First Look: 2018 Honda CRF450R/RX
Here’s our first look at Honda’s recently revealed 2018 CRF450R and CRF450RX models. Improving on last year’s all-new ‘reimagined’ CRF450 range, the 2018s now come standard with electric start, instead of an optional extra on the CRF450R in 2017.
Totally redesigned for the first time in eight years the 2017 CRF450R packed a powered-up HRC-designed engine with an 11% overall power boost and stronger torque right through the rev range, factory driven 49mm Showa USD coil spring front forks, an all-new aluminium frame, titanium fuel tank and plastics to suit. So I think it’s safe to say we weren’t surprised when Honda’s 2018 model wasn’t a totally new machine. The Japanese manufacturer has decided to improve on last year’s major upgraded machine by adding Electric start as standard equipment in 2018. They’ve also decided to ditch the kickstarter entirely plus a new lithium-ion battery helps keep the machine light. Besides from that, the 2018 model is largely unchanged from its predecessor.
- Downdraft Fuel Injection system
Part of an entire engine overhaul last year, Honda gave the CRF450R a new downdraft intake tract and FI body to help increase both power and fuel-metering precision.
- Cylinder Head Layout
The CRF450R uses Honda’s latest finger follower rocker design. The Unicam cylinder head remains the most efficient in the MX world, giving you the design and performance of a double-overhead-cam layout but the compactness of a single-overhead-cam design.
- 13.5:1 Compression Ratio
By revising the CRF450R’s squish area last year, they helped boost the bikes compression to 13.5:1. That means improved combustion efficiency for more power.
- Showa® Spring Fork
The 49mm Showa® fork features a conventional spring design that helps increase the CRF450R’s front-suspension precision, handling and feel. For 2018 they’ve revised the spring rate for better bottoming resistance and improved handling.
- Next-Generation Aluminum Frame
The CRF450R’s Next-Gen twin spar aluminium frame positions the rear shock’s mounting point lower, opening up the airbox area and contributing to a lower center-of-gravity for more holeshots. The frame geometry also helps improve traction, feeling and steering precision.
- Twin-Muffler Exhaust System
The CRF450R’s dual exhaust system is light, compact, and positioned close and low in the frame to take weight off the rear end and bring more mass to the bike’s center for improved handling. It also allows for more air flow, and that equals added horsepower.
- Electric-Start and Lithium-ion Battery
Now standard equipment for 2018 and they’ve ditched the kickstarter entirely to save weight.
Adding a new lithium-ion battery to power the machine.
- 260mm Front Brake
The CRF450R’s large front-brake disc measures an impressive 260mm.
- Titanium Fuel Tank
The 2018 CRF450R uses a titanium fuel tank. Light and strong, it’s also thinner than the previous plastic unit, while maintaining the same capacity, freeing up more space and helping to centralise fuel mass.
- Engine Mode Select Button
This simple handlebar-mounted button lets you dial in engine power delivery character with a
push of your thumb. Choose between Standard, Smooth and Aggressive, depending on track conditions.
New to the Honda line-up in 2017 was the CRF450RX, a race-ready enduro machine featuring enduro-spec suspension, PGM-FI and EMSB (Engine Mode Select Button) mapping, an 8.5 litre fuel tank, 18in rear wheel, electric starter and sidestand. For 2018, much like its motocross cousin, the RX has switched to a lithium ion battery saving 600 grammes of valuable weight.
Honda Australia is yet to outline information on the 2018 CRF450R andCRF450RX in Australia, however in the meantime visit www.hondacrf.com.au for the latest information on the bike locally.