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started by Roadking at 01:21:24 am on Jun 06, 2011 in Bike Reviews

Closely based on the very successful CRF450R motocrosser the enduro focused CRF450X benefits from electric start and improved cooling but the most important bit is the registration plate. ADR compliance finally allows Honda to finally go head to head with Yamahas big selling WR and KTMs EXC range.  The CRF450X is also still very much competition bred and like the Yamaha and KTM the Honda is certainly not intended for much road use but is designed to be ready to race pretty much straight out of the crate.


Racebike performance comes with racebike levels of maintenance. If racing the machine Honda recommends the piston and rings be changed every 15 hours but in the real world of trail riding with only some occasional full anger thrown into the mix you could probably extend that as far as 50 hours as long as you make your oil changes frequent.


Honda recommends oil changes every 1000km but personally I would be changing the engine oil every couple of rides as it is very cheap insurance. The oil and gearbox oil circuits are separated with 750ml of liquid gold in the engine and 650ml in the gearbox. Access to the oil filter is basic with an easy access cover on the left hand side of the engine requiring two 8mm bolts to be removed. The oil filters retail for around $12.50. Like I say, cheap insurance


The cost of a piston change with all required parts and labour at full retail prices can come in at up to $600. Certainly not cheap and like the other racebike derived models you really need to judge how much use you think you will make of the bike and whether a softer option might be the go for you on that basis. These days 50 hours of riding is likely to be more than many riders will do in a year when you sit down and honestly add up how many chances you actually get to make it out in the dirt.


Access to the washable two-stage air filter is a tool free operation with a single clip release and a hinged airbox lid making things even simpler again.


The 449cc single is very similar to that found in the full monty R motocrosser but the fitment of an electric start required new crankcases to be employed while the five speed box sports wider ratio gearing.


The biggest changes are to first and second gears with the X scoring much shorter gearing. The final drive gearing is also shorter with a 51 tooth rear sprocket compared to the R models 48 tooth item.


A taller fifth gear in the X model offsets this somewhat at the top end but even so the X will hit the rev-limiter at around 135kph in top. Another extremely welcome change for the X model is the fitment of gears that are physically wider than those found in the R model which bodes well for just how serious Honda have been in their development of the enduro variant.

Age: 50

Joined: 2011-05-12 03:34:14
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