Always on the side of Milan, the Inter circuit Gallarate, we are riding the Honda CRF 450 R for the first test of the 2015 vintage big 4-stroke Single red. If this is not obvious, there is change on the new CRF: the kind that we knew 450 lashes out!
We do not waste time on the presentation of Honda Cross in 2015 in Italy after a morning riding the CRF 250, just enough time to send some pasta that go well and makes the test CRF450R. So there is something new on this bike.
Equipped since 2013 a Kayaba PSF, it inherits the year of the second generation of Japanese air fork. The internal design is different, including new solutions to avoid as much inconvenience gender fork out of service if SPI seal makes the soul. But that’s not all because the whole fork / shock evolves and now offers new settings.
The new features are also searching engine side because as the 250, switches to choose between three engine maps are made appearance on the handlebars.
The other notable change is at the level of the head, with the change internally, but also a return to a more conventional design with a collector who only passes the frame but comes straight to the left.
Honda Visually Simple
Aesthetics, the CRF 250 and 450 are from last year very similar visually. The only visible difference is now the size of the motor in the frame and this is one of the highlights of this CRF450R, which displays the same line as the slender 250 there.
Neat, it does not eyeful and can always regretted that some attention has been neglected as a sole engine or machined parts and / or anodized. But the arrival of a front brake disc greatest and switch on the handlebars making progress in the right direction.
A pleasure Careful Ergonomics marred
As the 250 and as a Honda in general the position is natural. Standing or sitting, it is in place, careful ergonomics remains an undeniable asset. But things get complicated then. We are far from optimal comfort, and it shows in the early rounds.
The first third of the race of the fork is very stiff, tap the holes in the arms and, although aware that 450 is more physical than 250, you get tired much faster than the little CRF. By opening a few clicks of compression, it is already a little better.
The concern is that the limit of the fork it is rather flexible, so we tend to hound often … Same for the shock that seems unwilling to really work on his first few centimeters, we have a bit of trouble make it work properly, especially in ruts turn where the bike is still high pitched.
Taken together, we suffer much more than one dominates: hard to get it right but also to keep his line. I will go out several times my lines. In short, you’ll understand that we will have to spend some time to adjust its suspension to make the 450 more fun to drive.
The good thing about these new Kayaba suspensions is that a few clicks of adjustment are felt immediately. And now with more adjustments on the fork (slow and fast compression, expansion, air pressure) the right compromise is probably somewhere. It remains to take the time to find it!
Too bad the fun is marred, as it feels very good that the chassis wants to play. We’ll finish still on a high note, since this CRF 450 R – which grows logically, that her little sister – the front brake is more powerful now most welcome.
Honda cavalry arrives
Gentlemen drivers, if you find that “450 FIU is not enough in the belly”, read the following. The mill of the Honda is now moving into another dimension: the more “human” to the 450 Cross been working out and it shows! Strength and character are now part of adjectives to describe the engine of the 2015 CRF 450.
The bike off again very low in the turns and pushes forcefully beyond the midrange. No need to polish the clutch to restart or even break the support of dust: a blip well placed enough. We remind you now that there is a choice of mapping FIU.
After two rounds in standard, I select the Soft curve right now! Even in this configuration, the 450 has ample where it should be. It becomes a little more gentle with his driver, but still remains quite expressive. It moves away from the CRF-R 450 easy to use that we knew from the beginning of the injection, up a notch and it is for a little more experienced pilots.
Rest assured, though more physical, the engine remains affordable to Soft. So, after long hesitation, I finally select the curve with Performance … rab still force the key! The upside is that you can afford to roll more easily in places with a ratio above.
But beware: approximations steering unforgiving in this case. A helping trigger untoward will quickly get you out of the rut or propel you to a few meters from your original path. In short, it’s tough, so we will focus on Soft fashion!
Certainly the engine is not as easy as before, but I will note a significant improvement in behavior compared to last year. The piston stroke unpredictable at low revs, which tended to stall, is a bad memory.
As a result we find that in the Honda CRF 450 R having change is good, but not always remainable.
2015, so it’s almost a brand new Honda CRF 450 R that is discovered. Often referred to fade in the past, the engine became explosive changes that.
It’s probably still not the 450 that has the most cheater (is this really necessary?), But the Honda “shy” is now established as an expressive motorcycle. A good point for many, but the CRF is thereby easier and less tiring over time.
So magic of electronic fuel injection, it is possible to change the mapping (your dealer) and replace the performance curve by an even softer curve. This is an example, but from our point of view, it’s not a bad idea!
We cannot show us as enthusiastic regarding suspensions, hard at the beginning of compression, but then too soft. We’ll have to tweak its settings to optimize this and it is only then that the chassis can best express its full potential, especially in terms of handling. Expect to US$ 11790 in public rate, an increase of $ 146, but dismissed Red Frame rate, down from $200 is observed compared to last year, making the CRF 450 R 2015-US$ 10920.