2020 Honda CRF450R Review of Specs / R&D Info + NEW Changes! | CRF450RWE Works Edition Included

– NEW 2020 CRF450R Changes Explained + CRF450RWE Works Edition = 2020 Honda CRF 450R Buyer’s Guide –

2020 Honda CRF450R Review / Specs: Horsepower, Weight, Seat Height + More!

The fastest and baddest dirt bikes from Honda have returned for 2020 with new changes! The insanely powerful 2020 CRF450R is now equipped with Honda’s Selectable Torque Control, with changes to optimize PGM-FI and HRC Launch Control mapping with suspension and brake tweaks plus more to the 2020 CRF450R Works Edition too – known as the CRF450RWE.


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Below, we’ll take a deep-dive into all of the nitty-gritty details behind both the 2020 CRF450R and CRF450RWE (pictured below). Everything from their engine and transmission to the electronics packages which seem to be getting more love than ever thanks to all of the advances in tech the last couple of years. When you stop and think about, it truly is amazing how far a dirt bike has come. If you would have said 10-15 years ago we would have stock, OEM bikes of this caliber that you can just walk in and buy – I don’t think many people would have believed you. I guess that could be said about a lot of things when you really think about it but it’s cool to watch it all progress first-hand. 

2020 Honda CRF450R Works Edition Review / Specs + NEW Changes! | 2020 CRF Dirt Bikes & Motorcycles

For 2020, Honda’s flagship CRF450R—the same platform raced by Team Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen and Cole Seely—puts more engine-management choices at the fingertips of racers, with the addition of Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC). Developed through HRC’s worldwide racing effort, the system maximizes rear-tire hookup to keep all of the Unicam® engine’s horsepower driving the bike and rider forward, improving racing success regardless of track conditions. In keeping with racing-body regulations, the system measures rate of rpm increase and adjusts delivery accordingly, and a handlebar-mounted switch enables selection from three levels of delivery (most in class). In addition, the CRF450R’s front-rear balance is refined and handling is improved thanks to internal suspension updates, and a new battery position that lowers the machine’s center of gravity. Improved rear-brake pad performance and durability, and the exclusive specification of Dunlop Geomax® MX3S tires round out a machine that’s ready to take riders to the next level.

  • 2020 CRF450R Changes / Updates:
    • All-new Honda Selectable Torque Control with three levels of intervention. HSTC monitors rpm spikes and responds by temporarily reducing torque to aid rear traction. A handlebar-mounted switch allows selection between three modes, depending on conditions and rider preference.
    • Revised mapping for riding modes in Standard, Smooth and Aggressive options, selectable via a separate handlebar-mounted switch, enables simple tuning depending on rider preference or course conditions.
    • Revised internal fork and shock settings for improved chassis balance and overall handling.
    • Battery position lowered by 28mm accentuates moves center of gravity downward to further improve chassis balance and handling.
    • New rear brake-pad material for improved performance and increased durability.
    • Elimination of lower rear brake-rotor guard, to improve heat dissipation and reduce unsprung weight.
    • Updated graphics.

Key 2020 CRF450R Info (for those in a hurry):

  • 2020 CRF450R Price / MSRP: $9,399 (targeted)
  • 2020 CRF450RWE Works Edition Price / MSRP: $11,999
    • 2020 CRF450R VS 2019 CRF450R Price / MSRP Increase: +$100
    • 2020 CRF450RWE VS 2019 CRF450RWE Price / MSRP Increase: +$500
  • 2020 CRF450R Release Date: July 2019
  • 2020 CRF450RWE Release Date: August 2019
  • 2020 CRF450R Colors: Red
  • 2020 CRF450R Horsepower: 60.8 HP @ 9,500 RPM
  • 2020 CRF450R Torque: TBA
  • 2020 CRF450R Seat Height: 37.8 inches
  • 2020 CRF450R Weight: 247 lbs (curb)
  • 2020 CRF450R VS 2019 CRF450R Changes: Yes. Highlights are above with more details below.

2020 Honda CRF450R Review / Specs + NEW Changes! | 2020 CRF Dirt Bikes & Motorcycles

  • 2019 CRF450R Review Contents:

    • 1. | CRF450R Introduction
    • 2. | CRF450R Model Overview
    • 3. | Key CRF450R Features / Development
      • 3.1 | CRF450R Electronics
      • 3.2 | CRF450R Chassis / Suspension
      • 3.3 | CRF450R Engine
    • 4. | CRF450RWE Works Edition Details
    • 5. | CRF450R Photo Gallery / Pictures
      • 5.1 | CRF450RWE Photo Gallery / Pictures
    • 6. | CRF450R Technical Specifications
      • 6.1 | CRF450RWE Technical Specifications

1. | CRF450R Introduction

2020 Honda CRF450R Specs: Horsepower, Weight, Torque + More!

The Honda CRF450R has been the motocrosser to beat since its introduction 2002. It has become a byword for balance and agility, and as such has always offered its rider – whether amateur enthusiast or pro-racer – total control and the chance to get the very best from their ability. Plus, of course it’s built with the durability and longevity that Honda has long been famed for.

