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Special News Bulletin: Carlsbad Raceway & Honda’s new CR 125!

Published August 15th, 2002





Hi John. Can you believe we are here at the world famous Carlsbad Raceway in California? I’m riding on the same track that all the Grand Prix riders used to ride here for the USGP. It’s awesome!



I’ve been looking forward to riding the ’03 Honda CR 125 because I’m thinking about buying one. I’ll know more after today ….. I’m heading out to the track now!



(Later that same day … )



OK John, after riding two long motos, let me give you the breakdown on the new CR. First, let’s talk about the power. What a difference between the ’02 model and the ’03 model! The new bikes are a lot easier to ride. Much more power, and better power delivery. Why does this bike have so much more power? I tracked down Eric Crippa from American Honda to find out:



Eric: Every part that handles air management has been improved. It’s simple really: More air equals more power. From the intake area to where it exits the exhaust pipe, it’s all improved. Some of the changes are larger air ports on the side panels, larger airbox, straighter intake to the carb, bigger carb (38mm TMX instead of 36mm), bigger six petal carbon fiber reed valve, new cylinder with different porting, different exhaust port, reshaped exhaust manifold, and a new exhaust pipe with more volume. The average rider is going to notice a lot more power than the ’02. More bottom end, more mid, more snap, and better acceleration.



Thanks for that info Eric. Next up, let’s talk about the suspension. I’ll get right to the point – I like it! Front and rear are very well balanced and stable. Very smooth.



I’d like to take a moment to talk about the handling of this bike. It’s very good. Stable on the straights, whoops, and at high speed. In the corners, it holds it’s line very well. It corners like a Honda!



So, the acceleration is good, the suspension works, and the bike handles well. But sooner or later you’ll need to slow down or stop. How about the brakes? The brakes are great too. Strong, smooth, progressive. It brakes like a Honda!



Overall, I’d say this bike is an improvement over the ’02. Better power. Better handling. Light weight. Excellent suspension. The main thing is the motor – much better! However, out of the box you’ll have to play with the jetting.



OK, that’s all from Carlsbad Raceway. Back to you in the studio John. Oh wait … a couple more things … thanks to American Honda for the invite. And thanks to Paul Anderson from Parts Unlimited for making me look good in the new THOR Core 5 gear. The new CR’s should be at your local dealership in October.



p.s. Check out the extra bonus photos from back in the day!



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Special News Bulletin: Carlsbad Raceway & Honda's new CR 125! - Photo 1 of 12
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The star of the day – 2003 CR 125

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Matt Miller did the riding

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Matt gets the lowdown from Honda’s Eric Crippa

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The original Honda Elsinore

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Coming soon – the CR 85 Expert

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Carlsbad’s big downhill

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Downhill part II

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1981 Honda CR!

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Are you old enough to remember this ad?

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Way back ….



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