– Detailed 2019 CRF450L Dual-Sport Buyer’s Guide / Review: Price, Release Date, HP & TQ Performance Info + More! –
The day has finally come! If you follow any of Honda’s social media websites over the last decade or so then you have probably seen people asking “Why doesn’t Honda build a 400 cc – 450 cc dual-sport motorcycle like the CRF250L but bigger with more horsepower etc?”. That question was seemingly falling on deaf ears as the years just kept ticking on by and all we had was the CR250L which don’t get me wrong was an awesome bike, but some want more power and then we had the XR650L which hasn’t been redesigned in decades. Yes, decades. I’ll be nice and leave that topic alone at the moment though haha as we’ve got something even better than a redesigned and updated XR650L and that would be the ALL-NEW 2019 CRF450L from Honda! They finally did it! It’s not a pig either, they really did their homework and even though this bike has a larger engine and more bells and whistles etc – it comes in more than 30 lbs less than the CRF250L. Pair that up with more horsepower and torque and if you like performance, the 2019 CRF450L VS 2019 CRF250L won’t even be a question that runs through your mind. Well, unless you have a set budget as the 450L version of the CRF is going to come in around the tune of twice as much money as the 250L when comparing their prices…
That may be a tough pill for some to swallow. Once you really start comparing the nitty-gritty details though between the models, it’s beyond clear at where that money was spent from Honda when it comes to R&D on this new CRF450L and personally I think we’ll have a homerun on our hands. A grand slam though would be if we saw Honda build a 2019 – 2020 CRF450M supermoto out of the CRF450L platform. They tried it a few years ago when they build the CRF230M based off of the CRF230L platform which was in return based off of the CRF230F. Saying that wasn’t their best decision is putting it nicely but they redeemed themselves with the CRF250L and CRF250M motard which we sadly never saw here in the USA. Could the CRF230M turning out to be a dud in sales, made Honda gun-shy to releasing more supermotards in the USA? Who else would like to see Honda build a CRF450M? I’d put my name down for one with the quickness!
Enough of my rambling though, let’s get to what you came here for and that is to check out more information and details on the 2019 Honda CRF450L dual-sport motorcycle…
Edit / Update: This page has been updated to show the difference in 2019 CRF450L HP numbers between the USA spec model and Euro spec model. I also took a picture of the now released 2019 CRF450L Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin (MCO), shown below, so that way there’s no question in what the USA spec model number comes in at.
Key 2019 CRF450L Info (for those in a hurry):
- 2019 CRF450L Price / MSRP: $10,399 (targeted)
- 2019 CRF450L Release Date: September 2018
- 2019 CRF450L Colors: Red
- 2019 CRF450L USA spec. Horsepower: 41.7 HP
- 2019 CRF450L Euro spec. Horsepower: 25 HP
- 2019 CRF450L Torque: 23.6 ft/lb TQ
- 2019 CRF450L Miles Per Gallon: TBA
- 2019 CRF450L Seat Height: 37.1 inches
- 2019 CRF450L Weight: 289 lbs (curb)
2019 CRF450L Review Contents:
- 1. | Introduction
- 2. | Model Overview
- 3. | Key Features / Development
- 3.1 | Engine
- 3.2 | Chassis / Suspension
- 4. | Photo Gallery / Pictures (100+ pictures so be patient on load times…)
- 5. | Technical Specifications
1. | Introduction
A true dual-purpose motorcycle should be many things; off-road it needs to be light weight, with quality suspension and handling ability that keeps life easy as the going gets harder. Its engine has to make good power and torque from the bottom up – the sort that is supremely usable, allowing the rider to find all the rear wheel grip possible, whatever the terrain.
All the attributes that make it great fun off-road also enable it to be really useful around town; narrow and nimble, a dual-purpose machine slips through gaps, soaks up the hits from rough roads and stays well ahead of traffic thanks to smart, low-gear acceleration. It also needs to be turn-key reliable, with sensible intervals between major service work.
Competition machines can make a solid base for dual-purpose adaptation. But there is much to consider. Race-level performance brings with it an intensive maintenance schedule, which is simply too much for many ‘hobby’ trail riders, who just want to push a button and go – and keep on going, Furthermore, a barely-disguised race bike can mean crucial road-going elements – lights, indicators, ignition switch – are not as user-friendly and durable as they should be.
