Q: FIRST AND FOREMOST, IS THE 2015
CRF450 BETTER THAN THE 2014 CRF450?
A: No. Maybe. In some ways. Barely. Sort of, but
Q: WHAT DID HONDA CHANGE ON
THE 2015 CRF450?
A: The 2015 Honda CRF450 has several updates
designed to make it more effective as a motocross bike.
(1) Engine. Honda revised the cylinder head, moved
the exhaust port from the left side of the cylinder head
to the right side, heat-treated the piston, increased the
flywheel inertia, and beefed up the gearbox for more
( 2) Fuel injection. As is standard operating
procedure with modern EFI bikes, the mapping has been
changed in both the ignition and fuel modes. Instead
of using plug-in couplers like Kawasaki and Suzuki,
the CRF450 allows the three modes—stock, mellow
and aggressive—to be toggled through from a handlebar-mounted button. Additionally, the throttle return
spring has been lightened for more ease of use.
( 3) Exhaust. Because of the right-side exhaust port,
a new exhaust system was designed. Since there is
a lack of room for adequate tuned length, the overall
CRF450 system is shorter but compensates with
larger tubes and tail pipe diameters.
( 4) Forks. Honda did not go with the same Showa
SFF TAC triple-chamber air forks that it uses on the 2015
CRF250, but instead stuck with the low-pressure Kayaba
PSF air forks from last year. The difference is that the
new PSF- 2 forks have the compression damping in one
leg and the rebound damping in the other. Additionally,
the PSF- 2 forks have clickers on the fork caps for
high- and low-speed damping for both rebound and
compression damping on the appropriate fork cap.
( 5) Shock. All of the shock’s adjustments—rebound,
high-speed compression and low-speed compression—are
found on the Kayaba shock piggyback. No more crawling
in the dirt to check rebound.
( 6) Miscellaneous. The front brake rotor has been
up-sized to 260mm. The tire choice is Dunlop Geomax
MX52 tires. The clutch cable has been rerouted to lessen
pull. Black is the new white on the front brake guide,
radiator guards and fork guards. And, of course, there
are bold new graphics that aren’t all that bold.
Q: IS THE 2015 CRF450 FASTER THAN
THE 2014 CRF450?
A: There isn’t a bike made that isn’t faster than the
2014 Honda CRF450. But somehow, some way, Honda
managed to design a new head, fuel-injection mapping,
exhaust system, flywheel weight and three-way
ignition map switch for the 2015 without blowing
Switcheroo: Honda moved the exhaust port from the left
side to the right, upsized the front rotor, reconfigured the
Kayaba PSF- 2 air forks and added button-actuated maps.