Update: I sold the CRF150RB in January and picked up a 2016 KTM – Read More
I have been riding dirt bike for at least 6 years including training & lessons from Little Speedsters, Iron Horse and MXFactory in Austin Texas. But until recently, I always rented or borrowed a bike. Finally my parents agreed to buy me my first dirt bike and I chose the Honda CRF150RB. I’ll go through the reason I picked it which may help you if you’re trying to decide on which dirt bike to get.
One of the reasons I choose the CRF150RB as my first bike is because it has a lot of horsepower, especially when compared to the Honda CRF150F. The CRF150F makes about 12hp vs the 23hp on the CRF150RB which is really important to me because I wanted to go fast! It’s a 4-stroker motor so the power delivery is pretty smooth. (Read more about 2-strokes vs 4-strokes here)
After doing some research, a lot of people agreed that Honda makes some the most reliable dirt bikes and that they can last forever if you maintain and take care of them. I also liked Honda’s Red & White color scheme.
Another thing was height/size, I was 5’1-2 at the time so the only bikes I could fit on were supermini’s (kx85/100, ktm85, yz85, crf150rb). The seat height on the 2021 kx100 is 34.3 vs 34.1 on the 2021 crf150rb so I decided that the kx100 was a little too tall for me at the time. Also I chose the crf150r(B) over the crf150r because the B stands for big wheel which means that model was taller then the crf150r. When I bought the CRF150RB I could barely get my tip toes on the ground with MX boots, but I knew I would grow into it.
The CRF150R weighs much less than the CRF150F. The CRF150RB weighs 188lbs vs about 235lbs for the CRF150F. That 47 pounds makes a huge difference in riding and power-weight-ratios.
Price: Even though the crf150rb cost more then the other supermini’s (yz85, kx100, ktm85) Honda is one of the most popular brands which means the bike will keep its value the entire time i have it.
Mods and Upgrades
We were planning to ride a lot of US National Forest trails in New Mexico, Colorado, Utah & Idaho, we ordered and installed the full Yoshimura exhaust with Spark Arrestor. This also quieted down the exhaust to around 96db but gave a real nice bassy tone that sounded more like a CRF250R.
Even though the CRF150RB comes with a hot start lever, I often had issues starting it when it was hot. This was a real pain when we were on trails and really made me wish the bike had electric start(not really an issue on the MX track). Since we were planning to ride at higher altitudes(over 10,000ft), we ordered a JD Jet Kit. JD Jet Kits make it easy to figure out your needed jetting based on mods(exhaust) and temp/altitude. Besides making the bike run great at altitude, the larger pilot jet in the JD kit eliminated most of the hot start issues I had.
Other mods I did were MX style handguards, an aluminum skid plate and Tusk riser bars later on as I got taller.