I was hoping that you were going to tell us what Yamaha's answer is!
It's funny that everyone is assuming that the CRF (which very few ,if any, unbiased individuals have seen much less ridden) is going to be a better bike than the YZF. Honda claims 225 pounds? It looks to me like the exhaust weighs 225 pounds :p !
Don't get me wrong, I am a life long Honda fan. However, this whole thing reminds me of the time when Dirt Rider Named a Cannondale as bike-o-the-year two years before anyone saw one. I don't think Yamaha is shaking in their boots just yet.
I wish someone would publicly call a spade a spade and confront these manufactures with the BS stats they publish. How can they get away with inflated HP figures and dry weights they KNOW will be disproved as soon as someone throws a bike on a scale or dyno! I love hearing car comercials claim 240 HP from crapy 4 banger or 6 cyl cars. I would love to call Yamaha or Honda and ask em why the forces of gravity seem to be larger across the ocean than in Japan.
As far as Yamaha reacting, no need really, Its taken about 5 years for anyone to react to what they have done. In the motorcycle world, thats and eternity. I am sure if they simply continue to do what they have with the 4 stroke inovation they will continue to dominate the class. I imagine they already have the next evolution waiting in the wings and are maximizing their efforts and profits with the YZF and WRF, kinda like PC chip makers :) , as their are few bikes that are able to hold a candle to them, especially with the price they sell them for and the fact that they are still selling more or less every one they make well before the next model year comes out. They for the moment at least seem to be in more of a position of pro-active rather than reactive.
We all know this industry is a What have you done for me latley market though. And the consumer is always looking for the best buy on the best bike almost regardless of the manufacture. How many guys you know out there will be trading in their 01 YZ 426 for a 02 YZ 426? Probably alot, for no real good reason. How many guys you know out there already have deposites on Honda 450s they have never even seen much less ridden?????
If I knew, I'd tell ya.;)
I'm not saying the CRF will be that much better than the YZ. I'm sure it'll be lighter, by how much I don't know. I like the YZ better because it has been proven. I'd be a little uneasy about putting out 6k for a bike that only 2 people have ever rode. Like Jason J said, I believe that Yamaha has some changes or some big ideas that they have in the R&D, but have had no need to put them on the bike because there hasn't been any competition. Now that there is, what will happen? I've heard everything from new cases and an aluminum frame, to "bold new graphics". Well this year there's bold new graphics. But what about next year? :eek: I think that however good the Honda is will effect what kind of bike we get next year.
I remember the hype when the YZ400 came out and then the WR 400. It was all light weight and great handling. The hype also surrounded the XR400 and then the XR650. (Its amazing how light the bikes are in Japan but the rest of the world gets the fat heavy ones). I wanted one of the Yamaha 400's then couldnt get one so I grabbed one of the last 2 stroke Yamaha WR250's (99). Friends brought the 400's and raved, they then rode the 250 and called it a BMX bike, light, easy to start, blah blah. I'm kinda glad I didnt buy a 400 now as the YZ250F is a much better bike for me. I think the CRF will be a good bike but it will never be as revolutionary as the Yamahas in 1998 or the Husky/ Husabergs were in the early 90's. I will be trying top get a ride on the CRF when it appears and will look at them when / if the 250 arrives to buy one if the price is right and I want one.
Julius, I think Jason's point was that some figures for HP are inflated. Is the Honda S2000's 4 cylinder 2.0L really capable of 240HP? Not according to the dyno's here in the states. And, not according to the trap speeds the cars produce at the strip. As you may know the drag strip trap speed is used to calculate HP using the cars weight. The Honda is producing about 190HP at the rear wheels. That is fantastic for a 2L engine and nothing else can match it. However there is not a 50HP loss in the drivetrain.
The BMW HP was claimed to be 333 for the 6 cyl. Again just a little high, and has been revised down a little. Yamaha's 4 strokes are not as powerful as originally claimed and I'll guess that Honda is no more powerful than the Yamaha.
Honda has a production 450 and a 250 at Loretta Lynns this week,the 450 is production #11.I`m not interested in a motocrosser for myself but I wish it had a headlight on it.While i could`nt lift it to check to check the weight ,iwas able to rock it from side to side on the stand-very impresive to say the least.The engine lookes smaller than a yamaha,overall about the same as the cr250,if it goes half as good as it looks it will be an interesting year.:)