NEW HONDA OFF-ROAD BIKES: Image: Honda Motorcycles
There’s be a ground-up redesign for Honda’s CRF450R moto-crosser and the new RF450RX which share engine and chassis to bring what Honda describes as “a major new presence” to the enduro market.
Some of the main points as listed by Honda:
• HRC-inspired new engine gives CRF450R 11% boost in top end power and stronger torque across the rev range.
• New frame with lower centre of gravity and revised geometry provides outstanding rear wheel traction and even more agile handling.
• Electric start an option.
• CRF450RX machine has larger tank, 18” rear wheel, side stand, electric start, revised suspension and engine mapping for uncompromising enduro focus.
Honda says its is delighted about the two new arrivals in the off-road racing world: a totally revised CRF450R moto-crosser, and a new enduro racer – the CRF450RX.
A moto-cross benchmark since its introduction in 2002, Honda says, the CRF450R has been redesigned “from the ground-up” for 2017 under the development theme of ‘Absolute Holeshot’.
Honda says its open class racer has earned a reputation for being the best-handling 450cc moto-crosser available with its strong and useable engine power and a chassis that allows riders of all experience levels to put every drop of that power to good use.
“The full re-design,” Honda adds, “brings a dose of heavy-hitting top-end performance in an even sharper, more rider-friendly, overall package.”
The new CRF450R features:
▪ An HRC-inspired power-up engine with an 11% top-end power boost provided by a revised cylinder head with greater valve lift, higher compression ratio and new intake giving a straighter path into the inlet ports.
▪ Stronger torque, particularly low down but right throughout the rpm range, for a five percent improvement in acceleration out of the gate.
▪ New seventh-generation aluminium frame with lower centre of gravity, shorter wheelbase and shorter distance between swing arm pivot and rear wheel give “unprecedented levels of rear traction”.
▪ Race-kit specification steel 49mm Showa spring front fork.
▪ Titanium fuel tank, smooth, aero-efficient plastics and the option of electric starter
Mikio Uchiyama, large-project leader for the 17YM CRF450R outlined the intention behind the new CRF450R: “Our focus has been on producing a machine with exceptional engine performance, outstanding traction and a low centre of gravity and this has created a five percent improvement in acceleration over the previous model.
“The phrase underpinning development was ‘Absolute Holeshot’ and the CRF450R has already proved itself by winning the first five races of the Japanese MX championship. We are proud to give this kind of performance to motocross lovers worldwide.”
Alongside the CRF450R, Honda can now also provide enduro riders with a race-ready machine – the new CRF450RX. Sharing the CRF450R’s engine and frame, the CRF450RX has crucial changes to create an uncompromising enduro focus. Such as:
▪ Revised suspension settings for enhanced control.
▪ Revised PGM-FI settings and an 8.5-litre fuel tank for range of about 65km.
▪ Three revised engine maps, selectable at the handlebar.
▪ 18” rear wheel.
▪ Standard side stand and electric start.
Uchiyama again: “The CRF450RX is a pure, race-ready enduro tool like nothing else Honda has ever made. It uses the greatly improved performance of the new CRF450R and we made no sacrifices in producing this RX enduro version which offers something completely new to expert riders everywhere.
“It is built to win straight from the crate, at the highest level of competition.”
Both the CRF450R and CRF450RX will be unveiled at the Assen MX GP weekend over August 26-28.
Honda’s MX2 World champion Tim Gajser currently leads the MX1 standings by 99 points in his first season in the MX1 category.