More dirt bikes to choose from as a consumer is awesome. When Honda, in 2017, introduced the CRF450RX, a cross-country-focused version of the CRF-R, we were stoked. KTM and Husqvarna has had their XC and FX line of bikes for awhile, and Yamaha’s FX where also just a few years ahead. With Big Red joining the “off-road competition” category of bike, there were more options than ever. 

But, and you knew there was going to be a but, we expected the CRF450RX to be right in the middle of the gap between the CRF450R and the CRF450X. And on paper, it seemed like that is exactly what the bike would be. Yet in reality, the RX turned out to be just a few notches more off-roady than the R. Sure, there are suspension changes and different mapping, a kickstand and 18-in rear wheel, but the performance parts of the bike where way more R-like than anyone expected. The transmission is the same as the R, and both suspension and mapping changes are hard to notice on the trails. 

With the more comfortable suspension, the bike settles more in corners making it easy to turn.

Photo
Photo

This is where JCR Speed Shop, and the very bike before you, comes in. According to JCR’s Joe Lloyd, he had a whole bunch of CRF450RX owners reaching out to him asking if he could make their bikes “nicer.” Meaning, more in line with what we all thought the RX would be… more compliant suspension that has some plushness and comfort and a controllable power that doesn’t rip your shoulders out of the sockets or have you blasting off the trail constantly. 

Enter the 2018 Honda CRF450RX JCR Enduro Build. First off, the bike gets a gold medal for looks straight away. Three different ceracoat colors (gold on the wheels, white on the right case, bronze on the ignition cover) and full PC system add some serious bling. 

Photo
Photo

But the heart of the bike, what makes it such a versatile machine, is the Pro Circuit suspension, built to JCR’s specs, and the stock camshaft that has been re-cut to modify the power. Right away I want to make it clear that you are not missing any power with this bike. JCR remaps the ECU to match the cam and pipe changes and this thing is still an extremely potent dirt bike. 

But, as Lloyd explained to me, JCR tried what they could with mapping the stock engine to get a more controllable hit right off idle, and couldn’t do it. Modern EFI is just so good. But an explosive, lurchy power character is not your friend when you are trying to navigate off-camber, rocky, single-track trails. So, by modifying the cam to lessen the initial hit of the motor, you have a power character with all the bark of the RX, with just a little less bite at the beginning. Plus the Hinson steel clutch basket adds a little weight, helping the motor stay lit and flame-out less in low-throttle situations. 

Photo
Photo
Photo
Photo
Photo
Photo
Photo
Photo

Combined with the softer, more forgiving suspension, the JCR RX was a weapon in the tight stuff. And what was pretty amazing was that it didn’t give up much in the fast stuff either. Past the mid, the power felt to be the same as the RX and unless you are Preston Campbell or his pops, most regular riders aren’t blitzing desert whoops fifth-gear-pinned where you need stiff suspension. 

If you have an RX, or an R for that matter, and realize that you are avoiding those creek-bed trails that your buddies are riding because they beat you up and you can’t stay on the trail, take your bike to JCR to get it squared away. The only real con to this build would be if you were happy with the way the RX works and you have no desire for more comfort or controllability and to you, we say “Rage on!”

The recut cam increases controllability and traction.

Photo
Photo
Photo
Photo

Photo

Parts List 

JCR Speed Shop Enduro Lighting Kit with Baja Designs Squadron Sport headlight
$400

BRP upper triple clamp and bar clamps
$250

Works Connection Elite clutch perch and lever
$156

JCR Speed Shop billet start button
$40

Acerbis X-Force handguards, Red
$40.95

AME 1⁄2 waffle grips
$7.95

Renthal Fatbar
$93.95

Throttle Jockey graphics kit and seat cover
$199.99

IMS 2.4 gallon fuel tank, natural *requires CRF450R radiator shrouds
$325

JCR Speed Shop re-cut stock camshaft
$349.00

JCR Speed Shop enduro FI mapping
$99

Twin Air filter
$32.95

VP Fuels T-4
$81 for 5 gal. 

Pro Circuit Ti-6 titanium dual exhaust system with carbon end caps and spark arrestor inserts
$1,521.46

Hinson steel “Momentum” clutch basket, inner hub, pressure plate and clutch cover.
$1,249.99

Cerakote engine covers and hubs
$25 - $100 per part

IMS Bigfoot footpegs
$96

D.I.D Dirt Star rims
$398

Galfer Wave brake rotors
$164

Acerbis X-Brake front disc protector
$65.90

Maxxis Maxxcross MX-ST tires
$See your local dealer

Nitromousse “soft” mousse tubes
$269.98

D.I.D ERV-3 o-ring chain
$248.99

Renthal sprockets 13/51
$131.40

BRP Pro-Line chain guide
$79.95

Acerbis offroad skid plate
$79.95

Pro Circuit “Works” Stage 2 suspension modifications
$689.00 - $949.00 (depending upon springs)

Antigravity SC-1 Lithium Battery
$119.99

Photo


Create New Tag
3 comments
Show More Comment(s) / Leave a Comment