HRC’s factory MXGP racers Gautier Paulin, Tim Gajser and Jorge Zaragoza were at the Malpensa motocross track in Italy this week to join media from across Europe for the first ride of Honda’s 2016 CRF450R and CRF250R. They were also joined by motocross and AMA legend Jean Michel Bayle, and 2013 Enduro World Champion Alex Salvini, making for an impressive team of instructors.

Paulin, Gajser and Bayle gave a track briefing to media each evening, before which the bikes and their developments were presented to the media. The riders spent all day enjoying the CRF450R and the CRF250R, riding with the media and offering advice to help them get the best out of the CRFs’ new developments.

HRC partners Fox, Dunlop, Showa and KYB were all on hand to offer expert advice and support in setting the bikes up to each journalist’s style, and a dedicated mechanic for each media rider provided a one-to-one service.

Much of the development work on the CRFs is the direct result of Honda and HRC’s efforts in the FIM Motocross World Championship, with the lessons learned from the heat of racing being applied to the production models.

The new CRF250R features heavily revised Showa SFF-TAC air forks, improved rear suspension, and a heavily revised engine based on the factory CRF250RW, with new valves, piston, con-rod and cam and revised header pipe and muffler to produce much more top power and low-down torque.

The CRF450R receives updates to the KYB PSF2 forks with an increase in length of 5mm and revised compression and rebound damping rates, and a revised rear shock to improve handling and balance to make even more of the new engine the bike received last year.

Full press packs and details of technical updates are available at