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Honda Broadens CRF Lineup with Expansive New-Model Launch


Bryan Bosch

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Honda Broadens CRF Lineup with Expansive New-Model Launch
Largest performance off-road release yet includes new models for diverse applications


IRVINE, Calif. (May 23, 2018) – During a recent “CRF Collective” unveiling ceremony at Fox Racing headquarters, Honda announced its most far-reaching range of performance off-road models ever, expanding the group by three and significantly improving the four returning models. Leveraging the brand’s unparalleled experience in the manufacture of dirt bikes, Honda’s performance off-road lineup now includes CRF machines for riding applications including motocross, closed-course off-road, pure off-road, and even dual sport.


All seven models are based on the platforms of Honda’s revolutionary motocrossers, the CRF450R and CRF250R. Those two machines return for 2019 but with important updates, as does the closed-course off-road CRF450RX. In addition, Honda is offering a factory-replica version of its full-size motocrosser called the CRF450RWE (“Works Edition”). The trail-ready CRF450X is entirely new for 2019, and it’s joined by a road legal CRF450L that enables customers to connect trails via asphalt. Finally, Honda is also introducing an all-new CRF250RX closed-course off-road machine.
 

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“Honda’s history in off-road is something we’re very proud of, from the ’70s-era Elsinores, through the XRs of the ’80s and ’90s, to the post-millennial CRF models,” said Lee Edmunds, American Honda’s Manager of Motorcycle Marketing Communications. “For 2019, it’s exciting to build on that reputation with the most expansive lineup of CRF performance off-road models ever offered, and to reach a wide range of enthusiasts
through motorcycles that are tailored to an equally diverse spectrum of riding environments. With this new lineup, there really is a CRF off-road performance machine for everyone.”

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CRF450L Dual Sport
The trails are calling, and the all-new road-legal CRF450L answers, expanding customers’ off-road possibilities by enabling access to the best riding trails, even when that means connecting them via asphalt roads. Street legality is achieved via features like LED lighting, mirrors, and a dedicated exhaust system. Equally at home in the woods or desert, the CRF450L has a wide-ratio six-speed transmission for maximum adaptability, while a lightweight, 2.0-gallon tank offers great range. Compared to the CRF450R motocrosser, crank mass is up for tractability in technical conditions, where a large-capacity radiator keeps things cool.

>>> More pictures, video, specs & discussion on the 2019 Honda CRF450L <<<

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CRF450RWE (Works Edition)
For the 2019 model year, you don’t have to be Ken Roczen to enjoy a CRF450R with factory enhancements, as the new CRF450RWE features a number of upgrades based on the bikes in the Team Honda HRC race shop. Rocketing to the top step of the podium through the use of a specially designed cylinder head with hand-polished ports, Yoshimura titanium slip-on muffler, and special ECU settings, this new model offers increased low- and mid-range torque. It also features the same graphics as Roczen’s No. 94 race bike, including a Throttle Jockey factory seat cover. Upgraded black D.I.D LT-X rims are included, along with black triple clamps and a gold RK chain. Titanium nitride-coated fork legs and an updated, titanium nitride-coated shock shaft increase traction and bump absorption.

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CRF450R
Already the industry’s top-selling motocrosser and the winner of the 2018 Daytona Supercross at the hands of MotoConcept’s Justin Brayton, the CRF450R receives a number of important updates for 2019. Better engine performance is achieved through a new combustion-chamber shape, as well as improved over-rev characteristics through a refined oil-management system. The frame and swingarm have been revised for optimized rigidity and weight reduction, while the braking system has been updated with a lightweight front brake caliper featuring a large-piston design. As a result of the weightsaving measures, the CRF450R is 1.76 lbs. lighter than its predecessor. For added performance and increased comfort, the 2019 model features new ECU settings, HRC launch control, a Renthal Fatbar® handlebar and adjustable handlebar position. Black rims and redesigned fork protectors are also new. This is how you convert the “Absolute Holeshot” into moto wins.

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CRF450X
Having featured heavily in Honda-mounted teams winning 20 of the last 21 Baja 1000s, the CRF450X gets a complete overhaul for 2019, based on the modern CRF platform but with off-road-appropriate features. A true off-road machine that’s ready for racing or trail riding, this model features a headlight, taillight, and side stand, as well as an 18” rear wheel and lightweight 2.0-gallon fuel tank. For maximum versatility in challenging terrain, the CRF450X also features a 49mm Showa fork with dedicated settings, wideratio six-speed transmission, and higher crank mass than the CRF450R.

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CRF450RX
Currently campaigned by JCR Honda’s Trevor Bollinger and Trevor Stewart in GNCC and WORCS competition, respectively, the CRF450RX inherits the same performanceenhancing features of the 2019 CRF450R, including an updated cylinder head and refined oil-management system, while still featuring off-road-specific features like a 2.2gallon resin fuel tank, 18-inch rear wheel, and aluminum side stand. Suspension is specially tailored to the CRF450RX and uses low-friction fork oil. For added performance and increased comfort, the 2019 model features new ECU settings, HRC launch control, a Renthal Fatbar handlebar, and adjustable handlebar position. Black rims and redesigned fork protectors are also new.

