Matching an agile state-of-the-art chassis to big-hitting four-stroke power and torque, since its introduction in 2002 the Honda CRF450R has proven itself a complete, winning package for the professional Motocross racer while its reliability, longevity and build quality have also made it a popular machine for the amateur racer and hobby rider alike.
The 2013 model year CRF450R featured a brand new mass-centralised frame built around KYB air suspension USD front forks, a major evolution focused on assisting the rider to turn in super-fast lap times with less effort, on the ground and whilst airborne. It fought off stiff competition to become the best-selling open-class MX bike in Europe and, packed with a host of detail upgrades from HRC, the 2014 CRF450R builds on its abilities and success.
Model Overview – 2014 HONDA CRF450R
Delivering improved bottom-end torque, the CRF450R’s 449cm3 single-cylinder engine benefits from new Dual Fuel injection timing and updated twin rear silencers while the clutch features lighter springs – with no loss of durability. These modifications are aimed at providing a direct, yet sensitive connection to the rear tyre enhancing rear wheel traction and drive plus the rider’s feel for available grip. Work on the intake and exhaust ports by the CRF450R’s development engineers has also produced improved over-rev and power at peak rpm.
The sixth generation aluminium twin-beam frame remains unchanged for 2014, as do the aluminium swingarm and Pro-Link rear suspension linkage. Rebound and compression damping have been refined on the company KYB rear shock, and the 48mm KYB front forks receive revised internals for improved damping response. The CRF450R’s crisp styling – combining stark form with brutal function – allows the rider complete freedom to move intuitively and the Extreme Red and White graphic design underlines the Honda racing lineage.
2014 HONDA CRF450R Key Features
2014 HONDA CRF450R Engine
The CRF450R’s liquid-cooled, four-valve Unicam engine’s bore and stroke is set at 96mm x 62.1mm with 36mm inlet valves and 31mm exhaust valves. Both inlet and exhaust ports have been redesigned and reshaped to improve gas flow and combustion efficiency, complemented by the new PGM-FI Dual Fuel injection timing that delivers sensitive feel for power and torque at partial throttle openings. The throttle body diameter is 46mm and compression ratio is 12.5:1.
Shot-peening the piston skirt with molybdenum disulfide reduces friction while the piston oil jet uses two holes instead of one, for improved cooling of its underside. Modulating power and torque, the six-spring clutch features new springs for a lighter lever action with no loss of capacity or durability. The five-speed close-ratio gearbox is unchanged.
The short rhombohedral twin rear silencers – another key part of the mass centralization process – feature new internals; the left/right junction area has been optimized to improve the balance and flow of exhaust gas and back pressure. Overall, the CRF450R’s new engine specification delivers in three key areas: improved bottom-end torque for punching out of corners, finer feel at partial throttle openings to control drive and manage the available traction and greater top-end power and over-rev, for instant high-rpm snap and the ability to hold a given gear for longer.
2014 HONDA CRF450R – Chassis
The 9.35kg aluminium twin-beam frame was designed from the outset around the 48mm KYB air suspension front fork, building on the improved suspension performance to deliver superb front tyre side-grip. Full mass-centralisation – and the the low centre of gravity – reduce physical inertia with improved high-speed stability. Rake of 27.067°, with trail of 116mm and wheelbase of 1,492mm gives razor-sharp turn-in and increased feel for available traction; all-up kerb weight is 111kg.
The KYB fork maintains its advantage over conventional steel springs, delivering faster response in directional stroke transitions from compression to rebound, with significantly less weight. For 2014 the KYB units receive revised rebound pistons/centre rods plus new oil lock guides, for improved oil flow and damping characteristics. In a sport where the most marginal gains matter, 25g weight has also been shaved; stroke remains 310mm.
Fully adjustable for rebound and compression damping, preload is increased or decreased via the Schrader air valve fitted on the top of the fork cap. Standard pressure is 230kPa (33psi), minimum pressure is 220kPa (32psi) and maximum pressure is 250kPa (36psi). The CRF450R can also be tied down for transport simply by removing air pressure, lowering the front end with no risk of damaging fork seals.
The aluminum swingarm provides massive rigidity for less deflection in ruts, and improved corner-exit traction. It works a compact, fully adjustable (spring preload and rebound damping, plus high and low speed compression damping) KYB rear shock; the benefit of mass centralization in this area is reduced pitching inertia along the bike’s centre line – harder braking is possible with improved stability. The shock’s stroke is set at 133.5mm, allowing 315mm axle travel.
Clever packaging of equipment around the frame contributes to mass centralization; all of the electrical components – ECU, condenser, regulator and wiring harness – are lightweight and centrally located below the throttle body.
The 2014 CRF450R’s bodywork maintains the ‘triangle proportion’ that has long set the CRF family of competition machines apart. A phrase used by Honda’s engineers during initial development of the 2013 model was ‘man maximum, mechanical minimum’. Essentially the machine is built about human needs, the rider, first and foremost and mass centralization plus enhanced ergonomics are at the heart of the CRF450R’s shape.
In support of this the shrouds, side covers, seat and fuel tank offer a slim, smooth and continuous transition allowing the rider a great deal of freedom and flexibility of movement. The radiator shrouds incorporate high-efficiency channels for maximum airflow into, through and out of the compact radiators; fuel capacity is 6.4 litres.
The front disc cover is designed in two parts, for easier maintenance of the 240mm wave-pattern disc and twin-piston brake caliper. The rear brake is a 240mm wave-pattern disc with single-piston caliper. Both calipers use sintered metal brake pads. Lightweight aluminium rims, with directly attached spoke pattern layout reduce unsprung weight; front wheel size is 21 x 1.6in and 80/100-21 tyre, the rear is 19 x 2.5in and 110-90/19 tyre.
2014 HONDA CRF450R – Technical Specifications
Type 4 stroke, single cylinder, uni-cam
Bore ´ Stroke 96.0mm x 62.1mm
Compression Ratio 12.5:1
Max. Power Output 38.3 kW @ 8,500rpm
Max. Torque 47.7 Nm @ 6,500rpm
Fuel Tank Capacity 6.4L
Ignition System Full transistor
Clutch Type Multi plate wet clutch
Transmission Type 5 speed, constant mesh
Final Drive Chain
Type Aluminium twin tube
Dimensions (L´W´H) 2191mm x 827mm x 1271mm
Caster Angle 27°
Seat Height 953mm
Ground Clearance 330mm
Kerb Weight 111kg
Type Front 48mm inverted Air Fork, 310mm stroke, fully adjustable
Rear Pro-link, Fully adjustable mono shock, 133.5 mm stroke, 315mm axle travel
Type Front Wire spoke
Rear Wire spoke
Tyres Front 80/100-21
Type Front 240mm Hydraulic disc
Rear 240mm Hydraulic disc
- *All specifications are provisional and subject to change without notice.
- Motorcycles will be on dealer’s floors nationwide from Monday 2 September and a press unit will be available soon.
- Should you require any further information please feel free to contact me?