April 3, 2012
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What’s new? Let’s skip the engine for the moment and focus on the frame. Although the factory bikes of Bobryshev and Goncalves have frames that are a combination of extruded, cast and machined pieces, the frame obviously features more rigidity in the swingarm area. The swingarm has a new profile for more stiffness, while the engine is housed in the chassis at amore canted angle. The old CRF450 engine will not fit in this chassis

There is an air boot on each side of the Showa shock (and the shock is located dead center in the frame, instead of off to one side (as is the normal custom).

The exhaust pipe has been moved from the left side of the cylinder to the right side. The works CRF450 also has a Kawasaki-style Launch Control system, but the Honda version works in second gear only. You hold a button, just like Kawasaki to activate it and it cuts off as soon as you shift to third gear.

The exhaust pipe wraps around the engine and squeezes between the cylinder and shock. The hydraulic clutch slave unit is visible in front of the countershaft sprocket. The bung on the head pipe is for oxygen mapping. The extra tubing welded around the pipe is to keep heat from going directly to the rear shock.

Every Honda owner is hoping that there is a six-spring clutch hidden behind the Hinson cover. The engine cases are totally new and there rear of the engine is raised up higher in the frame (or is the front of the engine lower in the frame?).

Showa single-sided air forks, carbon fiber gas tank (made in Italy), works triple clamps and Renthal TwinWall bars. There is air in one fork leg (in two separate chambers to eliminate the fear of the forks going flat). The damping is in the other leg. The forks weigh 2 pounds less than conventional coil spring forks. Broc Tickle has been testing them in the AMA 450 Supercross series this year (they are not legal in the 250East/West series)

Because of the twin air boots and wrap-around exhaust system, there is no room for a conventional shock reservoir. Plus, Honda was concerned about exhaust heat boiling the shock oil, so the reservoir is mounted on top of the shock. If you look at the shock and the bike in the background, you can see how highr the reservoir sits in relationship to the cross-over, snake-style exhaust. The shock spring is titanium.


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