ADV Pulse

NEWSLETTER
Get ADV Pulse delivered by email
Sign up for ADV Pulse Weekly

Newsletter

Get ADV Pulse delivered by email
Sign up for ADV Pulse Weekly

Connect With Us

Follow On Facebook:

ADV BikesHonda CRF450L Unveiled: The Dual Sport Everyone’s Been Wanting?

Honda CRF450L Unveiled: The Dual Sport Everyone’s Been Wanting?

Honda unveils a street-legal 450 Enduro with serious off-road capability.

Published on 05.23.2018

2019 Honda CRF450L dual sport
 
Honda has just made a ton of people very happy. The bike that we’ve all asked for, we’ve all wondered why it didn’t exist, we’ve all been trying to create ourselves is now a reality. Based on the updated 2019 CRF450R motocross bike, the all-new CRF450L is essentially a 50-state legal, 6-speed dirt bike with a plate. This is the first road-legal 450 motocross-based machine offered by a Japanese OEM and could well become the small adventure bike of choice for aggressive, mostly dirt riders.

With the introduction of the all new CRF450L, the long-lived off-road only trail machine CRF450X is all new as well and is a whole different bike than the 2018 and older models. Both the X and L are very similar to each other, yet the specs show that they have slightly different ground clearance (12.7 inches on the X and 12.4 inches on the L) and different seat heights (37.4 inches on the X and 37.1 inches for the L) indicating that the suspension travel may be slightly less on the L. Honda didn’t provide suspension travel numbers at the time of the announcement.

2019 Honda CRF450L Dual Sport Motorcycle


ADVERTISEMENT

2019 Honda CRF450L Dual Sport Motorcycle

The New CRF450L Platform

While all the CRF450s share a very similar architecture, the CRF450X and the CRF450L are sort of in their own category since these bikes are not primarily designed for racing (yet we have little doubt that they could) and they have a new six-speed transmission. This extra gear makes the bottom end of the engine wider and requires a wider lower part of the frame. That being said, most everything else on the bikes are derived directly from the latest version of the CRF450R.

Engine

2019 Honda CRF450L Dual Sport Motorcycle engine

The layout and overall appearance of the CRF450L’s engine is nearly identical to the X’s with some notable exceptions to make the L street legal more appropriate for street riding. The X and L have the same bore and stroke and a milder 12.0:1 compression ratio compared to the R’s 13.5:1. The L also has its own cam profile and cam timing for more controllable power off-road. There is 12 percent more crank inertia than the R to give more traction and better control in tight off-road terrain. As mentioned above, a major difference is the six-speed transmission. This is sure to make street riding and longer stints on asphalt a less buzzy, more enjoyable experience. The ECU has a dedicated setting on the L and there is a single-sided exhaust system rather than the dual silencers on the competition models.

Noise Reductions

2019 Honda CRF450L Dual Sport Motorcycle noise reductions

A major factor in getting a bike to be street-legal is passing noise regulations. One part of that test is a drive by sound measurement where the overall sound of the bike, not just the exhaust, is recorded. Rather than just focusing on the noise coming out of the muffler, Honda found other ways to keep the overall decibel level down on the CRF450L. Engine case covers are on the right and left sides of the engine. Not only are these for protection, they dampen overall engine noise. Also, there is a full cover over the front sprocket. Again, more protection but sound damping as well. Even the swing arm plays a noise reducing role. It is injected with urethane to lower the overall bike volume. Lastly the exhaust system is a dedicated street legal unit to keep noise levels down.

Suspension/Chassis

2019 Honda CRF450L Dual Sport Motorcycle chassis

There are no compromises when it comes to the suspension. The CRF450L has the same 49mm, fully adjustable coil-spring Showa fork and the same fully adjustable, Pro-Link system Showa shock as the X, yet the settings (damping and spring rates) are dedicated to each machine. The twin-spar aluminum frame is wider to accommodate the wider L transmission, and the subframe is specific to the L, designed to better handle carrying luggage and tools. The tank is 2.0 gallons and made of lightweight titanium.

