MXA RACE TEST: PRAWDZIWY TEST HONDY CRF2022 WORKS EDITION 450
Q: FIRST AND FOREMOST, IS THE XNUMX HONDA CRFXNUMXWE BETTER THAN THE XNUMX CRFXNUMXWE?
A: Yes, by leaps and bounds. The Honda CRF2021 450 was rushed into production and missed out on some important last-minute tuning that could have helped a ton. The XNUMX CRFXNUMX Works Edition isn’t perfect, but it’s much better than the XNUMX CRFXNUMX, XNUMX CRFXNUMXWE i 2022 CRF450, making it the best production Honda CRFXNUMX that we’ve tested since XNUMX. Although the Works Edition came out about the same time as the XNUMX CRFXNUMX came out last year, Honda was able to spend a couple of extra days in the development phase to test suspension settings. Those days were well spent, as Honda’s engineers came up with settings specifically tailored for the WE.
Q: WHAT DIFFERENTIATES THE XNUMX CRFXNUMX WORKS EDITION FROM THE STOCK CRFXNUMX?
A: Honda first started producing CRFXNUMX Works Edition models in XNUMX as a response to KTM’s successful Factory Edition program. It should be noted that Honda has a different method to its madness from KTM. In model years when the XNUMXSXF is on schedule to be changed significantly, the KTM Factory Edition will be a preview of what is to come. In years when KTM doesn’t have anything special up its sleeve for the next year, the Factory Edition is limited to aftermarket goodies. Additionally, if KTM is planning on a new engine or frame, you’ll see those on the Husqvarna Rockstar Editions also.
Over at Honda, motocross bikes don’t have the juice to get Honda’s executives to fire up next year’s production bikes six months early; instead, Honda’s Works Editions are just this year’s bike with different aftermarket parts bolted on. Here is a quick list:
(XNUMX) Cylinder head mods. The intake and exhaust ports on the cylinder head haven’t been ported or polished (we checked), but they have been slightly “touched up” to smooth out the transition at the valve seats. The engine also comes with a bright and stylish “redhead” cylinder head cover that looks pretty trick.
(2) Zawieszenie. The lower legs on the Showa forks are titanium-nitride coated. The Showa shock shaft diameter went from a XNUMXmm to XNUMXmm and also gained a titanium-nitride coating. Plus‚ and this is a big plus‚ the CRFXNUMXWE gained its own suspension settings for XNUMX.
(3) ECU. The ratty, rich and bog-prone map settings from XNUMX were fixed on the XNUMX model. Plus, the Works Edition bike gained custom map settings tailored to the Works Edition aftermarket upgrades.
(4) Wydech. This bike comes with a full Yoshimura RS-XNUMX exhaust system. It’s not just an aftermarket muffler with a stock header (as is typically true on KTMs and Huskys).
(5) Sprzęgło. The CRFXNUMX engine comes with a Hinson clutch basket (with a stock inner hub, pressure plates, springs, and plates). It also has a cool Hinson clutch cover.
(6) Koła. The DID DirtStar LT-X rims are stronger than stock, and they’re laced with Opony Dunlop MX33.
(7) Chwyty. The bars are outfitted with Renthal’s ultra-durable Kevlar grips.
(XNUMX) Drive. The CRFXNUMXWE comes with an RK gold chain and Renthal sprocket.
(9) Filtr powietrza. We trust Twin Air filters on all of our test bikes, and the Twin Air filter comes stock on the CRFXNUMXWE.
(10) Estetyka. Throttle Jockey provides the HRC Honda factory team-inspired graphics.
(11) Miejsce. The CRFXNUMX also comes with Throttle Jockey’s ribbed gripper seat cover. The serious racers on MXA’s team love the extra grip, but our Vet testers think the pleats with the rubber tubing in them are too abrasive.
(12) Potrójne zaciski. The only difference is the color. The CRFXNUMXWE runs stock forged triple clamps that are anodized black.
(13) Cena. The biggest difference between the CRFXNUMX and CRFXNUMXWE is the $XNUMX bump in price. The XNUMX CRFXNUMX WorksEdition retails for $XNUMX.
Q: HOW DOES THE XNUMX HONDA CRFXNUMX WORKS EDITION RUN ON THE DYNO?
