When the Honda CRF450 Rally debuted for rally raid competitors in 2012, there was a cry for a production model of this Dakar-ready dirt bike. It took a while, but Big Red finally answer…sort of.
The 250cc platform was an interesting choice for Honda to make for its race-replica dirt bike, especially with the underwhelming debut of the CRF250L model, and thus the want for a 450cc version continued.
This is because Big Red quietly debuted the Honda CRF450L Rally concept at the Italian motorcycle show, with nary a press release or mention. In fact, the only official mention we can find of the dual-sport is one from the Honda Monster Energy Team, which took a photo in front of the concept’s display.
Now officially a concept, four years later we finally see Honda exploring the idea of giving us the bike we have wanted all along. When will we see a proper Honda CRF450L Rally? Maybe never, though we would be surprised if that was the case.
The 2020 model year is certainly possible, though it could take until 2021, and the Euro5 emissions standards will certainly play a role in that decision.
So far, the concept seems to remain faithful to the race bike’s design and purpose, which is great. That being said though, if the machine that debuted look like the Honda CB125X concept, we certainly wouldn’t kick it out of bed.
The truth of the matter is that Honda has built an excellent platform in the CRF450L dual-sport, and the possibilities for this motorcycle certainly abound in other format. Let’s see where Honda takes it next.
Source: ADV Pulse
As always, Asphalt & Rubber will be covering all the new bikes debuting at EICMA this year. Be sure to follow our coverage for the most recent news and photos.