Extras

2019 Honda CRF450L Dual Sport Motorcycle digital dash

The dash is a simple enduro-style unit, all this sort of bike needs. There are the necessary street-legal bits such as turn signals, mirrors, a horn, and a pretty cool looking LED headlight assembly. The battery is a beefed up lithium ion unit to handle more electrical demands. The high capacity radiators also have a thermostat controlled cooling fan for slow-going situations. The front brake is the same high performance caliper that the CRF450X has but the disk is thicker and the fluid reservoir is larger for more durability. The sealed o-ring chain is wrapped around steel sprockets for greater durability as well. Lastly the CRF450L comes stock with 50/50 IRC GP-21/22 tires.

2019 Honda CRF450L Dual Sport Motorcycle

2019 Honda CRF450L Dual Sport Motorcycle

2019 Honda CRF450L Dual Sport Motorcycle

The Whole CRF450L Package

We are definitely excited about this bike. The overall package seems to check all the boxes when it comes to a full-on enduro capable dirt bike that can be ridden on the street as well. The primary target rider for this bike, according to Honda, is the off-roader who wants to connect gnarly trails with stints on the road. But we also see its potential as a light ADV Machine — and it could be with a few additions such as luggage, an even bigger tank, and possibly some wind protection.


Click the “Next Page” link below to continue.

    1 2     Next Page >>

Author: Sean Klinger
ADVERTISEMENT

Related Stories

Related Stories

Notify me of new posts via email

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

62 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Dahveed
Dahveed
May 23, 2018 9:54 am

What about service intervals? Mainly oil changes.

Tone
Tone
May 23, 2018 3:11 pm
Reply to  Dahveed

It’s a Honda, it’ll be more than reasonable.

A
A
May 23, 2018 7:46 pm
Reply to  Tone

Haha, same or worse than 450X is reasonable!? See wr250r, drz400, te630 and 701 for reasonable service intervals, this is anything but that! They should have just updated the XR650R with modern 6-speed, FI, brakes, e-start…

chris
chris
May 25, 2018 12:04 am
Reply to  Dahveed

Oil Change 600 miles
Air Filter cleaning 600 miles
Valve inspection 1800 miles…. and there I was thinking Honda was actually listening to what the people wanted

DirtMike
DirtMike
June 12, 2018 3:48 pm
Reply to  chris

Before you leave Houston on your Utah odyssey, change the oil and filter, service air filter and run the valves. At Phoenix, Az you are on oil change #3. #1 was in Van Horn, Texas 100 miles late because Ft Stockton was “too early”. In Utah it’s time to run the valves again, change the oil, service the air filter and enjoy… 🙂 glad we’re all mechanics. Life is cool. I’m all in.

nordicbiker
nordicbiker
May 27, 2018 12:17 pm
Reply to  Dahveed

Oil change intervalls of 1000km? Just doing the TET through Scandinavia, how many changes would that be? So folks try to travel and ride light, but then you need to carry 5 liters of oil for a two week trip? No, this is still an enduro/trail bike that is street legal, something you take home at the end of the day – or the weekend. It does not fit in the adventure travel category. I`ll soon go for a CFR250l with suspension upgrade and larger tank.

Bill
Bill
May 23, 2018 12:07 pm

Finally. After many sacrifices, the moto gods have finally listened.

Duane Sanchez
Duane Sanchez
May 23, 2018 12:58 pm

I’ll be first in line., Supermoto tires dam im ready

Jim C
Jim C
December 13, 2018 12:59 pm
Reply to  Duane Sanchez

I completely agree and because mine’s gonna be a supermoto and will never be ridden in the dirt, I’m not going to worry about recommended service intervals. It’s a Honda and I know I can do fine changing oil and filter every 3,000 miles and checking the valve lash once very 6,000 miles

Mmiguy
Mmiguy
May 23, 2018 1:34 pm

Don’t see any option for 2-up as there looks like it is without pegs

Alex
Alex
May 23, 2018 2:15 pm

Very interesting. It does not tick all the boxes but is a big step in the right direction of sensible lightweight dual sport. Let me know when they bring out the 450X. 🙂

Greg
Greg
May 23, 2018 5:13 pm
Reply to  Alex

If this isn’t checking all the boxes for a unicorn bike then frankly I don’t know what could possibly be that bike. And the 450X is… already a thing that is coming out alongside this with full specs?????