A: The Works Edition upgrades are limited to the Yoshimura exhaust system, touched-up intake and exhaust ports and custom ECU mapping. The mods help increase horsepower, but thankfully didn’t make the CRFXNUMX unrideable like the last XNUMX-horsepower CRFXNUMX from back in XNUMX.
The CRFXNUMX Works Edition fills in some of the gaps that the stock engine has low in the rpm range, and it revs considerably farther and longer, ultimately creating an extra XNUMX horsepower. The Works Edition engine is slightly stronger off the crack of the throttle (from XNUMX to XNUMX rpm) and considerably stronger from XNUMX to XNUMX rpm (where the stock engine hiccups). The stock CRFXNUMX pumps out XNUMX horsepower at XNUMX rpm, while the stronger CRFXNUMX Works Edition peaks at XNUMX horsepower at XNUMX rpm. The Works Edition produces XNUMX pound-feet of torque to the stock CRFXNUMX’s XNUMX.
Q: HOW DOES THE XNUMX HONDA CRFXNUMX WORKS EDITION RUN ON THE TRACK?
A: On the track, the CRFXNUMX Works Edition is ultra-smooth. The stock XNUMX and XNUMX CRFXNUMX already have smoother engine characteristics than the previous generations of CRFXNUMXs, and the Works Edition engine continues to build on that theme. We already knew that the Yoshimura RS-XNUMX exhaust system smooths out the bottom end and increases power high in the rpm range, because we’ve tried it on our stock CRFXNUMX. Now, with the new Works Edition’s tailored ECU settings, the power is even smoother on the track. Any time you look at an exhaust system and notice that the head pipe is longer, you can assume that the designers were looking for smoother low-end power.
If you’re looking for a CRFXNUMX with a big “hit” off the bottom, you might be disappointed in the Works Edition. Even though it peaks at XNUMX horsepower, this bike won’t blow your socks off. It’s so smooth and linear that our testers didn’t believe it pulled XNUMX horses until we showed them the dyno charts; however, serious test riders, those who race at a high level, know that smooth is fast. Although it’s not loud and it’s not ripping shoulders out of sockets, the connection between the throttle, engine, rear wheel and terrafirma is extremely manageable, which helps decrease lap times and increase consistency.
Q: HOW IS THE XNUMX HONDA CRFXNUMX WORKS EDITION GEAR RATIO?
A: Both the stock XNUMX CRFXNUMX and Works Edition models come with XNUMX/XNUMX sprockets. Our lightweight testers prefer XNUMX/XNUMX on the stock CRFXNUMX to lessen the hit of the Honda’s XNUMX power, but with the Yoshimura muffler, touched-up ports and new ECU on the Works Edition, those same featherweight testers were happy with the stock gearing; however, test riders over XNUMX pounds needed an extra tooth on the rear to help them carry third gear through the corners—on the track, the Works Edition mods don’t give the Honda enough noticeable grunt off the bottom to be able to depend on third in the corners. Our Pro test riders often varied between XNUMX-teeth and XNUMX-teeth depending on the track layout.
Q: DOES THE AFTERMARKET HINSON CLUTCH BASKET MAKE THE CRFXNUMX ANY SMOOTHER?
A: The Hinson clutch basket that comes stock in the XNUMX Honda CRFXNUMX Works Edition is the same off-the-shelf basket sold in the aftermarket by Hinson‚ minus the fact that the Works Edition basket has the primary gear riveted on, while the standard Hinson basket comes with screws for the customer to install himself. As for the weight and the power characteristics, this basket is close to the same weight as the OEM basket, which means that it won’t affect the horsepower or torque of the engine.
Although the benefits of an aftermarket clutch basket aren’t as significant as they would be if used with Hinson’s inner hub and pressure plate, the basket is still an improvement. It increases durability, provides a smoother feel, has more positive clutch feel, is better lubricated, and the basket is less likely to notch.
Q: IS “COOL FACTOR” A REAL THING?
A: It is. Although you can buy all of the Works Edition upgrades separately, there’s something attractive about buying a bike that is already “blinged out.” When you look at the CRFXNUMX Works Edition, it looks factory, and when you ride it, you feel factory, too. We felt like Chase Sexton on the track multiple times. Sometimes that’s a good thing, because Chase is known for his impeccable technique and speed; but, sometimes it’s a bad thing, because Chase is also known for looking extremely good—right up until he crashes. The Honda CRFXNUMX’s handling is “twitchy.” It is very sensitive to chassis and suspension setup, more so than most of its competition.