And of course it’s a machine that has constantly evolved, with every upgrade, large or small, drawing on lessons fed back from Honda’s racing programs around the world.

In 2017, under a total redesign headlined ‘ABSOLUTE HOLESHOT!’ Honda’s baddest open-class motocross machine was effectively a ground-up redesign, wielding a major power boost from a brand-new engine, plus increased grip and drive from a completely redesigned chassis. Addition of standard-fit electric start in 2018 completed the package.

For 2019, an HRC-developed cylinder head upped peak power and torque considerably, and HRC launch control was added along with revised rigidity balance for the frame and swingarm, a new front brake caliper and adjustable-position Renthal Fatbars.

But the MX pack waits for nobody, and the best machines have to get better; for 2020 the CRF450R gets a new electronics package to make it faster over a lap, yet with even more control.

2. | CRF450R Overview

Alongside optimized PGM-FI engine maps and HRC Launch Control, for 2020 the CRF450R gains a new Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) system, with 3 riding Modes to assist every rider, from beginner to pro, to manage rear wheel traction and gain drive.

The CRF450R’s frame and swingarm are unchanged but there are new compression damping settings for the Showa suspension. The rear brake gets a pad material revised for durability, and the battery box is re-sited.

New graphics for the radiator shrouds complete the update.

2020 CRF450R Works Edition (CRF450RWE)

Following a successful debut year in which it quickly caught the eye of performance-hungry enthusiasts who demand the absolute best, the CRF450RWE (“Works Edition”) gets even better for 2020, with updates based on the machines in the Team Honda HRC factory race shop. You’ll be able to learn more about the 2020 CRF450R Works Edition (CRF450RWE) race bike below.

3. | Key Features / Development

3.1 | CRF450R Electronics

  • Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) with 3 riding modes (plus OFF)
  • Electric starter (powered by a lightweight lithium-ion battery).
  • Shift sensor allows a dedicated ignition map for each gear, enabling optimum running.
  • HRC Launch Control offers 3 start options
  • Engine Mode Select Button (EMSB) features 3 maps to adjust output character

The HSTC fitted to the 2020 CRF450R works to minimize rear wheel spin (thus wasted forward drive) and maximize traction. It doesn’t use a wheel speed sensor, and critically maintains feel at the throttle while managing power; ignition timing is retarded and the PGM-FI controlled when the rate of change of rpm is detected to have gone over a set amount.

2020 Honda CRF450RWE Review / Specs + NEW Changes! | 2020 CRF Dirt Bikes & Motorcycles

  • The three Modes differ in drive management level for different riding conditions:
    • In Mode 1 the system intervenes most lightly, and after the longest time – useful for reducing wheelspin and maintaining control in tight corners.
    • Mode 3 has the system intervene more quickly and strongly, and is therefore useful in more slippery, muddy conditions.
    • Mode 2 naturally offers a mid-point between 1 and 3 in terms of speed and strength of intervention.

Pressing and holding the HSTC button for 0.5s will cycle the system to the next mode, with a green LED indication – 1 blink for mode 1, 2 for mode 2 and 3 for mode 3 – to confirm selection.

The HSTC system can also be switched off completely. When the engine is turned on, the system uses the last-selected setting.

  • HRC Launch Control gives any rider the best option for a strong start and also has 3 modes to choose from:
    • Level 3 – 8,250 RPM, muddy conditions/novice.
    • Level 2 – 8,500 RPM, dry conditions/standard.
    • 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 purple LED will blink once for Level 1 selection. Push the Start button again, for 0.5s or longer, and the LED will blink twice for Level 2. Repeat the process and the LED will blink 3 times, indicating that Level 3 has been chosen.

  • The Engine Mode Select Button (EMSB) alters the engine’s characteristics and three maps are available to suit riding conditions or rider preference:
    • Mode 1 – Standard.
    • Mode 2 – Smooth.
    • Mode 3 – Aggressive.
      • The LED also displays mode selected, but with a blue light.

The rider controls and displays – Launch Control indicator, EFI warning, EMSB mode button, and LED indicator – are sited on the left handlebar, with a separate unit for the new HSTC alongside.

