The elephant in the room – Hondas new CRF 450 L



The adventure bike crowd is foaming over the new 450 L and rightly so. My first thought was “oh shit, I bought the wrong bike“.

There are a lot of threads running on multiple sites over the bike and based on what we know I’m now bit on the fence regarding the 450. Based on what has been published by Honda there is only one problem and that’s the 25 hp number. Seems that nobody knows if the number is actually right or not, but if so, it’s an issue.

Everything else about the bike seems rather fine. Oil change intervals are rather frequent, but that’s not a problem and while the bike is a tiny bit heavy in comparison, it’s still much lighter than the Rally.

Sure, the missing power can be “uncorked”, but given that a certain three letter company is able to produce completely different stock HP numbers in comparable registrable bikes, makes the 25 hp number is borderline unacceptable. The problem is likely not so much with getting the bike to full power, but what it means regarding warranty, possible mandatory vehicle inspections, insurance coverage in case of an accident etc. In some countries these kind of things may be non issues, in Soviet Finland… maybe a big ones.

All that said, I’m very interested to see what the actual facts about the bike will turn out to be and my opinion… you should not give a crap about it anyway.


15 Comments Add yours

  1. I guess I’m the odd-man-out,as I have close to zero interest in it. I have no doubts the 25HP figure is well off since it’s based on a 450X,but for $10,000,I’ll keep my 250L,buy another 450X,plate it (it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve bought an X and plated it),and spend the rest to finance some long adventures on the thing. To each their own though,what’s just right for me is not for others and vice versa. Honda’s given up options,and options are good 🙂


  2. Marcus says:

    It’s just a street legal race bike like KTMs EXCs.


  3. Haraldur Haraldsson says:

    Thank you for your blog, it is fantastic. I am a beginner and planning to buy a CRF 250 Rally in the USA and ship it to my home country Iceland. Do you have recommendations if I should buy a new 2018 or used 2017? Also what price should I expect? Do you have a dealer that you would recommend?

    Hope to hear from you.
    Haraldur Haraldsson


    1. 250rally says:

      I can’t really help you with dealers or pricing as I’m from Finland. If you can find a 2017 with low miles, I would maybe go with that. Low mileage bikes have usually not seen much off road action.


    2. Marcus says:

      Hi Haraldur, I would buy the european version. It has LED indicators. Not the bulb version like the US bike.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. sven says:

    “My first thought was “oh shit, I bought the wrong bike“.”
    Yeah, so was mine …

    But the 25hp issue is a serious one – I think it’s the easy way they trimmed the race version into a street legal one. Reducing power means reducing emissions and meet the standards.

    So I’ll keep my CRF250 Rally (or maybe take a look at the forthcoming tenere 700 … 🙂


    1. 250rally says:

      From what I`m reading the frequent valve check intervals are a deal breaker for me. I could live with changing the oil often, but checking the valves all the time is too much unnecessary wrenching imo.


  5. Andrew King says:

    Ive read an article dispelling the myths about this bike…
    The is incorrect. It’s going to be more like 40hp. And that’s more like it! 24hp was incorrectly quoted from the 250L.
    The new 450L doesn’t appear on the U.K. Honda website just yet. But when it does, I’ll be eager for a test ride.
    I LOVE my 250Rally, but it will be interesting to see how the reduced weight, and extra power will make me feel.
    Like others have said, the servicing intervals of the new 450, would probably put me off. And of course we don’t know the cost in £ yet!


    1. T-Lex says:

      It’s already available in the Netherlands. The power is really 18 kW.


  6. Paul says:

    Zero interest maintenance is to high.


  7. Andrew King says:

    Looks like this website is now dead 😭


      1. T-Lex says:

        You’re most likely done with the bike as I am. Sold mine after a year of exploitation and never looked back.


      2. MotoADVR says:

        So what happened?


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