2019_honda_crf450rx.png


CRF250RX
Based on Honda’s successful 250cc motocrosser, the all-new CRF250RX joins the CRF450RX as a weapon for closed-course off-road competitions throughout America. Equipped with a larger-capacity, 2.2-gallon resin fuel tank, 18-inch rear wheel, and aluminum side stand, the RX makes quick work of challenging situations, its dedicated suspension and ECU settings helping the rider work through even the toughest trail sections. As with the CRF250R, HRC launch control, a Renthal Fatbar handlebar, and black rims are standard.
 

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CRF250R
Newly introduced in 2018, the CRF250R has seen the GEICO Honda and TiLube Honda teams earn multiple wins in AMA Supercross and Arenacross competition, respectively, while also achieving success in amateur national races. For 2019, the model is revised with increased low-to-midrange engine performance for improved corner exiting. Inspired by the factory version, the Double Overhead Cam engine features updated cam profiles
and intake- and exhaust-port profiles, a 50mm shorter right exhaust pipe, and a 2mm smaller throttle body. Riders can select from three engine modes for ideal performance depending on conditions, while HRC launch control has been adopted for improved race-start performance. A Renthal Fatbar handlebar sits in a four-position-adjustable top clamp, while the braking system has been updated with a lighter, CRF450R-inspired caliper with larger piston for optimum braking performance. Black rims are standard.

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CRF150R / CRF150RB
Raced by Amsoil Honda hotshot Hunter Yoder on the amateur national circuit, Honda’s smallest motocross machine returns for 2019, featuring a Unicam four-stroke engine thatoffers a spread of ample, useable power and torque across the rev range. Suspension duties are handled by Showa, with a 37mm inverted fork and Pro-Link rear link system. In addition to the standard version, Honda offers the CRF150RB, which features larger
wheels, a taller seat, a longer swingarm, and more rear-suspension travel.

2019_Honda_CRF150R_Expert-2019_Honda_CRF150R.jpg

 

ABOUT AMERICAN HONDA
American Honda Motor Co., Inc., is the sole distributor of Honda motorcycles, scooters, ATVs and Side-by-Sides in the U.S. American Honda’s Motorcycle Division conducts thesales, marketing and operational activities for these products through independent authorized Honda retail dealers. For more information on Honda products, go to powersports.honda.com.

Edited by Bryan Bosch

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The CRF450L Dual Sport comes with a two-gallon gas tank.  Why are these manufacturers keeping the range so limited for a dual sport?  The tank configuration looks fairly complex, I don't know if an aftermarket tank will be available because of that design. It will be interesting to see if other Japanese companies will join in the fun...
 

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2 minutes ago, kawagumby said:

The CRF450L Dual Sport comes with a two-gallon gas tank.  Why are these manufacturers keeping the range so limited for a dual sport?  The tank configuration looks fairly complex, I don't know if an aftermarket tank will be available because of that design. It will be interesting to see if other Japanese companies will join in the fun...
 

I'll bet the standard $1.00 that Yamaha will shoot back with a WR450 based bike. C'mon blue, show us what ya's gots!

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1 minute ago, payloan said:

10,300  Wow.  A Beta 500 is only 9700.   It sure does look nice.   

I bet the Honda has engineered much more durability and weather-tightness into the wiring harness, lights and so on than KTM or Beta (I own a Beta 390 RR-S).  Like Yamaha and the WR250R, they may be opting for heavier brake parts, controls and so on, which adds cost and weight.

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1 minute ago, kawagumby said:

I bet the Honda has engineered much more durability and weather-tightness into the wiring harness, lights and so on than KTM or Beta (I own a Beta 390 RR-S).  Like Yamaha and the WR250R, they may be opting for heavier brake parts, controls and so on, which adds cost and weight.

Im sure you are correct.  The honda will be a well built bike.  I read somewhere,,,287 lbs.  wet. 

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5 hours ago, payloan said:

10,300  Wow.  A Beta 500 is only 9700.   It sure does look nice.   

$600 is that big a deal for a bike we waited 17 years for.  Thats chicken scratch imho.  :thumbsup:

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Might be time to trade in the Suzuki DS 650 for one of the L's.. looks a lot lighter..

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At first I was glad to see some changes to the 450X but upon closer inspection, I don't think their upgrades were all that great.

I think they could have improved fuel capacity like they did with the RX (how many threads do we see on how to carry extra fuel?), the lighting seems weak to me, and I am still unclear whether or not the EFI is programmable or not, and why cant Honda or Yamaha throw some nicer skid plates on and some hand guards (and even some nice aluminum radiator guards)?

The closer I look, the less impressed I am sadly.

I think it is a contender against the WR450F in a lot of respects though (more so than before). But I don't feel like the improvements just tilted the market in their favor either.

I cant tell... does the 450X have a kick start or only e-start?

