Tested: RedMoto Honda CRF250RX and CRF400RX
RedMoto Honda’s CRF250RX and CRF400RX models are getting more enduro friendly with each year, Spanish importer Honda Impala invited Enduro21 to find out more about those changes for the 2022 models.
Hosting a bike test where the likes of Billy Bolt, Jonny Walker and Taddy Blazusiak test and train was not a bad call from Honda Impala. Enduro21 is at Ametlla Park in Catalonia to test the 2022 RedMoto Honda CRF250RX and CRF400RX models and there’s everything you need to test a bike here; fast tracks, a corner filled test between trees and, obviously, a SuperEnduro track to see how this Japanese/Italian machines get through technical stuff. The only thing we missed was an enduro loop to test them in some uphills and singletracks.
Suited to enduro
Everyone knows that the RedMoto bikes are enduro tweaked Hondas, but the Italian importer pushes to make the Japanese bikes feel at home in the forest. They don’t just do some changes in the injection and the engine power output, these bikes come fitted with all the ‘extras’ you need for enduro.
The first thing is that the handguards and skidplate are stock, which is not so common nowadays. They have also taken care of protecting the radiators, the Japanese bikes don’t tend to have the strongest ones, so they fit some aluminium braces to keep them in shape.
This protector also holds the fan, which also comes fitted when you buy the bike. Honda has put special attention to maintaining a bike cool, take a look at those radiator guards and how they have been built to redirect the maximum amount of air to the radiators.
When things get hard and you have to move the bike, the most common way to do it is by grabbing it by the rear fender. For 2022 RedMoto has make this part more rigid making this task easier as well as less vulnerable to bend when mud gets caked on.
The new airbox has a vent on the left-hand side and it’s just big enough to get a hand in and it’s less likely to get your glove full of mud. We wish it had one on the other side also.
The RedMoto Honda CRF250RX is more enjoyable
Honda updated the CRF250RX 2022 with the same chassis used in her big sister, the CRF450RX. Together with the new-shape plastics, being able to move around the bike easily is the first thing you notice when you jump on the new baby RX.
The RedMoto Honda CRF250RX feels thinner when you jump on it and mass centralisation is something which Honda is taking special care of as Xavi Arenas (Honda Impala’s main man) points out. It makes the bike feel lighter and more playful on the technical sections and as a rider you feel more confident.
This is also due to the ‘diet’ that they have put the small bike on, it’s three kilos lighter than its predecessor. This is mainly thanks to the new chassis, ergonomics and having gone from two silencers to one. They have dropped some of the weight from the engine and the suspension, but nothing too significant.
The seat has also been changed completely and goes from the classic Honda two bolts in the back to two in the front and it feels more in one with the bike as it’s locked where we spend most of the time when seated – the new KTM and Husqvarna Factory Edition models have also gone with this trend.
An 80% new engine
The Honda 250 four-stroke engine looks exactly the same on the outside but the internals are 80% new – top end, piston, crankshaft, camshaft – as well as fitting a new air box which has 78% more capacity and a new injection body.
They have also worked on the gearbox to make it more suitable for enduro. That means second and third gears have a different ratio – they’re closer together – which makes the whole gearbox more enduro friendly. They have kept the cable clutch, but now it has nine discs instead of seven which helps preventing the fatigue and it has a lighter pull – still answering any questions in the cable versus hydraulic debate.
All those engine changes are quite noticeable, the 2022 CRF250RX feels stronger at low revs than the 2021 model and it’s easier to get through technical stuff without stalling it – the new clutch comes handy here also.
The map and the launch control switch stays the same as last year with three engine maps, standard, soft and racing, and three launch control levels.
The new airbox comes handy
One of the lows on older Hondas is the time needed to change the air filter. In other bikes, KTM and Husqvarna for example, you don’t need any tools to do it which makes swapping filters during an event a much easier task.
For 2022 all the RedMoto bikes feature Honda’s new airbox, making the engine breathe better with a simplification the air filter changing process. You’ll still need tools but now you only have to unscrew one bolt and the side panel comes off.
Is one of those little changes than makes our life easier, mostly if you ride in dusty places and want to keep the ‘lungs’ of your bike clean. It’ll make a difference at the races or ISDE for example too.
RedMoto Honda CRF400RX – a 450 but sweeter
The CRF400RX hasn’t change much for 2022, we saw big changes last year with a new engine, chassis and bodywork handed out from the updated CRF450 models from Japan. For ’22 RedMoto have basically worked on getting a better suspension setting for enduro.
It shares the whole engine with the 450 but it drops down to 413cc. Athena has an agreement with RedMoto to provide the cylinders exclusively to them, basically Athena does the production and the development part is shared with the RedMoto.
In a nutshell the piston makes a bike more accessible, and apparently also for EnduroGP riders too not just us. Xavi Arenas, the Spanish importer for RedMoto, told us that the world championship riders on the big bikes have used this cylinder in 70% to 80% of the races this season.
The Italian importer has also worked on the injection and the mapping to tune it for the lower engine capacity maintaining the rest of the block the same as her big sister. In short, it’s a smoother and less tiring to ride.
Sadly, we didn’t have the CRF450RX this year to test them side by side, but the 400 felt a bit easier to get through tight stuff and less intimidating to hit the gas on a flat corner – the three different engine maps and traction control levels help also. You have to be careful with your throttle hand on the bigger bike so one finger covering the clutch always helps keep it tame.
Enduro21 only got to try out the 250RX and 400RX on this test but the full range of RedMoto Hondas is 250, 300, 400 and 450 cc versions.
Want something more? Check out the Special Editions
If you’re looking for a more exclusive Honda for enduro then RedMoto also have a Special Editions. For an extra €1000 (varies a little depending on the model) you’ll get a fully kitted bike with X-Trig triple clamps, machined Kite wheel hubs, front and rear quick axle pullers, simplified wiring, blue silicone hoses, AXP skid plate, Supersprox rear sprocket, Blackbird non-slip seat cover, billet aluminium rear calliper support, front and rear brake master cylinder blue aluminium caps, Rekluse clutch cover, frame protector, safety cable for rear brake, bullet aluminium rear brake linkage and oversized rear brake pump reservoir.
That is a decent increase in the final price, but if you buy everything separately you’ll end up spending way more than if you buy the whole bike this way and the result is one beauty of a machine.
Photo Credit: Nicki Martinez | Enduro21