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KIDS BIKE TEST | 2023 HONDA CRF50F | Bike Reviews | Features

It’s hard to beat the Honda CRF50F on reliability, performance and maintenance. We put it to the test with our young tester Jaxon.

The 2023 Honda CRF50F runs an air-cooled four-stroke engine with a three-speed transmission that utilises an automatic clutch. Unlike the Yamaha PW50, which we also tested last year, which uses a shaft drive to get power to the rear wheel, the CRF50F has a chain.

There’s even an adjustable throttle limiter and keyed ignition to keep worried parents happy. It has a steel frame, drum brakes front and rear, an inverted telescopic fork with 87mm of wheel travel and a single shock rear-end with 70mm of wheel travel.

Size-wise, the Honda CRF50F is best suited to kids over five years old. My Son Jaxon was 3.5 years old when he rode it and he was a little small for it and didn’t quite have the strength to pick it up when he crashed. It carries 2.6 litres of fuel and has a seat height of 548mm. Jaxon was about 90cm tall when he rode it and he could only just get his feet on the ground. It runs 146mm of ground clearance and weighs 50 kilograms (wet).


The most common question we get asked by readers nowadays is what bike is best for my kid? With a plethora of electric balance bikes and kids dirtbikes on the market, there are so many options. To make the decision even harder, it’s tricky to work out what bike will best suit your child’s skillset now but also in a year’s time as you don’t want to be buying them a new bike in six months because they grew out of the original bike you bought them.

Like I said earlier, I think the CRF50F suits kids five to seven years old. You could perhaps get your four year-old comfortable on it but there is a lot for them to master at that age. Let’s start with the power.

Unlike the PW50 two-stroke motor, which likes to build revs and momentum, the CRF50F has torque instantly. Jax could start at the bottom of a little hill and comfortably ride up it with no run up, something he couldn’t do on the PW50 with the throttle-limiting screw half way in. I found it easier to leave the bike in second gear for Jax to start and ride around in as it had enough torque to move his 15 kilograms from stopped but then could also motor along at 30-40km/h when he wanted it to. The power was incredibly smooth and linear and never gave Jax any surprises.

When Jax first started riding the CRF50F I left it first gear to limit how fast he could go. It worked a treat but he was a little jerky on the throttle and with the shorter gear, it made for some uncomfortable moments as a parent.

Once thing you may notice I haven’t mentioned is Jax changing between first and second gear himself. That’s because he couldn’t. Not only was he not strong enough to get his O’Neal motocross boot under the lever and lift it up but he also had no idea how gears worked or why he needed to change them.

He’s excellent with throttle control, braking and balance but the idea of changing up and down gears never clicked. But like I said, the automatic clutch, strong, torquey motor and high rev ceiling (for a bike of this size) meant second gear was all he needed.

The physical size of the Honda CRF50F was also just a touch too big for Jax. He had just hopped off the PW50 when he hopped on the CRF50F and the Yamaha was nearly 10kg lighter and it showed. Within an hour of riding the CRF50F Jax had dropped it and couldn’t pick it up on his own.

Even taking off was a little harder on the CRF50F which had a seat height that was 7cm taller than the PW50. While Jax could get both feet on the ground (just) on both bikes, if he was on uneven ground and had to lean to one side with his foot out, he struggled to hold up the CRF50F. Once Jax was off and running the dimensions of the CRF50F were perfect. He wasn’t too cramped seated or standing and the ergonomics were spot on.


The most important thing to consider when buying a bike is whether or not your child will feel confident to ride it. Confidence for kids is especially important when learning to ride a motorcycle. If they have a moment where they didn’t feel comfortable on a bike at a young age, it could create a sense of fear which can take them a long time to overcome. So make sure you buy a bike that will instil confidence in them.

The CRF50F is a bigger bike than the PW50 and requires more riding ability and confidence to ride than a PW50. That is why I think it is best suited to most kids who are closer to five years old than three years old. The way the CRF50F produces power is its greatest asset. It’s so smooth and torquey without being aggressive meaning your child will not have to paddle it if they want to go slower up hills.

But it is bigger than a PW50 in every way. So make sure your child is at least 120cm tall before plonking them on a CRF50F, you don’t want them to feel like they’re not able to control or manhandle the bike on their own.

Jax ended up riding the CRF50F every second day for nearly a month and it was bullet proof. Even leaving it in second gear the entire time was no problem. He crashed it every 30 minutes and no levers or plastics broke and the rear-end absorbed all the bumps he hit without unloading and bucking him off. The single shock on the rear as opposed to the PW50s dual rear shock on the rear is far more absorbent and that made it easier for Jax to ride.


  • Air-cooled, bullet proof motor with very smooth but torquey power delivery.
  • Automatic clutch so your kid can think about what gear they’re in.
  • The adjustable throttle limiter is helpful for parents stress levels.
  • Excellent suspension and the monoshock out the back is better than the dual shocks.
  • It has a strong steel frame that little kids can even try jumping on.
  • Three-speed gearbox means kids who want to go fast won’t grow out of it.


Engine Type Air-cooled, single-cylinder, four-stroke

Displacement 49cc

Bore & STROKE 39mm X 41.4mm

Cooling Air-cooled

Compression 10:1

Fuel metering Carburetor

Tank capacity 2.6 litres

Transmission 3-speed

Clutch Automatic


Seat height 548mm

Ground clearance 146mm

Claimed Weight 50kg (wet)


FRONT Inverted, telescopic, 87mm travel

REAR Monoshock, 70mm travel


Front Drum

Rear Drum


Handlebar Neken

Front tyre Cheng Shin 10-inch knobby tyre

Rear tyre Cheng Shin 10-inch knobby tyre


RRP $2598


Warranty 6 months

For the full feature, check out issue #533 of ADB.

Words & Photos Mitch Lees