By Dennis Chung
Last week, Honda announced its returning 2021 off-road lineup, but it was missing one significant model: the CRF450R motocrosser. There’s a logical reason for that, of course: it’s getting a big update. And that’s not conjecture; we know a new CRF450R is coming because Honda is already racing it in the MXGP championship. Or least, it was, before the series shut down due to the novel coronavirus.
But for the two rounds before pretty much everything in the world shut down, reigning MXGP champ Tim Gasjer and teammate Mitch Evans raced a new CRF450RW that Honda said was “created from the ground up to cope with the multitude of conditions that an MXGP rider has to negotiate.” Honda released images of the bike confirming a new design. Here’s the new CRF450RW:
And here’s the 2020 CRF450R for comparison:
Of course, while the CRF450RW is usually based on the production model, the factory team will make some modifications to squeeze out every bit of performance possible within the regulations. That means that some of the changes on the factory machine won’t be available on the commercial model.
Thanks to design filings published by Laos’ intellectual property office, we get a look at the new 2021 Honda CRF450R. The design was filed in Laos on April 22, but it cites an earlier priority filing in Japan dated Oct. 24, 2019. The Japanese IP office hasn’t made that filing pubic yet, so we’re stuck with the Laos office’s grainy and low resolution images. Squint if you must, but the images are enough to confirm some of the changes for Honda’s new 450-class motocross racer.
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