The Honda deserves credit for
being the lightest 450cc motocross
bike on the track—even though it
has gained weight over the last few
years. Every MXA test rider felt the
CRF450’s refined management of
energy in pitch, yaw and roll, even
though it is only 2 percent lighter
than the Kawasaki. The CRF450 is
also small and compact, while the
KX450F is big. Size plays a major
role in how comfortably different
riders’ bodies work with the
chassis. Short, light and slight riders
will prefer the CRF cockpit, while
taller, heavier mesomorphs are best
suited to the jumbo-size KX450F.
Kawasaki deserves credit for its
electronic gadgetry. With Launch
Control and three interchangeable
map plug-ins, a savvy rider can get
more out of the KX450F’s already
incredible locomotive of a
powerband. Remapping the CRF450
requires a degree in plasma physics
from MIT and expensive software
and hardware packages. You’d think
that the CRF450 would be more
reliable than the KX450F, just based
on past history, but in our tests, the
Kwacker was flawless, save for the
chain guide, while the Honda fritzed
a Throttle Position Sensor (TPS)
midway through the year.
Decisions, decisions. These two
bikes are half-kept promises.
They unilaterally appeal to
powermongers or affluent
hipsters. How do you pick a
winner between the two?
That’s simple. Rotary
phone and big-block
Chevy equal KX450F.
Subaru WRX equal
Launch Control: Better
living through electricity.