Remember when electronic fuel injection was a big deal? It wasn’t that long ago that only top-spec supersports boasted EFI on their spec sheets. As a sign of the times, Honda is giving its CRF250F, CRF125F, and CRF110F fuel injection as well as some other key updates.
For 2019, the CRF230F will be replaced by the CRF250F. In addition to a larger engine, the 250F gets a new frame that provides 12mm more rear-wheel travel. Honda was able to give the bike thicker seat foam for a comfier perch, while raising the overall seat-height by just .2 inches. The steel fuel tank has an internal fuel pump and low-fuel sensor. A bar-mounted fuel indicator obviates the need for a fuel petcock. No more fumbling to switch to reserve. The CRF250F will be available in February 2019 with an MSRP of $4,599.
The CRF125F and CRF125F Big Wheel receive similar updates: new frame, EFI, bar-mounted fuel indicator. The seat-height is 29.1 inches for the standard model and the Big Wheel—which swaps its 16- and 14-inch hoops for larger 19- and 16-inch ones—has a 1.8-inch taller saddle.
The CRF110F also gets EFI and a new twin-spar steel frame that increases rear-suspension travel by 12mm. Even with 5mm more seat foam, the seat height is .4 inches lower than the outgoing model. The 110 still has a four-speed semi-automatic transmission to make learning to ride easier and less intimidating.
MSRP and availability for the CRF125F and CRF110F have not yet been announced.
For those of us in colder climes, learning to tear down a carburetor after winter hibernation was a rite of passage. With fuel injection now predominant, rebuilding a carb is becoming a lost art. Kind of a shame, but kind of great. I imagine kickstarting one of these puppies in 30-degree weather is going to be a heck of a lot easier too. So much for using the old “owning a motorcycle will build character” line to convince your parents to let you get a dirtbike. At least there’s still chain maintenance, oil changes, and cleaning air filters.
While EFI is a great feature, no doubt Honda added it to these small-displacement recreation bikes for emissions reasons. If it helps prevent legislators from closing recreational areas for off-road riders, we’ll consider it a wise move on Big Red’s part. We suspect it will be a trend industry-wide.