A
A
May 23, 2018 7:42 pm
Reply to  Greg

compared to the 501 and 500exc, this falls short – too heavy, not as powerful, same or worse service intervals as/than 450X, cable clutch, titanium tank so priced more for something that needs to be changed to plastic anyway…

Paulo
Paulo
May 24, 2018 7:37 pm
Reply to  A

Is it tho…….135hr crank inspection, a composite subframe that’s not recommended to have much weight on the back, an ECU that will melt the rear plastic in stock form, oil capacity of 1qt., suspension that’s sprung for 170lb rider, and so superior it’s trailered everywhere! Superior in ever way that I never saw one KTM or Husky on the TAT. In fact, after several trips across the country 90% of the bikes off the beaten path i saw were the Yamaha WR250R and CRF250L‘s.

Yup, the difference between the people that talk HP verse the people that travel……that’s what we’re talking about here. The people that travel don’t give two nickels about how much power your bike has, they just want a bike without fuss that always works.

A
A
May 24, 2018 11:29 pm
Reply to  Paulo

XR650R and DRZ400e also had limited subframe weight capacity but that has not stopped people from adventure riding/camping with them, as they do with the ktm and husky 500/501. 135hours crank inspection is for racing conditions, people have recorded 300+ hours with the 500exc and no rebuilds and all within spec after crossing numerous continents – the crf450, on the other hand, has a history of eating its valves. Having more hp due to a bigger engine is not just about outright HP, its about having a bike that does not have to work as hard, and therefore have less engine wear over the years. My WR250R was a great bike, I’d rather get another one of those and another TE630, instead of this overpriced Honda.

Dave F
Dave F
May 30, 2018 12:41 pm
Reply to  Paulo

I beg to differ on that one. I have a 350exc with 12k miles and 375 hrs on it. Never needed a valve adjustment yet, doesnt burn oil, original top end, been on 7day DS trips with luggage and and never an issue. Weighs a hell of a lot less then any Japanese machine semi comparable out there with way more HP and suspension. Oul changes every 25hrs, which will getyou almost theougb a week long DS trip. Just sayin

DirtMike
DirtMike
June 12, 2018 2:41 pm
Reply to  A

You should weigh your 500 WET

Brett Seiders
Brett Seiders
May 23, 2018 3:33 pm

All sounds fantastic ! A bigger fuel tank will be a must though .

Gman
Gman
May 23, 2018 5:16 pm

Wish honda would just fuel inject the xr650l and improve the weight and width by moving the battery box under the seat.

Daniel Strong
Daniel Strong
May 23, 2018 6:34 pm

They need to build a bike that is ment to travel with but can go off Road?

Jef
Jef
May 24, 2018 7:45 am
Reply to  Daniel Strong

I think the bike you are looking for is the AfricaTwin

RL
RL
May 23, 2018 6:41 pm

Is this just a street legal 450R or can it be expected to log real pavement miles? It looks like it is the same vein of KTM and Beta “dual sports” which are no more than plated racing bikes.

chris Crookson
chris Crookson
May 23, 2018 9:22 pm

Where will it be made?

craigsschuler
craigsschuler
May 23, 2018 9:54 pm
Reply to  chris Crookson

The CRF250L is made in Thailand and I think the CRF450X is made in Japan. Will be interesting to find out.

Seth Russell
Seth Russell
May 23, 2018 10:50 pm

I was so excited about this bike until I read the oil change intervals are more often than the 450x. I can’t believe this. So lame! So dissapointed.

shannow
shannow
May 24, 2018 2:11 am

Whats the point of 942mm seat height, when the 250L has 875mm. There goes alot of potential buyers.

Aaron
Aaron
May 24, 2018 2:30 am

Now time for the Rally kit! Go the CRF450 Rally!

