Honda’s CRF450 dual sport platform was in dire need of an update. Everywhere bar the USA, the bike had fallen by the wayside, eclipsed by the might and tech of KTM and Yamaha. While it wasn’t a bad bike, it was dated. And then they announced the CRF450L.
The CRF450L is the bike Honda fans have been hoping they’d make for about 5 years. It’s based on the class leading MX bikes, meaning a great handling chassis and suspension base. The Japanese brand have combined that with a few engine mods to make the whole package a lot more trail friendly. If you want the full mumbo jumbo, click here for the tech specs.
“It’s roughly 25hp, but retains decently strong torque output through the bottom end and midrange.”
It’s worth noting that in the EU we get a slightly different spec, meaning the Euro4 compliant CRF450L has significantly less peak power than the US version. It’s roughly 25hp (40ish elsewhere), but retains decently strong torque output through the bottom end and midrange. In regards of performance, the best bet is to watch the video up above. We’ve covered most of the bases, apart from addressing the effectiveness of the 450L as an adventure weapon.
Regarding its adventure ability, there is the potential to be a really good hardcore adv bike, as long as you’re aware of the limitations of building something from a dual sport. The service intervals are a little better than most 450 models but still short. The riding performance is great, including the basic suspension settings and it’ll need work from there up. It’s got a hard seat, a stiff, precise chassis but you’ll be able to mount a little weight off the aluminium subframe. Fuel is going to be a bigger issue than anything else but converting a dirt bike into something more adventure focussed comes with lots of fun challenges.
Realistically, this type of bike is heavily dirt focussed and falls best as a dual sport for those looking to push themselves into more technical riding. The EU spec version having a little less power is actually to its benefit. It makes a genuinely easy bike with stacks of torque for that ‘get out of trouble’ power without ever having the mid-range that drags you into trouble when you’re off balance or tired.
So what do you think of the CRF450L? Drop a comment down below and ask any questions you’ve got. Thanks for watching.
HONDA CRF450L Information – https://www.honda.co.uk/motorcycles/range/adventure/crf450l/overview.html
Full Price – £9469 OTR.