Hunter Lawrence Factory Honda CRF250R
Dirt Bike Magazine met up with Factory Mechanic Cameron Camera to go over Hunter Lawrence’s Honda CRF250R in the pits of Supercross. This bike is loaded with goodies from HRC and below you’ll get an in-depth description of what the young star is using on his bike to compete with some of the fastest riders in the world in Supercross.
A little back story before we get started. A week before Anaheim Cameron Camera was exposed to Covid by his significant other. Cameron reached out to Honda and they told him to stay home. Cameron at the time didn’t even have a motorcycle built for Hunter to ride and was searching for parts at Honda to make something happen. Just as things couldn’t get worse they did. Johnny O’Mara texted Cameron and told him “We’re riding west,” instead of the original plan to have Hunter on the east coast. Jett’s mechanic Christian filled in for Cameron and Jett’s bike was inherited. So all the parts had to be changed out and prepped for A1 with only 7 days remaining in the off-season. Christian was able to help Cameron out while he got through the Covid situation. It doesn’t help that a lot of parts and products across the industry are sitting on ships in Long Beach waiting to be unloaded. The pandemic as a whole has thrown a curve ball at teams trying to get ready to race this season.
THE FRONT END
At the front of the motorcycle Hunter is using a Renthal 827 handlebar and set pretty neutral. We haven’t seen anything weird on the factory riders’ bar positions this year which is interesting. Parallel with the forks seems to be the go-to for a lot of guys lately. Hunter’s might just be slightly rolled back
In this photo you can see the works bar mounts and works HRC triple clamps. Most of the teams don’t like giving an offset number and keep this information under wraps.
The 2022 Honda CRF450R comes with a hydraulic clutch on the showroom floor. The 2022 Honda CRF250R does not, but the factory team adds one on for Hunter Lawrence. This item gives a little more consistency in comparison to the traditional cable clutch system.
The front brake is a Works piece also. Most of the teams like to use an older generation Honda front brake master cylinder. It has larger pistons and has a larger volume for brake fluid. We can’t deny or confirm that this is what Hunter is using on his motorcycle. We will let you figure it out. The front brake line is stock.
The throttle itself has a stock housing but the throttle tube is billet. A Renthal soft/half waffle grip is used on the motorcycle. Hunter likes his grips worn in. For the most part, he likes a lot of his controls, seat, other parts slightly worn in.
Both the start/stop buttons are made in house at HRC Honda in Southern California. Both of these buttons are made with the main focus in durability.
These little fins on each side of the shrouds are really cool carbon pieces that are made in house. These are made so Hunter’s boots don’t get caught when he has his legs up while cornering.
Between 2008 and 2016 a steering stabilizer came on the OEM Honda CRF450R. Hunter Lawrence adds one on his 2022 Honda CRF250R. This helps the motorcycle with stability while on track. This is the first one we have seen in the pits this year so far.
You can see on the front number plate that Cameron is adding a carbon guard where there is normally a hole. This guard is protecting the steering stabilizer that hides behind the number plate.
Showa suspension backed by Factory Connection. This is a works A-Kit front fork. The team has an option of running works fork lugs provided by Showa but opted out. They stuck with the OEM lugs instead after testing.
A Works Connection holeshot device is added to the front fork. Hunter likes it mid-deep in comparison to other riders. Cameron told us they are in the 125mm-130mm range. He didn’t want to get too specific and keep the mystery alive a little for you guys.
On the top of the fork, the team has an easy adjust setup. This came in really handy during the tighter Covid protocols last year. There were a lot of times the rider and mechanic had to be separated. Hunter can easily adjust the compression on his own without tools. This is a great way to quickly pull over track side and make adjustments on the fly without wasting time.
Typically you would see steel bolts holding the fork guard on. The team is using two titanium bolts with straps so the plastic doesn’t rip through. They will use aluminum on the backside where there is less stress. These straps help keep the fork guards in place when the holeshot device is engaged on the motorcycle.
A works HRC hub is used with a DID LTX rim and factory HRC spokes. You can see that Hunter is using a titanium front axle, titanium pinch bolts, and an aluminum nut to top it all off.
A Dunlop 768 spec front tire is used on the HRC CRF250R. The team has a 2nd option if the track has crumble style terrain. The tire is already mounted up and ready to go if they need it.
