2017 Honda CRF450R

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2017 Honda CRF450R
2017 Honda CRF450R 2017 Honda CRF450R
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Review After a Few Rides - 2017 Honda CRF450R

Featured Member Review

About me:

I have been fortunate enough to ride ALL the 2017 450 models this year and was part of the VitalMx 450 Shootout so I feel that I'm in a good position to provide some opinions. I'm not pro, don't race that often these days and I'm 30 years old running an Intermediate pace. I weigh 155 lbs and have owned/ridden all sorts of bikes over the years.

Fit and Finish:

I have always wanted a Honda since they've always been my favorite brand but I have never ridden a Honda that I was impressed enough with to go and buy myself. The 2017 CRF is a work of art in my eyes and they hit the nail on the head with this new chassis and engine. The bike feels thinner than almost all the other 450's in the class and you get the cool injection molded shroud graphics this year. 


Photos by: Chelsea Curtis 


After years of disappointment in the CRF450's engine department, this year Honda has delivered a strong performing package. There are 3 map options that allow the ride to set it in standard mode, a slower mode (the bottom end does not come on as strong) and an aggressive mode (explosive bottom pulling hard through the top). If I were to compare this year's power it would be like the 2008 CRF450's power feel while being delivered in a much more useable manner. The power comes on strongly and rolls into a progressive mid that doesn't sign off early and really allows you to run through the whole power band in each gear if you would like to. The power is put to the ground in a way I've never experienced before from a traction perspective and gives the rider the ultimate control feeling when rolling on the power. This bike may not produce the TOP numbers on the dyno but to me it felt like the best and strongest performing engine in the 450 class this year while still not beating me up. 


Photos by: Chelsea Curtis 


Hondas have always handled well but I had my reservations about it feeling anywhere as good as my 2013 YZ250 or my brother's 2016 YZF250 with that hallowed SSS suspension. This year the CRF is as good as if not better in my opinion than both the Yamahas and delivers a plusher feel for me than the KTM and Husky (although the AER forks are great performing forks but didn't feel as plush or forgiving as the CRF for me). They have a similar "confidence" inspiring plush feel as the SSS suspension but edge them out in performance due to their amazing bottoming resistance. Multiple times I have over jumped or come up short on a section of the track and as I was cringing and preparing for a jarring landing the forks surprised me repeatedly by a smooth action without a bump or bottom. I did however have to bump up the compression only ONE click to get the fork action I desired. Other than that the bike has bone stock settings. The rear shock puts the power to the ground in predictive way that helps bring comfort in knowing where the bike is going when you crack open the throttle. I haven't noticed any unusual bucks or kicks with the rear end and it's seemed to be very balanced and compliment the forks extremely well going through rough sections or ruts. The CRF loves ruts and dives in and out of them effortlessly while feeling more like a 250f in the corners. 

Photos by: Chelsea Curtis 



Although I may not be the best rider when it comes to jumps, I do love bikes that are fun to jump. I like jumping kickers out in the hills and doing sections on the track as well. This was probably the kicker for me in regards to why I ended up with the Honda in my garage over any of the other 450's this year. The CRF feels very comfortable to me in the air, going off lips and moving around in sections of the track. The bike allows the rider to be very playful in their riding and makes the day that much more fun for me! The bike whips, scrubs and wheelies on command and even gives my YZ250 two stroke a run for it's money when it comes to fun in the air! 

Photos by: Chelsea Curtis 


The Negatives: 

There's a few things that I'm not quite sold on with the CRF450. The clutch pull feels very stiff and yes I know this is most likely common on the 450's but it doesn't come close to the KTM/Husky hydraulic clutch setups. I did have a little bit of rear brake fade when riding laps for a bit but it could be due to the brake pedal setup too so I will be playing with that to eliminate any brake drag that may be happening. Honda MADE the E-Start but it's not standard on this bike and I don't like it. I'm a huge fan of the push button start and the fact that you have to pay quite a bit more for it on the red machine is stupid in my opinion. Lastly, thought it's a personal preference, I wish Honda had black wheels with the new 450. I love the black rims and it would just sweeten the deal!


Here's a few laps at Zaca Station recently shot on a GoPro Hero 5

Thanks for reading...

follow me on instagram for content/videos: @ginger969


Product Honda CRF450R
Model Year 2017
Engine Size 450cc
Engine Type Four-Stroke
Engine Displacement 449.7cc
Bore x Stroke 96.0mm x 62.1mm
Compression Ratio 13.5:1
Fuel System Programmed fuel-injection system (PGM-FI); 46mm throttle bore
Ignition Full transistorized ignition
Transmission Constant-mesh 5-speed return
Final Drive 520 chain; 13T/49T
Suspension Front 49mm fully adjustable leading-axle inverted telescopic Showa coil-spring fork; 12.0 in. travel
Suspension Rear Pro-Link swingarm system; fully adjustable Showa single shock; 12.4 in. travel.
Brakes Front
Brakes Rear
Tires Front Dunlop Geomax MX3S 80/100-21 55M with tube.
Tires Rear Dunlop Geomax MX3S 120/80-19 55M with tube.
Overall Length
Overall Width
Overall Height
Seat Height
Ground Clearance
Fuel Capacity
Curb Weight 243 lbs.
Price $8,899
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