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  #1  
Old 9th June 2018
felis's Avatar
felis felis is offline
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Default Honda CRF450l - 2019

Always had a soft spot for Honda dual sport bikes. There's the CRF250l, but people complained about power, suspension travel, and so on.
I said if they ever came out with something in the 400/500cc range, I'd probably pick one up.

Well, Honda's coming out with a CRF450l for 2019, but there's the good, the bad, and the ugly.

The good - it's street legal and should have plenty of power as it's based on the 450 racing bikes, but is more civilized. Plenty of suspension travel.

The bad - racing bike maintenance schedule - oil changes at every 600 miles, and complicated valve adjustments at every 1800 miles.

The ugly - for me anyways - the seat height is 37.1" and the target MSRP is more than some Sportsters and all Street models.
It didn't take long for me to cross it off my list.

https://powersports.honda.com/2019/crf450l.aspx
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  #2  
Old 9th June 2018
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Default

I have a CRF250L. I have no complaints about the suspension travel, and the power is adequate, for the sort of bike it is and the use it is put to.

I haven't really come across complaints about either of those two aspects. I have heard a few complaints about the weight (about 320 lbs), although personally I find it delightfully light.

I find it ideal for what I want it for, which is being able to ride at highway speeds to where I want to start an off road ride, ride on dirt tracks, then return home again at highway speeds.

On Wednesday I went on a ride; about 285 miles in total. It was about 137 miles on ordinary roads to where the ride proper started, including dual carriageways and motorway. The CRF250L cruises very comfortably at 70 mph. Then the ride I was going there to do: about 33 miles, including some fairly rough surfaced roads and several sections of dirt roads, including parts that were pretty muddy, deeply rutted and with fierce humps and deep potholes, or steep over loose rocks. Finally returning home, about 115 miles, again including dual carriageways and motorway.

I could find very few other bikes that could do that range of things so well. Some were no doubt more capable in the dirt, and significantly lighter, but would have been hopeless on regular roads for anything more than very short distances. Adventure type bikes would be fine on roads, but not so much off road (in many cases), and were far too heavy.

The CRF450L looks interesting. More power would be nice, as would the slightly larger fuel tank, and it's a bit lighter. The seat is too high though; even higher than the KTM 690 Enduro R. It's 2¾" higher than the stock seat height on the CRF250L, and I've had mine lowered quite a bit.

The maintenance intervals are a killer too. 600 miles between oil changes? So I could go on one or two rides, then I'd need to change the oil?



The CRF250L is a mini, lightweight, adventure bike! It's pretty much perfect for what I want it for.

CRF450L:





My CRF250L, on Common Water Lane (part of the Harroway), near Broadwindsor in Dorset:

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  #3  
Old 10th June 2018
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Default

The 250l would probably be fine for the type of riding I'd do with it. Much like your described trip.

The suspension complaints were mostly in magazine reviews,
and from people who thought they could use it as a motocross type bike.
I guess if you jump it at all, the suspension bottoms out with a hard bang.
Something I most likely wouldn't do.

Power complaints, again,
were mostly from people having different expectations from what the bike was actually made for.

The 450 is interesting, but like I said,
it didn't take me more than a few minutes to decide that I really didn't want one.
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Old 10th June 2018
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Hexlobular Hexlobular is offline
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I had a Yamaha XT600 years ago, and really enjoyed it as a commuter. It did well at highway speeds also. I took it off-road quite a bit, and it didn't take too long to realize just what "dual-sport" meant; it's not a purebred street bike or dirt bike, and it isn't going to perform perfectly as either. But, for someone wanting to have fun doing both, they're a great compromise; especially when the budget is a major factor.
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