2018 Honda CRF450RX Review

2018 Honda CRF450RX
2018 Honda CRF450RX
2018 Honda CRF450RX
2018 Honda CRF450RX





When the Honda CRF450RX hit the scene last year, it blew everyone away. This was more than just a premier-class motocrosser with an electric starter. It’s a serious off-road weapon fully optimized for trophy-class competition in enduros, hare scrambles, and GNCC racing. This year we’ve upgraded the battery to a lithium-ion unit for lighter weight and better performance, and removed the kickstarter to also save weight. If you’re serious about winning and want the biggest advantage you can find, the 2018 Honda CRF450RX delivers.




2018 Honda CRF450RX Totalmotorcycle.com Key Features

Currently being campaigned in the GNCC series by JCR Honda’s Trevor Bollinger, the CRF450RX already came with electric starting, but for 2018 the model gets a weight reduction with the removal of the kick-start lever and the switch to a lighter-weight lithium-ion battery. The model is based closely on the flagship CRF450R but with off-road-focused updates like a larger 2.2-gallon fuel tank, 18-inch rear wheel, side stand, optimized ECU and suspension settings, and more. When it comes to closed-course competition like GNCC, hare scrambles, and Grand Prix racing, the CRF450RX constitutes the ultimate off-road weapon.


  • Smoother ignition map than CRF450R for better performance in low-traction situations.
  • Downdraft intake layout increases power by reducing resistance, improving air-charging efficiency.
  • Combustion chamber with high compression ratio, narrow valve angle for efficiency.
  • Use of finger rocker arm allows high valve lift while retaining compact Unicam layout.
  • Coils on valve springs have oval cross-sections to allow low engine height.
  • Port layout with straight flow for efficiency.
  • Diamond-like carbon (DLC) on piston pin, rocker arm minimizes friction, increases durability.
  • Dual muffler with gradual pipe bends for smooth exhaust flow.
  • Standard electric start, with lithium ion battery.


  • Compared to CRF450R, suspension settings are more appropriate for technical off-road conditions.
  • With a 2.25 gallon capacity, the plastic fuel tank is larger than that of the CRF450R for increased range off-road.
  • Forged-aluminum side stand is standard to allow trailside parking.
  • Off-road-focused, durable Dunlop Geomax AT81 tires.
  • One-tooth larger rear sprocket than CRF450R, for better performance in tight woods conditions.
  • Different cylinder hanger than CRF450R, for comfort in technical off-road conditions.
  • Chassis layout maximizes traction through concentration of mass, low center of gravity.
  • New, lighter sixth-generation aluminum twin-spar frame with revised geometry; allows improved cornering performance through reduction of torsional stiffness (lateral stiffness is unchanged).
  • Lightweight swingarm assembly is stiff vertically and laterally.
  • Rear-suspension location lowers center of gravity.
  • Lightweight aluminum rear subframe with extruded gussets.
  • Coil-spring 49mm Showa fork.
  • Plastic bodywork with smooth layout and film-insert graphics for appearance and durability.
  • Front fender shape allows efficient air path to radiator.
  • Consult owner’s manual for optional racing parts
  • Meets current CARB and EPA emissions standards
  • Specifications subject to change




2018 Honda CRF450RX Totalmotorcycle.com Features and Benefits

Power to victory

The Unicam engine that powers both the CRF450RX and CRF450R was recently improved, with more horsepower, more torque, and a higher rev limit. The RX’s engine has special ignition mapping to suit the unique demands of cross-country and endurocross competition.

Cylinder head design

The Unicam cylinder head design uses our latest finger rocker arms, oval cross-section valve springs and large intake valves to boost horsepower and allow a high rev limit.

Improved combustion efficiency

By straightening the intake path, reducing valve angle, and revising both combustion chamber and piston shape, engineers were able to improve flow and increase compression ratio for an even bigger power boost

Better lubrication

A new scavenge pump system with no separate oil tank improves engine lubrication, reduces friction, and requires less oil for reduced overall engine weight.

Engine Mode Select button

The CRF450RX’s Engine Mode Select (EMS) system lets you modify fuel-injection and ignition mapping with the simple push of a handlebar-mounted button. Choose between Standard, Smooth and Aggressive to dial in the best power curve for better starts, better drive out of corners, better traction, or simply to better suit your riding style. Mode selection is easily accomplished without changing your hand position or shutting down the engine (as long as the engine is idling).

