IF MONEY IS NO OBJECT, IF OVERALL PERFORMANCE MATTERS MORE THAN SOCIAL STATUS, AND IF YOUR DREAM
BIKE IS A KAWASAKI ENGINE WITH YAMAHA
SUSPENSION, SUZUKI CORNERING AND KTM
BRAKES, YOU JUST FELL THROUGH THE
RABBIT HOLE. Modern motocross bikes are very
good, but none of them combine the best features of
your dream list. And, as the MXA wrecking crew has
found out many times, even if you poach the parts off
one bike and graft them to another, the magic doesn’t
come along for the ride. Nope! The best you can hope
for is to read bike tests, technical articles and shootouts
(ours, not the other guys’), and try to make compromises
where you think your talent can afford them. To that
end, the MXA gang decided to take the 2014 MXA 450
shootout winner, the Kawasaki KX450F, and compare it
head to head against the 2014 MXA 450 shootout loser,
the Honda CRF450.
Despite the brilliance of this idea, there are some major
shortcomings. Most obvious is the fact that the MXA
test riders spent seven months racing, testing, riding and
evaluating these two bikes—and we already made up our
minds. The KX450F was first and the CRF450 was fifth.
The facts haven’t changed, but the mindset has.
For the rematch, we aren’t choosing the ultimate
expression of moto dominance, but rather parsing the
parts, peccadilloes and pleasantries of both machines.
Unlike our typical shootout, we staked out an opinion-free
zone and set the goal of having each bike knock our
socks off with what it does best. In this case, we aren’t
necessarily letting the best man win!
2014 Honda CRF450: Honda
claims that they developed the
low-horsepower engine to make
the bike easier to ride. The MXA
wrecking crew accepts this
explanations because it is easier to ride. But that’s because it