Honda Kid’s CRFs Reviewed – CRF50F, CRF110F, CRF125F
Words: Jock McLauchlan, Ben Wilkins, Photos: Geoff Osborne
Honda offers a great range of their CRF machinery ideal for junior riders and covering a wide age range, whether that’s starting on the CRF50F, or moving all the way up to the CRF125F Big Wheel. Here’s impressions from the type of junior riders these are intended for.
The CRF50F has been around unchanged for a long time now with good reason – if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. They’re solid performers that are extremely reliable and unbelievably economical. The basic drum brakes work very well with an easy pull for small hands and feet.
The auto gearbox is so easy for a learner to ride with, but quite truck like to shift gears for small feet. I think the kick-start only is a plus as a first timer’s bike because a kid probably can’t start it, so there must be an adult present for them to ride. The suspension is great for learner kids on flatish paddocks, as is the long, safety-style seat.
CRF50F Ride Impression – Sean McLauchlan
“I was about six when I first started to ride the 50. It was a bit scary at first, but so easy to ride with the low seat that I got the hang of it quickly. It was easy to steer and control. To start with I never changed gears, dad just put it in second and I rode everywhere like that. I can’t think of a better bike to learn on. Dad said it’s good too because its quiet and doesn’t smoke.” – Sean
Honda CRF50F Specifications and Audience
- Rider – Five to seven years of age, beginner
- Riding type – Paddock, trail, club days
- Engine type – Air-cooled, four-stroke, carburettor
- Capacity – 49cc
- Starter – Kickstart
- Gearbox – Three-speed, auto clutch
- Brakes – Drum front, drum rear
- Seat height – 548mm
- Wheelbase – 911mm
- Weight – 50kg
- Price – $2199 Ready To Ride
The CRF110 is a step up from the 50 at about twice the size. It is also quite a bit more powerful and big enough for an adult to scoot around on too, if necessary. The 110 is quiet and frugal on gas and surprisingly capable for kids on trail rides.
The four-stroke auto engine is very torquey, gets great traction and can’t be stalled in those tricky situations. The perfect machine until kids start to ride quite fast… this isn’t a race bike.
CRF110F Ride Impression – Sean McLauchlan, Leo Copping
“I loved my 110 because it was grunty, but I could still put my feet down and feel like I was in control. I even rode it out to the Sandpit sand bowl in Woodhill forest and only got a bit stuck a few times in the really deep sand. It doesn’t stall and the electric start and auto-gearbox make riding it so simple. It’s an awesome bike.” -Sean
“The 2016 Honda CRF110F rides smooth and has a comfortable seat. Being a four-stroke I found it heavy but also easy to ride and the bike felt like it was well made. I think my two-stroke KTM SX65 is lighter and more exciting to ride making it a better bike for me, but if you were newer to riding or just wanted to trail ride then I think the Honda would be a really good choice.” -Leo
Honda CRF110F Specifications and Audience
- Rider: Eight to 11 years of age, beginner to intermediate
- Riding Type: Paddock, trail, club days
- Engine Type: Air-cooled, four-stroke, carburettor
- Capacity: 109cc
- Starter: Electric and kickstart
- Gearbox: Four-speed, auto-clutch
- Brakes: Drum front, drum rear
- Seat Height: 667mm
- Wheelbase: 1064mm
- Weight: 74kg
- Price: $3249 Ready To Ride
The CRF125F and FB are exactly the same bar the wheel sizes. The F has a 17-inch/14-inch front, rear tyre combination while the FB has a 19-inch/16-inch set. This equates to a good 50mm difference in seat heights and this can be a big difference depending on how tall the child is.
Both have torquey, flexible and easy to use four-stroke engines that are reasonably quick. The four-speed manual gearboxes shift well and the electric start has the bike going again quickly should the rider stall. The gear ratios are broad, offering a gear for all trail riding situations.
The front disc brake is great and the rear drum isn’t bad either. The suspension, while not adjustable, performs great and it is surprising how hard 9 to 11-year old kids can punt them along.
CRF125F/FB Ride Impression – Sean McLauchlan, Cooper Davies
“The 125 is the first manual bike I have ridden and after how easy the auto CRF110 was to ride, it has taken a bit to get used to the clutch and gears. The F is the perfect height for me, while at the moment the FB is a little bit tall when taking off and stopping but when I’m riding it feels really cool with great suspension. The brakes are great and it feels fast too.” -Sean
“I have been riding a clutch gearbox two-stroke for nearly a year now, so this was my first go riding the medium and large-wheel CRF125 electric start four-strokes. Although both bikes were heavier than my bike, the big wheel CRF125 was still pretty good for speed (well… I think it’s good for speed!).
“It would be good for chasing farm animals around and it could also be good for climbing hills. It is quite loud but not as loud as a two-stroke. The medium size wheels would be good for 9-11 year-old riders. And I think the big wheel CRF125 would be really good for kids 11 years-old or older.
“I am nearly 10 and although the big CRF125 was tall for me, I still managed to ride Leightons Farm Mini track in 64 secs – my best time on any bike so far! My cousin Sean is lucky enough to own the 125 now!” -Cooper
Honda CRF125F (/FB – Big Wheel) Specifications and Audience
- Rider: 11+ years of age, beginner to intermediate
- Riding Type: Paddock, trail, club days, racing
- Engine Type: Air-cooled, four-stroke, carburetor
- Capacity: 125cc
- Starter: Electric and kickstart
- Gearbox: Four-speed, manual clutch
- Brakes: Disc front, drum rear
- Seat Height: 735mm (785)
- Wheelbase: 1220mm (1225mm)
- Weight: 87kg (88kg)
- Price: CRF125F $3899 Ready To Ride – (CRF125FB $4299 Ready To Ride)
- Sean McLaughlan; Age: 12, Hometown: Waimauku, Own bike: Was a CRF110, now a CRF125FB
- Cooper Davies; Age: 9 Hometown: Western Springs, Own bike: KTM SX65
- Leo Copping; Age: 9, Hometown: Waimauku