While the CRF450X may be a familiar model, the 2019 Honda CRF450X is a huge step forward from previous iterations.The new CRF450X takes its cues from the latest 2019 Honda CRF450R motocrosser, rather than relying on an outdated chassis and motor. Amazingly, as late as 2018, the CRF450X was still running a carburetor.
Everything has changed to make the 2019 Honda CRF450X an all-new 450X that remains ready for everything from single-track to Baja.1. The new 2019 Honda CRF450R is the basis of this motorcycle. The basic chassis and motor is the starting point for the 2019 Honda CRF450X, a long-overdue rethinking of the Green Sticker legal dirt bike that still had potential for racing.2. The 2019 Honda CRF450X uses a modified CRF450R motor. The same Unicam design powerplant is there, and that includes the EFI system. To make it more trail-worthy, the motor gets different valve timing, a 12 percent increase in crankshaft inertia, a three-ring piston, a torquier exhaust design (just one muffler), and a much lower compression ratio. Large capacity radiators will help avoid overheating during the summer.3. The 2019 Honda CRF450X also gets bottom end mods, with the big news being a six-speed transmission. Honda CRF450X owners have been begging for a sixth cog for over a decade, and it finally arrives with the 2019 model. Thanks to a wide-ratio design, it’s desert-ready, as well as capable in the tightest single-track. The clutch has a lighter pull, plus a damping mechanism designed to smooth out torque pulses on the trail. Like the new CRF450R, the CRF450X is electric-start only.4. Remaining Green Sticker legal, expect the emissions controls to choke up the 2019 Honda CRF450X. There’s a huge USFS-approved spark arrestor, an emissions canister, and emissions-friendly ECU settings. It’s anyone’s guess how the stock 2019 Honda CRF450X will run, but don’t get your hopes up. While it may be adequate in stock configuration for the most casual of trail riders, we know that there is plenty of power lurking inside the motor waiting to be released. Of course, Honda and Ultimate Motorcycling would never be so bold to suggest modifying the CRF450X’s motor to your need. Oh, no, of course not. We can’t wait to get our hands on it.5. The frame is CRF450R-based, with a few minor changes in geometry. The 2019 Honda CRF450X’s wheelbase is longer and there’s a tad more rake. The Showa suspension is the same as on the CRF450R, but it’s setup for off-road riding, rather than supercross.6. There are all sorts of items that you already associate with CRF-X models on the 2019 CRF450X. There’s an 18-inch wheel in the back. Tires are Dunlop Geomax MX52s. You get a halogen headlight and LED taillight, basic LCD meter, aluminum Renthal handlebar with a padded crossbar, as well as a kickstand and endless sealed chain.7. The titanium fuel tank holds only two gallons. That’s not much off-road, though EFI will give the 2019 Honda CRF450X an improved range.8. We can’t wait to ride an uncorked 2019 Honda CRF450X. We’ll be interested in seeing how the motor works off the showroom floor with all the emissions nonsense on it, but the real fun is when the new CRF450X motor is allowed to breathe and take advantage of the new chassis.9. You will have to wait until October to get a 2019 Honda CRF450X in your garage. When it shows up at your dealer, the sticker will tell you that it runs $9799.
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This week, in the first segment Editor Don Williams talks to us about the new Kawasaki Versys 650 LT. It’s the middleweight ADV style machine that uses the same 650 parallel twin motor as the Ninja 650, so it’s an excellent performer in a user-friendly, good looking package.
In the second segment, I chat with one of my dearest industry friends—now retired Honda PR executive, Jon Seidel. Jon’s fascinating career spans some 30 years with Big Red, and gave him some great experiences with some incredible machines. I was fortunate enough to be invited on many of the press launches that he organized. His new project is documenting and saving many of the old archives from years gone by—and incidentally, if you have anything that may be of value to the project, please contact us by email at email@example.com and we’ll pass it all on to Jon.
So on that note, from all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode!