– 2019 Honda CRF450RX Dirt Bike Buyer’s Guide: Specs, Changes, Price, HP & TQ Performance Info + More! –
The ultimate off-road dirt bike is back for 2019, the CRF450RX! However, it’s not only returning for this year but the CRF450RX is also making its return with quite a few changes both increasing horsepower and torque while also making chassis and suspension changes to better help you put that extra power to the ground. Before we dive deep into the 2019 CRF450RX, have you checked out the laundry list of new CRF dirt bikes that Honda just announced for 2019? If you haven’t, you need to check out the new models and also changes to the existing models covering the CRF450L, CRF450R, CRF450RWE Works Edition, CRF250RX, CRF250R, CRF450X etc – Click Here.
Campaigned by JCR Honda’s Trevor Bollinger and Trevor Stewart in GNCC and WORCS competition, respectively, the CRF450RX is an off-road weapon fully prepared for earning trophies in closed-course off-road competition. For 2019, the bike inherits the same performance-enhancing features as the CRF450R, including key updates for lighter weight, added power, and enhanced handling performance. Add in off-road-specific features that help bring CRF450RX riders to podiums the country over, and you have a highly advanced off-road racer.
2019 CRF450RX Changes? 2019 CRF450RX VS 2018 CRF450RX Changes: Like the 2019 CRF450R motocross machine, the CRF450RX receives a major boost of top-end power and torque for its engine, which is also stronger everywhere in the rev-range; it also gets 3-level HRC Launch Control plus durability upgrades. The chassis features a revised rigidity balance and new suspension settings that I will break down more in depth below, plus Renthal Fatbar handlebar.
Key 2019 CRF450RX Info (for those in a hurry):
- 2019 CRF450RX Price / MSRP: $9,599
- 2019 CRF450RX Release Date: August 2018
- 2019 CRF450RX Colors: Red
- 2019 CRF450RX Horsepower: 61.9 HP @ 9,500 RPM
- 2019 CRF450RX Torque: TBA
- 2019 CRF450RX Seat Height: 37.8 inches
- 2019 CRF450RX Weight: 255 lbs (curb)
- 2019 CRF450RX VS 2018 CRF450RX Price / MSRP Increase: +$350
- 2019 CRF450RX VS 2018 CRF450RX Changes: Yes, I break down the details more in-depth below.
- 2019 CRF450RX Review Contents:
- 1. | CRF450RX Introduction
- 2. | CRF450RX Model Overview
- 3. | CRF450RX Key Features / Development
- 3.1 | CRF450RX Engine / Drivetrain
- 3.2 | CRF450RX Chassis / Suspension
- 4. | CRF450RX Pictures / Photo Gallery
- 5. | CRF450RX Technical Specifications
1. | CRF450RX Introduction
Back in 2017, Honda introduced an all-new, competition-ready cross country machine into its off-road line up; the CRF450RX. And it took as its rock-solid base the engine and chassis package of the 2017 CRF450R – Honda’s first totally new 450cc motocrosser in eight years.
The CRF450R – Honda’s flagship off-road racer – has an engine that produces hard-hitting, useable power and a chassis that allows the rider to put that power to the best possible use. All of which makes it the perfect platform to expand, giving the CRF450RX both the pure motocross 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.
And, just as the 2019 CRF450R is updated with HRC-led improvements, the 2019 CRF450RX follows suit and upgrades its riding package – creating a formidable off-road weapon that’s both devastatingly fast over the ground, and easy to live with over the years of ownership.
2. | CRF450RX Overview
For 2019 the CRF450RX’s performance parameters expand again; considerably more power and torque has been extracted from the engine – via HRC-led head, intake and exhaust tuning – without sacrificing low-rpm tractability.
3-mode HRC Launch Control is a significant addition, helping any rider from beginner to expert to hit the mark out of the gates every time. A shift sensor enables the use of specific ignition maps for each gear, and PGM-FI has been optimized to inject twice per cycle. Oil pump capacity has been uprated, and the clutch lifter and pressure plate redesigned.
The aluminum twin-spar frame has been optimized for rigidity, as has the swingarm. A new front brake caliper shaves vital grams. Revised oil and spring/damping settings for the 49mm Showa USD fork enhance reaction, complemented by a ‘Super Finish’ process for the rear shock’s damper, plus revised Pro-Link ratio.
The new Renthal fatbars can also now be adjusted through four positions on the top yoke; a revised sidestand replaces the previous design.
