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CRF450L "BS to the Japanese engineers"

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Hello fellow enthusiasts

I want to call BS on the engineering and design to the recent release of the CRF450L 

I am not new to motorcycles (dirt and street) and have been wrenching on bikes since I was a kid

I want to point out the wasted time and misdirected efforts that the engineers at Honda put into this bike that you and me will pay for later.

Feel free to add to my list of the fails I see in the engineering design of the  CRF450L

1 WTF is up with the gas tank? Titanium????? Why not steel like the CRF250L? Its less expensive and easier to produce and does the job

2 WTF Why does the gas tank have all them dents and contours?,,,, Obviously to accommodate the plastic cover that protects the expensive titanium tank.

             they could have made a steel tank, without the plastic cover. It would have held more fuel and eliminated the plastic cover. less parts to manufacture.

3 Handle bar mounts,,, Do you see them? Yep,,, rubber, anti vibration,,,, whats the point? More parts to pay for. They could have used the tripple trees from the X 

         waste of engineering time and adds cost to the bike. and no one else is doing it 

4 Why in the hell did they hang the licence plate holder in orbit around the back tire??? That whole tail light assembly could have been a self contained, nice and tucked up           unit under the fender,,, Obviously the engineers dont ride off road or maybe at all,,,,, F N nerds are designing our bikes

5 Why did they design a new chain guard? (this one kills me) Just use the one off the X or 250L ,,,, why reinvent the wheel? dumb asses!!! 

6 Why redesign a headlight assembly? FN WHY!!!!! The 250L's looks nice Just convert it to LED and you just saved a ton of money and time.

7 After all the deign efforts the dumb asses got lazy and used the 250L rear view mirrors,,, go figure!

Bottom line,,,,, the CRF250L looks awesome but (lets face it) is a turd. The CRF450L could have shared some of the 250L's aesthetics, rip in the power department, Handle well and carry more fuel for an MSRP of $1k less and beat out KTM in sales.

Will I buy one,,,,,, the juries still out on that

OK Im done ,,,, thank you for letting me rant

XXOO

DD

 

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Honda did what they did because unlike the 250L, the new 450L is NOT price point motorcycle.

The new L was designed to share parts with the new 450X as built in Japan, not a cheap Taiwainese made bike with a lightly modified street bike engine. 

As for your bullet points:

#1 The Ti tank is not as expensive to manufacture as you think, and is SIGNIFICANTLY lighter than a steel tank.  This was borne out way back with the original Ti tank on the 450R and not using a plastic tank for it.

#2  Again, weight and more importantly, SOUND.  All of those pieces of plastic help to abosorb noise coming from the top end of the engine.  Important for the "dual" part of engineering in the application for the both the 450L and the X where the stock tank will be removed for an aftermarket plastic IMS for the racers of the group.  All of those little dents and contours will deflect sound in different ways and helps to quiet noise for the drive by tests required by the lawyers for legality.  The engine casings/castings on the new 450L/X are much thinner and will transfer more sound than the over engineered street bike engine that is in the 250L.

#3  Lots of people have used rubber mounts in the past and currently.  Hondas used to all come with rubber mounts.  Austrian bikes currently come with rubber mounts.  For an engine in a much higher state of tune than the 250L they will have wanted the rubber mounts to help quell some potential buzzing in the bars at higher engine rpm.  It is also very easy to rotate the clamps as they will be offset to let guys move the bars forwards or back for their personal preference.  Not as good for crashing with the twist that happens, but it is a simple and cheap fix to drop in solid aluminum or polymer aftermarket cones.

#4  Lawyers design the rear light section for street legal bikes, not off road riders. 

#5  This is a hill you want to die on?  For the sake of engineering, I am sure the new 450L/X swingarm has different dimensions (offset of chain, thickness, etc...) and thus the new tooling for a cheap plastic part is NBD compared to using the same part from the 250L.  The biggest requirement for the chain guard has nothing to do with keeping some yabbo's shoe laces out of the chain but with lowering the drive by dB reading for street legality, thus the different versions between the 450L and the X.

#6  If you are going all out to design a new bike from the ground up, one of the most influential visual points (that everyone will see first) is going to be that headlight.  Make it stand out.  I like it so much that once they are readily available, I am going to buy the light assembly/plastic and adapt it to my XR650R that I use for dual sport riding these days.

