Honda reveals their all-new on-off CRF450L machine, but the tank is ridiculously small, while the price is way too steep
It’s no secret that half-liter bikes that are lightweight and can do both on- and off-road are in a league of their own, especially stateside. So here’s Honda taking a bold step ahead of the competition, revealing their all-new 2019 CRF450L dual-sport machine, first of its name in the recent ears.
The CRF450L is largely based on the 450 motocross version, but has all the add-ons that make it street legal. The list includes a dual LED headlight, LED turn signals, mirrors, and a license plate holder.
Apparently, the transmission has been smoothed out a bit to make the bike more maneuverable in traffic. Honda retains a 6-speed, close-ratio gearbox, and Showa suspensions at both ends. The wet weight (ready to roll and with a full tank) is said to be a nice 131 kg (289 lb), which should make this bike the perfect candidate for both slicing the urban clutter and single file trails.
No word on the power and torque for the 449 liquid-cooled Unicam 4-stroke mill, however. The fork is a sturdy 49mm USD unit, mated to a Pro-Link rear shock with adjustable spring preload, rebound and compression damping adjustability. Stopping power comes from a single 260mm front rotor and a 240mm rear one. All in all, the new CRF450L looks fresh and alright, narrow and with a pretty good clearance of 12.4 inches (31.5 cm).
One of the drawbacks of this model is the fuel tank capacity. While the tank itself is made of titanium, for both strength and lightness, it can only hold 2 gallons (7.6 liters) of fuel, which is ridiculous when envisaging a full day of adventure. We suspect that aftermarket tank manufacturers have already started sketching out replacement units for CRF450L…
The second thing that made us frown is the price. The 2019 Honda CRF450L retails for $10,399 in the US, with most likely pretty much the same figure converted to € in Europe, and this makes it an expensive machine that offers to little bike for the bucks.
Will it sell well? Most likely yes, and so will the larger aftermarket fuel tanks with it.