3. | Key CRF450RX Features / Development
3.1 CRF450RX Engine / Drivetrain
- +2.4 HP increase, +1.48 ft/lb torque increase and considerably stronger from 3,000 RPM and up
- 449cc single-cylinder engine with Unicam cylinder head, downdraft intake tract, and electric start
- Updated cylinder head design, with specific changes near the exhaust ports, achieves improved exhaust efficiency and contributes to increased power across the rev range
- Revised clutch lifter and pressure plate allows optimum oil supply to clutch plates and friction discs, resulting in enhanced durability
- New scavenge pump design features two 12mm pumps, up from a single 16mm pump, for increased lubrication and reduced friction inside the engine, improving peak performance and enhancing over-rev characteristics
- All-new piston oil jet uses five nozzle holes and a refined pattern to improve cooling efficiency and reduce knocking
- Shift sensor adopted to establish an ignition map for each gear, enabling optimum running
- Exclusive ignition timing settings for ideal engine performance and rideability in off-road situations
- Utilizing the space gained by eliminating the kick starter and using a compact electric starter, a new exhaust features a larger pipe diameter and optimized design at the branching location for increased power. Previously 31.8mm, the right and left pipes are now 35mm and 43mm, respectively. In addition, the total tube length (from exhaust port to muffler end) is up 98mm on the right and 187mm on the left.
- Selectable HRC launch control offers riders great start performance in closed-course off-road race situations
- Updated Standard, Smooth and Aggressive riding modes enable easy tuning depending on rider preference or conditions
While the architecture of the 2019 CRF450RX’s 449cc four-valve Unicam engine remains essentially unchanged, a host of detail changes deliver the increase in power and torque.
And while the peak boost in power is significant – 2.4 more horsepower at 9,500 RPM and 1.48 ft/lb more torque at 7,500 RPM – it has not been achieved at the expense of low-down performance: the strength of the 2019 engine’s power and torque curves from 3,000 RPM up are well above the previous design, and corner-to-corner over-rev has also been enhanced.
Bore and stroke remains 96mm x 62.1mm with compression ratio of 13.5:1. Combustion chamber squish has been revised, as has the piston skirt profile, piston ring and conrod; both right and left engine cases have been optimized for strength versus weight.
A new air cleaner element base has more than double the surface area, and flows much more air as a result; revised PGM-F1 settings make use of upgrade and injects fuel twice per cycle. In step with the improved engine output, a revised radiator grill improves air flow for maximum radiator efficiency. A gear position sensor allows the use of three specific ignition maps for 1stand 2nd, 3rd and 4th, and 5th.
The exhaust too now uses differing, larger diameter bores where it splits from the downpipe; 35mm right and 42mm diameter left (both were 31.8mm before). And the total length of the left side exhaust – from port to tip – has been increased 187mm, with the right muffler tube 98mm longer.
It’s not all about performance. Reliability is a crucial element of the CRF450RX’s appeal. A new 5-hole piston oil jet replaces the 4-hole design and the scavenge pump, which used a single, 16mm diameter pickup drum now employs twin 12mm drums, resulting in greater capacity. The clutch lifter and pressure plate are redesigned for improved durability, and a lighter load at the lever. Final drive is via 13T front and 50T rear sprockets.
The rider controls and displays – engine stop button, EFI warning, EMSB mode button and LED indicator – are all in one place on the left handlebar:
New for 2019, HRC’s Launch Control system gives any rider the best option for a strong start and has 3 modes to choose from:
- Level 3 – 8,250 RPM, muddy conditions / novice
- Level 2 – 8,500 RPM, dry conditions / basic
- Level 1 – 9,500 RPM, dry conditions / expert
Activating HRC Launch Control is easy – to turn on, pull in the clutch and push the Start button (on the right). The LED will blink once for Level 1 selection. Push the Start button again, for .5 seconds or longer, and the LED will blink twice for Level 2. Repeat the process and the LED will blink 3 times, indication Level 3 has been chosen.
Honda’s EMSB (Engine Mode Select Button) puts instant engine character adaptability at the rider’s control. 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 (like HRC Launch Control, 1 flash for Mode 1, etc). If a new map is selected the choice is also confirmed to the rider.
Mode 1 uses the standard combination of ignition and fuelling maps to present a balanced power and torque delivery. Mode 2 is more mellow in nature, giving easy-to-manage throttle feel. Mode 3 hits sharply, with aggressive and responsive power. Mode 2 and 3 can be further tailored via the existing HRC setting tool for mapping hardware and software.
3.2 CRF450RX Chassis / Suspension
- Optimized frame for improved traction and cornering feel, as well as reduced weight
- Swingarm is redesigned to be lighter and have appropriate rigidity, endowing the 2019 CRF450RX with great handling and traction
- Specially tuned Showa 49mm fork uses low-friction oil for optimum feel
- Rear suspension uses dedicated-rate, 52 N/mm spring for enhanced comfort and performance in closed-course off-road races
- Revised shock linkage works with all-new swingarm to provide optimum performance over bumps
- Forged aluminum side stand is designed to be lightweight yet strong, with a new design to accommodate changes to the 2019 model-year swingarm
- New, lighter front brake caliper uses a pair of 30mm and 27mm pistons, versus identical 27mm pistons, for added braking performance
- Updated front brake hose has reduced expansion for more precise braking
- Top triple clamp features two handlebar-holder locations for moving the handlebar back and forth by 26mm, ensuring rider comfort. When handlebar holder is turned 180 degrees, the handlebar can be moved an additional 10mm from the base position, resulting in four total unique riding positions.