#7  All of the complaining above about not using parts from the 250L (again, the chain cover?) on this bike, and then you complain about using the mirrors from the 250L (which are shared with other models in the world market) in the one location that almost no one will ever notice?  Wow.  Just wow.

Just be happy that Honda is finally pulling their head out and trying to build competitive bikes in the marketplace again, at least for a few years.  In 2029 we will probably all be pissed off that the 450L and 450X have only seen BNG since they came out....

 

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I agree with the statement of "not a price point motorcycle"

My point was (and maybe I wasnt clear) was Honda went too far with the engineering. they did use the X as a starting point, so "All new from the ground up" is a miss conception, Its just a new model.  Its the X tweeked to be a dual sport. To help them reduce costs a few items were not necessary to re engineer (my opinion).

Chain guard mount could be located to accommodate the chain location

I understand the apperance of the headlight assembly is to each his own

Ive only seen those mirrors on the 250L (there are chinese copies that are cheep and vibrate) and I wasnt complaining just wondering why they didnt redesign them too

Im sorry but titanium is way more expensive than steal, period.

I didnt mention the bike has no passenger foot pegs (not that it matters but it would be nice to give a babe or kids a ride)

Did I mention the tires are garbage?
KTM/Husky dosnt seam to have an issue with noise , so why is Honda jumping through hoops in that respect?

Im just saying If I designed that bike ,, it would have been out last year and a thousand bucks less and KTM would have been $hitting their pants

I dont think KTM is worried at this point

These are just my thoughts and observations,, overall it does look to be a nice bike

peace

Edited by Ducky Dog

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I'm not trying to be crabby, but...

The 450L is not an all new bike from the ground up because it is based on the 450X, which is an all new bike from the ground up and is to be released at the same time?  How is this a reasonable thought?  IF anything, the X is simply a slightly stripped down L.  Once you see how much stuff gets stripped off that 450X so that Mark Samuels, et. al. can race it in Baja (if they don't say screw it and race a 450RX) it will be painfully obvious to see which bike you could say is based off the other... 

The 450L is already a porker in weight compared to the Austrian bikes (by at least 20lbs).  A steel tank would add another 5 lbs (at the least, but probably more like 10) and it would make more noise requiring other measures.  They already went down this route with the 450R, and the engineers were able to prove to the bean counters that they could make the titanium fuel tank for the same cost as a plastic tank for the 450R.  Thin sheet Ti, stamped in halves, rolled/pressed seams, not that expensive anymore.  The Ti tanks are more durable than a steel tank and will have no corrosion issues at all.  With the future of ethanol blended fuels, how is this a bad thing for the second or third owner?  Honda does ti tanks on other bikes, so it is proven technology and the mass market of the production of said Ti tanks and the procurement of the Ti sheet is easily accommodated by the bean counters.  With using the same tank for the X and L you are also spreading the costs out.  Making two separate tanks would still be more expensive: they sure wouldn't sell the X with a steel tank on it in the modern market.

KTM/Husky gets around a lot of the noise by gearing their bikes to the moon.  We will all have to wait a little bit to see just how different they are when you are riding them box stock.  I would bet that the new 450L is still much quieter than a new KTM.  Good or bad depends on your point of view.

It is a street legal dirt bike for the hardcore crowd.  Why would there be passenger pegs?  I don't see passenger pegs on a KTM EXC.  From the engineering standpoint (and Honda's lawyers) for passenger pegs you then need a much stronger subframe, more seat length, etc... and thus much more weight and compromises.  They did not try to build a 250/650L replacement.  They tried to build a 350/450/500 EXC competitor and it is optioned accordingly.

I have never cared what kind of a tire comes on a bike.  The fact that it comes with Bridgestone Death Wings right off the 650L is not a shocker at all to me.  Even though a 500 EXC comes with TKCs stock, more dirt worthy DOT knobbies are still going on it ASAP.  Beta can still get away with less restrictions in noise due to how few bikes they make in a year, but not the Austrians or Honda.

