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.

Honda CRF450RX
Electric starting is standard on the CRF450RX.Courtesy of Honda