This week the folks at Big Red introduced their first production electric motorcycle, the Honda CRF-E2. Made in collaboration with Southern California-based Greenger Powersports, this mini-crosser is billed as a competitive two-wheeler for the youth, roughly equivalent to a 50cc gas bike.
Don’t let the small size fool you though: Honda didn’t build the CRF-E2 as another pocket bike or trail toy like the current CRF50F: This electric kid’s bike is taking aim at the competitive youth riding/racing market, and from the look of things it might become the best buy in the genre.
Honda CRF-E2 Overview: Specs, Equipment, MSRP, Etc.
The list of competitive offroad bikes for young kids is a short one, and if you’re shopping electric-only, it’s shorter still. The main game in town for a 50cc equivalent is KTM’s SX-5 (and its Husqvarna EE5 sister), with a few alternatives from smaller companies like Torrot and Oset.
From a power standpoint, the Honda CRF-E2 is competitively specced with the best in the business, putting down a claimed 3.4 hp and 18.4 ft-lbs of torque. That’s a significant bump over the KTM’s 13.8 ft-lbs, but at 106 pounds, the Honda is also a bit heavier than the KTM’s 89-pound curb weight.
Riders also get 3.9 inches of suspension travel from the CRF-E2’s conventional front fork, modern stopping power from a pair of hydraulic brakes (both using 190mm rotors), and a proper set of knobby 12-inch Kenda K771 tires mounted to spoke aluminum wheels.
At first glance the only thing the CRF is lacking over the competition is outright suspension quality (KTM/Husky spec their mini-crossers with fully-adjustable WP suspension), but from where we’re standing, two things may truly set it apart in the market: Price and battery power.
Price is the most significant here, as the CRF-E2 hits showroom floors with a $2,950 starting MSRP. Considering KTM’s latest offering starts at $5,400, getting your kid into motocross just got a lot more affordable. The Oset MX-10 is the closest competitor here with a $3,200 price tag, but both bikes are missing the CRF’s secret sauce: Hot-swappable batteries.
By leveraging the experience and know-how of collaborator Greenger Powersports, Honda was able to design a chassis around Greenger’s latest 20Ah battery (they also use a Greenger motor and controller), which features the same 2-hour maximum runtime as the competition but pops out from under the seat with ease thanks to its compact size and scant 11.9-pound weight.
This tech gives parents the option of keeping a spare battery on hand to keep the fun going, or buying the optional 8A quick charger which cuts charge times down to 2.5 hours for a 100% charge. The CRF comes with a standard 5A charger as well, which takes about 4 hours for a full recharge from a standard socket.
Hot-swappable batteries are ideal for smaller output machines like this, but we’ll go ahead and warn you now: Greenger has set the starting MSRP for additional cells at $1,000 a pop through your authorized Honda dealer. Granted you can still get a new CRF-E2 and an extra four hours’ worth of battery power for less than a new KTM, but your kid will be cutting grass well into middle school before you see any return on that investment.
Honda CRF-E2 Specs
|Electric Motor:||48 V- BLDC motor with inner rotor|
|Rated Output||1.2 KW / 2000RPM|
|Max. Power:||2.5 KW|
|Max Motor Speed:||4,000 RPM|
|Drive Mode:||Stage 1 , Stage 2|
|Cooling System:||Air Cooled|
|Powerpack:||Swappable lithium-Ion battery, L*W*H:145*91*270mm, Weight:5.9kg(13lb)|
|Capacity/Energy:||20 AH/960 Wh|
|Charging Time 100%:||Standard: 4 Hours , Quick Charge: 2.5 Hours|
|Charging Time 80%:||Standard: 3.2 Hours , Quick Charge: 2 Hours|
|Run Time:||2 hours in ideal conditions with full charge|
|Charger Line Voltage:||90-264 V/50-60 Hz|
|Charging Input:||[email protected](AC)|
|Charging Power:||290 W|
|Frame:||Aluminum twin-spar with Double-Cradle|
|Handlebar:||Tapered Aluminum ϕ22mm|
|Front Suspension:||Hydraulic Conventional Telescopic Fork ϕ33mm, Length 600mm(24.25inches)|
|Rear Suspension:||DNM Rebound/Preload Adjustable，Length 230mm(9inches)|
|Suspension Travel Front /Rear:||100mm(3.9ins)/210mm(8.3inches)|
|Front Brake:||Hydraulic caliper w/ 190 mm petal-style rotor; right-hand-lever actuated|
|Rear Brake:||Hydraulic caliper w/ 190 mm petal-style rotor; left-hand-lever actuated|
|Front /Rear Rims:||12×1.6 spoke aluminum rim|
|Front /Rear Tires:||60/100-12 Kenda® Millville K771 knobby tire|
|Steering Head Angle:||25°|
|Triple Clamp Offset:||25°|
|Wheel Base:||970mm (38inches)|
|Handlebar Height:||860mm (33.8inches)|
|Ground Clearance:||200mm (7.8inches)|
|Seat Height:||Adjustable 630mm (24.8inches) / 650mm (25.5inches)|
|Overall length:||1395mm (55inches)|
|Overall Width:||690mm (27.1inches)|
|Overall Height:||920mm (36.2inches)|
|Max Load:||45kg (99lb)|