There are lots of things that I don't like about the new 450L, but there are things that I don't like about every bike.  None of the things I dislike are all that big of a deal, and I really can't make any more of an opinion until I can plant my butt on one for a ride.  I do look hard at the engineering side of things as well, that is what I am, but until I can actually poke and prod one in the flesh I will hold a little judgement back and give the Honda engineers the benefit of the doubt.  They have to please everyone (which is impossible).  I only have to please me, which is pretty easy!

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All valid points

Dont get me wrong as it does look to be a nice bike

It just seems to be a little over engineered to me

I sure hope it comes with lots of ponies

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If they built it exactly like we wanted it, there would be nothing to mod...

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On July 30, 2018 at 12:45 PM, eastreich said:

The 450L is already a porker in weight compared to the Austrian bikes (by at least 20lbs).  A steel tank would add another 5 lbs (at the least, but probably more like 10)

Would be surprised if a steel tank would even weigh 5 lbs.

The point was Honda missed the boat with the 450L.

They needed to make an updated XR650L, a bike they have made

and sold for decades, with a big loyal following.

The 450L could of been that bike, but they instead went for the

smaller dirt bike with lights market.

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58 minutes ago, 95 Lowbuck said:

Would be surprised if a steel tank would even weigh 5 lbs.

The point was Honda missed the boat with the 450L.

They needed to make an updated XR650L, a bike they have made

and sold for decades, with a big loyal following.

The 450L could of been that bike, but they instead went for the

smaller dirt bike with lights market.

Honda did NOT miss the boat with the 450L.  It is aiming for a target that is a KTM EXC.  Period.

Any 450cc bike is NOT going to be able to replace a 650 for dual sport use.  Even one as detuned as what the 650L is.  It is simple as that.

Why on Earth would Honda replace the 650L with a modern 450 based bike?  Seriously.  The 650L is competing directly with it's competition which is not KTM or Beta.  It is Suzuki's DR650 and Kawasaki's KLR to which the 650L does just fine.  All of you people buy every 650L they make, so where is the incentive?  Honda has had issues selling the 450X for a while now, and with the Yamaha WR line being so far advanced it was an easier sell to the bean counters to make an updated 450X (and the L with it) to compete in that market space.  Especially now that KTM is out of the EPA off-road legal only dirt bike market.  There was a vacancy they could jump in on where there are only a few other competitors (WR450 and RMZ450X).

If Honda trotted out a new bike to replace the 650L it is pretty common knowledge that they could have done it already, and very easily: modify the left case of the 650R to use the e-start from the TRX700XX and the PGM-EFI from the same quad.  Done.  But they didn't.

Everyone can complain that Honda didn't make a replacement for the 650L, but if they did and it cost $11,000 as it would be fully modern and compete with a KTM 690/Husky 701 would all of the 650L people be willing to pay almost double the money for one?  OR would they go buy a DR or KLR.  I would hedge my bets on the latter more than the former. 

I would be one of the first in line for a modern, water cooled, e-start, efi, legal off the shelf 650 to replace my plated R.  But that isn't what is happening.  I won't be buying a 450L because I already bought a new 450 this year: if Honda had been a few months earlier, I would have been first in line for a new 450X.  Will Honda do a 650L replacement eventually?  Maybe.  But I think we would all see that as an "Africa Twined" version of a CB500 (CB500AT?) instead of an updated single cylinder 650.  Adventure bikes sell, and it wouldn't be too hard for Honda to offer a factory version of the CB500X with the Rally Raid kit.  Price it at $1500 more than the regular CB500X and watch the money roll in.

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I was back and forth on a DS, never had one before, as you can see in my sig i like power, went with Beta, and i think it is far better than this Honda, i would do the same thing again too. Did you say that Yamaha had started making a WR450 for USA ? legal ? that would be interesting...Roost

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10 hours ago, eastreich said:

Honda did NOT miss the boat with the 450L.  It is aiming for a target that is a KTM EXC.  Period.

 

There is a big hole between the CRF250L and the XR650L

One barely has enough power for the highway, the other has decades old technology.

Would of been nice to have a fairly light weight, up to date, mid sized DS,

that you can put some miles on without worrying about Maintenence.

They sell way more DRZ 400's than the DR 650's and for good reason.

And I'm willing to bet they would sell a lot more of a detuned, cheaper, 450L.

 

 

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33 minutes ago, 95 Lowbuck said:

...the other has decades old technology...

