Piggybacking on the announcement of the 2018 Honda CB650F debuting in America this August, Honda also released information on its 2018 CRF450R and the GNCC-ready CRF450RX.Both motocross models return as carry-overs with one exception: the CRF450R now arrives with electric starting and a lighter lithium battery as standard (CRF450RX already had electric start and lithium battery).
Both bikes, which were heavily revised for 2017 (first ride Fast Facts of 2017 Honda CRF450R and 2017 Honda CRF450RX), will arrive in Honda dealerships beginning in August.“It’s been amazing to see the success of the CRF450R this year, and we’re even more excited about this model with the improvements we’ve made for 2018,” said Lee Edmunds, American Honda’s Manager of Motorcycle Marketing Communications.“In addition to the obvious convenience, electric starting can save valuable seconds following a mid-moto mistake, and with the use of a lithium-ion battery, we can still achieve an extremely light weight. These changes make the CRF450R more competitive than ever, and of course customers can continue to count on Honda durability, quality, and reliability.”Following are overviews courtesy of American Honda:
2018 Honda CRF450R Overview:
The CRF450R’s downdraft air-intake and fuel-injection layout achieves a potent, broad spread of torque, but it also allows for heavier components to be located as centrally and low as possible so that all that power can be effectively utilized.In addition, the vehicle packaging results in nimble cornering, while updated suspension settings to the Showa shock and 49mm coil-spring fork improve handling. Corresponding with the addition of an electric starter (powered by a lightweight lithium-ion battery), the kick-start lever has been removed in order to shave precious weight. An updated ECU setting means power delivery is more useable than ever, and the big CRF still has great features like a titanium fuel tank, engine-mode select button, and wave-pattern 260mm front brake. Add it all together and you’ve got a bike that delivers even better on its promise of the “Absolute Holeshot.”
Currently being campaigned in the GNCC series by JCR Honda’s Trevor Bollinger, the CRF450RX already came with electric starting, but for 2018 the model gets a weight reduction with the removal of the kick-start lever and the switch to a lighter-weight lithium-ion battery.The model is based closely on the flagship CRF450R but with off-road-focused updates like a larger 2.2-gallon fuel tank, 18-inch rear wheel, side stand, optimized ECU and suspension settings, and more. When it comes to closed-course competition like GNCC, hare scrambles, and Grand Prix racing, the CRF450RX constitutes the ultimate off-road weapon.
This week we ride two genre-departing motorcycles from the established American manufacturers. Jess McKinley gives us his thoughts on the all new Harley-Davidson Pan America Special, and Ron Lieback gives his on Indian’s latest version of the FTR 1200 S.