2021 Honda CRF450R

2021 Honda CRF450R

Every part of the CRF450R is new for 2021, save for wheels and engine, with the comprehensive update benefiting directly from development with Tim Gajser and HRC’s 2019 championship-winning CRF450RW works machine.

The new frame and swingarm, plus changes to geometry and suspension, save weight and greatly improve cornering performance.

The engine receives intake/exhaust upgrades, new decompression system plus single exhaust muffler to boost and smoothen low-mid-range driveability.

A larger hydraulic clutch offers greater control with lighter lever pressure.

More compact plastics and a smaller seat unit increase freedom of movement.

The 2021 Honda CRF450R is expected to hit Australian dealerships around October 2020 and will be priced at $12,899.

2021 Honda CRF450R

Link – History of the CRF450R


2021 Honda CRF450R at a glance

  • Narrower main spars and new rear sub-frame save weight, drawing on HRC knowhow
  • Narrower swing-arm spars and swing-arm pivot point, with revised swingarm rigidity balance
  • Geometry changes combine with the above to improve cornering ability
  • Re-valved front suspension with an extra 5 mm stroke matched with re-valved rear shock
  • Improved ergonomics from smaller new seat, and more compact, redesigned plastics
  • Larger airbox plus revised throttle body and exhaust ports for bottom-end drive
  • New exhaust downpipe with single muffler boosts torque and saves weight
  • Hydraulic clutch replaces cable operation for consistent and light lever feel
  • Revised decompressor system gives improved stall resistance
  • Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) with 3 riding modes, plus OFF
  • HRC Launch Control offers 3 start options
  • Engine Mode Select Button (EMSB) features 3 maps to adjust output character
  • HSTC button now rationalised into the left-hand switchgear
  • HRC setting tool updated for changes to Aggressive and Smooth modes
  • New triple clamp design
  • Revised air cleaner system
  • Revised fuel pump
  • New decompression weight design
  • New graphics
  • Due October 2020 priced at $12,899
2021 Honda CRF450R

Honda launch new racer support program

To celebrate the release of the 2021 MX range and most notably the new CRF450R, Honda are excited to announce a brand-new ‘Race Red’ Program. The aim of the new ‘Race Red’ Program is to truly support Honda racing customers through the Honda dealer network, to ensure opportunity is given to those looking to progress in our sport. Access to the program will be based on submission of an application via your local Honda dealer, where you’ll get access if approved, to racing Honda products and an affordable unit to race.

To qualify, the applicant must submit to their local Honda dealer: A copy of your racing licence (MA, state or club based equivalent), and a race resume outlining your upcoming planned race events.

The Honda dealer will then submit this application to Honda and on approval, the rider will collect a new Honda CRF race machine, a Honda Pit Tent and Honda Racing Stand from their dealer and be welcomed into the ‘Race Red’ program.

General Manager of Honda Motorcycles, Mr Tony Hinton anticipates the new program as a way to further support those who have dreams of becoming a future Champion.

“We are pleased to see this program come to life. Racing is Honda’s lifeblood and with this program we are looking to cater to all levels of racing across the country. We have our Penrite Honda Factory Racing Team as a tier 1 level for National Supercross and MX classes, we’ve also got our ‘Ride Red’ program for privateer riders competing in National and State events around the country and now we are proud to roll out a more refined ‘Race Red’ program which looks to support riders at a local and dealer ambassador level of racing. It’s the ideal time to launch the program with our new CRF450R and 2021 MX line up, as we believe these bikes will deliver results to those who want to take the next step with their racing careers. We want to see future Champions on our CRFs.”

For more information on the new ‘Race Red’ program, please contact your local Honda dealer, or visit www.honda.com.au


2021 Honda CRF450R in detail

In 2017 Honda’s CRF450R was given a ground-up redesign, with completely new chassis and a major top end power boost from a brand-new engine.

Standard-fit electric start was a convenient addition in 2018 and, for 2019, an HRC-developed cylinder head upped peak power and torque considerably. HRC launch control was also added along with revised rigidity balance for the frame and swingarm, a new front brake caliper and adjustable-position Renthal Fatbars.

The 2020 CRF450R gained Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC), and provided the base for the CRF450RW HRC race machine ridden to the 2019 MX GP World Championship in the expert hands of Tim Gajser. The 2021 Honda CRF450R draws heavily on what he, and HRC, learnt on their long road to overall victory in 2019.

