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2009 Honda CRF450R Shootout Photo Gallery

The Red Riders joined the fuel-injection bandwagon in 2009 with the all-new CRF450R. Honda's flagship motocross bike is totally reworked for this season.

Slideshow
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2009 Honda CRF450R
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The Honda seems a little soft on power down low, but in reality it is still every bit as much a 450 as it used to be. Now the power is super progressive and immediate thanks to the EFI.
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2009 450 Motocross Comparison
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Once up and running, the CRF’s powerband feels akin to the RM-Z. Looking at the dyno chart confirms this as the two bikes are almost identical until you’re around 7500 revs, or the upper edge of the engines mid-range, that’s when the RM-Z begins to sign off as the CRF continues pump out power.
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Although our results were mixed, everyone agreed that the Honda is the most finicky when it comes to setup.
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We’ve never had many drivetrain issues on Honda CRF’s and the new bike continues the trend. Not a peep could be heard out of tester’s mouths in regards to shifting problems, clutch issues, etc.
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Airtime is when the Honda really shows off its new slender waistline. The CRF450R is easily the most compact and lightest of the group.
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Suspension setup is critical on the new CRF. Finding the proper balance on the new Kayabas can be dificult.
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Our testers wasted no time in pounding out the brutal laps at Racetown 395. None of the Japanese offerings in 2009 will disappoint.
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Almost everyone's immediate reaction to the Honda is one of excitement, and once we spent time on the track it remained posititve. Proper setup is more important than on other machines, but spend the time and it will reward you.
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Without a question the single most critical aspect of suspension setup on this year’s CRF is sag. Our motley crew preferred settings between 108 and 112mm. But even a slight variation really had a big effect on the Honda’s handling.
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'This thing is the easiest bike to whip,' said Armstrong. 'I love how light and agile it feels. I guess the best way to describe it is that it's like a 250F on ‘roids.'
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Coming into this comparison, Honda’s all-new 450 was perhaps the most hyped motorcycles of this model year. And ever since we first laid eyes on it during our First Look report we’ve couldn’t wait to turn a wheel on the new machine.
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2009 450 Motocross Comparison Torque Chart
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From the time you hop aboard you’ll be startled by how narrow the bike is.