 2014 Honda CRF250R is available now at R78 990.
Engine: 249cc liquid-cooled four-stroke single.
Bore x stroke: 76.8 x 53.8mm.
Compression ratio: 13.5:1.
Valvegear: SOHC with four overhead valves per cylinder.
Power: 28kW at 11 000rpm.
Torque: 26.4Nm at 8500rpm.
Induction: PGM-FI electronic fuel injection.
Ignition: Full transistor.
Clutch: Cable-operated wet multiplate clutch.
Transmission: Five-speed constant-mesh gearbox with final drive by chain.
Front Suspension: 48mm inverted Showa cartridge forks, adjustable for preload, compression and rebound damping.
Rear Suspension: Pro-link with Showa hydraulic shock absorber, adjustable for preload, low and high-speed compression, and rebound damping.
Front brake: 240mm petal disc with dual-piston floating calliper.
Rear brake: 240mm petal disc with single-piston floating calliper.
Front tyre: 80/100 x 21 tube type.
Rear tyre: 100/90 x 19 tube type.
Seat height: 951mm.
Kerb weight: 106.2kg.
Fuel tank: 6.3 litres.
Price: R78 990.