...DRZ 400...

 

 

Speaking of decades old technology...

The only reason that DRZs, XRLs, etc... are so cheap is that they ARE decades old technology that is grandfathered into emissions regs.

The only reason that the CRF250L makes any financial sense is that is shares a large chunk of costs with a horde of street bikes being sold southeast Asia in vast quantities.

That scale doesn't exist for a 400-600cc single with Honda's current market plan. The only way it will work is for Honda to partner with someone and build it for the domestic Indian market (where it would compete with Royal Enfield) and then export it worldwide. Honda is too slow for that to happen anytime soon.

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2 hours ago, 95 Lowbuck said:

And I'm willing to bet they would sell a lot more of a detuned, cheaper, 450L.

 

 

 

I'd put money down that Honda will sell oodles of 450L's - actually, I will be putting money down.

 

As far as a detuned, cheaper, 450L, that is what the 250L is. The only thing that I wish Honda would do that I would think wouldn't cost them any more money would be to offer the 250L with the CBR300 engine as an option.

 

Otherwise, I think Honda is doing what Honda does best - produce a reliable, reasonably priced dirt bike that will outlast the competition two to one.

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Posted (edited)
49 minutes ago, 1972RedNeck said:

Otherwise, I think Honda is doing what Honda does best - produce a reliable, reasonably priced dirt bike that will outlast the competition two to one.

I agree with you.^

Thats why I think they missed the boat, if they truly wanted to compete with the KTM,

with all their resources, they could of built it.

Instead they produced a bike that is heavier, more than likely less powerful in its class,

about the same maintenance, for about the same price. What's the point.

And even a detuned 450L, about 300-315 lbs, $8000. would be way better than 250L.

Edited by 95 Lowbuck

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3 minutes ago, 95 Lowbuck said:

I agree with you.^

Thats why I think they missed the boat, if they truly wanted to compete with the KTM,

with all their resources, they could of built it.

Instead they produced a bike that is heavier, more than likely less powerful in its class,

about the same maintenance, for about the same price. What's the point.

And even a detuned 450L would be way better than 250L.

Are you sure it's actually heavier? They are advertising a "wet, ready to ride" weight, whereas the competition always gives you the "dry" weight.

As for the power, that is purely your speculation.

Yes, I'm sure there are things that will be modded, but every bike needs some modding to make it just right for each owner.

Let's face it, they could have done this or they could have done that, but instead, they are building another kick butt Honda.

 

No matter what you do, people will scream and moan and holler - you can't please everyone.

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and who here thinks this new honda is gonna actually hang with that katoom ? I have ridden the EXC and it is a bad MoFo period, not a big dropoff from one of my KX5's and that is crazy fast. The thing with the EXC is maintanience, same as a MX bike, its all about give and take, and how/where your gonna ride, do you expect to be riding 4th gear wheelies down the street, KTM is your bike. You just want to cruise around and have some power to wheelie a ditch, i'm sure the honda will be fine with waaaay less maintain. Some of the best DS bikes i have seen were XR650's converted, ride that thing across the planet and never have to touch it

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4 hours ago, Hugeroost said:

Some of the best DS bikes i have seen were XR650's converted, ride that thing across the planet and never have to touch it

That's the problem, the 450L is not that bike.

We will see, but Honda has quoted service intervals along the line of a KTM dirt bike.

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Posted (edited)

I know a lot of people are hating on the Honda's shortcomings, but I can tell you two reasons why I would have no problem buying this bike:

1. I can walk into the DMV and walk out with a license plate, no hassle. I don't have to register it in another state and hope the lady at the DMV doesn't notice. Getting a plate alone will make this bike desirable in NJ where it is impossible to register a dirt bike and it opens up hundreds of miles of trails.

2. My Honda dealer is 3 minutes from my house.😁

Edited by racermx66
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Forgot 1 more thing:

3. NJ doesn't have motorcycle inspections so parts tend to "fall off" on the way home from the dealer.

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If you want a KTM EXC then go buy one, they have been around for many years. If you want the Honda brand, craftsmanship, and longevity then wait for the the new 450L to come out. Honda takes their sweet time with new models but they generally get it right and their product typically lasts a long time.

There will always be some “tweaks” that we will all make to get any bike the way we want it.

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