The Honda CRF450R is the works machine developed by Team HRC’s engineers and the technical might of Honda Racing Corporation and Honda’s R&D department in Japan. It’s a masterpiece of engineering efficiency and performance, and after winning the MXGP world championship on their 2019 bike, they then completely redesigned the entire machine and repeated the success as Tim Gajser won his fourth world title in 2020 on the brand new CRF450R.
Riding alongside MXGP-rookie Mitch Evans, in a tumultuous season that was hugely-affected by the global pandemic, Gajser was on the top step of the podium more than any other rider (5). He also won more races (15), had the most podiums (14), led the most laps (226), had the most fastest-laps (11), had first gate pick due to being fastest in qualification more often than anyone (8) and collected the most amount of red plates (10) in what was another record-breaking season for someone who is now the most successful Honda rider in history. It is testament to both rider and machine that the #243 was able to perform so well, so quickly and on a multitude of terrains, and he almost repeated that success in 2021 in what was another excellent year of riding.
Four overall wins, seven race wins, 13 podiums and 10 red-plates were impressive numbers, but unfortunately the title just slipped through his fingers by 21 points. After a short off-season filled with testing, both Gajser and Evans have been trying to improve their CRF450Rs even more as they look to once again put the on the steps of the podium in 2022.
Development moved as fast as the bike’s pace on track in 2014 when HRC returned to MXGP as a factory effort, and five race victories ensued, four of those coming as the season drew to its close. With an intensive programme of further development over the winter, the 2015 bike proved to be a winner again, and finished second and third in the world. In 2016, HRC’s three-year plan was realised when Tim Gajser took his CRF450R to the World Championship title – Honda’s first in 16 years. At the end of the 2016 season, the all-new 2017 CRF450R was also debuted, first by Evgeny Bobryshev at the final two rounds of the season, and then also by Gajser at the SMX Riders’ Cup where he took the new bike’s first moto win.
In the 2017 MXGP season, Tim Gajser continued the new machine’s success with eight moto victories, including overall Grand Prix wins in Argentina, Mexico and Sweden, and he and teammate Evgeny Bobryshev scored nine podiums throughout the season.
Two years later, Gajser would rewrite the Honda record books again as he won seven MXGP overalls in a row, on his way to taking the 2019 title by a massive 202 points. It was a fantastic achievement and further proved the power and performance of the Honda CRF450R.
Previously the lightest stock machine in its class, it carries these characteristics into motocross race trim following Honda’s ethos of mass centralisation, combining light weight and effortless manoeuvrability with useable power delivery. Its slim proportions feature finely tuned aerodynamics and a low centre of gravity for greater control in the air.
The factory versions of the machine are shod with Pirelli tyres and Showa suspension, and a number of custom performance parts such as billet titanium footpegs, titanium bolts to reduce weight, factory-spec cylinder head and camshaft, and custom US-Yoshimura exhausts.
The Honda CRF has remarkable motorsport lineage and is a force to be reckoned with across all off-road disciplines.
In the MX2 category of the FIM Motocross World Championship, Gajser took the first of his back-to-back titles in 2015 on his CRF250R, followed by the MXGP title on the 2016 CRF450R, marking a motocross milestone for Honda and HRC. Mathys Boisrame also rode his Honda CRF250R to victory in the 2018 EMX250 championship, collecting numerous race wins, overalls and holeshots in what was a highly successful championship for the French rider.
In the Dakar rally, the new Honda CRF450 RALLY has been delivering remarkable performances since 2014, and has taken stage wins and led the infamous event in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 before finally succeeding in their mission when Ricky Brabec won the 2020 Dakar in the sands of Saudi Arabia. The four-man Monster Energy Honda Team then did even better in 2021, with Kevin Benevides winning this years’ edition, closely followed by teammate Ricky Brabec in second. Jose Ignacio Cornejo and Joan Barreda also won stages in what was a truly dominant performance for Honda in the toughest off-road race on the calendar.
|Engine||Liquid-cooled 4-stroke 4-valve Uni-cam|
|Bore x Stroke||96.0 x 62.1|
|Max Power||Restricted Information|
|Fuel System||Fuel Injection|
|Exhaust & Air filter||US Yoshimura / Twin Air|
|Final Drive (Chain)||D.I.D 520|
|Wheels & Tyres||D.I.D Dirt Star / Pirelli|
|Fuel Capacity||Restricted Information|