Supermoto ben
Supermoto ben
May 24, 2018 4:33 am

Yeah, but when will they put out the supermoto version???

paramomototravel
paramomototravel
May 24, 2018 6:57 am

Amazing! The machine many of us have been waiting for

Bob
Bob
May 24, 2018 8:09 am

This article sure brought out the lurkers 🙂

This is a good candidate for the light adventure category. It certainly puts the other Japanese OEMs on notice that Honda intends to fill a perceived space.

I think the words from Mr. Miller indicate that, if you (the user) expect to ride at US freeway speeds, then expect the cycle to run hot. Ideas arrive out of that suggestion, and oil change interval is just one of them. No mention of valve lash check and adjust interval, so that caught my eye. I can sort-of live with on the trail oil change and top up (if I’m connecting freeway roads), but I’m really not on board with inspecting valves on the trail. Also, be prepared for a very hot, and maybe heavy, silencer. That is usually solved with a lighter aftermarket silencer, but it’s getting harder to fit them due to increased state regulations in the US. Heat can be managed with stick-on thermal heat shielding very inexpensively, if you can live with the weight of the OEM silencer. (That idea also retains the emissions reduction elements, an idea important to me).

It’s clear to me that the competition is the KTM 500 EXC. That cycle is well know for many maintenance intervals as well (ie: more maintenance required per mile). However, it is also well known for instability at high speed on pavement. There’s many contributors to that problem, but it’s there and can not be modified out of the cycle. You can not just change a tire and remove it. No mention of high speed behavior of this Honda.

It’s curious the specs mention a higher output electrical system in the same sentence as the LED headlight. That leads me to believe the LED lighting will already consume any extra available power, and not much remaining. That would be bad. If Honda is removing copper from the stator in a weight savings play, or there is just no room for more stator copper, then we’re stuck with little remaining electrical power for extras. That would be a major detraction for the light adventure machine category and at this price point (a la 690 Enduro price), that would cause me to begin to look elsewhere.

I do like this cycle, it ticks a lot of boxes for me.

Joe StPierre
Joe StPierre
January 16, 2019 2:27 pm
Reply to  Bob

LED lighting has proven to be more energy efficient. Brighter light for less energy used!

Mike S
Mike S
May 24, 2018 8:34 am

Looks awesome albeit pricey. I have two immediate concerns though. I don’t mind frequent oil changes but I hate cleaning and changing oil impregnated air filters on dirt bikes. So I hope this uses a replaceable paper air filter. And if I’d need to check and shim titanium valves every 100 engine hours, forget it. What is the valve check interval? Does it have stainless steel valves?

Marcus Vee
Marcus Vee
May 24, 2018 9:51 am

Is it Made in Japan or Made in Thailand ~ I think it will be made in Japan

RobG
RobG
May 24, 2018 10:49 am

The price is way too high. Yeah the Honda fanboys will be all over it, but the smart buyer will get a KTM instead.

Okay Yamaha, now it’s your turn…

DirtMike
DirtMike
June 12, 2018 3:22 pm
Reply to  RobG

Smart buyers regularly spend 37% MORE where you come from? $10,399 vs $14,195
Sounds like a “status buy”… a p-e. While traveling up the divide ride my fellow orange rider had to sat phone call parts three times! (Thanks fedex overnight) we picked up Austrian orange and German alphabet parts several times along the trail. That heavy, gutless klr I rode never skipped a beat or broke anything. Still, I’d sure like to ride a lighter, more powerful machine. Just don’t want to pay for it with high maintenance or repairs. Or status symbol prices.

Joe StPierre
Joe StPierre
January 16, 2019 2:29 pm
Reply to  DirtMike

KLR 650 just keeps on a running.

Riaan Sauls
Riaan Sauls
October 25, 2019 12:54 am
Reply to  Joe StPierre

I concur. Just get a KLR and all your problems disappear. It will take you anywhere, anytime and some more.

alex k
alex k
May 25, 2018 3:10 am

The article is wrong – Yamaha WR450F is the first road-legal 450 motocross-based machine offered by a Japanese OEM …in Australia and New Zealand markets, and possibly others.

Sean Klinger
Sean Klinger
May 25, 2018 2:11 pm

It’s great to see so much interest in this bike. Since there are so many valid questions, we are currently talking to Honda directly and working on a follow-up post to answer as many questions as we can. This will depend on how much they are willing to share.