3.2 | CRF450R Chassis / Suspension

  • Showa fork and shock revised for increased low-speed compression damping under hard braking and acceleration
  • Battery box redesigned to improve drive and airflow
  • New rear brake pad material enhances power and longevity
  • Twin-spar aluminum frame engineered for great traction and cornering feel, and to minimize weight.
  • Chassis layout allows heavier components to be located as centrally and low as possible for nimble handling and feel.
  • Front-brake caliper uses a pair of pistons (30mm and 27mm) for optimal braking performance on a 260mm rotor with a petal pattern to best dissipate heat.
  • Showa® shock and 49mm coil-spring fork.
  • Front brake hose resists expansion for precise, consistent braking feel.
  • Top triple clamp has two handlebar-clamp locations for moving the handlebar back and forth by 26mm. With reversible handlebar clamp enabling an additional 10mm of adjustment from the base position, there are a total of four different handlebar positions.
  • Black Renthal® Fatbar® handlebar encourages active riding position, while also contributing to light steering feel.
  • Footpegs shed mud and give the rider great feel and confidence in all riding conditions.
  • Lightweight, compact 1.66 gallon titanium fuel tank keeps weight to a minimum.
  • Black D.I.D rims deliver a strong presence on and off the track.
  • Minimization of lines and gaps in the plastic panels results in a smooth surface, facilitating riding-position changes.
  • In-mold graphics are durable and resistant to peeling caused by washing or abrasion.
  • Available only through Honda dealers, Dunlop Geomax MX3S tires provide superior bump absorption and excellent grip.

2020 Honda CRF450R Chassis Review / Specs + NEW Changes! | 2020 CRF Dirt Bikes & Motorcycles

The new CRF450R’s seventh-generation twin-spar aluminum frame was revised in detail for 2019 and is unchanged for 2020; it maintains lateral and torsional stiffness for turning ability and traction, with increased yaw-angle stiffness for improved stability and tracking accuracy into, through and out of a corner.

The aluminum swingarm has a stiffer rigidity balance tuned to match the frame; the battery box is now positioned 28.5mm lower to improve mass centralization and drive. Rake and trail are set at 27.4°/116mm, with wheelbase of 58.4 inches (1482mm); dry weight is 238 lbs (108kg), wet / curb weight 247 lbs (112kg).

Fully adjustable, the 49mm Showa USD coil spring fork is a version of the Showa ‘factory’ fork supplied to MX race teams in the Japanese championship. For 2020 – with the target of improved response in the hard-braking zone – the rod-end ‘B’ hole diameter has decreased from 2.4 to 1.6mm to increase the low-speed compression damping.

Likewise, the Showa rear shock’s main piston valving has been revised with greater low-speed compression damping (and less high-speed compression damping) to give improved control under hard acceleration.

The standard-fit, lightweight Renthal Fatbar flex for optimal comfort; the top yoke features two handlebar-holder locations for moving the handlebar rearward and forward by 26mm. When the holder is turned 180°, the handlebar can be moved an additional 10mm from the base position, resulting in four unique riding positions.

The twin-piston front brake caliper uses 30 and 27mm diameter pistons; along with low-expansion rate brake hose, it gives both a strong feel and improved staying power. It works on a 260mm wave-pattern disc. For 2020 a new rear brake pad material for the single-piston caliper increases power and durability in muddy conditions, and dispenses with the need of a cover guard for the 240mm wave-pattern disc.

Lightweight DID aluminum rims, with directly attached spoke pattern layout are finished in black; the front is a 21 x 1.6 in., the rear a 19 x 2.15 in. Fitted as standard equipment are Dunlop’s MX3SF and MX3S soft terrain tires.

The CRF450R uses a lightweight 1.66 gal. titanium fuel tank. 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. The radiator shrouds use durable film inset graphics – updated for 2020 – that cover a wide area with scratch-resistant style.

2020 Honda CRF450R Review / Specs + NEW Changes! | 2020 CRF Dirt Bikes & Motorcycles

3.2 | CRF450R Engine

  • Engine unchanged from 2019 HRC-led power and torque upgrade
  • PGM-FI and HRC Launch Control mapping optimized
  • 449cc single-cylinder engine with Unicam cylinder head, downdraft intake tract, electronic fuel injection and electric start offers unparalleled “Absolute Holeshot” performance.

2020 Honda CRF450R Engine Review / Specs + NEW Changes! | 2020 CRF Dirt Bikes & Motorcycles

The 2019 boost in peak power and torque to the CRF450R’s 449.7 four-valve Unicam engine was significant – 2 more horsepower at 9,500 RPM and 1.5 more lb/ft torque at 7,500 RPM – but not achieved at the expense of low-down performance from 3,000rpm-up, which was also improved.