Honda understands this, and with a desire to produce a dual-purpose bike that draws strongly on the fundamental performance of a race machine, yet with much more ‘normal’ service intervals and high-quality road ancillaries, has taken its CRF450R moto-crosser as the base to start from, and created the new CRF450L.
It is unmistakably a race-bred CRF – and looks it – but with the additions and modifications needed to make it both road legal and supremely useable in a trail environment. As such, the CRF450L is a complete package, as happy roosting trails as it is linking them up on-road. And with Honda engineering and build quality at its core, is sure to do so for years to come.
Mr M. Uchiyama, Large Project Leader (LPL) 2019 CRF450L:
“The CRF450L is about having maximum fun out on the dirt. It looks like a CRF450R because, really, it is – just a trail-friendly, road-legal version. That’s what the ‘L’ stands for – ‘legal’. It’s been engineered to deliver excellent handling feel, with linear engine torque that helps the rider make the most of the available grip in all conditions. AND, it contains its HRC-derived CRF technology within a real-world service schedule.”
2. | Model Overview
The journey from full race to road legal trail was a detailed one for the CRF450L. Road legality required the engine to gain EURO4 compliance, while from a longevity and usability viewpoint, the power output and character, needed careful attention.
It’s still a CRF450R; just one that’s quieter, both mechanically from the chassis and engine, as well as its new exhaust. Both fuelling and ignition maps are now managed by 02 lambda sensor; compression ratio has been lowered and crank mass increased for improved drivability. The gearbox is a 6-speed – for longer legs on the road – and a cush drive has been added to the 18-inch rear wheel.
The plastics are lifted directly from the CRF450R and all lighting is LED, with the front headlight in particular throwing out a penetrating beam. Increased volume for the titanium fuel tank adds range and all the items that make the CRF450L ready to purchase as a licensed, road going machine – such as speedometer and horn – are present as standard.
3. | Key Features / Development
3.1 | CRF450L Engine
- Based on the CRF450R, with first major service at 20,000 miles (32,000km)
- EURO4 compliant, with electric start
- Greater crank inertia improves drivability and feel for traction
- 6-speed gearbox
While the chassis was more straightforward to convert from its CRF450R moto-crosser specification to a dual-purpose performance level, the 449cc engine needed more consideration from Honda’s engineers. Requirements were several: the need for it to pass EURO4 emissions and noise regulations, and to be usable for a wide variety of riders in many differing situations both on and off-road.
While the fundamental architecture of the four-valve Unicam powerplant remains the same, many details have been changed to support the broader role: the crank’s mass has been increased, resulting in 13% more inertia which, for a trail rider, equals improved torque feel and response; valve timing has been revised to give the broader, smoother spread of power and torque; the gearbox is now 6-speed, rather than 5 for longer range use on tarmac; left and right engine covers wear outer covers to reduce noise;
Elsewhere, the ACG has been uprated, to provide the required electrical power for the LED lights and to maintain battery charge during lower-speed running. The battery itself is a high-volume unit.
Bore and stroke are unchanged from the CRF450R, at 96mm x 62.1mm, but the piston uses 3 rings instead of 2 for greater durability. Compression ratio is 12.0:1 (compared 13.5:1). The redesigned airbox feeds the PGM-FI, managed by a lambda sensor in the large-volume single exhaust (which replaces the ‘stubby’ dual-pipe design of the CRF450R). An Air Injection (AI) system and catalyser clean up the spent gases.
The four-valve Unicam cylinder head features a finger rocker arm on the inlet valves; valve lift is 7.7mm with 6.7mm exhaust valve lift. Inlet valve diameter is 38mm. The valve springs are oval in cross section and valve angle is 9° intake/10.5° exhaust.
The clutch spins 7 friction discs with a 2mm clutch plate efficiently dissipating heat; the springs generate a good, consistent connection. The front sprocket is a 13T, the rear 51T.
