Honda already has a respected reputation in the motocross category, with the CRF450R, CRF250R and the junior CRF150R lighting up MX circuits around the world.
The wide-ranging technical upgrades to the 2008 line-up, which apply specifically to the CRF450R and CRF250R models, now takes things up a notch compared to the previous year's range, and position the models competitively against the opposition.
The changes are headlined by the introduction of Honda's Progressive Steering Damper (HPSD), which represents a number of firsts in this segment.
"In the high-paced world of motocross racing there are no second-chances," explains John Laurence, Honda South Africa's Marketing Divisional Manager.
"Proven technology, infallible reliability and the optimum levels of performance and agility are essential in order to win, and Honda's latest MX models fulfil each of these requirements to the tee."
As Honda's flagship MX model, the CRF450R has already earned Cycle World magazine's "Ten Best" status for six years in a row.
The raft of improvements applied to the 2008 model's engine, braking and suspension systems are likely to further entrench this highly prized reputation - specifically in terms of the original equipment fitment of the revolutionary HPSD, as well as an advanced multi-map CDI ignition system.
Similarly, the CRF250R is highly regarded for its lightweight agility and remarkable performance, and with the new model benefiting from many of the improvements made to the range-topping 450R - including Progressive Steering Damper - along with numerous engine performance upgrades, it will prove to be an even more compelling contender in the mid-range MX category.
Last year's introduction of the four-stroke CRF150R has been met with great success, and had a big influence on the small-capacity end of the MX market, which has traditionally been dominated by two-stroke motorcycles.
"Since the launch in October 2006, the CRF150R has become the third-best selling model in the total MX category, competing against and out-selling most 250 and 450 cc bikes," Laurence adds.
As the CRF150R was only launched last year, it wasn't treated to any major changes.
Aspects such as a broader spread of power, enhanced suspension characteristics and a friction-reducing coating for the clutch system serve to boost the overall abilities of the CRF range, while complementing its reputation for reliability.
The maintenance and servicing requirements remain the same as before for the motocross models, while the retention of carburettors across the board allows for easy flexibility and adaptability in the heat of competition.
In addition, the sophisticated multi-map CDI ignition system now featured on the CRF450R, matched to the proven dependability of the CRF's Keihin carburettors, guarantees valuable gains in performance without compromising on this model's reliability.
Despite all the improvements, Honda has decided to keep competitiveness top of mind, keeping the prices for the 2008 the same as the outgoing range.
The purchase price of your Honda will also get you a free one-day off-road rider training course with the Honda Adventure Academy.
The recommended retail prices are:
CRF150R - R32 500.00
CRF250R - R52 999.00
CRF450R - R59 999.00