Looks like Big Red is taking big steps into the world of electric motocross: According to a surprise announcement released on Friday, Honda’s HRC factory racing arm has solidified its plans to enter their electric motocross prototype, the Honda CR Electric, into its first official race at the end of October.
The new prototype will compete in the D.I.D All Japan Motocross Championship in Saitama Prefecture on October 28 and 29 as a wildcard entry, piloted by 2010 AMA Pro Motocross champion Trey Canard for Team HRC. If all goes according to plan, the new CR Electric will compete in three 15 minute heats (plus an additional lap) for a shot at the podium in round 8 of the championship.
To say this comes as a bit of a shock would be an understatement. When we last reported on Honda’s electric racing efforts, a CR-based prototype released under the loosely affiliated “Mugen” banner known as the “E Rex” was confirmed to compete in the 2022 FIM E-Explorer Cup. The 2022 Cup got pushed to 2023, but when the all-electric series finally launched this June, Big Red and its Mugen sibling were nowhere to be found on the track.
We’ve been waiting to see the Honda prototype in action for quite some time. HRC first teased the electric CR back in April of 2019, and while the bike has made occasional trade show appearances in the intervening 4 years, we’ve yet to actually see one in action with the exception of a few slow laps at a Honda press event several years ago.
While no official specs or details have been released for the Honda CR Electric racer, pictures of the latest prototype show a machine that’s seemingly identical to the original 2019 design. Apart from some finessing of the plastics, everything from the frame and wheels to the motor and battery are indistinguishable from the 2019 version, save for a notable lack of “Mugen” branding on the motor’s side case.
The time has officially come to put up or shut up, and considering Honda’s traditionally “conservative” take on new model launches, we’re gonna go out on a limb and guess they’ve got their prototype dialed in and ready to race. There’s no way to watch the action live unless you happen to be Saitama Japan at the end of the month, but details for the event can be found on the Japanese Motocross Championship website, which will be updated as we get closer to the event.