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2005 Honda CRF450R Photo Gallery

Honda already had a winner with its big Thumper, but subtle changes mark the arrival of the '05 version. MCUSA is the first to bring you a riding impression. Check out what we thought after our 2005 Honda CRF450R First Ride.

Slideshow
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An artful blending of aluminum, titanium, stainless steel and lightweight plastic: Honda's 2005 CRF450R.
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This shot clearly illustrates the narrow feel Honda has been trying to achieve on its MXers.
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The twin radiators stick out less than previous but are deeper.
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Note the flat seat that allows a rider to best position body weight depending on the situation.
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Mikey Mandahl and the Honda crew take a moment to pose for that pesky photographer Kevin Duke.
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Frame weight was reduced in part by these trick-looking reliefs milled from the interior of the cast aluminum lower frame spars.
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The steering head is made from forged aluminum, a material much stronger than cast pieces.
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The fourth-generation aluminum frame from Honda features slimmer upper frame rails and taller swingarm pivot plates for a narrower feel between the legs.
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With Honda factory technicians ready to turn some wrenches in the pits, Mikey felt like a factory racer at the I-5 track.
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The 2005 CRF450 sails into the sunset knowing that it has the goods to back up its already impressive report card from the past three years.
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Doncha just love how an open-classer can carry the front wheel out of a berm?
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Honda has done the impossible by giving the CRF a bigger, longer hit while retaining a remarkably tractable powerband.
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Mikey airs out the burly CRF. Landings are made easier by revised suspension valving and a new rear suspension linkage.
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Note the front axle position, relocated further forward for 2005, and the skinny midsection made possible by narrower frame rails and radiators.
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Even with a relatively small guy like Mikey on board, the CRF is relatively easy to handle in the air.
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While it's not going to take the place of the lighter 2-strokes in Freestyle motocross, the nearly 7 pounds chopped from the CRF in the past two years makes it fly higher than ever.
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The Dunlop 742 front and 756 rear tires hooked up well in the sandy soil near Gorman.
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Mikey liked the standard position of the 971-bend Renthal handlebar, but it can be repositioned plus or minus 3mm depending on rider preference.
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The 2005 CRF boasts redesigned chain guides, plates and lower chain roller for better chain control and less noise.
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Railing berms just got better with the 2005 CRF, with quicker steering on the way in and a punchier powerband on the way out.
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A flat seat/tank junction allows a CRF rider to shift weight forward for better adhesion from the front tire.
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Other open-class 4-strokes need to fear the roost of the ultra-competent CRF450R.
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Rear end suspension control is enhanced by a more linear rear suspension linkage that works in the berms as well as it does landing jumps.
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Revised steering geometry and a more forward weight bias results in quicker steering and more front-end bite.
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A skinnier midsection and revised suspension means racking up air miles on the new CRF is even easier than before.
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Mikey likes it!
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The long hours put in by Honda engineers to hone the excellent CRF450R have paid off in a faster, better handling machine.
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The CRF's snappy powerband and smooth suspension allowed Mikey to wheelie all the way through this gnarly whoops section.