One important thing you need to know about the staff here at Four Wheeler is that our second love is motorcycles. Editor Jon Thompson is partial to dragging leather-clad knees through twisty turns at eye-watering high speeds on a vintage Ducati road-racer, while Features Editor Craig Perrone busts big on dirt bikes. Personally, this reporter prefers trail riding with his two sons, indulging in an occasional burst of aggressive riding from time to time. It's a stress reliever.
One thing the Four Wheeler staff will probably agree on, no matter what discipline of riding we prefer, is that Honda's new CRF 450R four-stroke dirt bike makes us drool. Think about it: the reliability of a four-stroke engine combined with the handling, weight, and performance of a two-stroke race bike.
The minute we heard about this new machine, we made tracks to Freeport Honda in Freeport, Illinois, to have a look, and as we rolled one off the showroom floor we were stunned at the excellent overall balance and light weight (a claimed 225 pounds dry) of the CRF 450R. Nestled in the aluminum frame is a liquid cooled, single-cylinder, SOHC, 449cc engine that features loads of high-tech tweaks. This potent powerhouse will generate a claimed 55 hp at 9,000 rpm and 36 lb-ft of torque at 7,000 rpm, and it tips the scales at a mere 65.4 pounds.
Another notable feature of the CRF 450R is its impressive suspension, which offers full adjustability (16-position rebound and 16-position compression damping in front, and 17-position rebound damping and low- and high-speed damping in rear), along with more than 12 inches of suspension travel at both wheels. The result is a suspension that can be fine-tuned for your riding style and body weight, and it can easily soak up landings after big-air launches.
This awesome motocross bike is available now at your local Honda dealer, and if you're an aggressive rider (or not) it's screaming your name with tech and capabilities that'll make you never want to stop riding and go to work.
|Vehicle model ||2002 Honda CRF 450R |
|Base price ||$6,299 |
|Color ||Red |
|Type ||SOHC liquid-cooled single-cylinder four-valve four-stroke |
|Displacement (cc) ||449 |
|Bore x stroke (in.) ||96.0 x 62.1 |
|Aspiration ||Keihin 40mm flat-slide carburetor |
|Starter ||Kick |
|Transmission ||Close-ratio five-speed |
|Final drive ||#520 chain; 13T/50T |
|Front ||47mm inverted Showa cartridge fork, 12.0-inch wheel travel |
|Rear ||Pro-Link Showa single-shock with spring preload, 12.4-inch travel |
|Front ||Single 240mm disc with twin-piston caliper |
|Rear ||Single 240mm disc |
|Tires || |
|Front ||80/100-21 |
|Rear ||110/90-19 |
|Weight (lbs.) ||225.0 |
|Minimum ground clearance (in.) ||13.0 |
|Fuel capacity (gal.) ||2.0 |
|Seat height (in.) ||37.2 |