Honda updates CRF450R for 2023, including special 50th anniversary model

Photo: Honda

Honda has just confirmed updates to its full-bore motocross model, the CRF450R, with chassis change-ups for 2023.

So just how much braaaap is on tap? Honda plays it cute and doesn’t say, but there are minimal changes to the engine. Honda’s press release for US customers (we haven’t seen Canadian details yet) says there are new air intake ports, along with other parts of the intake system. There’s a new smaller-diameter 44mm throttle body, and valve timing and ECU settings are updated for 2023. Cam timing is also updated, and Honda says low end torque is up 10 percent. Power delivery is also supposedly smoothed out.

Photo: Honda

All these changes come as the result of input from Honda’s factory motocross riders. Big Red also made some changes to the chassis; the rear shock gets updated spring rate, and the damping’s been retuned as well. Same for the Showa fork—new damping settings should make it easier to keep front end grip.

A host of smaller changes, then, which should add up to a much different-feeling machine. If you want a vastly different-looking machine, Honda’s got that, too, with the CRF450R 50th Anniversary Edition. This machine comes with classic ’80s style trim, including blue seat, gold rims and handlebars, and other graphics that bring back Big Red’s glory days (although the CR250 Elsinore was Honda’s first MX factory bike in ’73, Honda doesn’t seem keen to bring back those silver tank/green paint looks).

Photo: Honda

Honda also announced the CRF450RX, the cross-country version of the new machine. It has an 8-litre gas tank, an 18-inch rear wheel, and the engine has basically the same internals but is slightly retuned for enduro-style action. Aluminum handguards are standard, and a sidestand.

All the new 450 models are viewable on Honda Canada’s website at this point, including the up-spec’d CRF450RWE, the tricked-out competition-ready variant. See the machines at Honda’s site here, with up-to-date specs and pricing.

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