Honda’s been playing it quiet this fall, with little hinting about upcoming models. However, an update on Big Red’s Japanese-language website shows we’re getting an updated CRF250L and CRF250 Rally for 2021.
What’s new for next season? Even with the help of Google Translate, it’s hard to tell exactly what’s going on (and Honda’s never been known for sharing a lot of details ahead of time). From the photos, you can see both bikes get new bodywork for 2021, with the CRF250L in particular gaining a more aggressive look, supposedly closer to the CRF450R dirt bike. There’s a new headlight, new plastics and some other tweaks. The Rally version gets a new fuel tank, and it seems the bodywork also gets a bit of a shuffle on that bike as well.
A while back, there was a rumour the CRF250 line might get mechanical fuel injection and dual-plug heads, but the presser says nothing about that. The press release says both bikes get a new frame for 2021. Supposedly, the new frame is more rigid, and lighter. That’s good news; these two-fiddys are notoriously heavy when compared to the competition, and it would be great if Honda figured out how to lose some weight while it tweaked the chassis. Hopefully, Honda’s also reinforced the subframe.
Running the Japanese press release through Google Translate, we also get this: “the suspension is combined with front and rear suspensions that extend the stroke amount (compared to the conventional model) and improve road surface followability.” Obviously, that’s a case of poor AI translation, but it does seem to be saying we’re getting new suspension on the 250s as well, with longer travel and better handling.
No doubt we’ll have a full press release on these machines sometime this month. We’d expect the new models for the 2021 riding season, as they’re almost certainly going to be replacing the older bikes in European showrooms, due to Euro5 emissions requirements.