Just like the CRF450R, the CRF450RX has a new frame, steering geometry and suspension setup developed directly from HRC’s race bikes, so you can go in harder and come out faster. The engine also features more power with smoother torque delivery controlled by hydraulic clutch. The 3-Level HRC Launch Control gives you options out of the gate whatever your riding ability or experience, and whatever conditions you’re riding in. And once you’ve bossed the start, 3-Level Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) keeps you driving forward.
With the CRF450R MX machine as a base the CRF450RX already has an advantage and, along with its enduro-specific equipment – larger fuel tank, 18-inch rear wheel and sidestand. A completely new frame saves weight and features factory-rider rigidity balance with sharper steering, extra ground clearance and RX-specific suspension settings. The seat unit is smaller (and lower at the back) and new plastics are slimmer, lighter and easier to move around. For stronger mid-range power and smooth throttle response, the engine has a redesigned intake, cylinder head and exhaust while a revised decompression system minimises stalling. The new hydraulic clutch is tougher, with lighter lever load. HRC Launch Control owns the first 100 metres and HSTC manages rear wheel traction over a lap.
Quickly flick through the advanced features of this extraordinary motorcycle.
An 8L plastic fuel tank extends riding range. 21-inch front and 18-inch rear DID wheels are finished in black and the rear is tougher, and lighter. To keep it out of harm’s way, the forged aluminium sidestand tucks in closer.
Using narrower main tubes, the tapered aluminium twin-spar frame is 700g lighter with 20% less lateral stiffness, to upgrade every single aspect of cornering performance. Both top and bottom yokes and swingarm are tuned to match and the steering geometry is tighter, with increased ground clearance.
The Showa suspension features lighter damping and lower spring rates than the CRF450R, and the rear shock now has larger valving and a lightweight steel spring for faster response and bump absorption. The 49mm Showa steel spring front fork has an extra 5mm stroke and, like the shock, is fully adjustable.
Riding Mode 3 intervenes quickly and strongly for total control in slippery, muddy conditions; Mode 1 has a long reaction time with the lightest intervention, useful for reducing wheelspin in tight corners. And Mode 2 is mid-point between the two.
Developed with direct input from HRC’s racers 3-Level Launch Control gives you options to make the best start possible whether pro-level rider or beginner: Level 3 (beginner) hits at 8,250rpm, Level 2 (standard) 8,500rpm and Level 3 (Expert) 9,500rpm.
The Engine Mode Select Button (EMSB) alters the engine’s power and torque characteristics. Three maps are available to suit riding conditions or rider preference: Mode 1 is the balanced, standard map, Mode 2 is smooth and Mode 3 all-out aggressive.
Rock-solid reliability has been a big factor in the CRF450RX’s success; a five-hole piston oil jet cools and lubricates while the large-capacity scavenge pump employs twin 12mm drums. As they say to finish first, first you must finish.
The aluminium Renthal Fatbar (839) reduces rider fatigue and improves control. Its position can be adjusted four different ways – to customise the riding position – and comes complete with a Renthal bar pad. Standard-fit knuckle guards protect hands and levers, too.
To help you move around easily, the seat is shorter, lighter and 10mm lower at the rear; the sidepanels and radiator shrouds are also slimmer and lighter, and the exhaust downpipe tucks closer to the engine. And, to simplify maintenance, the plastics mount with just four bolts each side.
The new CRF450RX begins life in the same place as the 2021 CRF450R – so it’s based heavily on Tim Gajser’s 2019 MXGP championship-winning HRC machine. Not a bad place to start. Showa’s 49mm USD coil spring fork has an extra 5mm stroke and the axle clamps’ rigidity increased. Larger main piston valving in the Showa rear shock gives improved bump absorption and faster response, and the Pro-Link ratio is also new. As a whole, the CRF450RX is 2.3kg lighter – which you notice, instantly. Narrower main spars and a redesigned subframe save just over 1kg between them. Most importantly, what you feel has been heightened; the rib positions behind the swingarm pivot points have been changed and, with torsional rigidity maintained, lateral rigidity is reduced 20% to increase corner speed, traction and steering accuracy. Tighter geometry gives sharper steering and more ground clearance.
Twin exhaust ports use an ovalized exit and a new, single downpipe and muffler save 1.24kg. There’s more power from 5,000rpm up and for stronger, smoother low-rpm torque, the airbox is larger with tool-free access to the filter. For optimised intake efficiency it feeds a redesigned throttle body and a steeper injector angle sprays fuel all the way back to the butterfly, improving feel. The decompression system is new and gives more stable operation at low rpm, increasing stall-resistance. And the clutch has an extra plate and is also now hydraulic, improving both control and feel at the lever.
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