The 2006 Honda CRF450R was, and still is, a DR favorite when it came to the big-bore, cam and valve motocross machines. So when Honda told us we’d be riding the 2007 model as early as June 28, we were excited. Well, we just got home from putting in a full day of testing on the new 450 and this is what we can tell you so far.Minimal changes were made to the potent 2006 CRF for ’07. The biggest of these, and those most noticeable to our test pilots during the intro, were modifications to the intake and exhaust systems of the hot-selling 450. First, Honda bolted on a 41mm carburetor with an all new accelerator pump and linkage. Complimenting the new carb are 1mm smaller exhaust valves and head porting specs were included to further boost the juice this bike could squeeze.Power improvements were instantly noticeable. And, when tested back-to-back with a stock ’06, our first impressions were completely confirmed. If you think of power in flexible ranges, with a bottom, middle and top overlapping and moving from bike to bike, then last years CRF450R had a mellow bottom, abruptly stopping at an aggressive mid that blended into a strong top. Well, this year, Honda took that aggressive, attention-getting mid and stretched it all the way to the bottom. Throttle response and bottom-end power delivery was so improved that some of our test riders were riding a gear higher on the ’07 than they were on the `06 everywhere on the track.Handling also seems to be improved over last year’s bike. A new subframe moves a smaller, more compact muffler 22mm closer to the center of the bike–further condensing and centralizing the bike’s mass. This is something Honda’s becoming very meticulous about (i.e. dual mufflers on the CRF250R). These mods, combined with some moderate revalving of the fork seem to keep the bike more balanced and willing to obey your turning commands than even the sweet-cornering ’06.There’s some other cool additions to Honda’s new bike as well, including an all new Dunlop 742FA, promising a broader range than that of the standard 742f, beefier clutch components, new graphics (that aren’t that bold) and a few weight-saving goodies.That’s what we have for now. We’ll be putting this bike through our usual intense testing procedure to get you all the info you want in an upcoming issue of Dirt Rider. Until then, you’ll have to settle for these digital pics and whatever day dreams they may conjure as you read this at work.