|Transmission||6 speed Manual|
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ROAD REGISTERED HONDA 450cc 4-stroke.
Using the CRF450R moto-crosser as a base, Honda’s new road-legal dual-purpose motorcycle has a tough, lightweight chassis built to find all the available grip, powered by an engine that delivers strong, usable power right from the bottom. Durable, high quality parts aim for a worry-free riding and ownership experience.
It is unmistakably a race-bred CRF – and looks it – but with the additions and modifications needed to be the road-legal dual-purpose Enduro we’ve been waiting for. As such, the CRF450L is a complete package, as happy roosting trails as it is linking them up on-road. It’s still a CRF450R; just one that’s quieter, from the engine to the new exhaust. Both fuelling and ignition maps are now managed by an 02 lambda sensor; compression ratio has been lowered and crank mass increased for improved drivability. The gearbox is a 6-speed – for longer legs on the road – and a cush drive has been added to the 18-inch Enduro spec rear wheel.
The plastics are lifted directly from the CRF450R and all lighting is LED, with the front headlight in particular throwing out a penetrating beam. Increased volume for the titanium fuel tank adds range and all the items that make the CRF450L ready to purchase as a licensed, road going machine – such as speedometer, horn, indicators and mirrors – are standard. When it’s a Honda, build quality and superior engineering are always a given, but this is where the CRF450L really stands out; it is designed to go 32,000km between major strip downs! From the trail-rider’s perspective, that’s all you want and need - something that is beyond reliable and expected of a new Honda Enduro machine. The CRF450L raises the bar in all areas.
While the chassis was more straightforward to convert from its CRF450R moto-crosser specification to a dual-purpose performance level, the 449cc engine needed adaptation for road compliance and to ensure it was usable for a wide variety of riders in many differing situations both on and off-road.
While the fundamental architecture of the four-valve Unicam powerplant remains the same, many details have been changed to support the broader role: the crank’s mass has been increased, resulting in 13% more inertia which, for a trail rider, equals improved torque feel and response; valve timing has been revised to give the broader, smoother spread of power and torque; the gearbox is now 6-speed, rather than 5 for longer range use on tarmac; left and right engine covers wear outer covers to reduce noise; Elsewhere, the ACG has been uprated, to provide the required electrical power for the LED lights and to maintain battery charge during lower-speed running. The battery itself is a high-volume unit (Lithium Ion) Bore and stroke are unchanged from the CRf450R, at 96mm x 62.1mm, but the piston uses 3 rings instead of 1 for greater durability. Compression ratio is 12.0:1 (compared 13.5:1).
The redesigned airbox feeds the PGM-FI, managed by a lambda sensor in the large-volume single exhaust (which replaces the ‘stubby’ dual-pipe design of the CRF450R). An Air Injection (AI) system and catalyser clean up the spent gases. The four-valve Unicam cylinder head features a finger rocker arm on the inlet valves; valve lift 7.7mm and exhaust valve lift is 6.7mm. Inlet valve diameter is 38mm. The valve springs are oval in cross section and valve angle is 9° intake/10.5° exhaust. The clutch spins 7 friction discs with a 2mm clutch plate efficiently dissipating heat; the springs generate a good, consistent connection.