Although relatively unknown, suspension technician Graeme
Brough is a master of his craft. Brough stiffened up the
suspension, but not at the expense of comfort. Faster riders
raved about the Kayaba units, remarking on the suspension’s
ability to handle rough terrain at high speed. We fully intend
to try more of Graeme Brough’s handiwork in the future.
Luc Caouette claimed that his C4MX engine package—
cylinder head porting, high-compression piston, camshaft,
valve spring kit, and valve seats—along with a modified
throttle body from Injectioneering and a Vortex ignition,
equated to an 11-horsepower increase at peak. He wasn’t
lying. The Wiseco CRF450 was very aggressive and massively
powerful. It was far superior to any stock KTM 450SXF,
RM-Z450, Yamaha YZ450F or Kawasaki KX450F.
Honda CRF450 owners know that the stock 48-tooth rear
sprocket is too tall. Fortunately, Wiseco went up a tooth,
which helped bolster the newfangled engine’s characteristics.
Truth be told, faster test riders felt confident that the stock
gearing would have sufficed, thanks to the massive changes
made to the powerplant; however, the added rush of hit off
the bottom was too good to ignore. Gearing down the Honda
CRF450 is a wise choice, regardless of engine modifications.
Usain Bolt…with pulled hamstrings and two left shoes on. There we go again making fun of the CRF450. Maybe it’s because we have high hopes for “Big Red.” Maybe we like making satirical pop culture references. Regardless of our reasoning, we’ll readily admit that the Honda CRF450 has potential. Wiseco, a leader in aftermarket hard parts for motocross, understands this. The Ohio-based company knows the inner workings of the CRF450 Unicam engine. They did dyno run after ear-bleeding dyno run. Then came track testing, followed by modifications and more track testing. Finally, after arduous work, the finished parts reached production. For this MXA project bike, the Wiseco CRF450 components were sent to Luc Caouette, owner of C4MX Racing. Luc, better known as “Frenchie” throughout the industry (he’s French Canadian), has a storied resume and is an expert in all things engine. C4MX tweaked the CRF450 top end while Wiseco replaced the stock clutch with one of their own. Suspension tuner Graeme Brough handled the KYB units, and a host of aftermarket companies pitched in to address the CRF450’s numerous peccadilloes. Every problem area was dealt with—and in a fashion that would put serious hurt on your bank account if you chose to build an exact copy of our Wiseco Honda CRF450. What was the total bill? Not including the bike, we ran the total to just over $12,000. However, this