Honda CRF450L Rally concept gets us Dakar dreaming

Earlier this year, Honda released the CRF450L after years of listening to to fanboys whine that this, this was the bike they wanted. Naturally, as soon as they got the bike they wanted, the fanboys started whining that what they really wanted was a rallyized version of the 450. So, Honda’s built this concept to show it can do that too.

It’s basically a mash-up of the street-legal CRF450L with the CRF450 Rally bike, as used in the Dakar Rally. There’s a Termignoni rally-style exhaust, carbon-fibre skid plate, clear windshield, Renthal bars, dual front fuel tanks, and of course, a large forward superstructure to haul your navigation equipment … sort of.

Fooled you! There’s a TFT screen in the nav tower, not a roadbook.

Because this is a street-legal duallie concept and not a dune blaster, there isn’t any actual roadbook or other navigational bits up front, but there is a TFT dash which could no doubt be configured to interact with a GPS system via Bluetooth.

Other bits that are more street-friendly are the suspension (seemingly lifted straight off the standard 450L) and a toolbox instead of rear-mounted fuel cell.

Honda hasn’t announced any solid plans to produce this bike, and if it did, it wouldn’t be cheap; the standard 450L sells for $11,899 in Canada, and the Rally version would be more.

But, it’s a cool bike, and it shows Honda is still at least somewhat interested in building properly adventurous bikes. Hopefully this isn’t vapourware, and we see it come to market in its time.


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