For a few months now, we’ve known Honda’s planning to debut a new 450 motocross machine. Now, we know what it looks like, thanks to a set of design drawings Honda’s filed to protect its visual copyright for the new CRF450R.
When Honda debuted its offroad motorcycle lineup for the year, there was no new CRF450R. What’s up, Big Red, are you planning to abandon the 450 MX segment? Not likely, as Honda’s factory MXGP team has been flogging a new big-bore bike this season … or at least, they were, until the season shut down two rounds in (the UK and Dutch rounds were completed, and then the coronavirus pandemic happened). But the MXGP machine is a race bike, and therefore you’d expect some changes with the production version.
So what do we see? Lo and behold, Honda’s gone and re-routed the exhaust, from a dual-canister setup to a single muffler. What does that mean? Um, lighter weight, probably, but who knows what else? Honda hasn’t dropped any details about the engine yet, although a change in exhaust likely means a change in tuning. What else can we spot? The keen-eyed scribes at Motorcycle.com point out the machine in this photo has a hydraulic clutch, not the cable clutch that’s on the current-production CRF450R.
Other than that, there’s nothing shocking and obvious, mostly just some pieces being moved around to fit the re-routed exhaust. There was talk of the new 450 having a very trick suspension, but if that’s the case, there’s nothing in these design drawings that indicates as much.