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Titanman

Posted (edited)

Finally a Japanese company made the dual sport bike we have been begging for.  Looks like the XR 650L is FS for the 450L 

Edited by Titanman

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On 5/23/2018 at 6:42 PM, kawagumby said:

The CRF450L Dual Sport comes with a two-gallon gas tank.  Why are these manufacturers keeping the range so limited for a dual sport?  The tank configuration looks fairly complex, I don't know if an aftermarket tank will be available because of that design. It will be interesting to see if other Japanese companies will join in the fun...
 

throw a rear rack and a rotopax on there and you can double that tank. $11k after taxes though, i'll keep my 250 for now...

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On 5/23/2018 at 6:42 PM, kawagumby said:

The CRF450L Dual Sport comes with a two-gallon gas tank.  Why are these manufacturers keeping the range so limited for a dual sport?  The tank configuration looks fairly complex, I don't know if an aftermarket tank will be available because of that design. It will be interesting to see if other Japanese companies will join in the fun...
 

The twin spar frame just doesn't help when it comes to fuel capacity. And, whatever the aftermarket add is going to be both taller and wider, neither of which have a positive impact on handling or feel. The lack of fuel capacity of the CRF450L IMHO is more a function that they built it off a frame designed for MX. This where I think KTM has done a better job, not only with more fuel capacity stock, but sitting lower on the bike.

19_Honda_CRF450L_fan.jpg?w=597&dpr=1&aut

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"while a lightweight, 2.0-gallon tank offers great range"  hahaha,  why do they have to blatently lie.   That's worse than the usual  fluff-up when they run out of new stuff to talk about on old bikes.  

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      Illustration: American Honda
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      The cutoff height increases with a rider on the bike. Pics taken with no rider. Photo by El Jefe of CDSR.
      I think that the CRF450L headlight would do a good job for a night time cruise on back roads at legal-ish speeds and no question that it would get you off the trails if you got caught out after dark. But if you really want to trail ride at night, get something helmet mounted.
      Anything That I Didn't Like About the 2019 CRF450L?
      The clutch lever perch has an internal switch that requires the lever to be pulled fully against the grip in order to restart the bike. It wasn't a huge deal for me, but something that I noticed when I flamed out and tried to get the bike lit quickly with the magic button. I know that this was a point of feedback from some of the very fast riders in our group to Honda engineers who eagerly solicited feedback after the ride. 
      I also don't like that there is no back-up kickstarter for a dual sport that is designed to get deep into the woods. I did confirm with Honda that the new engine cases do not allow for one to be installed retro.  My KTM 690 shares the same design and in the last 1.5 years of ownership it's been no issue. Honda has a pretty solid reputation for reliability, so I think that this falls under the premise that all things are possible, but not all things are likely. For those that Murphy's Law seems to follow, there are good portable jump starters that are easily carried in small packs and "smart" batteries that protect themselves from over-discharge such as the Antigravity "Re-Start"  Lithium battery.
      At least for me, the horn button is too easy to hit when you're looking for the turn signal switch. The button is above and sticks out past the signal switch below it, so I ended up honking at the rider in front of me a few times accidentally. But, by the end of the day, I had adapted. The turn signal switch gets used far more than the horn, so I think there's room for improvement ergonomically.
      What Really Stood Out About the CRF450L? 
      Probably how smooth, refined, and quiet this bike is, despite it being so performance oriented and capable. The combination of rubber dampened sprockets, chain guide, roller & slider materials, urethane filled swingarm, and foam-backed plastic ignition, clutch, and primary sprocket covers help to make this the most refined, low vibration, and quiet street legal dirt bike that I've ridden. Add in a quiet exhaust note and the 450L is pretty stealthy. After a full day of riding, I had a ton of fun, never felt held back, but I really appreciated the lack of mental & physical wear that loud and more raw bikes have. Loud pipes don't save lives, but they do tick off others recreating in or living by the areas we ride.

      Quiet, refined, & stealthy doesn't have to kill the thrill. Photos: American Honda
      Honorable mention: The LED turn signals double as running lights and can be bent 90°, snapping back into operating position without damage. It's a little detail, but a smart and appreciated one. On a bike like this, conventional signals on the rear would last days if not hours.
      Would I Personally Buy a 2019 CRF450L? 
      Absolutely. Since I left the event, I've been thinking hard about putting a 450L in my garage. I really like this bike a lot. I've not been on a Honda since mid 2000 and they brought their guns to the performance dual sport market with the 2019 CRF450L. Glad to see Honda shaking up the segment and riders are the winners. I wonder who will fire back next? 
      Questions & Comments?
      I could probably write more about the 2019 CRF450L, but I think that I covered the important stuff and the things that stood out to me. But, the cool thing about ThumperTalk is the conversation. If I didn't do a good job explaining something or worse, completely glossed over something important to you, DO post your question(s) in the comments section below. If I know, I'll answer. If I don't, I'll reach out to the Honda folks  and see if I can get an answer. The 450L isn't cheap, so if I can help you make the right decision, my mission will have been accomplished.  Also, you can find a several galleries with lots of photos of the 2019 CRF450L in action, as well as close-ups and tech/service info HERE.
       
      Bryan Bosch, ThumperTalk.com

      #crf450L #ridered #dualsport #blessed #grateful
    • By Bryan Bosch
      Rider @Bryan Bosch
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