Versatility has its merits, but broad-ranging abilities all too often fall under the domain of the old adage, "Jack of all trades, master of none." However, the Honda CRF450R has laid rest to that old saw. Ignited by a meteoric rise that cuts an amazingly wide swath across the motorsports realm, the CRF450R has proven to be a winner countless times over, in just about every venue remotely applicable - and then some.
Since its introduction in late 2001, Honda’s CRF450 has not only earned an enviable win record in its primary fields of Supercross and motocross, it has also racked up truly impressive results, including race wins and championship titles in almost unbelievably diverse applications.
From GNCC (Grand National Cross Country), desert and 24-hour endurance races, to flat track and even Supermoto (with its hybrid blend of paved and dirt sections of track, along with high-flying jumps), the CRF450 has become the platform of choice.
And even for riders who have yet to make the big leap into professional racing, the CRF450R has plenty to offer; time and time again the Honda 450R has garnered rave reviews and top-rank awards from a number of enthusiast publications, all of which have contributed to the big CRF’s immense popularity and runaway sales figures. All in all, it has become patently obvious that regardless of venue, the CRF450R offers riders of all levels the ability to win, thanks to a fundamentally sound and remarkably adaptable chassis, plus an incredibly strong engine.
Just how strong is the CRF450R Unicam motor? Consider this: During the course of the 2006 AMA Supercross season, the Honda CRF450R nailed down the holeshot in final events more often than all other bikes combined! To be exact, the Big Red 450 railed the dash to the first turn in nine of 16 Supercross finals in the hands of five different riders - an amazing tally.
Team Honda’s Ernesto Fonseca snared one, but the other eight rocket-style launches were staged by privateers: old-hand David Vuillemin and young-gun Jacob Saylor took one apiece, Moto XXX pilot Kyle Lewis claimed a pair, and MDK/Motosport Honda’s Nick Wey racked up an amazing four holeshots during the course of the season - more than any other rider on the circuit! Wey also put his privateer CRF450R on the Supercross podium in San Francisco and Orlando ahead of a field of factory bikes. Such outstanding performance shouts volumes about the kind of power the CRF450R churns out, and also underscores why the big Honda has become the weapon of choice among privateers in the pro ranks.
More and more, the forces in today’s motorcycle market pressure each and every model toward specialization rather than versatility. It’s only natural; in order to answer the public’s unyielding call for excellence, a narrower target allows for higher highs. So why has the CRF450R displayed such versatility from its very inception? Simple: Given its world-class power and championship-caliber chassis, the Honda CRF450R simply offers far and away more capability than any other motorcycle in its class.
New for 2007
- New larger 41mm Keihin FCR carburetor.
- New smaller exhaust valve for improved flow and smoother power delivery.
- Engine decompression system is lighter and more compact.
- New link-type front brake master cylinder improves front braking power by 15 percent.
- New Dunlop 742FA front tire for improved turning feel and traction.
- New subframe allows the muffler to be mounted farther forward for better mass-centralization.
- Lighter rear chain guide.
- Stronger clutch basket and clutch center for improved wear resistance.
- New ignition map to match changes to carburetor and cylinder head.
- New one-piece cover protects throttle cable by keeping out dirt and water.
- Carburetor features a new accelerator pump and linkage for improved throttle response.
- New exhaust system placement improves mass-centralization.
- New front suspension valving for improved bump absorption.
- Powerful engine churns out 55 bhp at 9000 rpm and 36.9 lb./ft. of torque at 6500 rpm. Power is produced across a wide rpm band for easy-to-control operation.
- Auto decompression and hot restart system make starting easy in all conditions.
- Liquid-cooled four-valve Unicam(R) 449cc engine produces more than 120 hp per liter while maintaining Honda’s legendary dependability and simplicity.
- Compact, lightweight engine assembly weighs only 63.8 pounds.
- ACG cover made from magnesium for reduced heat buildup and lighter weight.
- Unicam valve train provides the light weight of a compact single-cam drive and the optimum combustion chamber shape for maximum power at all engine rpm.
- Unicam valve train features a carburized single camshaft that directly actuates two 36mm titanium intake valves. The camshaft exhaust lobe actuates two 30mm steel exhaust valves via a forked, low-friction roller rocker arm. A separate cam holder contributes to the compact design, which allows a remarkable 21.5 degrees included valve angle and saves 13.3 ounces over a comparable DOHC system.
- Lightweight titanium intake valves permit use of smaller valve springs, reducing overall engine height and saving 15.2 grams per valve compared to a steel valve design.
- Unique internal pin-rotation-type auto decompressor produces a lightweight, compact system that provides superb cold-starting and hot-restarting operation.
- Crankshaft is made of high-strength, low-carbon steel with carburized main journals for maximum durability at sustained high-rpm operation.
- Forged 12.0:1 compression slipper piston is more than 4.5 ounces lighter than a conventional design, revving quickly while maintaining excellent cylinder sealing and high-rpm power.
- Double-carburized connecting rod utilizes a big-end needle bearing for maximum high-rpm performance and durability.
- Nikasil cylinder lining is lightweight and provides cooler and quieter operation for extended engine life.
- Press-fitted aluminum spark-plug pipe fits between forked exhaust rocker arms, further contributing to compact cylinder-head design.