New machine is slimmer by 70mm (50mm on the left, 20mm on the exhaust side), and the plastics thinner, while the tank cover has been removed.

2021 Honda CRF450R Model Overview

For 21YM the CRF450R receives a wide array of improvements and upgrades under a development theme of ‘Razor-sharp Cornering’. Firstly, it’s 2kg lighter, thanks to a revised frame and subframe. The new frame and swingarm’s rigidity balance, combined with tighter chassis geometry, heightened ground clearance and suspension changes, are all targeted at creating optimal cornering performance. Learnings from Tim Gajser’s championship-winning 2019 campaign reduce rider fatigue, allowing enthusiasts of all ability levels to consistently post optimal lap times.

2021 Honda CRF450R

The engine also benefits from HRC’s knowhow to give a strong focus on low- to mid-range torque. The decompressor has been relocated, airbox volume is up, the throttle body redesigned and exhaust ports re-shaped. The exhaust downpipe is new and a single muffler replaces dual mufflers.

A larger-volume hydraulic clutch has an even lighter lever action, while other weight-saving details include a smaller fuel pump and optimised magnesium cylinder head cover. New plastics, too, are lighter and slimmer to aid rider freedom and the seat is a smaller unit, lower at the back. A smart new all-red graphic scheme completes this major update.

2021 Honda CRF450R Chassis

  • Narrower main spars and new rear subframe save weight, drawing on HRC knowhow
  • Narrower swing arm spars and swingarm pivot point, with revised swingarm rigidity balance
  • Geometry changes combine with the above to improve cornering ability
  • Re-valved front suspension with an extra 5mm stroke matched with re-valved rear shock
  • Improved ergonomics from smaller new seat, and more compact, redesigned plastics

The CRF450R’s twin-spar aluminium frame was unchanged in 20YM; for 21YM it is completely renewed – with direct input from the HRC race team – to elevate every aspect of cornering ability.

2021 Honda CRF450R frame

Thanks to narrower main spars, at 8.4kg it weighs 700g less than the previous design, while a redesigned subframe also saves 320g at 910g. The chassis dynamic is also new: while torsional rigidity is maintained, lateral rigidity has been reduced by 20% to increase corner speed, traction and steering accuracy. The aluminium swingarm has a new rigidity balance tuned to match the frame, with narrower arms and pivot point. The Pro-Link ratio is also revised.

2021 Honda CRF450R swing-arm

Both top and bottom yokes are revised, with more flex, for quicker steering and feel. Fully adjustable, the 49mm Showa USD coil spring fork is a version of the Showa ‘factory’ fork supplied to MX race teams in the Japanese championship. With the target of improved, smoother cornering performance, the forks have been revalved, the stroke lengthened by 5mm to 310mm and the axle clamps’ rigidity increased. The Showa rear shock’s main piston valving is enlarged for faster response and improved bump absorption. Its spring also uses the world’s lightest steel – to save 200g.

Fully adjustable, the 49mm Showa USD coil spring fork is a version of the Showa ‘factory’ fork supplied to MX race teams in the Japanese championship

The seat is now shorter, lighter and 10mm lower at the rear, to aid the rider’s freedom of movement. It’s also much easier to remove and install. Maintenance is also easier, as the number of 8mm bolts securing the bodywork goes from 6 to 4 each side. The new machine is also slimmer by 70mm (50mm on the left, 20mm on the exhaust side), and the plastics thinner, while the tank cover has been removed.

2021 Honda CRF450R is slimmer by 70mm and the plastics thinner, while the tank cover has been removed.

Rake and trail are now tighter, 27.1°/114mm (from 27.4°/116mm), and wheelbase marginally shorter 1481mm (1482mm). Ground clearance goes up 8mm to 336mm, and the bottom yoke now sits 6.1mm higher at 928mm. The radius arc from swingarm pivot point to rear wheel spindle increases by 0.9°, to 14.5° while distance between the pivot and front spindle goes up 1.8mm to 914.6mm. Dry weight is 105.8kg, a full 2kg lighter than the previous model.

Dry weight is 105.8kg, a full 2kg lighter than the previous model.

Designed with Computational Flow Dynamics (CFD) for maximum through-flow of air, the radiator shrouds are now constructed from one piece of plastic, rather than two and include a lower vent while the radiator grills are optimised for airflow. Holding 6.3L, the titanium fuel tank has also been redesigned.

