VIDEO: 2016 Honda CRF150R

2016 Dirt Rider 85cc MX Shootout: Second Place

The 2016 Honda CRF150R was the only four-stroke we let into this test… probably because it’s the only racing four-stroke in this category. Do not confuse this with the docile trail bikes, this is a blazing fast race bike that puts out oodles of strong, smooth, and usable power. This machine has larger displacement engine than the other bikes in the class (a 150cc engine vs. the 85cc two-strokes), and it has a torque advantage over the 85s, though in the upper rpm the stronger 85cc engines had more power up top, according to our expert-level test group. The Honda’s suspension caused the machine to lose points on our test sheets, with some riders feeling a kick in the suspension that they couldn’t tune out. The red bike shined in handling, with a planted feel in the turns and a stable feel at speed.

A general note to non-riders: We tested with a group of six young but highly skilled and very experienced racers, and our shootout was geared toward this type of top-level racer. If you're researching a first bikes for a kid, none of the 85cc race bikes are a great choice, a trail bike (CRF-F, TT-R, DR-Z, KLX) would be the right machine to get a youngster into the sport.