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"Dirt Rider", March 1, 2013

NEW KID ON THE BLOCK

ALL-NEW HONDA CRF110F

Story By Adam Booth

Photo By Jean-Paul Van Swae And Chris Green

Honda makes a ton of dirt bikes to suit almost every size and ability, but until now it has never had a 110 with an automatic clutch and four speeds. The all-new CRF110F is about the same size as the popular CRF70F (which is now gone from the Honda lineup). Honda felt 110cc of power, mixed with the bike’s size, filled the gap between riders too big for the CRF50F but not yet ready for the CRF80F or CRF100F, which have manual clutches. Seat height is a low 26.3 inches, and she rolls on a 14-inch front wheel and a 12-inch rear.

The engine is strong and simple, a 110cc single overhead cam four-stroke fed through a 13mm Keihin carb. To fire it up there are two routes, the kickstarter or the electric starter. A key ignition keeps the young ones from roosting when mom and dad aren’t around. When the motor is purring it is through a very quiet muffler that comes standard with a spark arrestor, which keeps neighbors from getting annoyed. To stop newbies from grabbing a fist full of horsepower, there is an adjustable throttle limiting screw. In drag races between the CRF110F, the Kawasaki KLX110 and the Yamaha TT-R110E, the bikes are almost identical in power. The CRF shines in bottom-end response that is smooth and strong but also very friendly for beginners.

The engine power of all the 110 minibikes may be nearly identical, but the suspension on the Honda stood out as the best in bone-stock form. It soaks up small bumps even for light riders and has impressive resistance to bottoming (the best we’ve ever felt stock in this bike category), even with 175-pound riders punishing it. Upon internal inspection of the fork we found it had a longer bottoming cone, keeping that dreaded metal-to-metal clank at bay. The shock bottoming rubber is also thicker and longer than other 110 models to resist hard bottoming. The fork offers 3.9 inches of travel while the shock gives up 3.4 inches of movement.

If you want more power out of the CRF110F, the quick method is a more open exhaust system that comes at sacrificing the whisper-quiet exhaust. The other way to let the engine put out more ponies is with a BBR U-Flow intake. Overall, we are genuinely impressed with the CRF110F. Honda did a great job of building a bike that is easy to ride for kids but holds up to serious abuse by adults. It starts with the push of a button, the suspension works great, the tiny chassis corners well and the entire bike looks killer. With a price just under $2,000 there will be a lot of little red and white 110s tearing up the dirt. If you’re looking for a taller seat, bore kit, fork springs, shock spring, damping rods, taller bar kit, rev box, skid plate or exhaust, BBR is where you want to go and the folks there can help you enhance the performance of this impressive little machine.

SECOND OPINION

Lindsey Lovell

Ht: 5’3” Wt: 110 lb Ability: Novice

I had so much fun on the CRF110F, I didn’t want to return it. The bike had more power than I expected and it handled well for my petite 110-pound, 5-foot 3-inch frame. The wide pegs help with controlling the bike, though the rear drum brake seems vague. This bike is perfect for smaller beginners with its auto clutch, electric start and the adjustable throttle limiter. It’s even ready for some Mini Moto madness with a more experienced rider on board.

SEAT HEIGHT: 25.9”

GROUND CLEARAN4CE: 6.3”

FUEL CAPACITY: 1.1 GAL.

WEIGHT, TANK FULL: 62 LB

MSRP: $1,995

WWW.POWERSPORTS.HONDA.COM

WANT MORE?

CHECK OUT THE VIDEO AT WWW.DIRTRIDER.COM/2013-HONDA-CRF110F.

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