Peak horsepower for the 2019 CRF450L comes in at 41.7 HP (Euro: 25 HP / 18.4kW), with a peak torque rating of 23.6 ft/lb TQ (32Nm). Important from the hobby trail-rider’s perspective is the engine’s reliability and gap between service intervals. And this is where the CRF450L’s build quality and design really stands out; it will go 19,000 miles (30,000km) between major strip downs, with an air filter oil and oil filter change every 600 miles (1000km).
Here’s a picture of the 2019 CRF450L Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin showing the horsepower rating:
Here’s the 2019 CRF450L Maintenance Schedule broken down with oil change intervals, valve inspections etc (click to enlarge) from the CRF450L Owner’s / Service Manual:
3.2 | CRF450L Chassis / Suspension
- Drawn from the 2018 CRF450R, with minor adaptations for its dual purpose role
- Full LED lighting, increased fuel tank volume and sidestand
- Larger radiator volume, plus electric fan
- Styling closely mirrors that of CRF450R
Having received a ground-up redesign in 2016, the CRF450R’s chassis was a perfect place for the CRF450L to start out from, with changes to match the machine’s vastly broader usage range, and road legal mission.
Firstly, the tapered dual-spar aluminum beam frame was made slightly wider at the swingarm pivot points, to allow for the greater engine width resulting from the 6-speed gearbox. The headstock was modified to mount a steering lock and the aluminum swingarm injected with urethane to reduce noise. The rear subframe is the same, with mounting point adjusted to take the taillight and the right-exit single exhaust muffler.
Rake and trail are set at 28.5°/122mm with wheelbase increased 18mm from the CRF450R to 58.9 inches (1500mm), for greater stability. Both the R and the L feature 22mm fork offset.Wet weight is 289 lbs (130.8kg); seat height is 37.1 inches (940mm).
A 49mm Showa steel-sprung USD fork – adjustable for preload plus compression damping – is matched by a fully adjustable Showa rear shock, operated through Pro-Link. A 260mm wave-pattern 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.
Whereas the CRF450R machine uses a 19-inch rear wheel, the CRF450L’s is an 18-inch (to fit enduro-spec tires), with the addition of a cush drive to absorb chain shock; a sealed 520 chain is protected by a plastic chain guard. The front wheel is a 21-inch and both rims are finished in black. tires are sized 80/100-21 front and 120/80-18 rear.
The CRF450L’s style draws fully on that of the CRF450R. Carried over are the rear mudguard, side panels and bash plate. Svelte side shrouds hide a larger radiator volume plus electric fan. All lighting (including the indicators and license-plate light) is LED; a speedometer, horn, brake-light switch and mirrors satisfy legal requirements while a sidestand adds convenience. The CRF450R employs a 1.66 gal (6.3L) titanium fuel tank; the CRF450L ups the volume .34 gal (1.3L) to 2.01 gallons (7.6L). The fuel cap also locks in place.
4. | CRF450L Photo Gallery / Pictures
5. | Technical Specifications
|Model||CRF450L (Model ID: CRF450LK)|
|Type||449.7cc liquid-cooled 10º single-cylinder four-stroke|
|Valve Train||Unicam® OHC, four-valve|
|Bore x Stroke||96.0mm x 62.1mm|
|Induction||Programmed fuel-injection system (PGM-FI); 46mm throttle bore|
|Starter||Push-button electric starter|
|Transmission||Constant-mesh 6-speed return; manual|
|Clutch||Multiplate wet (6 springs)|
|Final Drive||#520 sealed chain|
|Front||49mm fully adjustable leading-axle inverted telescopic Showa coil-spring fork|
|Rear||Pro-Link system; fully adjustable Showa single shock|
|Front||2-piston caliper hydraulic; single 260mm disc|
|Rear||1-piston caliper hydraulic; single 240mm disc|
|Front||IRC GP21 80/100-21 w/ tube|
|Rear||IRC GP22 120/80-18 w/ tube|
|Rake (Caster Angle)||28°20’|
|Trail||116mm (4.6 in.)|
|Ground Clearance||12.4 in.|
|Seat Height||37.1 in.|
|Fuel Capacity||2.01 gal.|
|Curb Weight*||289 lbs.|
* Includes all standard equipment, required fluids and full tank of fuel—ready to ride Specifications subject to change.