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2017 CRF450RX vs CRF450X: Should current owners upgrade?

2017 crf450rx vs crf450x

By 08/29/2016Motorcycles
2017 crf450rx vs crf450x

Over 12 years later Honda finally releases an updated off-road bike. Only…is it the updated bike us trail and off-road riders wanted?

It seems like over the past 6 years the crf450x forums would get excited about rumors of a revised X coming out. It was time. Our beloved bike was aging, aging well might I add but all of its peers getting the new technology was making us jealous. Year and year again Honda would excite the crowds with…”bold fresh graphics”? We are knocking on the door of 2017 and the crf450x is still carbureted and has an engine that is derived from a 2002 crf450r. Will Honda finally answer the call of its fans to release a new baja killing machine? The answer is….kinda.

2017 crf450rxWhen first announced many people confused the 2017 crf450rx as the version 2.0 of the crf450x we have grown to love. A quick look over on the stat sheet says otherwise.

Electric start? Check. 18″ rear wheel? Check. Brand new engine and FI system? Check. Wide-ratio transmission? Che….oh crap. It’s hard to tell from Honda’s spec sheet but the new crf450rx does indeed share the exact same transmission as its R brethren. At this point it is very clear that Honda does not intend on this being a desert racing champ or a replacement for the crf450x.

When I first discovered the transmission being a close ratio 5 speed I was fairly deflated. Yamaha has been absolutely killing it on the street and dirt side as of late with their new r1, fz-09 based bikes and of coarse the new yz450f, yz450fx and wr450f (and the 250 counterparts). I was hoping Honda would follow suit with the crf450rx and match the beautifully spaced tranny Yamaha put in the yz450fx. Instead, they went the route of KTM and Husqvarna and went full fledged GNCC race bike (I’m speaking of xcf and fx series respectively).

So where does this leave us? Honestly, at this point you would be crazy to buy a brand new 2017 2017 crf450xcrf450x off the showroom floor. Even if you just need an aggressive trail bike the new wr450f and yz450fx are better bikes in almost every way possible. This is coming from someone who has a built 2007 crf450x but this is to be expected. The bike is 12 years old for crying out loud. So, can the crf450rx be a proper upgrade for X owners? For some, the close-ratio transmission is too much of a deal killer. You know who you are though. If you need to navigate boulders at a crawl and be able to blast at 80mph through a wash section all in the same ride then you know a close ratio tranny bike isn’t going to work for you. If you are only doing gnar single track with occasional fast sections then the RX is most likely going to be perfect for you.

If you are brand agnostic and are itching for an upgrade from your crf450x you have plenty of options available from other companies. If you are Honda loyal and the new crf450rx is a little too pigeon holed for you I suggest waiting another year to make sure Honda does not release a true crf450x successor.



2017 HONDA CRF450R / CRF450RX
Model CRF450R CRF450RX
Engine Type 449.7cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke
Bore x Stroke 96.0mm x 62.1mm
Compression Ratio 13.5:1
Induction Programmed fuel-injection system (PGM-FI); 46mm throttle bore
Ignition Full transistorized ignition
Transmission Constant-mesh 5-speed return
Final Drive 520 chain; 13T/49T 520 chain; 13T/50T
Valve Train Unicam® OHC, four-valve; 10.0mm intake, steel; 8.8mm exhaust, steel
Front 49mm fully adjustable leading-axle inverted telescopic Showa coil-spring fork; 12.0 in. travel
Rear Pro-Link swingarm system; fully adjustable Showa single shock; 12.4 in. travel Pro-Link system; fully adjustable Showa single shock; 12.3 in. travel
Front Single 260mm hydraulic disc
Rear Single 240mm hydraulic disc
Front Dunlop Geomax MX3S 80/100-21 55M with tube Dunlop Geomax AT81 90/90-21 with tube
Rear Dunlop Geomax MX3S 120/80-19 55M with tube Dunlop Geomax AT81 120/90-18 with tube
Rake (Caster Angle) 27°22’
Trail  116.0mm (4.6 in.)
Seat Height 37.8 in.
Ground Clearance  12.9 in.
Wheelbase 58.3 in. 58.1 in.
Fuel Capacity 1.6 gal. 2.2 gal.
Color Red
Curb Weight* 243 lbs. 261 lbs.


2017 HONDA CRF450X
Model  CRF450X
Engine Type 449cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke
Bore and Stroke 96.0mm x 62.0mm
Compression Ratio 12.0:1
Induction Keihin 40mm flat-slide carburetor w/ Throttle Position Sensor (TPS)
Ignition CD w/ electronic advance and lighting coil
Starting  Electric and kick
Valve Train Unicam, four-valve; 35mm intake valve; 30mm exhaust valve
Final Drive #520 T-ring-sealed chain; 13T/51T
Transmission Wide-ratio 5-speed
Front 47mm inverted Showa cartridge fork w/ 16-position rebound and 16-position compression damping adjustability; 12.4 in. travel
Rear Pro-Link Showa single shock w/ adjustable spring preload, 17-position rebound damping adjustability, and compression damping adjustment separated into low-speed (13 positions) and high-speed (3.5 turns); 12.3 in. travel
Front Single 240mm disc w/ twin-piston caliper
Rear Single 240mm disc
Front 80/100-21
Rear 110/100-18
Rake (Caster Angle) 27° 10′
Trail 110mm (4.3 in.)
Seat Height 37.9 in.
Ground Clearance  13.6 in.
Wheelbase 58.3 in.
Fuel Capacity 1.9 gal. incl. 0.4-gal. reserve
Color Red
Curb Weight* 269 lbs.

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