The all new Honda CRF450R garnered rave reviews after it was launched. It has stringer power, comfortable ergonomics and better handling compared to its predecessor. The Honda CRF450R can be regarded as a much better bike from Honda in the past five years. In its 2018 iteration, the Japanese company has managed to better the impressive package with a few tweaks to the chassis, suspension and the engine.
The best thing about the 2018 Honda CRF450R is the addition of Showa spring fork along with a number of other chassis enhancements. The excellent handling and superb aerodynamics make the bike a joyful machine to ride. The new model also comes with stiffer spring rates in rear and front so that the suspension can withstand big jumps and hard hits. It can also tolerate chops and rough braking bumps.
Chassis feel is improved by the addition of upper engine brackets. Rider comfort is increased. When it comes to the power department, the Japanese company has updated the first of three ignition maps. This permits the power to be much more rider-friendly. Throttle response is increased and the power curve can be much better managed.
The electric starter is the most notable upgrade. The kick start lever is made redundant by the newly introduced push button starter. The list of things added include lithium ion battery, clutch sensor and a start switch. Honda claims that with all these additions also, the weight has gone up by only eight pounds. Firing up the bike with electric starter is easy. These minor updates are more noticeable when compared with the bike’s previous model. The motorcycle enjoys much wider power delivery with the change of first of the three ignition maps- standard ignition map, soft ignition map and aggressive ignition map. Power rolls smooth and strong into top-end.
Maximum riding fun can be had at the aggressive map. The rider can power swiftly out of the corners. This can be vital if the track is deep and loamy. Despite the bike having five pounds more weight compared to its predecessor model, the handling and the overall feel is much more improved. The extra weight and stiffer suspension, along with the new engine, pushes up rider confidence. The bike, however, can be unsettled or get kicked out in case of big jumps. Flat corners, ruts and loamy turns are easily navigated. The excellent ergonomics make riding much easier.
When seen as a complete package, Honda company has made an excellent job in further refining an already refined bike. The mapping changes, electric start and engine brackets along with the suspension spring rate have fixed any kind of complaints any rider had with the previous version of this excellent machine. The 2018 Honda CRF450R can be considered as a refined package which provides superb handling, ultra-comfortable ergonomics and usable power. The areas of improvement include clutch fading fast so that the slack can reign with clutch perch knob. The stock grips are regarded as too firm by many riders.