The front brake rotor is stock but the caliper is a works HRC component. The team is also using a full coverage carbon front rotor guard that is custom made for the team. This also serves as a ski in the ruts. When Hunter is in a deep rutted corner, this guard will glide across and none of the brake components will hang him up. It does flex and is extremely durable.
The radiators are completely stock on Hunter’s CRF250R. The radiator cap is 1.8 kPA in comparison to the 1.1 that is on the OEM model. Cameron does polish them up to give that factory look. Cameron just started putting a pin on his. Sometimes the rider will hook his boot on the cap and actually spin it off! Cameron isn’t sure that’s what happened to Jason Anderson but he didn’t want to take any chances after seeing that in the main event a couple weeks ago. Anything to make sure his rider finishes the race.
The team does have the option to run Twin Air radiator covers to keep mud or debris out. West coast is rare for mud but it could still happen. We still have PTSD from the San Diego mudder with lime in the dirt. You can see that the hoses all have Oeticker clamps on them. This makes for easy access if the radiator is damaged and Cameron actually has a back up system already built out if he needs to make a swap quickly. With the clamps you can easily spin them off to make fixes.
One of the most famous parts on factory race bikes this season: the electric water pump for Hunter’s Honda CRF250R. Factory Honda ran this a few times during the outdoor season. Star Racing and MCR also have this technology now as well. The team found something good with it and wanted to continue using it in Supercross. Star Racing team told us for their bikes it created a more free flowing engine and less drag which in turn created more power. We can only assume this is the same result for Honda even though they wouldn’t directly say. CV4 works on the custom routing to add the electric water pump into the cooling system on the motorcycle.
Factory HRC titanium fuel tank with VP fuels inside. You can also see the customized sticker on the tank for Hunter Lawrence.
The engine is done in house at HRC Honda in Southern California. Ryan Cox is their developer and helps get these bikes ready for racing. Because the 2022 Honda CRF250R is all-new, the team is still trying to work out the bugs a little bit, but positive they are moving in the right direction. The team is waiting for a few more parts, but the Covid supply chain issue is really messing with teams across the entire paddock. The engine department can work on specific power characteristics for each rider on HRC Honda. Hunter is a rider who likes to be a gear higher everywhere, wants a lot of torque, and wants the bike to carry into the mid-top portion of the power band.
Full Yoshimura titanium exhaust system is used on Hunter Lawrence’s race bike. You can see in the photo above that the team is running an O2 bung. This is a sensor that collects data on the motorcycle. The more data the team can gather the better the bike can get over time as they make adjustments. Rider feedback can be a little hard to decipher at times and data is a helpful tool to use while adjusting the ECU.
An auxiliary start switch is placed just under the shroud of Hunter’s bike. This back up start switch helps get the motorcycle going again if the one on the handlebars is damaged during the race. The team has had to use this back up button in the past. No kick start option anymore on 6 out of 7 of the current 2022 motorcycles. Need insurances.
Hunter is pretty hard on the clutch and Hinson has created a custom set up for his riding abilities. Last year Hunter ran a stock lever, stock cable clutch system. For 2022 Hunter is a on a stock lever and hydraulic clutch. He keeps the clutch lever extremely close to the handlebars so there is no effort needed to pull it in.
We thought for sure that these engine hangars were HRC works parts. That’s not the case and they are 100% bone stock. Cameron just polishes them up to make the bike stand out a bit.
The primary cover is akadized for durability on Hunter’s Honda CRF250R. The team is running a works cover where the water pump would normally be.
A CMT carbon skid plate is added to the CRF250R. The big thing was protection for Factory Honda. The team was cracking primary covers with the stock skid plate and needed to make a change. This skid plate is custom built for the 250. Cameron did mention that it can be a bit on the noisy side when debris is hitting it, but well worth the compromise in comparison to damage to the engine.
The team has a deal in house where they make their own harnesses. What you see here is the main harness and data. Right now it is in the airbox but the team is working on getting it out of there at some point. These little clips are made in house on a 3D printer and the bike can be washed without any issues. This harness also helps with shock/subframe changes when needed. This makes it easier to move the back end around and the clips are easy to unlatch. The routing is tailored to help the mechanic get at everything much easier than stock.
In comparison to the HRC 450 , the 250 has a full works ignition cover and slave cylinder from Honda. There is a lot less going on in comparison to the 450. There are only 3 bolts and it comes off all together. The 450 team is a little bit jealous of this part. You can bleed it easily and do what you need to do quickly. Cameron uses a titanium bolt and wire ties the banjo bolt for safety.
