Sneak Peek at 2025 Honda CRF450R

Design images show how flagship MXer is taking on an ‘80s style.

Honda’s CRF450R gets some subtle changes for 2025.Honda

Honda’s CRF450R motocross bike is to get a retro makeover for 2025 as revealed by new design registrations that show how the next version of the machine will look. The official launch of the next-gen CRF450 isn’t likely to be far off now, and the new designs show a bike that takes a leaf from the latest competition models campaigned by the works HRC team in MXGP MX1 class, complete with bodywork that takes its inspiration from the 1980s.

Given the competition-driven nature of motocross bike development, style normally takes a back seat as priority goes to anything that can make them faster on track. But with it having looked largely the same since 2021, Honda has clearly decided to give the CRF450R a makeover for the 2025 model year.

Honda’s 2024 CRF450R.Honda

While the front fender, fork guards, and number board look to be carryover components from the 2024 version, the bodywork behind them is reworked. The most obvious change is the angular new side panels flanking the radiators, which take on a simpler shape with two stacked air outlets. It’s a look that has overtones of mid- to late-’80s CR500s and CR250s and continues into a straight line that’s drawn under the seat and into the tail.

Cycle World’s test of the CR500 in the January 1986 issue.Cycle World Archives

Mechanically, it looks like Honda is going for evolution rather than revolution, with no obvious changes to the SOHC Unicam engine or its exhaust, and a swingarm and rear suspension linkage that’s carried over from the 2024 bike. But on the main frame there is a redesign, with an additional bracket welded to the upper side of the spar on each side, appearing to provide an extra mounting point for the seat subframe. That’s sure to have an impact on the rigidity balance of the chassis overall, and again the latest factory racebikes have also adopted a similar design, albeit with a much more hand-fabricated appearance to the extra bracket.

You can see in the highlighted circle the additional bracket that is attached to the top spar of the frame.Honda

With the 2025 motocross launch season already in full swing, it’s unlikely to be long before Honda makes an official announcement about the next-gen CRF450R, as well as the 2025 version of the CRF250R, although the latter isn’t expected to get the same styling and mechanical tweaks until the 2026 model year.