– CRF Off-Road Dirt Bike / Motorcycle Buyer’s Guide | 2018 CRF450RX = Honda’s Fastest Enduro & Woods Race Bike! –
Alright guys, today we’re going to break down the 2018 Honda CRF450RX and its changes for 2018 VS 2017 CRF450RX as well as all of the detailed, nitty-gritty specs. Basically, everything you could ever want and NEED to know about the baddest enduro CRF dirt bike that Honda has ever built!
2018 CRF450RX VS 2017 CRF450RX Changes? Yes! Honda did throw a few changes at the CRF450RX for 2018 when comparing it against the 2017 CRF450RX. The new 2018 CRF450RX now packs a smaller and lighter lithium-ion battery helping shave off some weight. This next change is something I’m not too thrilled about personally as I like the idea of having a “back-up” in case your battery dies but in the process of shaving off every ounce possible, Honda has removed the kick-start lever for the CRF450RX so now you only have the battery to go off of. Honda has also tweaked the ECU setting for 2018 as they did on the CRF450R too. The nicest part of all is that these changes were all done without a price increase!
Are you in a hurry? If you’re in a hurry and don’t have a lot of time to read the nitty-gritty specs on the 2018 CRF450RX scroll all the way down the page and you will see the “Quick Overview” section. If you have the time, there is a LOT to cover so pull up a seat and get comfortable as this will take a few minutes to go over the detailed specs and features.
If you’re not familiar with the launch of the all-new CRF450RX last year, Honda introduced an all-new, genuine competition-ready enduro machine in its off-road line up! Alongside the CRF450R, Honda can now also provide enduro riders with a race-ready machine – the new CRF450RX. Sharing the CRF450R’s new engine and frame package (Honda’s first totally all-new 450cc motocross bike in 8 years!), the CRF450RX has crucial changes to create an uncompromising enduro focus.
The 2018 CRF450RX takes some features from the CRF450X and CRF450R, puts them together to give you everything you could ever want out of an enduro bike or just to have the baddest true trail bike that isn’t a full-bore motocross / supercross race bike like the R variant of the CRF450. The Honda CRF450R has been a benchmark since its introduction in 2002. It has defined the art of balance, with an engine that produces hard-hitting, useable power and a chassis that allows the rider to put every drop of that power to good use. It has always been a machine that offers total control, together with the stability and durability that Honda has long been famed for. This makes it the perfect platform on which to build an enduro machine, giving the CRF450RX both the pure moto-cross DNA to deal with any special enduro stage and the confidence-inspiring competence to handle flat-out trails, challenging climbs and tight, tricky sections with ease. If you wanted a truly bad and insane off-road motorcycle for the trails in the last decade, you had to buy the CRF450R and have a compromise here and there and or swap parts out to make it more friendly if you weren’t racing it – WFO everywhere! Still don’t need something that is this track and race orientated? Thanks
* CRF450RX Videos *
CRF450RX Walk-Around Video | 4K
Among the features that distinguish it from the CRF450R are a smoother ignition map, while chassis differences include off-road-focused suspension settings, a revised cylinder-head hanger and changed wheel hubs and axles. The CRF450RX also comes with off-road-appropriate components like a larger plastic fuel tank, forged-aluminum side stand, 18 inch rear rim and Dunlop Geomax AT81 tires, making it the ultimate weapon for events like those in the GNCC series.
The CRF450RX is something truly special, not just for Honda, but for the enduro world to ride and race. It looks different and feels different to the rest of the pack. And, just like the new CRF450R, it is compellingly fast.
Mr M. Uchiyama, Large Project Leader (LPL) CRF450RX:
“The CRF450RX is a pure, race-ready enduro tool like nothing else Honda has ever made. It uses the greatly improved performance of the brand new CRF450R and we made no sacrifices in producing this ‘RX’ enduro version, which offers something completely new to expert riders everywhere. It is built to win straight from the crate, at the highest level of competition.”
2018 CRF450RX Overview
The 2018 CRF450R has been built from the wheels up based on direct input from AMA and European MX teams, and packs a power to weight ratio 11% better than the outgoing design. The CRF450RX is identical in almost every area, but has some crucial changes to create an uncompromising enduro focus.
Both front and rear suspension are less firm, with lighter compression damping and a lower spring rate for the shock. It uses an enduro-standard 18in rear wheel, and sidestand and 2.2 gallon fuel tank are also added for practicality and extended range.
The CRF450RX’s PGM-FI ignition timing map produces softer power and torque delivery than the CRF450R to aid traction feel in awkward conditions. As on the CRF450R, the EMSB (Engine Mode Select Button) provides the rider with 3 distinct choices: Mode 1 equals all-round smooth performance, Mode 2 gives the most easy-to-manage throttle feel, and Mode 3 delivers the power in the most aggressive, responsive way. Electric start is fitted as standard.
2018 CRF450RX Price / MSRP: $9,249
2018 CRF450RX Release Date: August 2017
2017 CRF450RX Features
The CRF450RX’s 449cc engine shares the specification of the new CRF450R engine, which has received an 11% boost in top-end power for 2017, while still offering its trademark progressive, usable power and torque delivery throughout the range. Compression ratio is set at 13.5:1 with bore and stroke of 96mm x 62.1mm.
