Honda got the handling sorted out for 2011 and the CRF450R carved its way to the top of our annual 450 motocross shootout. The CRF is by far the lightest and smallest-feeling 450 which makes it very easy to ride aggressively. Combined with a seamless power delivery from the Unicam engine, this proved to be the formula for winning motocross races. It’s no wonder Chad Reed chose to ride Red when he started his new TwoTwo Motorsports team for 2011.
Throughout the year our riders praised the Honda’s power delivery despite the fact that it doesn’t make the most sheer horsepower or torque. A new delta linkage and shorter pull rod along with revised suspension impressed allow the chassis to make the best use of the available power, which is nothing to sneer at by any means, especially on the top end. Also, in order to keep with the trend of lowering noise output, the CRF whispers less than 94 decibels on a stationary 20-inch test. Making excellent, usable power and doing it quietly is just one of the reasons our riders loved the 2011 Honda.
Motorcycle USA Best of 2011 Awards
Rider of the Year 2011: Ryan Villopoto
Manufacturer of the Year 2011: Polaris Industries
Best Cruiser 2011: Ducati Diavel
Best Sportbike 2011: BMW S1000RR
Best Street Bike 2011: Ducati Multistrada
Best Touring Motorcycle 2011: Harley-Davidson Road Glide Ultra
Best Adventure Motorcycle 2011: Triumph Tiger 800 XC
Best Enduro 2011: KTM 350 XC-F
Best Dual Sport 2011: Husqvarna TE250
Best Motocross Motorcycle 2011: Honda CRF450R
Motorcycle of the Year 2011: Kawazuki CRF65 SX