- New Renthal Fatbar® handlebar is positioned 15mm lower than in 2018 for a more active riding position, while also contributing to lightweight steering system
- Newly shaped footpegs are 20% lighter and shed mud more easily, giving the rider great feel and confidence in challenging riding conditions
- 2.2 gallon resin fuel tank is durable and offers optimum range for long closed-course off-road races
- Redesigned fork protectors offer improved coverage
- Black rims offer strong presence, parked in the pits or out on the trail
- In-mold graphics last long and are resistant to peeling caused by washing or abrasion
- Dunlop Geomax AT81 tires provide optimum feel and traction in challenging riding conditions
The goal for the seventh generation of CRF aluminum beam frame, debuted in 2017 were clear and defined: improved cornering performance and front-end stability/traction – plus rear wheel drive – while delivering elevated levels of rider feedback and predictability.
And if the focus of 2019 revolves around more power (and its control) from the engine, the CRF450RX’s chassis has also improved in step, with even better balance, turning ability and tracking through a corner. 1.98 lbs has been shaved from the curb weight (dry weight is now 241 lbs, curb weight 255 lbs) while suspension action front and rear has been revised. Rake and trail are set at 27.4°/116mm, with wheelbase of 58.2 in.
The tapered twin-spar frame design has been optimized for rigidity around the swingarm pivot plates. The swingarm too has been subtly re-shaped and features a lower rigidity balance to improve traction and feel while the right and left cylinder head hangers have also been optimized. A useful detail – that also saves 20% weight – are the footpegs, which now use a 4-web (rather than 6) internal structure to clear mud faster.
The fully adjustable 49mm Showa USD coil spring fork is a version of the Showa ‘factory’ fork supplied to MX race teams around the world.
For 2019 spring rate, compression/damping settings and oil weight have been revised. The fully adjustable Showa rear shock has received a ‘Super Finish’ treatment, which improves its stroke action. A revised Pro-Link ratio softens slightly as it reaches full compression.
Also new on the CRF450RX for 2019 is the Renthal Fat Bar (839) aluminum handlebar, reduces the weight of the steering system and flexes for optimal comfort; the top yoke features two handlebar-holder locations for moving the handlebar rearward and forward by 1 in. (26mm). When the holder is turned 180 degrees, the handlebar can be moved an additional .4 in. (10mm) from the base position, resulting in four total unique riding positions. A Bar Pad is also included.
A new twin-piston front brake caliper uses 30 and 27mm diameter pistons (the previous design used 2 x 27mm pistons). This allows for a lighter body and, along with low expansion rate brake hose, improves brake feel and staying power. It works on a 260mm wave-pattern disc, matched by a rear 240mm wave-pattern disc and single-piston caliper.
Lightweight DID aluminum rims, with directly attached spoke pattern layout are now finished in black; the front is 21 x 1.6in, the rear 18 x 2.15in. Fitted as standard equipment are Dunlop’s bespoke enduro Geomax AT81 tyres: 90/90-21 front and 120/90-18 rear.
The CRF450RX uses a lightweight 2.25 gal plastic fuel tank; range is approx. 40 miles. The smooth external lines of the plastics help the rider move easily, and the narrow frontal area and front mudguard directs an efficient funnel of air to the radiator – for 2019 the radiator grills have been redesigned to flow more air.
The bodywork uses durable film inset graphics that cover a wide area with scratch-resistant style.
4. | CRF450RX Photo Gallery / Pictures
5. | Technical CRF450RX Specifications
|Type||449.7cc liquid-cooled 10º 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|
|Starter||Push-button electric starter|
|Transmission||Constant-mesh 5-speed return; manual|
|Clutch||Multiplate wet (6 springs)|
|Final Drive||#520 sealed chain; 13T/50T|
|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 (30mm, 27mm) hydraulic; single 260mm disc|
|Rear||1-piston caliper hydraulic; single 240mm disc|
|Front||Dunlop Geomax AT81 90/90-21 w/ tube|
|Rear||Dunlop Geomax AT81 120/90-18 w/ tube|
|Rake (Caster Angle)||27°25’|
|Trail||116mm (4.6 in.)|
|Ground Clearance||12.9 in.|
|Seat Height||37.8 in.|
|Fuel Capacity||2.25 gal.|
|Curb Weight*||255 lbs.|
* Includes all standard equipment, required fluids and full tank of fuel—ready to ride Specifications subject to change.