50 years of Motocross history with Honda CRF450R – paultan.org
Celebrating 50 years of motocross competition that began with the 1973 Honda CR250M Elsinore, Honda has released the 2023 Honda CRF450R 50th Anniversary. Coincidentally, this year also marks 40 years of the famed Honda Racing Corporation (HRC), that arose from the Honda Racing Service Centre that was set up to develop and engineer racing motorcycles for Honda and privateer teams.
The 2023 CRF450R 50th Anniversary, and the Honda CRF450RX, were developed with input from HRC factory riders and feature chassis setup and engine revisions to make them easier to ride for longer. Modifications include new intake ports, air funnel, throttle body, valve timing and ECU settings.
The engine, with narrower intake ports, longer air funnel, smaller 44mm diameter throttle body and revised cam timing increases low end torque by 10% along with smoother power delivery. Changes have also been made to the suspension with the rear shock having increased spring rate a?nd damping while the 49 mm diameter Showa front forks have revised damping settings to increase front tyre grip.
Meanwhile, the cross-country oriented CRF450RX carries the same engine as the CRF450R but is biased towards long stints in the saddle crossing rough terrain. This includes the fitting of an 8-litre fuel tank, 18inch rear wheel, specific ECU settings for ignition/injection, forged aluminium sidestand and knuckle guards.
New graphics adorn the CRF450R, with the iconic HRC logo representing the expansion of HRC’s activities into automobile racing. The graphics also pay tribute to the Honda Racing motocrossers of the 80s, including a blue seat and white number boards, with gold wheels and handlebars.
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