Q: IS THE COATED SHOWA SUSPENSION REALLY ANY DIFFERENT FOR XNUMX?
A: The two main complaints MXA had on the XNUMX CRFXNUMX were suspension and mapping. For XNUMX, the stock bike was better. The mapping glitches were fixed, and the suspension was made stiffer, but it still wasn’t great. Between XNUMX and XNUMX, the Showa forks went from too soft to too stiff, with a harsh spot in the middle of the fork’s stroke.
Last year the CRFXNUMX Works Edition came with the same internal suspension valving as the stock bike, only with titanium-nitride-coated fork legs and a larger XNUMXmm shock shaft with the same coating. The increase in shaft diameter from XNUMXmm to XNUMXmm held the rear up higher, while the coating on the forks and shock reduced friction, causing the suspension to move more freely, giving off a slightly softer damping effect on the track.
As for the XNUMX CRFXNUMXWE, the Works Edition has received its own customized suspension settings that are more balanced with great hold up.
Q: HOW DOES THE CRFXNUMXWE HANDLE ON THE TRACK?
A: The Works Edition is the best-handling production Honda CRFXNUMX we’ve ridden in years. Technically, since it’s a “Works Edition,” it’s not totally stock, but it does come down the Honda production line. We attribute some of the positive handling traits to the engine being more linear, but most of our praise goes to the updated Showa suspension. Across the board, our testers felt that the CRFXNUMXWE was more balanced, the suspension held up better and our mistakes didn’t always end in a crash.
Still, the handling isn’t perfect. As we’ve learned from spending the last two years on the latest generation CRFXNUMX chassis, the suspension settings, fork height and rear sag are sensitive to every small change. The “fast-twitch” character of the Honda CRFXNUMX was improved when Honda switched to the new XNUMX frame, but it’s still a Honda. No matter what we did to the fork height, race sag and clicker settings, the front end stayed super responsive. This was nice XNUMX percent of the time, but for the other XNUMX percent of the time, it was a handful to hold onto, causing us to make two turns out of one corner.
We dropped the forks in the triple clamps so that the caps were flush with the top of the clamps and set the sag between XNUMXmm and XNUMXmm. This put less weight on the front and helped further smooth out our corners.
If there is one takeaway from the CRFXNUMX Works Edition that we would apply to the stock XNUMX Honda CRFXNUMX, it is to spend less time hopping up the stock CRFXNUMX powerband and more time mellowing it out. The mellower engine allows the rigid CRFXNUMX chassis to handle better.
Q: CZEGO NIENAWIDZIŚMY?
A: Lista nienawiści.
(1) Mapy. There are three different maps and three different traction control settings, and the difference between each one is fairly minor. It’s hard to tell which setting is good, and it’s easy to get lost.
(2) Osłony wideł. The fork guard’s Allen head bolts fill up with dirt. One of the bolts is located on the inner side of the fork leg, making it difficult to remove the plastics when the front wheel is on. Plus, the fork guards are not strong enough to support a holeshot device. Luckily, the Works Connection Pro Launch device that we prefer comes with extra brackets.
(4) Obsługa. Hondas have always been front-end sensitive. If you miss the mark on your suspension/chassis, it can be hard to tame the CRFXNUMX’s front end.
(5) Chwyty. The Renthal Kevlar grips are great for durability and XNUMX times more comfortable than the OEM Honda grips, but they’re too fat for a “race spec” motocross bike. Thicker grips often contribute to arm pump.
(6) Manetka. The shift lever is XNUMXmm shorter than the KTM lever, and we never complained about the KTM lever being too long.
(7) Dźwignie. Honda’s clutch and front brake levers are awkwardly shaped. The only stock levers that are worse are the skinny, mismatched levers on the Kawasaki KX450 ..
(XNUMX) Catastrophy. Our Honda CRFXNUMX Works Edition engine suffered a severe loss of power in the first timed qualifying session at the 2022 Pala Krajowe and limped back to the pits. It’s day was done! Luckily, MXA’s Josh Mosiman had set a fast enough lap time to make the main without having to worry about the second timed session. However, we did have to swap engines in the pits.
