Text: Inigo S. Roces / Photos: Honda | posted August 15, 2016 16:37
CRF competition line ready for 2017
Honda is celebrating the 15th anniversary of its original 450cc class four-stroke motocross model, with the announcement of all new CRF models.
Leading the lineup is the CRF450R — the latest iteration of the competition bike first introduced in 2002. The new CRF450R promises an “Absolute holeshot” (a dominating lead in the drag race leading to the first turn) with its new Unicam engine developed to achieve overwhelming performance in the first 100 feet. The engine offers increased power and torque across the rev range, thanks in part to an ultra-direct downdraft air intake, steeper valve angle and twin exhaust system with smoother routing.
The chassis boasts new geometry and packaging that results in a more concentrated, lower center of mass, helping to get the power to the ground, maximize stability and improve cornering performance. The lighter aluminum frame has a narrower cross-section and a lighter, extruded aluminum rear subframe.
The motorcycle is equipped with a coil-spring 49mm Showa fork, while the rear suspension comprises a lighter swingarm assembly and a shock with a lower mounting position. Dunlop Geomax MX3S tires come standard, and the CRF450R is the first mass-produced motocross bike ever to come with a titanium fuel tank. Electric start is available as an option.
Designed for closed course off-road racing (like the GNCC series) is the CRF450RX. Among the features that distinguish it from the CRF450R are a smoother ignition map and standard electric start (with kick-start backup), while chassis differences include off-road-focused suspension settings, a revised cylinder-head hanger and changed wheel hubs and axles. The CRF450RX also comes with off-road-appropriate components like a larger plastic fuel tank, forged-aluminum side stand, 18 inch rear rim and Dunlop Geomax AT81 tires.
The rest of the revised CRF lineup includes 2017 model-year competition grades of the CRF250R, CRF150R, CRF450X and CRF250X.
The CRF450R will be available in the US in October, while the CRF450RX will be offered in December. Launch dates of the other CRF models have yet to be announced.