Honda just released detailed information regarding the 2004 CR250R. There was some early speculation that the '04 CR may receive a new slim frame similar to the spy photos published in Dirt Rider, July '03. However, like we expected, the basic chassis for '04 is the same as '03 except for the new Showa fork works-style fork honing. Learning that information didn't disappoint, since our grievances with the '03 CR250R had little to do with the chassis of the Red Rider.The engine has been the bikes Achilles heel for two year now. Ever since they went to the new case reed inducted engine and electronic power valve, the CR has been a toad. The power has been very smooth and linier, great for beginner and novice ranked racers. That is fine, but we wanted more. Since the engine has been a weakling in the class, the CR returns in '04 with virtually a new engine based off the same design.The cases have been re-cast to improve the crankcase volume and the intake is CNC machined to fit the new reed cage like a glove. From there, the cylinder is also all-new with a redesigned oval exhaust port and revised porting. To manage the power valve and ignition operation, a new carburetor has been fitted with a new throttle position sensor. According to Honda, the 3D mapping in the ignition works with feedback and information to provide the mill the best ignition timing as well as power valve operation.The added features claims to up the overall output of the CR and create a meatier mid and stronger pull into the top. We will give you the total scoop as soon as we can spin some laps on the new mount. If Honda did achieve what it set out to accomplish, the CR could be back in the hunt in the 250 class. And as for two-stroke motocross bike disappearing like the dinosaur? Honda claims they have no immediate plans to shelve two-stroke development at this time.The '04 CR250R also receives the same changes as did the CRF450R and CR125R, which are the new darker red, new front fender, number plate and lighter fork guards and some lighter hardware.Expect to see the first test on the CR250R in the November '03 issue of Dirt Rider.