You gotta admit, Italy has style. Whether we’re talking Ferraris, food or chapel ceilings, Italy is a country of elegance and taste. That goes for motorcycles, too. The RedMoto CRF300RX is a perfect example. This is the end result of a marriage of Italian style, Japanese engineering and American finish. It is, at its core, a 2022 Honda CRF250RX off-road bike. The Italian Honda importer couldn’t leave it there, though, so they modified it for ISDE and World Enduro competition. The result is a 300cc off-road bike that can go head to head with any Austrian-built 350 four-stroke.
COMING TO AMERICA
Even though many of the parts for the RedMoto 300RX are designed and manufactured in Italy, the bike is sold in the U.S. on an a la carte basis by Checkpoint Offroad. In other words, you go to your Honda dealer and buy a new CRF250RX, then you give it the RedMoto treatment yourself. Matt Stavish at Checkpoint Off-Road is a Minnesota off-road legend with decades of ISDE and National Enduro experience. He decided the brand-new 2022 Honda CRF250RX was the perfect platform to showcase RedMoto’s hardware.
This was also our first experience with the ’22 Honda CRF250RX. As it comes from the factory, it has all the same new features and updates that the CRF250R motocross bike got for 2022. That includes a new, lighter chassis, and a motor that has a new head, crank, cams, clutch and piston. The airbox is completely configured as well. The twin mufflers are gone. In its RX configuration, Honda gives it little more than different mapping, softer suspension and the usual list of off-road accoutrements, like a big tank, an 18-inch rear wheel and a kickstand. Like most of the current closed-course competition bikes offered from dealers, it’s more motocross than off-road.
For this project, Checkpoint finished the off-road conversion that Honda started with RedMoto parts. At the core of it all is the 300 kit. This includes a cylinder, piston and gaskets to bring the displacement to 299cc. The kit is designed by RedMoto and manufactured by Athena. The EFI system was remapped as well. The cost for the kit with mapping is $1299. The beautiful titanium exhaust is made by Termignoni and has a removable quiet core. The bike also got a RedMoto 2-gallon fuel tank to replace the awkwardly shaped stocker.
The suspension was modified by Checkpoint here in the U.S. The fork was built with RWE Kashima uppers, DLC lowers with MX Tech BlackJack closed cartridges. Checkpoint also has an in-line hose cooler and aluminum bar ends.
A DEEPER RED
Riding the bike is a blast. The bike’s power is impressive. Where the stock 250RX motocross bike is mostly a top-end motor—even after the emphasis on more low end for 2022, the RedMoto 300 is a midrange monster. Most of the usual shortcomings of big-bore kits aren’t evident; it didn’t vibrate at all, it was easy to start and it had decent over-rev. We didn’t have a KTM 350 for comparison, but the RedMoto is clearly much closer to that level than it is to a stock 250. The power delivery is relatively smooth, but it does have a sharper bark than a typical 250 four-stroke. We did stall it once or twice, but no more than you would with any race bike on tight trails.
The best part about the bike was probably suspension. This just reflects the fact that Matt has a ton of experience setting up bikes for off-road. It was comfortable without the excessive dive and chassis movement usually associated with enduro settings.
As a package, the RedMoto 300 feels like a pure-blooded race bike. It has a strong, aggressive hit, and everything about the bike gets better the harder you ride it. We would love to have more time on it, but Matt and his crew were only out here for a short while before heading to South Carolina for the opening round of the National Enduro series. With any luck, we’ll get a chance to ride it back east where it really belongs. Or, better yet, in Italy.
2022 REDMOTO CRF300RX PARTS AND PRICES
- Checkpoint Off-Road fork: $3600
- MX Tech National shock with Checkpoint Off-Road specs: $2460
- RedMoto 300 big bore with mapping: $1099
- RedMoto 2-gallon tank: $399
- Termignoni exhaust with removable quiet core: $1299
- RedMoto radiator braces/fan kit with simple wire harness: $429 (harness allows addition of plug-and-play RedMoto headlight and rear fender with light)
- RedMoto CSP chainguide with brace: $129
- Checkpoint Off-Road/RedMoto hose cooler: $99
- Checkpoint Off-Road aluminum bar ends: $49
- G2 Ergonomics quick-turn throttle tube: $69.95
- IronMan 47-tooth sprocket: $120
Taming the red beast
Matt Stavish also showed us a RedMoto 400 based on the 2022 Honda CRF450RX. As everyone knows, the stock Honda 450 is a brute on tight trails. The RedMoto kit deals with that through a new cylinder that changes the displacement to 413cc. That kit sells for $1099 with mapping. The bike also had a RedMoto Race Light kit (headlight, mounting hardware, rear fender, drop-down and LED taillight, and wire harness), which sells for $649. Unfortunately, the bike wasn’t quite ready for a test, but we can’t wait.