And, yes, you do notice the tank. Both when you flip over to reserve a lot earlier than before and in how easy it is to move forward on the seat. We'd tell our buddies never to race past 40 miles on the tank or trust it past 55 in trail-riding. It is roughly a 7-10 mile reduction in range by our estimates. Some of the other points we noticed were the brakes seeming a bit stronger than in the past, most likely due to the lighter now wave-type rotors. The headlight will get you in after dark, but you'll bitch about the blind spot the front fender creates due to the low-slung light position. A big plus with this bike is the fact that you can take it out and ride it box-stock without any funky tuning to make it run just as described here. It's super-quiet, which is the way all off-road bikes need to be, and with its lean jetting compared to an R, the bike actually runs great from sea level to 8000 feet.This is a big-changes year for the CRF450X and in reality probably the way the bike will stay for at least the next three years. Big Red did a good job in addressing weaknesses that the bike had in the past and pointed it in the direction the company felt it needed to go in the future. If you like an aggressive ride for off-road use, Honda has built this CRF450X for you.Specifications
Weight (ready to ride, no gas): 259 lb
Seat height: 37.4 in.
Footpeg height 16.4 in.
Seat-to-footpeg distance: 21.0 in.
Ground clearance: 13.2 in.
Fuel capacity: 1.9 gal.What's Hot!
Lighter feel from the biggest X
A steering damper to tune the front end feel
MX-like attitude in an off-road bikeWhat's Not!
True trail hounds will be forced into an aftermarket tank
Some riders felt the front end's steering was too aggressive
A little stiffer on the steering damper, please, us off-road guys can handle it
I was surprised to see the CRF450X receive so many updates this year. Staying in step with the brand's top motocross machines shows how serious Honda is about the off-road crowd. And it's not like this thing was a bad bike to begin with.First, and most obvious, are the steering damper and offset clamps. Similar in character to the MX bikes, the turning was quick for me on the big X. This isn't a bad thing, though, as I feel the faster turning is a complement to the bike in the tight stuff and while flowing on that peg-dancing single-track. The bike doesn't knife in, and the only time you feel the damper is when the bar is about to hit the steering stop. It seems to come into play only when I need it. I was happy with the damper addition on the X, way more so than on the motocross bikes. In general, the Honda feels lighter and easier handling when compared to other bikes in this class.Something I'm always confident in is horsepower, and this bike is plenty fast. The motor is peppy, with a pickup off the bottom that is on the edge of snappy. If you like that megapower feeling, the Honda thumper gives plenty. For those of you more refined in the world of traction, you'll be using the clutch. Hey, clutches are cheap, right? And Honda clutches usually take a beating pretty well. In general, you can't not love the way a Honda feels. From the ground clearance to the places your knees touch, the bike just fits.Complementing the agility is a new narrower gas tank which, unfortunately, loses some capacity. Do I want my bike to be slim or able to go the distance? That's a tough question depending on who I'm riding with and where we're trying to go. Honda's betting you want a skinny bike for shorter, faster jaunts. But the X has a headlight so Big Red must want you to ride for at least 10 hours, right? I'm confused.