Holding 6.3L, the titanium fuel tank has also been redesigned

Standard-fit, lightweight Renthal Fatbar flex for optimal comfort; the top yoke features two handlebar-holder locations for moving the handlebar rearward and forward by 26mm. When the holder is turned 180°, the handlebar can be moved an additional 10mm from the base position, resulting in four unique riding positions. When it comes to weight saving, small contributions accumulate (‘with enough dust, a mountain can form’ as the Japanese saying has it); with that in mind, balanced control cable wiring saves 100g.

2021 Honda CRF450R

Up front, the twin-piston brake caliper employs 30 and 27 mm diameter pistons and 260 mm wave-pattern disc; along with low-expansion rate brake hose it gives both a strong feel and consistent staying power. The single-piston rear caliper is matched to a 240 mm wave-pattern disc.

DID aluminium rims, with directly attached spoke pattern layout are finished in black; the front is a 21 x 1.6 in, the rear a 19 x 2.15 in. The rear wheel is both stronger and lighter for 21YM and now Dunlop’s MX33F/MX33 soft-terrain tyres are fitted as standard equipment.

A striking new all-red graphic treatment complements the 21YM CRF450R’s sharper lines.

2021 Honda CRF450R

2021 Honda CRF450R Engine

  • Larger airbox plus revised throttle body and exhaust ports for bottom-end drive
  • New exhaust downpipe with single muffler boosts torque and saves weight
  • Larger volume hydraulic clutch replaces cable operation for consistent and light lever feel
  • Revised decompressor system gives improved stall resistance
2021 Honda CRF450R engine

Having received a peak power boost of 1.8kW, plus 2Nm more torque and a stronger bottom-end for 19YM, in 20YM development of the 449.7cc four-valve Unicam engine centred around refinements and optimisation of the PGM-FI mapping and HRC Launch Control, plus the addition of Honda Selectable Torque Control. For 21YM the focus – with upgrades derived directly from Tim Gajser’s championship-winning HRC machine – is on drivability in the low to mid-range, and weight saving, further enhancing cornering performance.

More top end power

A significant increase (up to 0.6kW) in peak power above 5,000rpm is accompanied by a stronger low-rpm torque feel, the result of an air box increased in size by 1.8L to 4.1L on the ‘clean’ side. The new air box – which can now be accessed simply with the removal of one side shroud bolt – feeds a redesigned, lighter 46mm throttle body, which optimises intake efficiency and makes active use of latent heat vaporisation in the inlet ports.

injector angle, too has gone from 30° to 60°, spraying fuel all the way back to the butterfly to improve intake efficiency

The injector angle, too has gone from 30° to 60°, spraying fuel all the way back to the butterfly to improve intake efficiency, cooling of the charge and all-important throttle feel. The decompression system is also new: its counterweight is moved from the right of the camshaft to the left, giving more stable operation at low rpm with increased stall-resistance.

Twin exhaust ports: like the CBR1000RR-R Fireblade their exit is oval rather than round in shape for improved efficiency

The biggest change is to the twin exhaust ports: like the CBR1000RR-R Fireblade their exit is oval rather than round in shape for improved efficiency, and the 5.08 kg 2-1-2 exhaust design of the previous model has been replaced by a single 3.84kg downpipe and muffler (which also does away with a heat shield) saving a full 1.24kg. The downpipe also tucks in 74mm closer to the centre line (improving rider ergonomics) while the pressed muffler features twin resonators that reduce noise while boosting power.

The 5.08 kg 2-1-2 exhaust design of the previous model has been replaced by a single 3.84kg downpipe and muffler

One update drawn directly from Gajser’s bike is the addition of a hydraulic clutch. This improves both control and feel at the lever (it’s 10% lighter) as well as delivering consistent lever clearance under arduous riding conditions. The clutch capacity has been increased by 27% with an extra plate – from 7 to 8 – and works with an extra friction spring to maximise power transmission and durability. Slippage has been reduced by 85% at peak power.

One update drawn directly from Gajser’s bike is the addition of a hydraulic clutch

Bore and stroke remains 96 x 62.1 mm with compression ratio of 13.5:1. A gear position sensor allows the use of three specific ignition maps for 1st and 2nd, 3rdand 4th, and 5th.