- 41mm FCR-type carburetor features four rollers on the flat slide, resulting in very light throttle effort, smooth operation, crisp throttle response and excellent rideability. Bottom of float chamber is designed to allow more fuel to pass to the main jet.
- An 8-bit digital CPU incorporates the capacitive discharge ignition (CDI), producing immediate data calculation and extremely accurate ignition for maximum performance.
- Twin-sump lubrication system separates the oil supply for the crankshaft, piston and valve train from the clutch and transmission. This ensures a cool supply of oil to the clutch, eliminates clutch and transmission material contamination to the engine oil and reduces the amount of circulating oil and the required size of the oil pump.
- Vertically split crankcases feature a built-in oil pump, reducing weight 5.1 ounces compared to a conventional design.
- Exhaust system features a titanium header and heat shield. The repackable silencer is aluminum with a stainless steel connector pipe.
- Long-lasting silencer packing.
- Narrow dual radiators provide significantly more surface area and more effective heat dissipation compared to a single-radiator design.
- Gear-driven balancer reduces vibration and drives the water pump. Eight clutch plates provide the surface area necessary to handle the engine’s massive torque, while carefully matched clutch springs provide a light feel at the lever.
- Fourth-generation twin-spar aluminum frame. Forged-aluminum steering head and tapered downtube section are designed to optimize frame rigidity. In addition, tall swingarm pivot plates and thin frame spars create a narrow overall frame cross-section for superb rider comfort and maneuverability.
- Semi-double-cradle frame design features a single, large-diameter tapered downtube. Two rugged box-section rails attach to the base of the downtube and support the engine. A forged-aluminum steering head provides a compact and extremely durable mount for the frame spars and engine downtube.
- The aluminum frame design is matched to rider ergonomics to maximize handling and control operation.
- Front and rear wheels feature HRC works-type lightweight aluminum spoke nipples.
- Front wheel features large-diameter front axle and wide wheel-bearing span for excellent rigidity.
- Rear axle diameter of 25mm and large-diameter bearings provide significant rigidity to withstand torturous track conditions.
- Lightweight 47mm inverted Showa twin-chamber cartridge fork with aluminum dampers feature settings unique to the CRF(R). The fork offers 12.4 inches of travel, 16-position rebound and 16-position compression damping adjustability. Front fork stanchions’ inner surfaces use same honing process as on works bikes for reduced friction.
- Pro-Link(R) single-shock rear suspension system features a fully adjustable Showa rear damper and 12.5 inches of wheel travel, separate low-speed (13 positions) and high-speed (3.5 turns) compression damping adjusters and 17-position rebound damping adjustability.
- Rear shock’s damper piston diameter is 50mm for consistent performance under demanding riding conditions.
- Compact dual-piston front brake caliper has been designed for a weight savings of more than 1 ounce. Anodized aluminum brake pistons and lightweight front brake disc minimize unsprung weight for improved turning and handling.
- HRC works-type rear brake system integrates the rear master-cylinder and fluid reservoir, eliminating the rear master-cylinder reservoir and hose.
- Link-type front brake master cylinder provides strong braking while using a light-weight brake rotor.
- Large 240mm front and rear disc brakes.
- Frame design allows sidecovers to have larger air-intake ducts, contributing to significant airflow increase in the mid- and upper-rpm ranges.
- Rider ergonomics are optimized by adapting the handlebar, seat and footpeg height to place the rider’s legs at the narrowest cross-section of the frame for improved comfort and handling feel.
- Seat cushion follows the shape of the fuel tank, providing a smooth transition to increase rider mobility and comfort.
- "Non-slip" seat cover for increased rider control.
- Brake pedal and shift lever are designed to complement the riding position.
- Brake pedal features optimized ratio to match integrated rear-brake master-cylinder design.
- Wide, cleated stainless steel footpegs are self-cleaning and corrosion resistant, provide excellent grip and fold for extra ground clearance.
- Rear brake pedal and shift lever are made of lightweight aluminum.
- Adjustable front brake lever for maximum control.
- Quick-adjust clutch perch for easy cable adjustment.
- Aluminum 971 bend Renthal handlebar as standard equipment is rubber-mounted to reduce rider fatigue and improve comfort.
- CR(R) handlebar holders provide three different mounting positions: Standard CRF450R holder provides +/- 3mm fore or aft position to match rider preference, and optional holder (CR250R-type) provides neutral position.
- Works-type handlebar grips add to rider comfort.
- Dunlop 742FA front and 756 rear tires for improved traction and cornering.
- Front disc brake cover helps protect rotor and caliper from damage.
- Removable rear subframe allows easy maintenance.
- Washable, two-stage foam air filter for optimal engine protection and easy maintenance.
- Repackable silencer for maximum performance and minimal noise.
- Comfortable, durable controls and high-quality fasteners.
- tainless steel clutch cable for long life.
- Honda Racing(TM)-inspired colors and graphics.
- Purchase of a new, previously unregistered Honda unit by an individual retail user in the United States qualifies the owner for a one-year complimentary membership in the Honda Rider’s Club of America(TM) (HRCA(R)). Benefits include online access to the Honda Common Service Manual, six issues of the bimonthly Honda Red Rider(TM) magazine, travel discounts, trip routing, MSF reimbursement, plus access to the HRCA Web site (www.hrca.honda.com). Look for the HRCA support team at select off-road events across the country. For details on the HRCA, dealers should call (310) 783-3958, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific Time.