Q: CO nam się podobało?
A: Podobna lista.
(1) E-start. In recent years, Honda updated its electronics so that riders wouldn’t have to pull in the clutch to start the bike. It was originally used as a safety feature, but we’re happy it’s gone.
(XNUMX) Brake spring. The rear brake spring on the Honda is durable. We use Honda springs to replace our KTM springs after they break.
(3) Filtr powietrza. We love Twin Air filters and like that the upside-down Honda air filter is easy to install and remove. It’s not as easy to install as the KTM or Yamaha filters, but it is easier to install than Kawasaki’s and Suzuki’s filters. It in twist, when we first saw the CRFXNUMX’s upside-down air filter arrangement, we thought the filter would stay cleaner—boy, were we wrong.
(4) Moc. The softer power character of the Works Edition tames the often-skittish nature of Honda’s aluminum, twin-spar chassis.
(5) Dźwięk. The RS-XNUMX muffler from Yoshimura makes the CRFXNUMX quieter, and we like it
(6) Kosz sprzęgła. We like the fact that the CRFXNUMXWE comes with a Hinson clutch basket that already has the primary gear riveted on. One of the worst things for an amateur mechanic to attempt is installing an aftermarket clutch basket. The Works Edition solves that problem for you.
(7) Styl. Hondas always look good, especially the Works Editions
Q: CO NAPRAWDĘ MYŚLIMY?
A: Many of our test riders cheerfully explained how the XNUMX CRFXNUMX Works Edition was the best stock Honda they’ve ridden in recent memory. When Honda introduced its all-new frame and engine for XNUMX, it was better than the XNUMX through XNUMX frames, but it still had some first-model-year flaws. The XNUMX CRFXNUMX Works Edition is certainly a step in the right direction. And what Honda learned in XNUMX is being applied to the XNUMX CRFXNUMX.
If you want a smoother CRFXNUMX that is ready to go in stock form, you’ll be happy with the Works Edition. If you like a hard-hitting engine, or get a sizable discount from your local suspension tuner, the Works Edition isn’t the cost-effective choice for you.
MXA’S XNUMX HONDA CRFXNUMXWE WORKS EDITION SETUP SPECS
This is how we set up our XNUMX Honda CRFXNUMX Works Edition for racing. We offer it as a guide to help you find your own sweet spot.
USTAWIENIA WIDŁA WIRNIKA SHOWA
The titanium nitride-coated CRFXNUMX Works Edition forks are smoother and more predictable than the stock XNUMX CRFXNUMX Showa coil-spring forks that came with a harsh spot in the midstroke. For hardcore racing, these are MXA’s recommended XNUMX CRFXNUMX Works Edition fork settings (stock settings are in parentheses):
Wiosenna stawka: 5.0 N / mm
Kompresja: 11 kliknięć (13 kliknięć)
Odbić się: 12 kliknięć (14 kliknięć)
Wysokość nogi wideł: Zrównaj z nakładkami widelca.
Uwagi: We dropped the forks in the clamps to gain more hold-up and relax the chassis in turns, but some test riders still ran them with XNUMXmm or XNUMXmm showing. The Honda is sensitive to clicker adjustments, meaning that you can’t be scared to play with them. They hold the key to keeping the CRFXNUMX in line.
USTAWIENIA PORAŻENIA PRĄDEM
The XNUMX N/mm shock spring is too soft for the typical XNUMX rider, especially on the stock CRFXNUMX. With stiffer valving, the stock spring worked better on the Works Edition, but it’s still too soft for our heavier testers. For hardcore racing, these are MXA’s recommended XNUMX Honda CRFXNUMX Works Edition shock settings:
Wiosenna stawka: 54 N / mm
Zwis wyścigu: 107 mm (105 mm)
Kompresja Lo: XNUMX clicks out (XNUMX clicks turns out)
Hi-kompresja: 2 okazuje się (okazuje się 2-1 / 2)
Odbić się: 13 kliknięć
Uwagi: Our testers liked the rear end lower for more stability in corners and straightaways. Adjusting the fork height will affect the sag. Be sure to check the sag after moving the forks around, and don’t be scared to raise the rear end.