Guest
Guest
May 25, 2018 5:56 pm

Engine should still be more street-able and this would be worth every penny. Just a bigger oil reservoir it seems would do a lot.

trackback
Wha do you think of the new CRF 450L? - Page 4
May 25, 2018 9:36 pm

[…] all engine bearings. Change the freewheel)"https://dirtbikemagazine.com/2019-ho…rt-from-japan/Honda CRF450L Unveiled: The Dual Sport Everyone's Been Wanting? – ADV Pulse2019 Honda CRF450L: First Look – Cycle […]

Nick
Nick
May 26, 2018 9:36 am

Looks like a great bike and being a Honda quality will be top notch. My question is this bike any better than my 01 KTM 520 EXC with a 570 kit? My EXC is street legal, has 6 speed transmission, super easy valve adjustments, 15 hour service intervals. High wattage stator allows me to run multiple LED lights without killing the battery. Fairly beefy subframe accommodates rear rack. Oil changes are a PIA but whatever. Still trying to understand how this would be an upgrade for me? 18 years later and no real advances. Agree with the comment below-Honda should have modernized the XR650R. Better idea if you ask me.

martin xl
martin xl
May 28, 2018 9:11 am

It’s great to see Honda come out with a bike in this category. If this is going to be a plated dirt bike to compete with KTM and Husky, Honda really has their work cut out for them. KTM/Husky has that category about perfected and makes improvements each year. I think the more untapped category would be a less race powered 450 with longer service intervals, like a bigger displacement version of the the wr250r. For those who want more power, but do not need race bike power and want longer service intervals, at 450cc it would still have much more power than the wr250r and would be more comfortable and usable on the road, but would still be light enough for actual single track use.

Nathan Ritonja
Nathan Ritonja
September 30, 2018 6:56 pm
Reply to  martin xl

You’ve hit the nail on the head. Thats exactly what we want 🙂

trackback
It’s official. Pigs can fly. – ADVENTURE RIDE GUIDE
May 28, 2018 3:16 pm
Svenja Svendura
Svenja Svendura
May 30, 2018 11:34 am

Oil change is required every 1.000 km. That is a clear hint on a competition enduro. I would not expect the durability for long travels any longer than Yamaha WR450F or KTM 450 EXC.
This does not recommend the CRF450L as dual sports adventure bike, I’m sorry to say.

DirtMike
DirtMike
June 12, 2018 3:33 pm

Will be compromised for sure as ADV. Maybe an external high capacity oil cooler and big gas tank. Sure wish the price was more attractive. And tired of that being compared to a small number company like KTM. High guantity from a high quality company like Honda ought to be at a better price point. Not a lot of new enginuity to buy…

Dean Henthorn
Dean Henthorn
May 30, 2018 11:41 am

“Lightweight, 2.0-gallon titanium fuel tank for long range.”…who okayed that marketing BS? The bike looks fun and I would love to ride one, but we seem to be throwing everything into the “adventure” category these days. This is an enduro bike plain and simple and Honda is just trying to fill a gap for small displacement a “adventure” bike.

Steven
Steven
June 11, 2018 6:26 am
Reply to  Dean Henthorn

Who doesnt like to go on a two week ride and dump oil 5 times. Honda perhaps should of had an oil change reservoir compartment to aid riders for the inevitable. This is a dirt bike in disguise, modified to meet dot standards.
Polishing a turd its still a turd, call it an adventure turd its still a turd. Adventure and ds terms are so loosely awarded these days.
This is a “the trails are 1/2 a km away from my house and I need to legally cross traffic bike”
Many would argue that throwing a dirt bike in the box of a truck or trailering to the trails may be cheaper or more practical.

Dave Klug
Dave Klug
May 30, 2018 6:17 pm

2 gallons isn’t nearly enough, think there will be accessory large capacity tanks or will something from the X work on it already? Need at least 3 gallons and 4 would be nice.

