First introduced in 2005, the CRF450X has served as Honda’s 50-state-legal off-road bike for more than a decade and a half and has delivered over 20 combined victories in the Baja 500 and Baja 1000. Big Red overhauled the CRF450X in 2019 by giving it fuel injection, different Showa suspension components, a new chassis, and updated bodywork. Aside from the addition of hand guards, red side number plates, and different radiator shroud graphics, the 2021 machine is the same as the 2019 and 2020 models.
2021 marks the first time we have run Honda’s latest-generation 450cc California green-sticker-legal trailbike on our in-house Dynojet 250i rear-wheel dynamometer, where it made 41.1 hp at 7,600 rpm and 30.2 pound-feet of torque at 6,600 rpm. Compared to the CRF450RX, which is Honda’s flagship cross-country model, the CRF450X makes 12.1 less peak horsepower and 4.1 less pound-feet of maximum torque. While the CRF450X is more comparable to the CRF450RL dual sport model and the CRF450RX is much more similar to the CRF450R motocrosser, it is interesting to compare the two because they are Big Red’s two 450cc motorcycles that are designed specifically for off-road riding and competition.