All-pur­po­se Hon­da bi­ke can hand­le it all

George Herald - Auto Dealer - - News -

Mo­tor­bi­ke ent­hu­si­as­ts de­mand that a du­al-pur­po­se mo­tor­cy­cle should be ma­ny t­hings. For of­fro­ad it needs to be lig­ht­weig­ht, with qua­li­ty sus­pen­si­on and hand­ling a­bi­li­ty for w­hen the going gets har­der. Its en­gi­ne has to pro­du­ce good po­wer and tor­que that is u­sa­ble, al­lo­wing the ri­der to find all the re­ar w­heel grip pos­si­ble, w­ha­te­ver the ter­rain.

All the at­tri­bu­tes that ma­ke it g­re­at fun off-ro­ad al­so e­na­ble it to be u­se­ful a­round to­wn, w­he­re a nar­row and nim­ble du­al­pur­po­se ma­chi­ne can slip through gaps, so­ak up the bumps from rough ro­ads and stay a­he­ad of traf­fic thanks to smart, low-ge­ar acce­le­ra­ti­on.

Hon­da now shows that com­pe­ti­ti­on ma­chi­nes can be a so­lid ba­se for du­al-pur­po­se a­dap­ta­ti­on. But ra­ce-le­vel per­for­man­ce needs an in­ten­si­ve main­te­nan­ce sche­du­le w­hich is too much for “hob­by” trail ri­ders, who just want to push a but­ton and keep on going. Furt­her­mo­re, a ba­re­ly dis­gui­sed ra­ce bi­ke can me­an that cru­ci­al ro­ad-going e­le­ments such as lig­hts, in­di­ca­tors and the ig­ni­ti­on switch are not as u­ser-friend­ly and du­ra­ble as they should be.

Hon­da un­der­stands t­his and has pro­du­ced a du­al-pur­po­se bi­ke that draws strongly on the per­for­man­ce of a ra­ce ma­chi­ne, but with mo­re nor­mal ser­vi­ce in­ter­vals and high qua­li­ty ro­ad an­cil­la­ries. The com­pa­ny has ta­ken its CRF450R mo­to­cross bi­ke as the ba­se to start from and cre­a­ted the new CRF450L.

It is un­mis­ta­ka­bly a ra­ce-bred CRF, but with the ad­di­ti­ons and mo­di­fi­ca­ti­ons nee­ded to ma­ke it both ro­ad le­gal and su­pre­me­ly u­se­a­ble on a trail. As such, the CRF450L is a com­ple­te packa­ge for on- and off-ro­ad.

“The CRF450L is a­bout ha­ving max­i­mum fun out on the dirt.

It looks li­ke a CRF450R be­cau­se, re­al­ly, it is - just a trai­lf­riend­ly, ro­ad-le­gal ver­si­on,” says Mi­kio U­chiya­ma, lar­ge pro­ject le­a­der of the CRF450L. ‘Le­gal’ is w­hat the ‘L’ is for. It’s been en­gi­nee­red to de­li­ver ex­cel­lent hand­ling feel, with li­ne­ar en­gi­ne tor­que that helps the ri­der ma­ke the most of the a­vai­la­ble grip in all con­di­ti­ons. It al­so con­tains its HRC-de­ri­ved CRF techno­lo­gy within a re­al-wor­ld ser­vi­ce sche­du­le.”

Ro­ad le­ga­li­ty re­qui­red the en­gi­ne to gain EURO4 com­pli­an­ce, whi­le from a lon­ge­vi­ty and u­sa­bi­li­ty vie­w­point, the po­wer out­put and cha­rac­ter nee­ded ca­re­ful at­ten­ti­on.

It’s a CRF450R that is qui­e­ter, both me­cha­ni­cal­ly and from its new exhaust. The com­pres­si­on ra­tio has been lo­we­red and crank mass in­cre­a­sed for im­pro­ved dri­vea­bi­li­ty. The ge­ar­box is a six speed and a cush d­ri­ve has been ad­ded to the 18” re­ar w­heel.

The plas­ti­cs are the sa­me as the o­ri­gi­nal CRF450R and all lig­hting is LED, with the front he­ad­lig­ht thro­wing out a pe­ne­tra­ting be­am. In­cre­a­sed vo­lu­me for the ti­ta­ni­um fu­el tank adds ran­ge. All the i­tems that ma­ke the CRF450L re­a­dy to pur­cha­se as a li­cen­sed, ro­ad going ma­chi­ne, such as spee­do­me­ter and horn, are stan­dard.

The new du­al-pur­po­se Hon­da CRF450L.

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