Originally Posted by ESWAT
I know there are politics involved, but why can't Honda and Yamaha just reach a little further and make the CR450x & the WR450 street legal? KTM can do it but they can't? And both those bikes are detuned as it is. I don't get it.
They do for certain markets - the 2012 (EFi) model WR450F comes fully street legal in Europe - with a full lighting kit and homologated exhaust etc.
Similarly Honda in the UK have just started selling a 'homologated' CRF450X - although that is converted here, not from Japan, and it was basically implemented because Honda were getting annoyed that UK dealers were street registering bikes that didn't 'technically' conform to Euro regulations...
I think traditionally, the Japanese manufacturers have been reluctant to sell 'street' versions of what are essentially race bikes, as they wouldn't be able to (or at least prepared to) offer the same warranty conditions as the rest of their range - the big four pride themselves on their reliability, and the current crop of 450cc engines were never designed to be slogged day in and day out on the highways?
That said, it seems Yamaha are now prepared to offer a fully homologated WR450F (not sure what the warranty period is on that compared to their regular street bikes) which other than EFi, still has the same engine it's always had... so I guess the real question is why Yamaha USA are not prepared to put the same bike (and others, such as the XT660Z Tenere) through homologation there?