2021 Honda CRF450R: Piece of Art!
Imagine for a moment that you’re a 1997 Honda CR250, the world’s first production dirt bike with an alloy perimeter frame. Yep, you’re that bike single-handedly responsible for kick-starting the suspension tuning game because of your way-too-rigid alloy frame. Okay, Mr 1997 CR250, so how do you see the 2021 CRF450R? No doubt, you’d admire how far its twin-spar alloy frame has evolved in 23 years. You’d look at its hydraulic clutch and say “about bloody time”. And you’d find it near impossible to believe the thing was pushing out close to 60 horses at the rear wheel. But most of all, you’d be envious of its factory bike feel and build quality, and wish that Honda’s graphic design team back in your day could make you look half as irresistible.
Honda’s flagship MX model may not always be the fastest or best-handling 450 on the market, but there’s no doubt about it, few off-road machines come close to Honda’s when it comes to design excellence and quality of finish. And that’s probably why Honda’s marketing department were so keen to reveal the stripped-back version of their 2021 CRF450R, and shine the spotlight on the attention to detail put into so much of its components.
For 2021, the CRF450R is clearly a landmark new model for Honda. Yes, the upgrades are spearheaded by a completely different twin-spar aluminium frame and swingarm, but the changes run much deeper than that. The bike also cops a big evolution to engine, clutch and exhaust. It gets redesigned air inlet tract, radiators, bodywork and seat. There are revisions to both fork and shock. And the cable clutch finally gives way to a hydraulically operated unit with a much lighter pull.
The 2021 CRF450R is scheduled to arrive in Australia this October. Pricing is yet to be announced.