Today, I took a picture of a 2010 Honda CRF. It wasn’t easy, as I had to not only drive to Torrance in thick traffic to infiltrate the Honda command center, but I also had to slide my way past many a locked door in the very heart of the Red Rider’s stronghold.
My cover story for this mission was that I needed to pick up a brand new Honda CRF150F to race at the MiniMoto SX this weekend in Las Vegas. However, that was just a ruse to help fulfill my real goal: snap a shot of one of the new CRFs. As you can guess, Honda is extremely tight-lipped about their new bikes, and it isn’t easy trying to glean info on something that shouldn’t even exist.
Once I picky up my ringer (aka CRF150F), I casually slid past a number of stern warning signs. Every door or gate that I went through had some kind of posted notice that I was entering uncharted territory. How did I gain access to these super-secure corridors? It’s actually pretty easy: the trick is to just stand by the door and wait for someone with a badge or key card to come along. When they get there, threaten to wet your pants and vehemently insist that they show you to the nearest restroom, which is just beyond the locked door. This technique could get you into Ft. Knox!
Finally, I saw my target: the cage. I knew from extensive pre-mission planning that this locked spot in the center of Honda’s headquarters is where the 2010 CRFs would be kept. Luckily for me, I didn’t have to pick the lock as someone had left the key in massive padlock attached to the cage. I felt that luck was on my side as I opened the door.
Surprise! Inside of the cage I found none other than Honda strong-arm Ray Conway, the Red Rider’s top bouncer charged with protecting the 2010 CRFs from being exposed by big-eared journalists like myself. Ray was clearly not going to let me by, but I didn’t need him to: in the back of the room, I spotted my target: a 2010 CRF! I quickly snapped a photo and ran like Jimmy Lewis in a Sunday dress (it’s a long story).
After narrowly escaping Ray’s grasp and burning out of the Honda parking lot, I returned to DR’s base camp and reviewed by spy photo. An anonymous tip from a Honda employee confirmed that the bike in this picture—although covered—is in fact a top secret 2010 CRF 250R or 450R. As you can see, the bike clearly has knobby tires, as well as silver rims and spoke-type wheels (that should knock any “mag” wheel rumors right out of the park). Also, it appears that this machine definitely has suspension linkage. Of course, you can’t really tell much else from the photo, but I would have been seriously risking life and limb to press any further on this issue.
What’s that, you want to know more about the 2010 Hondas? While there isn’t much more that can be gathered from the sensitive images above, I’m sure that the September issue of Dirt Rider will have even more info on this classified new machine.