Honda CR 85 in white text with image of CR 85 dirt bike on red background

James Stewart

CR 85: A Review and What You Need To Know  


Are you curious about whether the Honda CR 85 is the right dirt bike for you?

Regardless of whether it is your first time riding a dirt bike, or if you are an experienced rider, we are going to go through all of the information you need to know to make an educated decision.

Who is the Honda CR85 good for, and why should you consider it? Make sure you get the most out of your time and money with the helpful information below.

What is the Honda CR 85?

The Honda CR 85 is a popular motocross bike that comes with an 85cc liquid-cooled engine. It is lightweight, simple to operate, and powerful. When compared to a 4-stroke dirt bike (such as the CRF80), the Honda CR85 has more gas delivering greater acceleration.

This bike also has an impressive suspension system that has been designed for improved performance. It is one of the easiest kick-start dirt bikes to start because the engine is powerful, but compact. This means that it does not require a lot of compression to get going.

Honda CR 85 dirt bike

Who should use or buy this bike?

The Honda CR 85 is based on its predecessor, the Honda CR80. It has a similar frame and design that are perfect for teenagers and young adults that want a race bike. Because it is a race bike, it is not necessarily the best option for beginners.

It has a lot of power, which can be a bit of a challenge for new riders to control. The clutch can be a bit of a challenge to maneuver as well, but someone who has experience riding dirt bikes should not have a lot of trouble controlling the Honda CR85.

What is the difference between the CR 85 small wheel and the CR 85 big wheel?

The biggest difference between the Honda CR85 small wheel and the Honda CR85 big wheel is, you guessed it, the wheel and tire size. In addition, the seat height on the big wheel is a bit higher off the ground. This changes the vantage point of the rider slightly, which can impact how the rider controls the bike.

Specifically, the CR85 small wheel has a seat height of 32.4 inches, while the CR85 big wheel has a seat height of 34 inches. Younger and shorter riders often do better with the small wheel, but can ride the big wheel depending on their skill level and the class they race (if racing).

How much power does the CR 85 have?

This is a dirt bike that has been primarily designed for racing. The bike has a snappy response, meaning that it has a lot of torque and therefore will get up to top speed quickly after hitting the gas.

It is almost like the dirt bike has a dimmer switch that turns all the way up as soon as you hit the gas.

This is one of the biggest reasons why this dirt bike is not the best option for people who are beginners. The bike goes very fast very quickly, and inexperienced riders can lose control in the blink of an eye. Riders with more experience will love the responsiveness, power, and handling of this dirt bike.

The bike itself has approximately 25 HP.

Does the bike have good suspension?

Yes, but since the Honda CR 85 is made to be a motocross bike, it has stiffer suspension than would come on a trail bike.

The shocks are adjustable, the compression is solid, and the rebound dampeners work well. You might need to play with the spring rate a bit to find the sweet spot.

How is the handling?

If you want the dirt bike to handle well, you need to pay close attention to the suspension above.

Once you get the suspension system set up the way you want it, it should handle like a dream. It turns well, has plenty of stability, and the geometrical layout of the bike means that it is stable even at higher speeds.

When compared to an adult dirt bike, the chassis and wheels are a bit smaller. Even though this bike might be ideal for someone who weighs 100 pounds, it doesn’t quite have the same stability as an adult dirt bike.

That said, adults will often purchase these bikes to ride as adult mini bikes or as play bikes.

Honda CR 85 Specifications

Here are a few of the most important specs of the infamous CR 85:

  • Displacement 84.7cc
  • Bore and Stroke 47.5 x 47.8 mm
  • Compression Ratio 8.4:1
  • Seat height 34.0 inches (Big) / 32.4 inches (Small)
  • Wheel Base 50.7 inches (Big) / 49.1 inches (Small)
  • Front tire size 70/100-19 (Big) / 70/100-17 (Small)
  • Rear tire size 90/100-16 (BIg) / 90/100-14 (Small)

The CR 85 top speed is about 65 mph.

How does this compare to similar bikes, like the KX65 top speed, YZ85 top speed, or the YZ 125 top speed?

Honda CR 85 Pros & Cons

Some of the top benefits of going with a Honda CR85 include:

  • This is one of the lighter dirt bikes, making it easy to transport from place to place.
  • As long as you take care of it, it should last for a long time (unlike the Kayo dirt bike and XPro dirt bike we reviewed).
  • There are two different size options, allowing you to select the right bike for the rider.
  • For its size, it is relatively fast.

On the other hand, there are a few drawbacks to keep in mind as well. They include:

  • The bike can be a bit hard to ride for beginners, as it accelerates very quickly.
  • The CR 85 was discontinued in 2007 by Honda (replaced by Honda’s CRF models), making it sometimes difficult to find spare parts if you break something on the bike.

(I know people are often loyal to a brand, but Yamaha still makes great 2 stroke dirt bikes and the YZ 125 could be a good upgrade from the outdated CR 85.)

In the end, the Honda CR85 is one of the top dirt bike options for teenagers and young adults; however, it is not necessarily a great option for beginners because the bike can be a bit difficult to control.

If you own a CR 85 (or any carbureted dirt bike or vehicle) and are dealing with your 2 stroke bogging or it not running right, you can learn how to diagnose lean bog vs rich bog here.

Do you also want to know how Honda got started and when? Learn about who invented the dirt bike here.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Honda CR 85

Does Honda still make CR85?

No, Honda does not still make the CR85. The production of the CR 85 ran from 2003 to 2007. It ended when Honda stopped producing all of its 2-stroke models.

How much HP does a CR85 have?

A CR85 has approximately 20 HP.

How big is a CR 85?

A CR 85 has a seat height of 32.4 inches for the CR 85R (small wheel) and 34 inches for the CR 85RB (big wheel).

How many gears does a 2007 cr85 have?

A 2007 CR85 has 6 gears (6-speed transmission).

What is the CR 85 top speed?

The CR 85 top speed is about 65 mph.

How heavy is a CR85?

A CR85 has a dry weight of about 144 pounds.

Are CR85 good?

Yes, the CR85 is a great bike. It’s a bit outdated nowadays, but it is still a solid bike.

How many gears does a CR85 have?

A CR85 has six gears (a 6-speed transmission).