- 2018 CRF450RX Horsepower – 59.9 HP
A four-valve Unicam cylinder head, with a finger rocker arm on the inlet valves, gives inlet valve lift of 10mm; exhaust valve lift is 8.8mm. Inlet valve diameter is 38mm and 2-way valve seat machining smooths gas flow. The downdraught intake provides a direct, straight shot to the inlet ports.
The valve springs are oval in cross section, reducing height to allow for more compact head dimensions. Narrow valve angles of 9° intake and 10.5° exhaust, plus a redesigned flat-topped piston, boost combustion efficiency. A 4-hole piston oil jet reduces piston temperature and deals effectively with the increased temperatures generated by the high compression ratio. Both the piston pin and finger rocker arms have a DLC coating (Diamond-like Carbon), which has excellent abrasive resistance and durability, while also reducing frictional losses
The engine uses a scavenge pump to distribute oil for both transmission and clutch, reducing friction, improving lubrication efficiency and reducing pumping losses. Oil capacity is 1250cc with one sump storing oil for engine, clutch and gearbox.
The compact clutch spins 7 friction disks and the 6 center plates feature a special surface friction material. A 2mm clutch plate dissipates heat efficiently while judder springs generate a good connection feeling on the clutch. All five gear ratios are the same as the CRF450R, but with final drive handled by 13- and 50-tooth sprockets (as opposed to 13/49).
The rider controls and displays are rationalised together and sited on the left handlebar; EFI warning, plus EMSB mode button, LED indicator and engine stop/start button for the standard-fitment electric starter, which makes restarting a stalled engine much easier, especially on tracks with rocky, uneven surfaces.
Honda’s EMSB puts instant engine character adaptability at the rider’s command. With the machine stopped, and engine at idle, a simple press and hold of the button for just under a second selects the next map in sequence.
The LED built into the button signals the map in use with a quick press and number of subsequent flashes (1 flash for Mode 1, etc). If a new map is selected the choice is also confirmed to the rider.
Mode 1 is the base map and provides the most linearity in throttle response, making the engine’s power much more usable in a wide range of conditions. Mode 2 tones down engine performance (especially useful for a tired rider) while Mode 3 delivers the power in the most responsive way – with a delivery similar to the standard mapping (Mode 1) of the CRF450R.
This is a full competition engine and needs regular maintenance. Service intervals are straightforward however with oil/filter changes and valve clearance checks every 15 hours. The engine does not need to be totally stripped and rebuilt after a certain number of hours’ use.
Frame / Chassis
The CRF450RX uses the seventh generation CRF aluminum beam frame with improved turning performance, front-end stability and traction. It also delivers greater rear wheel drive with elevated levels of rider feedback and predictability.
Tapered main spars have 100% of the lateral stiffness of the previous frame, but torsional stiffness is 6.8% less to improve turning ability and feel. The frame weighs 20.2 lbs; the extruded rear subframe 2.3 lbs.
Several subtle changes to the geometry and dynamic parameters have been made compared to the outgoing CRF450R, all of which give considerable benefits to both moto-cross and enduro riders. The center of gravity height is 2.7mm lower. The wheelbase is 1482mm. Distance between the front wheel axle and swingarm pivot is 913mm, with distance from swingarm pivot to rear axle only 569mm. This geometry transfers more weight to the rear wheel for outstanding traction.
Seat height is 37.8 in. Rake and trail are set at 27.4°/116mm. Total wet weight on the 2018 CRF450RX comes in at 257 lbs.
The CRF450RX is a slim, compact machine that’s easy to manage thanks to the low center of gravity. Its rear tyre is loaded hard to dig for drive, matching the front end’s grip level and feel for traction at the limit.
And Honda’s enduro machine is equipped with a fully adjustable 49mm Showa USD coil spring fork – a version of the Showa factory fork supplied to MX race teams in the Japanese national MX championship. The cylinder features a 25mm diameter, with a 14mm rod and 39mm compression piston.
As you would expect from what is effectively race-spec suspension, out of the crate the fork action is supple, smooth and fully in control. Compared directly to CRF450R spec. the CRF450RX fork uses less oil with reduced compression damping, giving a softer reaction feel more suitable for general off-road riding.
The fully adjustable Showa rear shock is mounted low and on the center-line of the machine for optimal mass centralization and high-speed stability. Its spring rate goes from 54N/mm (CRF450R) to 52N/mm, with compression damping reduced to match. It offers supple, compliant control. At 599mm in length the aluminum swingarm is 18mm shorter than that of the outgoing CRF450R, with thinner shaping (in cross section) for the arms.
A 260mm wave-pattern front disc delivers effective heat dissipation, power and feel from the two-piston brake caliper working it; a matching 240mm wave-pattern disc and single-piston caliper is at the rear. Lightweight aluminum rims, with directly attached spoke pattern layout reduce unsprung weight; the front is 21 x 1.6in, the rear 18 x 2.15in. Fitted as standard equipment are Dunlop’s bespoke enduro Geomax AT81 tires: 90/90-21 front and 120/90-18 rear.