Rock-solid reliability has always been a big factor in the CRF450R’s success and a 5-hole piston oil jet and dual 12 mm drum scavenge pump manage lubrication.

Saving more precious grams, the magnesium cylinder head cover has been redesigned with thinner material and the fuel pump made smaller – it secures with 4 bolts instead of 6, saves 120g and offers the same pressure and filter life as the previous design.

2021 Honda CRF450R Engine

2021 Honda CRF450R Electronics

  • Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) with 3 riding modes, plus OFF
  • HRC Launch Control offers 3 start options
  • Engine Mode Select Button (EMSB) features 3 maps to adjust output character
  • HSTC button now rationalised into the left-hand switchgear
  • HRC setting tool updated for changes to Aggressive and Smooth modes
2021 Honda CRF450R

The CRF450R gained HSTC in 20YM and the system is unchanged for 21YM. It works to minimise rear wheel spin (thus wasted forward drive) and maximise traction. It doesn’t use a wheel speed sensor, and critically maintains feel at the throttle while managing power; ignition timing is retarded and the PGM-FI controlled when the rate of change of rpm is detected to have gone over a set amount.

The three Modes differ in drive management level for different riding conditions:

  • In Mode 1 the system intervenes most lightly, and after the longest time ­– useful for reducing wheelspin and maintaining control in tight corners.
  • Mode 3 has the system intervene more quickly and strongly, and is therefore useful in more slippery, muddy conditions.
  • Mode 2 naturally offers a mid-point between 1 and 3 in terms of speed and strength of intervention.
2021 Honda CRF450R

An obvious update for 21YM is the rider controls and display switchgear. The Launch Control indicator, EFI warning, EMSB mode button and LED indicator – are sited on the left handlebar, with HSTC button now incorporated.

Pressing and holding the HSTC button for 0.5s will cycle the system to the next mode, with a green LED indication – 1 blink for mode 1, 2 for mode 2 and 3 for mode 3 – to confirm selection.

The HSTC system can also be switched off completely. When the engine is turned on, the system uses the last-selected setting.

HRC Launch Control gives any rider the best option for a strong start and also has 3 modes to choose from:

  • Level 3 – 8,250rpm, muddy conditions/novice
  • Level 2 – 8,500rpm, dry conditions/standard
  • Level 1 – 9,500rpm, dry conditions/expert
2021 Honda CRF450R

Activating HRC Launch Control is easy: to turn on, pull in the clutch and push the Start button on the right. The purple LED will blink once for Level 1 selection. Push the Start button again, for 0.5s or longer, and the LED will blink twice for Level 2. Repeat the process and the LED will blink 3 times, indicating that Level 3 has been chosen.

The Engine Mode Select Button (EMSB) alters the engine’s characteristics and three maps are available to suit riding conditions or rider preference:

  • Mode 1 – Standard
  • Mode 2 – Smooth
  • Mode 3 – Aggressive
2021 Honda CRF450R

The LED also displays mode selected, but with a blue light.

Gaining a 21YM mapping update the HRC Setting Tool can deliver a much more easy-going Smooth mode, with gentler throttle response for novice riders. It can also inject Aggressive mode with a hyper-sensitive throttle reaction and engine response for race conditions.

2021 Honda CRF450R Specifications

  • Engine – 449.7 cc four-stroke single uni-cam
  • Bore x Stroke – 96.0mm x 62.1mm
  • Compression Ratio – 13.5 : 1
  • Induction – EFI
  • Fuel Tank Capacity – 6.3 litres
  • Starting – Electric
  • Clutch – Wet multi-plate hydraulic
  • Frame – Aluminium twin tube
  • Dimensions (L´W´H) – 2,182 x 827 x 1,267mm
  • Wheelbase – 1,481mm
  • Caster Angle – 27.1°
  • Trail – 114mm
  • Seat Height – 965mm
  • Ground Clearance – 336mm
  • Dry Weight – 105.8kg
  • Forks – Showa 49mm USD fork
  • Shock – Showa monoshock Honda Pro-Link
  • Tyres – 80/100-21 (F), 120/80-19 (R)
  • Brakes – 260 mm front, 240 mm rear
  • Available – October 2020
  • Price – $12,899

All specifications are provisional and subject to change without notice


2021 Honda CRF450R Images

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Credits : mcnews.com.au

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