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Honda makes CRF450R road- and trail-friendly

  • LED lights, full road specification
  • First real service at 32 000km
  • Beat the traffic – tame the trails
NOW ROAD-LEGAL: Honda has taken its CRF450R motocross racer and made it road legal. Image: Honda Motorcycles
NOW ROAD-LEGAL: Honda has taken its CRF450R motocross racer and made it road legal. Image: Honda Motorcycles

JOHANNESBURG, Gauteng – Honda, using the CRF450R moto-crosser as a base, has created a dual-purpose motorcycle on a tough but light chassis powered by an engine that delivers, the bikemaker says, ”trong, usable, power right from the bottom”.

The company also promises durable, high quality, parts and long service intervals to give buyers worry-free riding and ownership. And the ‘L’ appendage? Simple, it stands for ‘Legal’.

So what was Honda aiming for? Well, its creator says, ”That would be a true dual-purpose motorcycle: off-road it should be light but with a quality suspension and handling. Its engine has to make good power and torque from the bottom up so the rider can find all the rear-wheel grip possible, on any terrain.”

NOW ROAD-LEGAL: Honda has taken its CRF450R motocross racer and made it road legal. Image: Honda Motorcycles
NOW ROAD-LEGAL: Honda has taken its CRF450R motocross racer and made it road legal. Image: Honda Motorcycles

For commuting, or just riding for the fun of it, the bike is narrow and nimble so slips through gaps in the traffic but also handles country roads.

QUALITY ANCILLARIES

Honda believes competition machines are a solid base for dual-purpose adaptation but admits that race-level performance can mean intensive maintenance – not a goody for many hobby trail riders who just want to push a button and go – and go.

Honda enlarges: ”We understand this so produced a dual-purpose bike that draws strongly on the fundamental performance of a race machine but with longer service intervals. The first major service comes at 32 000km. It;s a CRF450R with ‘normal’ service intervals and high-quality road ancillaries – it’s the CRF450L.

”It has a road-legal package that makes the bike just as happy on trails as on-road – especially with its six-speed gearbox.”

REAL-WORLD SERVICING

The guy who led the project, Mr M. Uchiyama, told The Corner in a media release “The CRF450L is about having maximum fun out on the dirt. It looks like a CRF450R because, really, it is – just a trail-friendly, road-legal version.

”It’s been engineered to deliver excellent handling and linear engine torque that helps the rider make the most of the available grip in all conditions and it has a real-world service schedule.”

READ MORE Honda features on Carman’s Corner

The plastics are from the CRF450R, all lighting is LED. The headlight, Honda says, throws a beam, the fuel tank is larger than the R and a speedometer and horn are standard.

The battery is a high-volume unit to provide the electrical power for the LED lights and to maintain battery charge during lower-speed running.

NOW ROAD-LEGAL: Honda has taken its CRF450R motocross racer and made it road legal. Image: Honda Motorcycles
NOW ROAD-LEGAL: Honda has taken its CRF450R motocross racer and made it road legal. Image: Honda Motorcycles

Compression ratio is 12.0:1 (compared 13.5:1) and the re-designed air box feeds the PGM-FI, managed by a lambda sensor in the large-volume single exhaust (which replaces the ‘stubby’ dual-pipe design of the CRF450R).

An air-Injection system and catalyser clean up the spent gases from the quad-valve single. The bike (wet) weighs 130.8kg; seat height 940mm. Peak power is 18.4kW, peak torque 32Nm and the engine would like the air- and oil-filters changed every 1000km.

SO, WHAT’S CARRIED OVER…?

Carried over from the CRF450R are the rear mudguard, side panels and bash plate. Svelte side shrouds hide a larger radiator volume and electric fan. All lighting (including the indicators and licence-plate light) is LED; a speedo, horn, brake-light switch and mirrors satisfy legal requirements and a sidestand adds convenience.

The fuel tank takes 7.6 litres, about a litre more than the competition machine and the filler cap is lockable.

NOW ROAD-LEGAL: Honda has taken its CRF450R motocross racer and made it road legal. Image: Honda Motorcycles
NOW ROAD-LEGAL: Honda has taken its CRF450R motocross racer and made it road legal. Image: Honda Motorcycles

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