Fuel range for the 2017 CRF450RX is (approx. 40 miles) thanks to the use of a 2.2 gallon fuel-tank. Thinner, lighter cylinder head hangers compensate for the extra weight of both tank and fuel. New plastics with smooth external lines help the rider move easily around the machine and the machine’s frontal area is narrow; the width of the radiator / tank shrouds is just 410mm while the front mudguard directs an efficient funnel of air to the radiator.
The forged aluminum sidestand tucks high out of the way and attaches to the frame at the left foot peg mount via a stainless steel bracket. Like the CRF450R, the bodywork uses durable film inset graphics that cover a wide area with scratch resistant style.
Don’t want to read through the whole post? Here’s a quick overview of the 2018 CRF 450 RX features and specs you need to know below…
2018 CRF450RXFeatures | Quick Overview
The 2018 CRF450RX comes with a lightweight electric-starting system as standard equipment. The lithium-ion battery is also super light. It’s a win/win combination.
260mm Front Brake
The CRF450RX’s large front-brake disc measures a whopping 260mm. You get great brake feel and a wave pattern that cuts down on weight. Front and rear brake-disc guards are part of the package, and are sure to be popular with off-road riders.
A factory skid plate is light and offers the engine and lower-frame protection that a motocross racer demands. The smooth contours help keep you from getting hung up on logs and rocks, too.
It seems like a small detail, but off-road bikes can sometimes need a kickstand. Which is exactly why you’ll find this light, compact unit added right from the factory.
Large Fuel Tank
Stopping for fuel in a race costs time. With the CRF450RX’s 2.2-gallon fuel tank, depending on the course and how much roost you’re making everyone else eat, it’s possible to make it through a three-hour enduro with just one fuel stop.
Engine Mode Select Button
This simple, handlebar-mounted button lets you dial in engine power delivery character with a push of your thumb. Choose between Standard, Smooth, and Aggressive, depending on course conditions.
18-Inch Rear Wheel
An 18-inch rear wheel is another indication of the CRF450RX’s off-road heritage. Whether it’s red Georgia clay, Florida loam, or Baja sand and rocks, you’re going to find this bike offers the performance you need.
Off-Road Suspension with Spring Fork
Designed specifically for the demands of off-road riding, the CRF450RX’s new Showa Spring Fork and suspension components are fully adjustable and chosen to give you the ultimate tunability and performance in the field for changing conditions.
New Dual-Muffler Exhaust System
The CRF450RX’s dual exhaust system is compact and positioned closer and lower in the frame’s center to take weight off the rear end and bring more mass to the bike’s center for superior handling.
Dunlop Geomax Off-Road Tires
The new Geomax AT81 tires are specially designed for off-road riding, and help the new CRF450RX hook up and put its holeshot traction to the ground.
New Aluminum Frame
Our twin spar aluminum frame positions the rear shock’s mounting point low, opening up the airbox area and contributing to a lower center of gravity. The frame geometry also helps give you more traction, and that means more holeshots!
Off-road riders want smooth power delivery that gives the engine’s revving character, better matching it for tougher terrain. That’s why the new CRF450RX gets a special flywheel tuned for off-road use.
Cylinder Head Layout
The 2017 CRF450RX uses a new “in-finger” rocker design. The efficient Unicam cylinder head gives you the design and performance of a double-overhead-cam layout but the compactness of a single-overhead-cam design.
Deep in the engine, there’s a new oil scavenge pump. You may never see it, but it helps keep the CRF450RX’s overall design compact.
2018 CRF450RX Photo Gallery
|Type||449.7cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke|
|Valve Train||Unicam® OHC, four-valve; 10.0mm intake, steel; 8.8mm exhaust, steel|
|Bore x Stroke||96.0mm x 62.1mm|
|Induction||Programmed fuel-injection system (PGM-FI); 46mm throttle bore|
|Driveline||#520 chain; 13T/50T|
|Transmission||Constant-mesh 5-speed return; manual|
|Clutch||Multiplate wet (6 springs)|
|Front||49mm fully adjustable leading-axle inverted telescopic Showa coil-spring fork; 12.0 in. travel|
|Rear||Pro-Link system; fully adjustable Showa single shock; 12.3 in. travel|
|Front||Single 260mm hydraulic disc|
|Rear||Single 240mm hydraulic disc|
|Front||Dunlop Geomax AT81 90/90-21 w/ tube|
|Rear||Dunlop Geomax AT81 120/90-18 w/ tube|
|Rake (castor angle)||27°22’|
|Trail||116mm (4.6 in.)|
|Seat Height||37.8 in.|
|Ground Clearance||12.9 in.|
|Fuel Capacity||2.2 gal.|
|Curb Weight*||257 lbs.|
|*Includes all standard equipment, required fluids and full tank of fuel—ready to ride|
|Meets current CARB and EPA off-road emissions standards|