The first impact is of a motorcycle super-finished to the last detail. Honda didn’t exaggerate graphics to leave the user free to customize the bike. After touching it and by its looks the seat seems to have a good grip, and the winged brand name printed near the bike tail, is immediately visible; the hand guards are very simple and bear the winged brand name too.
Other things that stand out, and are supplied as standard, are: the skid plate, the rear caliper shark-fin guard and the front caliper guard. The clutch is still wire controlled, totally bucking the trend of Western enduro motorcycles.
On the road
As you straddle it, it feels familiar and comfortable thanks to the riding position; after a couple of meters it’s like riding a bicycle for its maneuverability and lightness. As you give it gas, it is stable and accurate and the more you push it the more you feel safe and this, no doubt, comes from the aluminum frame and the Showa suspensions. I rode it both on prepared trail and in the wild and can say that the ground that suits its best between the two is the cross-test, where you can make the best of the bike’s characteristics (rigid frame, hard fork). On mule tracks it’s a bit harder to make the front float on rocks if you don’t push it; even the clutch may start to be hard to dose if stressed and this doesn’t help on the hardest trails.
The engine surprised me for its linear output, at low revs it’s a tractor and absolutely not difficult and as you give it gas you start feeling the horsepower it can unleash, which however increases steadily. Nothing much to say about suspensions because if you say Showa you already said everything; the fork works well even if it is a bit harder compared to other forks; the monoshock copies any unevenness without swerving and ensures good traction. The starter is always ready to turn on the engine as soon as you press the button.
The opinion of the tester
The motorcycle is really fun even if it’s not that easy to ride for amateurs (unless you are physically trained and prepared); for racers in the various enduro championships who want a stable and accurate bike, this could be a good choice. In these last years, Redmoto, by knowingly adjusting setup and power pack, closed the gap between the CFR derived from cross and the versions specifically made for enduro of the European brands.