2017 Honda CRF450R Caught in the Wild

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A reader asked me recently what I knew about the upcoming 2017 Honda CRF450R dirt bike, and admittedly I had to say “not much” – it’s called Asphalt & Rubber after all.

For the past year though, even my radar has picked up sighting of Akira Narita (one of the greatest Japanese MX racers of all time) showing up to events in Japan with a race bike that looked pretty advanced from what was currently on dealership floors.

This is nothing new in the world of Honda though, with next year’s models often ending up at events on the other side of the Pacific…usually in Narita-san’s very capable hands.

But today, we can answer more accurately what Big Red is up to with the 2017 Honda CRF450R, as the folks at VitalMX caught the new motocrosser spinning laps at an MX track in Southern California (read their expert breakdown of the new bike, here).

Since we know some A&R readers spend some two-wheeled time in the dirt, we thought we would pass along this news about the 2017 Honda CRF450R.

And, it seems that one of the big changes for 2017 is a reversion back to spring forks for Honda, with the Japanese brand moving away from the much-hated air forks found on the 2016 model.

While many have expected that move from Honda (and other brands), what wasn’t expected was to see Honda taking a page out of Yamaha’s playbook, with the eagle eyes at VitalMX noting that the single-cylinder engine appears to have a down-draft intake, like on the Yamaha YZ450F.

Changes appear to have been made to the airbox, intake, and throttle bodies to accommodate this design, which should bring a nice power boost to the 449cc lump.

Other changes abound, but for the full breakdown on the technical attributes on the 2017 Honda CRF450R, we suggest heading over to VitalMX…they have some great close-up shots of the new MX as well.

Source: VitalMX; Photo: © 2016 Michael Lindsay / VitalMX – All Rights Reserved

Jensen Beeler

Despite his best efforts, Jensen is called one of the most influential bloggers in the motorcycle industry, and sometimes consults for motorcycle companies, whether they've solicited his expertise or not.