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2005 Honda CRF450R Photo Gallery
2005 Honda CRF450R
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
An artful blending of aluminum, titanium, stainless steel and lightweight plastic: Honda's 2005 CRF450R.
This shot clearly illustrates the narrow feel Honda has been trying to achieve on its MXers.
The twin radiators stick out less than previous but are deeper.
Note the flat seat that allows a rider to best position body weight depending on the situation.
Mikey Mandahl and the Honda crew take a moment to pose for that pesky photographer Kevin Duke.
Frame weight was reduced in part by these trick-looking reliefs milled from the interior of the cast aluminum lower frame spars.
The steering head is made from forged aluminum, a material much stronger than cast pieces.
The fourth-generation aluminum frame from Honda features slimmer upper frame rails and taller swingarm pivot plates for a narrower feel between the legs.
With Honda factory technicians ready to turn some wrenches in the pits, Mikey felt like a factory racer at the I-5 track.
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.
Doncha just love how an open-classer can carry the front wheel out of a berm?
Honda has done the impossible by giving the CRF a bigger, longer hit while retaining a remarkably tractable powerband.
Mikey airs out the burly CRF. Landings are made easier by revised suspension valving and a new rear suspension linkage.
Note the front axle position, relocated further forward for 2005, and the skinny midsection made possible by narrower frame rails and radiators.
Even with a relatively small guy like Mikey on board, the CRF is relatively easy to handle in the air.
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.
The Dunlop 742 front and 756 rear tires hooked up well in the sandy soil near Gorman.
Mikey liked the standard position of the 971-bend Renthal handlebar, but it can be repositioned plus or minus 3mm depending on rider preference.
The 2005 CRF boasts redesigned chain guides, plates and lower chain roller for better chain control and less noise.
Railing berms just got better with the 2005 CRF, with quicker steering on the way in and a punchier powerband on the way out.
A flat seat/tank junction allows a CRF rider to shift weight forward for better adhesion from the front tire.
Other open-class 4-strokes need to fear the roost of the ultra-competent CRF450R.
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.
Revised steering geometry and a more forward weight bias results in quicker steering and more front-end bite.
A skinnier midsection and revised suspension means racking up air miles on the new CRF is even easier than before.
Mikey likes it!
The long hours put in by Honda engineers to hone the excellent CRF450R have paid off in a faster, better handling machine.
The CRF's snappy powerband and smooth suspension allowed Mikey to wheelie all the way through this gnarly whoops section.
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