And the work HRC performed on the cylinder head was extensive; combustion chamber squish was revised, as well as piston skirt profile, piston ring and conrod while both right and left engine cases were optimized for strength versus weight.

For 2020 the engine hardware is unchanged, with the focus of development on refinements and optimization of the PGM-FI mapping, HRC Launch Control and addition of HSTC.

Bore and stroke is set at 96 x 62.1mm with compression ratio of 13.5:1. A gear position sensor allows the use of three specific ignition maps for 1st and 2nd, 3rdand 4th, and 5th and the PGM-FI injects fuel twice per cycle – the new air cleaner element base employed in 2019 more than doubled the surface area, with much greater flow as a result. The exhaust uses differing, larger diameter bores where it splits from the downpipe; 35mm right and 42mm diameter left and the left exhaust is also 89mm longer than the right.

Rock-solid reliability has always been a big factor in the CRF450R’s success and a 5-hole piston oil jet and dual 12mm drum scavenge pump manage lubrication.

4. | CRF450RWE Details | What’s Different?

2020 Honda CRF450RWE Review / Specs + NEW Changes! | 2020 CRF Dirt Bikes & Motorcycles

Already a dominant force when it comes to lap times, this exclusive model now features a full titanium Yoshimura exhaust system, as a lightweight Ti header (the first of its kind on a Honda motocross model) joins the titanium Yosh muffler, all specifically designed to work with the model’s hand-polished ports. Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC), developed through HRC’s worldwide racing effort, now comes standard, enabling three levels of intervention via a handlebar-mounted switch, and a new battery position lowers the machine’s center of gravity. Rounding out the changes are internal suspension updates, improved rear brake-pad performance and durability, new dual-compound Renthal grips and graphic updates.

  • 2020 CRF450RWE Changes / Updates:
      • Titanium Yoshimura header pipe for reduced weight and increased power.
      • All-new Honda Selectable Torque Control with three levels of intervention. HSTC monitors rpm spikes and responds by temporarily reducing torque to aid rear traction. A handlebar-mounted switch allows selection between three modes, depending on conditions and rider preference.
      • Revised mapping for riding modes in Standard, Smooth and Aggressive options, selectable via a separate handlebar-mounted switch, enables simple tuning depending on rider preference or course conditions.
      • Revised internal fork and shock settings for improved chassis balance and overall handling.
    • Battery position lowered by 28mm moves center of gravity downward to further improve chassis balance and handling.
    • New rear brake-pad material for improved performance and increased durability.
    • Elimination of lower rear brake-rotor guard, to improve heat dissipation and reduce unsprung weight.
    • Renthal dual-compound Kevlar grips
    • Red-plastic number plates to match look of Team Honda HRC factory bikes.
    • Updated Throttle Jockey graphics to match look of Team Honda HRC factory bikes, with abbreviated side-panel pieces for improved durability.

2020 Honda CRF450RWE Review / Specs + NEW Changes! | 2020 CRF Dirt Bikes & Motorcycles

  • 2020 CRF450RWE Engine / Drivetrain
    • 449cc single-cylinder engine with Unicam cylinder head, downdraft intake tract, electronic fuel injection and electric start offers unparalleled “Absolute Holeshot” performance.
    • Unique cylinder head with factory hand-polished ports improves torque feeling from low- to midrange, especially between 5,000 and 6,000 rpm, for even quicker lap times.
    • ECU settings optimize performance advantages of the Yoshimura exhaust and cylinder-head.
    • Selectable HRC launch control provides a steady stream of torque for excellent performance on race starts.
    • Electric starter, powered by a lightweight lithium-ion battery.
    • Shift sensor allows a dedicated ignition map for each gear, enabling optimum running.
  • 2020 CRF450RWE Chassis / Suspension
    • Kashima fork-tube coating reduces friction and improves handling performance. Developed by Miyaki Company of Japan, Kashima coating is a special treatment for hard-anodized finishes that fills the micro-pores on the surface of hard-anodized aluminum for better lubrication and reduced stiction.
    • Titanium nitride coating on fork legs enhances suspension feel.
    • Shock shaft processed with Super Finisher and coated with titanium nitride for superior performance.
    • Twin-spar aluminum frame engineered for great traction and cornering feel, and to minimize weight.
    • Chassis layout allows heavier components to be located as centrally and low as possible for nimble handling and feel.
    • Front-brake caliper uses a pair of pistons (30mm and 27mm) for optimal braking performance on a 260mm rotor with a petal pattern to best dissipate heat.
    • Showa® shock and 49mm coil-spring fork.
    • Front brake hose resists expansion for precise, consistent braking feel.
    • Top triple clamp has two handlebar-clamp locations for moving the handlebar back and forth by 26mm. With reversible handlebar clamp enabling an additional 10mm of adjustment from the base position, there are a total of four different handlebar positions.
    • Black Renthal® Fatbar® handlebar encourages active riding position, while also contributing to light steering feel.
    • Footpegs shed mud and give the rider great feel and confidence in all riding conditions.
    • Lightweight, compact 1.66 gallon titanium fuel tank keeps weight to a minimum.
    • Strong D.I.D LT-X rims with special laser-engraved logo.
    • High-performance gold RK chain.
    • Throttle Jockey factory Team Honda HRC seat cover for enhanced grip during acceleration.
    • Top and bottom triple clamps in black complement high-end look.
    • Minimization of lines and gaps in the plastic panels results in a smooth surface, facilitating riding-position changes.
    • Available only through Honda dealers, Dunlop Geomax MX3S tires provide superior bump absorption and excellent grip.

