The CRF450R has long been known for being one of the best handling 450s, if not the best. Honda has always known exactly where to stuff all the components in the chassis to make the bike feel fast.
2009-12 Honda CRF450R
There were a few years there across ’09-12 when riders felt the need to fit a lowering link to make the bike more stable but, for the most part, the bikes were very reliable. The single-cylinder, SOHC, four-valve engine with exhaust rockers wasn’t known for being the fastest of the bunch but it was known for being the easiest to handle.
The CRF engine comes heavily restricted and this causes the power to be a little softer than for the other brands. Don’t take this the wrong way. It is still a 450 and it still gets up and goes, it is just a softer power curve compared to the likes of the YZ or KTM, which are fire breathing dragons compared to the CRF.
The good news is that, with a few airbox mods and a different exhaust, the CRF really starts to come to life. The engine is reliable as long as it is not abused.
If you are not regularly cleaning the air filter then the dust gets sucked through to the inlet valves and tends to wear them out as well as the piston and rings. However I have seen these engines with 100 or more hours on standard valves and pistons but the owners are very pedantic with cleaning their air filters.
The gearbox and crankshaft are housed in the same set of crankcases but are separate compartments and run in separate oil. This means there are two sump plugs, one directly underneath for draining the engine oil and one in the left hand side for draining the gearbox.
There are also two filler plugs, one on the right-hand side for filling the gearbox and one on the left with a dipstick for filling the engine.
Always fill both. Not regularly checking the engine oil and running it with either low, or burnt and dirty, engine oil can lead to crankshaft failure. Or there is the other extreme of totally forgetting to fill either the engine or gearbox, which I have seen more times than I can count on my fingers. This results in severe damage.
If looked after correctly and serviced regularly, the CRFs are great. My biggest tip for buying one is to make sure it starts easily and idles with no rattles, the air filter and inside of the airbox are clean and that the oil on the dipstick is clean and at the correct level.
$5200 – $7800
The front is single disc with a twin-piston floating hydraulic caliper. The rear brake uses a single-piston floating hydraulic caliper on a solid disc.
The frame is a twin-spar aluminium unit with forged steering head, alloy swingarm and alloy subframe.
The CRF450R weighs in at a claimed 106.6kg dry.
The Honda runs a bore and stroke of 96mm x 62.1mm and a compression ratio of 12.0:1 with a single cam operating four valves using rockers.
The front fork is an inverted 48mm KYB closed chamber unit with adjustable compression and rebound damping. The rear shock is a KYB gas-charged,
monoshock with adjustable spring preload, high and low-speed compression and rebound damping.
KTM 450 SX-F
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