2017 Honda CRF450RX - FIRST LOOK

Closed-course off-road racer from Big Red announced

While unveiling the brand-new 2017 CRF450R motocrosser to the motorcycle media gathered at Honda's private museum in Torrance, CA, Honda surprised us when off-road legend Johnny Campbell rode a brand-new model called the CRF450RX into the presentation area. Like many such models from KTM, Husqvarna, and recently Yamaha, the RX is designed for closed-course off-road competition like our GNCC, and National Hare Scrambles series.

Honda CRF450RX
The 2017 Honda CRF450RX is a closed-course off-road racing version of the MXer.Courtesy of Honda

The CRF450RX is essentially the same motorcycle as the R with a few additional changes made for off-road competition. Key alterations include an 18-inch rear wheel/tire combination, a one-tooth larger rear sprocket for a lower final-drive ratio, off-road specific Dunlop Geomax AT81 tires, revised suspension damping front and rear, and a lighter spring on the shock.

Honda CRF450RX
Johnny Campbell goes rock hopping on the RX.Courtesy of Honda

The engine is identical to the new mill housed in the CRF450R, with a finger rocker arm for increased valve lift, new piston, larger intake valves, and narrower included valve angle, but has revised engine mapping tuned for off-road riding. Whereas electric starting is a $650 option on the MXer, it comes standard on the RX, albeit with a heavy Grom-derived AGM (absorbent glass mat) battery. Fuel capacity has been increased from 1.6 to 2.2 gallons, but gone is the R’s trick titanium fuel tank replaced by a molded plastic unit. A forged aluminum sidestand is also fitted as standard.

As with the R model, we don’t expect the RX to arrive in dealerships until the end of October, when it will join the new CRF450R, and continuing CRF450X on the showroom floor.

ENGINE TYPE 449.7cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke
BORE x STROKE 96.0 x 62.1mm
INDUCTION Programmed fuel-injection system (PGM-FI); 46mm throttle bore
IGNITION Full transistorized ignition
TRANSMISSION Constant-mesh 5-speed return
FINAL DRIVE 520 chain; 13T/50T
VALVE TRAIN Unicam® OHC, four-valve; 10.0mm intake, steel; 8.8mm exhaust, steel
FRONT SUSPENSION 49mm fully adjustable leading-axle inverted telescopic Showa coil-spring fork; 12.0 in. travel
REAR SUSPENSION Pro-Link system; fully adjustable Showa single shock; 12.3 in. travel
FRONT BRAKES Single 260mm hydraulic disc
REAR BRAKES Single 240mm hydraulic disc
FRONT TIRES Dunlop Geomax AT81 90/90-21 with tube
REAR TIRES Dunlop Geomax AT81 120/90-18 with tube
TRAIL 116.0mm (4.6 in.)
SEAT HEIGHT 37.8 in.
WHEELBASE 58.1 in.
CURB WEIGHT 261 lbs.
Honda CRF450RX
Electric starting is standard on the CRF450RX.Courtesy of Honda