2008 Honda CRF450R
For 2008, the CRF450R’s light and rigid aluminium frame and responsive Works racer suspension systems are now complemented by a revolutionary new Honda Progressive Steering Damper
Honda’s all-conquering CRF450R has become the overwhelming first choice of motocross, flattrack and Supermoto riders….and it just got better. For 2008, the CRF450R’s light and rigid aluminium frame and responsive Works racer suspension systems are now complemented by a revolutionary new Honda Progressive Steering Damper (HPSD) for an unbeatable combination of quick, confident control that makes this overwhelming class favourite one of the best-handling dirt bikes you’ll find anywhere.
The HSPD is also complimented by a number of other major upgrades that make Honda’s top motocrosser more rideable than ever before. If you think you already know a lot about steering dampers, get ready to think again. With a stroke of fresh engineering insight, the hard-working minds at Honda have designed the HPSD specifically to augment more aggressive turning characteristics rather than only assisting straight-line handling, as has been the case with steering dampers in past applications.
This means a higher level of front-end traction with significantly enhanced steering feel, specifically a more "planted" feel in turns for better front-wheel control, especially under dry, hard-packed track conditions. The net result is greater cornering speed, a higher level of front-end confidence and reduced rider fatigue thanks to this damper’s astounding new turning ease. Additionally, HPSD enhances handling in whoops and fast sections of the track, all of which combine to speed up lap times over the entire course of a race.
To complement the addition of HPSD, the steering head was completely redesigned and re-tuned for correct flex/stiffness properties, and an HPSD mounting lug was incorporated. Likewise, the triple-clamps were newly designed to yield the correct degree of stiffness, given the new forces imparted by the steering damper system. Given the interrelated nature of the forces acting on this latest iteration of Honda’s highly sophisticated fourth-generation aluminium frame, every force input was carefully calculated and matched so that the chassis, suspension and HPSD all worked in concert as one system. In short, HPSD is not merely a bolt-on damper; as a result, the 2008 model is distinctly easier to ride.
Powered by a remarkable Unicam 4-stroke engine that pumps out roost-raising leaps of performance at the twist of its throttle, the ’08 release also features a multitude of upgraded features including new:
* tapered exhaust head pipe improves low-end and midrange power
* lighter weight counter-balancer shaft and drive gears
* New Works-type multi-map CDI system uses transmission gear-position sensor to provide specific ignition maps
* Friction-reducing coating on the clutch basket, clutch centre and pressure plate
* Front fork triple-clamps feature 22mm offset for improved cornering
* Showa fork features a larger cartridge rod and new cartridge oil piston for improved oil flow and less friction, plus stiffer springs for improved mid-stroke action
* Rear damper valving matches changes to front fork
* Works-style front and rear brake rotors reduce unsprung weight; and
* Rev limit increased 50rpm to 11,270rpm
The CRF450R’s liquid-cooled 449cc engine pumps out nearly 90kW per litre while maintaining Honda’s legendary simplicity and dependability. Its lightweight titanium intake valves permit use of smaller valve springs and reduce overall engine height, whilst the forged slipper piston is 130g lighter than conventional designs. A 41mm FCR-type carburettor features four rollers on the flat slide, resulting in light throttle effort, smooth operation, crisp throttle response and excellent rideability.
An eight-plate clutch provides ample surface area to handle the engine’s massive torque, while carefully matched clutch springs provide a light feel at the lever. With a frame design that allows sidecovers to have larger air intake ducts, air flow is significantly increased in the mid and upper rpm ranges. Rider ergonomics are also optimised by adapting the handlebar, seat and footpeg height to place the rider’s legs at the narrowest cross-section of the frame for improved comfort and handling feel.
This and so much more make the 2008 CRF450R a must have for MX fans across the globe. The bike will be available at Honda Dealers nationally by the end of September. Recommended retail price is still to be advised.