recently announced bike has generated much excitement in the dirt bike
community. It's a trail bike (dual sport to you Americans), a
street-legal version of Honda's CRF450X motocrosser and CRF450R enduro.
The bike seems to promise serious off-road performance and road bike
versatility. The new Honda will challenge Suzuki's long-running DRZ400
and Euro exotica like the KTM EXC500-F.
|Honda CRF 450L|
enthusiasm for the bike diminished when its details became known.
Firstly the power was quoted as 25bhp. Unbelievable since the bike's
competition cousins put out 50+ bhp and the DRZ 39bhp. This figure seems
to be an error by Honda Europe who mixed the bike up with the CRF250L.
The real figure is likely to be in the 40's.
the CRF's service intervals are distinctly competition bike - 600 mile
oil changes and 1,800 mile for valve checks. The kicker was a scheduled
engine overhaul at 20,000 miles. Again these figures are unbelievable
for a dual purpose bike. The DRZ's intervals are 4,000 miles for oil
& 15,000 for valves - the same as my SV650. The Honda's intervals
only make sense if the rider was doing hard dirt riding only. Riders
nowadays expect never to overhaul a modern bike engine. My CBF250 works
pretty hard and had done 65,000 miles without an overhaul.
this competition heritage doesn't come cheap. Price in the US is nearly
$11,000 - 50% more than the DRZ or Honda's own XR650L and about the
same as the Honda VFR800 (Interceptor in the US)
is no indication (that I can find) that the bike will be available on
the UK market and at a likely £10,000 here it is not going to be a big
seller. Still I'm interested in reading the reviews.
far as dirt bikes are concerned a favourite of mine was the Honda NC400
Falcon - never on the market here but a type of bike they just don't
make anymore - and old fashioned trail bike.
|Honda NX400 Falcon|