Holding that advantage, however, demands constant improvement, and the 2008 CRF450R is sharper than ever, with all-new works-style brake rotors, retooled frame geometry, and the revolutionary new Honda Progressive Steering Damper (HPSD). The gauntlet has been thrown. Again.
Honda introduced the CFR450R as the most versatile motorcycle in the world and the 2008 model proves the bike is still going strong. With unmatched performance and sharp handling, the 2008 promises to be the first machine at the finish line each and every time. The results will surely put a big smile on the rider’s face and the team will sort the deal with the rest of the championship. This is what Honda CRF450R is all about and this is also the reason it became so desired all around the world.
Honda prepared CRF450R’s debut for 2002 and the bike featured new everything so its engine was newly developed 449cc 4-stroke SOHC Unicam 4-valve and it featured high-strength low-carbon steel crankshaft for maximum durability at sustained high engine speeds. The unique Unicam head configuration actuates 4 valves with 3 cam lobes and a forged roller rocker operating the exhaust valves. Burned gases were evacuated by using the lightweight exhaust valves equipped with springs for optimized high-revving performance and the 40mm Keihin FCR flat side carburetor delivered lighter throttle effort, smoother operation, crisp response and excellent rideability. The performing engine was mounted on a compact and lightweight 3rd-generation twin-spar aluminum frame based directly on the chassis used by the high-flying CR250R and CR125R motocross racers. But the chassis had to be completed with the high-performance 47mm inverted cartridge-type front fork and the progressive, fully adjustable Pro-Link rear suspension system
supporting the double-taper aluminum swingarm tuned for maximum strength and minimal weight.
By reading the previous you would ask yourself what improvements were made to the bike and the answer comes naturally.
In 2003, the engine received many improvements like the cam timing and lift changed for stronger low-end power and torque output, and smoother idling. The crankshaft and connecting rods were also modified for higher durability and the carburetor was fine-tuned for optimal power output. Clutch damper also changed to improve rear wheel traction under hard acceleration
The chassis had also gone through intensive changing that very same year so we can easily understand Honda’s policy after looking at the series of changes made only a year after the bike’s debut. Frame downtube thickness was increased for enhanced rigidity and cornering control, the front suspension featured 10mm longer stroke for smoother control over bumps and jumps, swingarm pivot position was raised for improved ground clearance and reduced impacts in jumps landings. Caster angle also increased. The rear damper spring rate was increased and the valve sealing was improved to better absorb jump landings and reduce pitching over washboard and ruts. Handling and ergonomics had also improved after moving the handlebar 3mm forward and positioning the seat 7mm higher.
The rhythm imposed in 2003 had to be maintained for the next year so the CRF450R had gone through a series of changes until it became a 2004 model. The overall weight was reduced by 1.5kg and that was mostly due to the new piston shape for increased torque over entire rev change, new exhaust system layout which optimizes mass centralization, and the new standard equipment Renthal bars (971 Bend). The magnesium ACG cover also reduces weight and heat built up.
Apart from lousing weight, the bike also received carburetor settings for sharper throttle response and the front fork outer-tubes now featured Works-type honing treatment for lower-friction operation.
2005 brought the complete revision of the Honda CRF450R and, of course, the product featured almost everything new but I would name the ones that had a great impact on the bike and significantly improved the overall feel. New shift components were added for smoother and more precise gear shifting; the twin-spar aluminum frame had now reached the 4th generation and it received new aluminum swingarm with slimmed down dual-axis and double-taper design; new front axle placement for improved fork action and turning; new Pro-Link ratio for more compliant suspension operation; new lighter-weight titanium exhaust pipe heat shield; new airbox and intake tube for more direct airflow and increased airflow; new aluminum clutch cable bracket for lighter weight; new lighter rear brake pedal; new lighter and stronger rear wheel hub and the list can go on and on forever. The idea is that 2005 brought the longest list of changes, only matched by the 2008 model which announces itself as another great success. History continues
to be written so we are facing continuous development at Hondas. Has it ever been different? I sure don’t think so!