The team does have an option to run a half spline shifter on their motorcycles but they decided to go with a standard instead. At one point these were titanium but the team was worried about it bending the shift shaft. The team was able to have Honda make an aluminum one that would bend a little bit easier instead. Hunter loves the knurled shifter tip in comparison to the rubber tip you see on bikes. You can also see the Delrin plug to keep mud out of the shifter tip.
Hunter Lawrence and his mechanic Cameron love the grip tape. This makes it a lot easier during the washing process. It also locks in his legs really really well while riding. You can also see the “wing” on both sides of Hunter’s bike. Riders felt that they weren’t getting enough ankle support or have an area to squeeze hard while going through the whoops. Back in the day it was on one side. The team welded some tabs and added these parts to both sides of the motorcycle. There is a little more grip tape added to the number plates to help with squeezing.
You can see the 4 holes added that lead into the airbox. The team was looking for a little more air flow because of the “components” they have crammed in there. They want to get as much air flow as they possibly can in that area. Twin Air provides the air filter to the team and it is a Supercross specific filter.
You can see in this photo that the swingarm pivot is titanium. They have done testing with different material but chose this for racing.
The subframe is stock but it is lower. Cameron wouldn’t tell us what the adjustment made was. He wanted to keep some secrets for HRC Factory employees only.
Look behind the exhaust and you will see this tin foil looking material added to the motorcycle. This reflective tape is added to the battery to keep the heat off. The battery is tucked in tight between the motor and the shock.
A full factory foot peg and mount is used on Hunter Lawrence’s race bike. This has a steel pin with titanium spring, titanium bolts, and they are back a little bit in comparison to stock. Cameron wanted to keep the exact measurement off the books for our interview but they are a few millimeters back from stock.
THE REAR END
Hunter is running a 13/48 combination on his Renthal sprockets with a DID rivet link chain. That means there is no master link like the everyday consumer uses. They don’t want to take the risk of a master getting pushed off.
If you look closely at the rear chain guide you can see that this isn’t what comes on the 2022 Honda CRF250R. This is a works chain guide provided to the team. There isn’t a second window on the guide like you would normally find. The team doesn’t want a rock or debris getting trapped in this area and causing chain damage. Anything to avoid a DNF. The chain sliders are a stock item.
Again out back the team is using a works rear hub with DID LTX Dirt Star rim and HRC factory spokes.
A Dunlop 110 rear tire is used out back on Hunter’s race bike. The team will flip back and forth between a 110 and 120 rear depending on the terrain. The team also uses a groover to help with traction. They throw a groove in the knobby for a little extra bite on the rear.
Factory Honda HRC is using a works axle block that has a pin inside that locks it in place. If the team does have a flat tire the block and axle stay together for easy tire changes. You can see that they top this off with a titanium rear axle and aluminum nut.
A factory Honda rear brake master cylinder is used on Hunter’s bike. The sight window is removed to avoid damage and brake failure during a race.
The brake line is wire tied so it doesn’t move back and forth. Aluminum banjo bolts are used and also wire tied for safety. The banjo bolts are titanium. The rotor is stock with titanium bolts.
The rear brake clevis is a works component. The clevis is actually taller than stock so they can have more thread on it. If you run the brake up higher you need a deeper clevis. You can also see that there is a brake stop added to prevent the guts from being blown out if the brake pedal is shoved upwards.
In this photo you can see the titanium brake tip and brake snake that is added to it. The brake snake, which helps prevent the brake pedal from damage, is made out of an old throttle cable the race team uses from the shop.
Factory Showa A Kit style rear shock is used. Check out the blue coated shock shaft with red spring. This is the definition of factory race bike eye candy.
The team is running a Works HRC Factory Honda linkage. They have a ton of options for all their riders including different lengths and curves which make it stiffer or softer for the rider. Hunter has found one that he really likes for the Honda CRF250R and so far has stuck with it this season.
Throttle Jockey has been with Honda for over 20 years. They provide the graphics for both the 450 and 250 teams. The material is thinned up and only used in particular spots without covering the entire plastic. If you took a standard graphics kit and put it on the scale it would equal to about 4lbs in weight. Teams spend boo-koo-bucks to drop the weight of their motorcycles and don’t want to lose out on that by just adding stickers. It is a happy balance.