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ADV NewsWatch: Skyler Howes Walkthru Of Honda’s All-New CRF450 Rally Bike

Watch: Skyler Howes Walkthru Of Honda’s All-New CRF450 Rally Bike

The pro Dakar Rally racer gives us the rundown on his new factory bike.

Published on 05.16.2024

At a recent Alpinestars event in Death Valley, we got a chance to ride with Dakar Rally Racer Skyler Howes. After third place in the 2023 Dakar, he became the 5th American to ever finish on the overall podium. While this achievement was made as a member of the Husqvarna factory team, he was recently recruited by Monster Energy Team Honda to race Dakar and the rest of the FIM World Rally-Raid Championship series. Skyler would join a powerhouse team with fellow American Ricky Brabec, along with Adrien Van Beveren, Pablo Quintanilla, and José Ignacio Cornejo to take on the sands of Saudi Arabia earlier this year.

Skyler Howes Walkthru Of Honda’s All-New CRF450 Rally Bike

Skyler, who led our group of journalists during a day of gear testing, showed up on his CRF450 factory rally bike, fresh from a 2024 Dakar Rally in which Honda achieved a 1-2-3 podium finish on Stage 9 and 10, as well as snatching two of the three podium positions overall — including the top spot by Ricky Brabec. While those incredibly talented riders deserve all the credit they are due, there’s no denying that a freshly-revamped CRF450 Rally elevated the Japanese manufacturer’s advantage this year.

Skyler Howes Walkthru Of Honda’s All-New CRF450 Rally Bike
Skyler Howes Walkthru Of Honda’s All-New CRF450 Rally Bike

Just months before Dakar 2024, the CRF450 Rally received its first major revamp since it was first introduced in 2013. Honda engineers had one goal in mind with the redesign: build a lighter and more powerful machine that excels in the dunes. Drawing on Big Red’s deep engineering expertise and racing experience in both Motocross and MotoGP, the final design would not only cut weight and add power, but also improve durability and simplicity. 

Skyler Howes Walkthru Of Honda’s All-New CRF450 Rally Bike

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Honda’s 2024 Dakar dominance was all the more impressive because it was achieved on a brand new machine. “Usually with a new bike, you need to work a lot at the development, but this bike – amazingly – [was] ready,” says Skyler Howes. We got a chance to ask Skyler some questions to find out more about what makes this new Honda Rally Bike so special. He also details some of the unique equipment they use for rally racing and key features that separate the rally bike from the CRF450R motocross bike it’s based on. Howes also details a few of the personalized mods he makes to his rally bike that allow him to race comfortably for two weeks straight over 5,000 km of grueling terrain.

Skyler Howes Walkthru Of Honda’s All-New CRF450 Rally Bike

Thanks for checking out the video and let us know your thoughts and questions in the comments below. You can also check out the full rundown of the recent updates and specs of the next-gen Honda CRF450 Rally here.

Photos by Simon Cudby and HRC

Author: ADV Pulse Staff
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Mike Dockstader
Mike Dockstader
May 16, 2024 3:16 pm

Skyler is such a nice, talented rider and always humble. I hope to see him on the top of the podium a the next Dakar.

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