5. | CRF450R Photo Gallery / Pictures

5.1 | CRF450RWE Photo Gallery / Pictures

6. | Technical CRF450R Specifications

2020 CRF450R Specs
Model 2020 CRF450R
ENGINE  
Type 449.7cc liquid-cooled 10º single-cylinder four-stroke
Valve Train Unicam® OHC, four-valve; 38mm intake, titanium; 31mm exhaust, steel
Bore x Stroke 96.0mm x 62.1mm
Compression Ratio 13.5:1
Induction Programmed fuel-injection system (PGM-FI); 46mm throttle bore
Ignition Full transistorized
Starter Push-button electric starter
Transmission Constant-mesh 5-speed return; manual
Clutch Multiplate wet (6 springs)
Final Drive #520 chain; 13T/49T
SUSPENSION  
 

Front

49mm fully adjustable leading-axle inverted telescopic Showa coil-spring fork
w/ 12.0 in. travel
Rear Pro-Link system; fully adjustable Showa single shock w/ 12.4 in. wheel travel
BRAKES  
Front 2-piston caliper (30mm, 27mm) hydraulic; single 260mm disc
Rear 1-piston caliper hydraulic; single 240mm disc
TIRES  
Front Dunlop Geomax MX3S 80/100-21 w/ tube
Rear Dunlop Geomax MX3S 120/80-19 w/ tube
MEASUREMENTS  
Rake (Caster Angle) 27°22’
Trail 116mm (4.6 in.)
Length 85.9 in.
Width 32.6 in.
Height 49.6 in.
Ground Clearance 12.9 in.
Seat Height 37.8 in.
Wheelbase 58.4 in.
Fuel Capacity 1.66 gal.
Color Red
Curb Weight* 247 lbs.

* Includes all standard equipment, required fluids and full tank of fuel—ready to ride Specifications subject to change.

6.1 | Technical CRF450RWE Specifications

2020 CRF450R Works Edition Specs
Model 2020 CRF450RWE
ENGINE  
Type 449.7cc liquid-cooled 10º single-cylinder four-stroke
Valve Train Unicam® OHC, four-valve; 38mm intake, titanium; 31mm exhaust
Bore x Stroke 96.0mm x 62.1mm
Compression Ratio 13.5:1
Induction Programmed fuel-injection system (PGM-FI); 46mm throttle bore
Ignition Full transistorized
Starter Push-button electric starter
Transmission Constant-mesh 5-speed return; manual
Clutch Multiplate wet (6 springs)
Final Drive #520 RK gold chain; 13T/49T
SUSPENSION  
 

Front

49mm fully adjustable leading-axle inverted telescopic Showa coil spring fork; Kashima coating on fork tubes, titanium-nitride
Rear Pro-Link system; fully adjustable Showa single shock; titanium
BRAKES  
Front 2-piston caliper (30mm, 27mm) hydraulic; single 260mm disc
Rear 1-piston caliper hydraulic; single 240mm disc
TIRES  
Front Dunlop Geomax MX3S 80/100-21 w/ tube
Rear Dunlop Geomax MX3S 120/80-19 w/ tube
MEASUREMENTS  
Rake (Caster Angle) 27°22’
Trail 116mm (4.6 in.)
Length 85.9 in.
Width 32.6 in.
Height 49.6 in.
Ground Clearance 12.9 in.
Seat Height 37.8 in.
Wheelbase 58.4 in.
Fuel Capacity 1.66 gal.
Color Red
Curb Weight* 247 lbs.

* Includes all standard equipment, required fluids and full tank of fuel—ready to ride Specifications subject to change.


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