It’s been as solid as I could have hoped for and the bike as a whole has exceeded my expectations in every way!
Well, it seems like my time with the Honda CRF450RX is coming to a close as the request to return the bike has been made. I knew the day was coming eventually but it always sucks when you have to give something back that you really don’t want to. I did manage to sneak a couple of rides in on the bike before I had to officially hand it over and just like every other time I’ve ridden it, I had a blast.
It’s been a fair bit hotter and drier around the place than when I first took delivery of Big Red and it’s been interesting to see how the bike performs in the different conditions. When the ground is prime, the dirt has a forgiving feel and you have a lot more confidence in the bike whereas when the ground is dry, it’s slick and hard and the whole characteristic of the bike can feel off.
Luckily for me, I felt like the Honda CRF450RX was just as solid in the drier terrain. It is just so planted on whatever surface I could throw at it and even on the days where I wasn’t really enjoying the track, I still enjoyed the shit out of the bike. The air filter location also helped keep my Uni Filter filters nice and protected.
I did have a slight mishap on one of the rides though when I chose to go to battle with some rocks and unfortunately, the rocks won. I was working and riding up in Stroud at supercoach JG99’s house and we decided to do some sprints on his newly groomed enduro sprint loop after I’d finished my tiling work for the day. It’s a tight and techo track through a little rainforest area and while I was way out of shape and off the pace of Josh, the RX was in its element. I still believe I could play around with the gearing a little more for the tighter tracks, but overall, it was great.
There are a crazy number of corners on this track and the RX turns great and I was building confidence with every lap. Unfortunately though, on one of my last laps of the afternoon, I tagged a rock in the creek bed section and annihilated the chain guide completely off the swingarm. My day was done, I’ve never done that before! Big Red was out of action for a week or so, but fortunately for me, I have a friend who was more than happy to help out rewelding the guide back and actually made it a little stronger than stock.
Amazingly, that chain guide mishap was the only issue that I have had with the RX in the time that I have had it. It’s been as solid as I could have hoped for and the bike as a whole has exceeded my expectations in every way. It’s a shame that I have had to give it back! Massive shoutout to Honda Australia for the opportunity to have the bike and I really appreciate everyone else who was apart of the long termer build. Stay tuned for the full run down in the next issue!