JOSEPH TRAPANI
JOSEPH TRAPANI
September 4, 2018 3:26 pm
Reply to  Dave Klug

Have any of you,,,really rode dual sport on a 450x,2008,street legal????
I have OVER 2600 HOURS ON MINE,,,NEVER HAVE I ADJ VALVES,AND ONLY BOLTS OUT OF IT ARE MANTANCE STUFF,VALVE COVER,TO CHECK VALVES AND 2 DRAIN PLUGS,,,I HAVE CHANGED OIL IN 20 MIN,4H,6H,12H,15H,AND I FOUND OIL FOR BOTH SIDES THAT IS GOOD MIN 20H,,,GTX LASTED 4H,MOBIL 1 ,6H,CASTROL SYN,,20 MIN,AMSOIL,20H,LUCAS SYN +20h,,I average 42 mph most rides,
OIL IS CHEAP,WHAT DO YOU FEED ,,YOUR BABY,
Joe@ENDLESSMOUNTAINADVENTURE.COM

JOSEPH TRAPANI
JOSEPH TRAPANI
September 4, 2018 3:37 pm
Reply to  JOSEPH TRAPANI

I ment I average 32 mph in 4 hours most ride a day,

trackback
There's finally a street legal Japanese 6 speed, fuel injected, 450cc, dual sport in the works. - Deluxe World
June 1, 2018 12:52 am

[…] View Reddit by solitudechirs – View Source […]

olivercharni
olivercharni
June 1, 2018 1:46 am

On paper 2 more hp than the fucking CRF 250 L, kick that thing in the trash where it belongs.

Patrick Crane
Patrick Crane
June 4, 2018 1:01 pm

This bike is nothing more than a KTM EXC. it’s not a Dual Sport! 2 gallons of fuel what a joke. Change the oil and air filter every time you ride it what a joke. This should have been labeled by Honda as a CRF450R. Close but not a DUAL SPORT HONDA!

trackback
7 Things To Know About The All-New Honda CRF450L - ADV Pulse
June 5, 2018 9:18 am

[…] you haven’t seen our first look at the new machine, it is a 450cc dual-sport motorcycle that is based on the CRF450R (motocross […]

trackback
Touring Bikes on Unpaved Surfaces - Page 2 - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
June 12, 2018 3:45 am

[…] road machine that you CAN ride on the pavement……not my cuppa but I suspect will be popular. Honda CRF450L Unveiled: The Dual Sport Everyone's Been Wanting? – ADV Pulse Do I choose to avoid gravel?? ….yup when I'm on anything without the proper tires for it but I […]

neddidge
neddidge
June 27, 2018 8:45 pm

A light weight plated enduro. It’s not an adventure bike and it’s not trying to be one. People may throw that label on it. But there are already purpose built Honda adventure bikes. This is enduro.

trackback
Ditch the Portly KLR and join the 21st Century? - BMW K1600 Forum : BMW K1600 GT and GTL Forums
August 18, 2018 6:06 am

[…] Moderator     Join Date: Feb 2011 Location: Dallas, Texas Posts: 16,407 Honda CRF450L Unveiled: The Dual Sport Everyone's Been Wanting? – ADV Pulse A quiet motorcycle: A major factor in getting a bike to be street-legal is passing noise […]

trackback
ADVENTURE NEWS: HONDA CRF450L Special Report – Buy Vehicles
November 4, 2018 9:30 pm

[…] Honda CRF450L Unveiled: The Dual Sport Everyone’s Been Wanting? […]

trackback
Honda CRF450L Unveiled: The Dual Sport Everyone’s Been Wanting? – ADV Pulse | AMD.bike
November 22, 2018 10:34 am

[…] Honda CRF450L Unveiled: The Dual Sport Everyone’s Been Wanting? – ADV Pulse […]

kaleem mustafa
kaleem mustafa
December 1, 2018 9:38 pm

very expensive but very absorbing

ADVERTISEMENT

Watch: 2024 Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Pro Tested

For 2024, Triumph's dirt-focused Tiger 900 — the Rally Pro — has received...

My First Time Riding Enduro, How Hard Could It Be?

Nestled between the Sierra Nevada and Inyo Mountains of California lies a l...

DoubleTake’s Popular Off-Road Mirrors Get Major Upgrade For 2024

Life always looks clearer in the rear view, that is, until you’re looking int...