Steve Boniface Rides The 2018 Honda CRF450R

Former AMA pro at Cahuilla Creek MX and Glen Helen Raceway

2018 Honda CRF450R
"The 2018 Honda CRF450R now has a total of 28 hours, and it still feels new and looks clean." —Steve BonifaceJeff Allen
Primary Use: Motocross
Main Mods: ODI Podium Flight MX bar, ODI bar mounts, and soft-compound ODI Lock-On grips
Moment of Glory: Having a great day at Cahuilla Creek and using the full potential of the engine.
Forgettable Experience: Struggling to find my groove at Glen Helen.
Hours: 28
Aftermath: Two oil changes, one oil filter change, three Twin Air air filters, one set of OEM rear brake pads, one Dunlop MX3S rear tire, and one OEM rear sprocket

Since my last Long Haul update four weeks ago, I've put six hours on the 2018 Honda CRF450R and all I can say is that I'm still really happy with the bike. It now has 28 hours on the dirt, and it still feels new and looks clean. I rode two different tracks this month, Glen Helen and Cahuilla Creek, both of which are well suited for a 450. I had a great time at Cahuilla. The track wasn't too rough and I was able to use the full potential of the engine.

2018 Honda CRF450R
"I had a great time at Cahuilla as the track wasn't too rough and I was able to use the full potential of the engine." —Steve BonifacePete Peterson

Glen Helen, on the other hand, was a different story! I showed up to a packed house and a very beat-up track. I've been to Glen Helen plenty, but I've rarely seen it that rough on a practice day. I struggled a bit with the bike;. I felt like I had too much power and I had a hard time putting the bike where I wanted. I felt like I could've used a suspension setup better suited to my riding style and weight. It's the first time in the two months I've ridden the bike that I felt modified suspension would have really benefited me not just for comfort, but also performance. It's totally normal in my opinion, but I just wanted to point it out. Suspension-wise, I'm ready to try something different to see if some modifications can make the bike even better.

2018 Honda CRF450R
"Suspension-wise, I'm ready to try something different to see if some modifications can make the bike even better." —Steve BonifaceChris Tedesco

I’m pleased with the engine and don’t need anything different in that department for the moment. It’s plenty powerful but still manageable. I replaced the stock handlebar with an ODI Podium Flight MX bar and ODI bar mounts to accommodate the oversize diameter. As far as the bar bend, I stuck with OEM Honda. Yes, you read that right! I didn’t change it for the bend, but because I prefer to use a handlebar without a crossbar. I feel it offers more flex and improves comfort in my hands as a result. Also, I like the look of the bar better. To go along with the bar, I replaced the stock grips with soft-compound ODI Lock-Ons. They’re not the most durable grips I’ve used, as they only lasted about eight hours, but I really like their size and comfort. Also, I love the lock-on system when installing them. I don’t think I will ever glue a grip on again!

I’ll keep you posted of my progress next month.