Twin to win

The CRF450RX’s twin-muffler exhaust system not only contributes to the engine’s exceptional power characteristics, it’s also positioned tightly to the frame’s centre to take weight off the rear end and optimize mass centralization for improved handling.

Easy starting

Standard electric start gets you going quickly and effortlessly with the push of a button.

Special gearing

Transmission ratios and final gearing are unique to the CRF450RX for optimum performance on cross-country and endurocross courses. Extra-strong transmission gears enhance durability while delivering smooth, sure shifts.

Programmed for power

The CRF450RX’s Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI) settings contribute to the engine’s strong low-end torque, remarkable top-end power and generous over-rev capability.

Scavenge pump system

A special scavenge pump system improves engine lubrication, reduces friction and requires less oil, to help reduce overall engine weight.

Light and responsive frame

The CRF450RX’s twin-spar aluminum frame is shared with the CRF450R. It’s light, and its torsional stiffness improves turn-in and corner-exit performance, without giving up high-speed stability.

Latest Showa fork

Easily tuned to match changing track conditions or your riding style, the CRF450RX’s new Showa coil-spring fork was developed to work in conjunction with the advanced chassis for enhanced traction, agility and stability. Settings for both the fork and the shock are unique to the CRF450RX.

Keeping cool

The front fender and tank shrouds are designed to optimize airflow to the radiators, keeping the engine running at peak efficacy from start to checkered flag.

Excellent traction

Dunlop AT81 tires—the rear on an 18-inch wheel—offer excellent traction in a wide variety of conditions.

Precise handling

The CRF450RX boasts a CRF450R-spec chassis with a lower overall centre of gravity and a shorter wheelbase thanks to the swingarm location and the centralized rear shock, contributing to the type of precise handling that carries you to the front and keeps you there.

Larger fuel tank

The CRF450RX’s 8.5-litre plastic fuel tank is larger than the CRF450R’s, providing extra capacity for longer enduro riding.

Enhanced mobility

Smooth CRF450R-spec bodywork allows you move freely in the saddle of the CRF450RX, while durable plastic components and graphics keeps your CRF looking new ride after ride.

Convenient sidestand

Need to make a quick on-course pitstop? The standard sidestand means you don’t need to find a nearby tree to keep your CRF450RX upright.

Easy to adjust

Quick-adjust clutch perch simplifies cable adjustment.

Reduced rider fatigue

Aluminum handlebar is rubber-mounted to reduce rider fatigue and improve comfort.

Preventative indicator

The engine stop switch with integrated LED indicator lets you know if the PGM-FI system is working properly.




2018 Honda CRF450RX – Totalmotorcycle.com USA Specifications/Technical Details
US MSRP Price: $9249 USD


Engine Type

449cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke

Bore And Stroke

96mm x 62.1mm

Compression Ratio


Valve Train

Unicam® four-valve; 38mm intake, titanium; 31mm exhaust, Steel


Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI), 46mm downdraft throttle body


Full transistorized with electronic advance



Close-ratio five-speed

Final Drive

#520 Chain; 13T/50T


Front Suspension

49mm inverted Showa fork with rebound and compression damping adjustability; 12.0 inches of travel

Rear Suspension

Pro-Link® Showa single shock with adjustable spring preload, rebound and compression damping adjustability; 12.28 inches of travel

Front Brake

Single 260mm disc with twin-piston caliper

Rear Brake

Single 240mm disc

Front Tire

Dunlop Geomax AT81 90/90-21

Rear Tire

Dunlop Geomax AT81 120/90-18



58.1 inches


27° 22′ (Caster Angle)


116mm (4.6 inches)

Seat Height

37.8 inches

Ground Clearance

12.9 inches

Fuel Capacity

2.2 gallons

Curb Weight

257 lbs (Includes all standard equipment, required fluids and full tank of fuel—ready to ride.)


Available Colors


Model ID




2018 Honda CRF450RX – Totalmotorcycle.com Canadian Specifications/Technical Details
Canada MSRP Price: $ CDN

Engine & Drivetrain

Engine Type

Liquid-cooled single-cylinder 4-stroke


449.7 cc

Bore & Stroke

96 mm x 62.1 mm

Compression Ratio


Valve Train

Unicam, 4 valves

Fuel Delivery

PGM-FI electronic fuel injection with 46 mm throttle body


Close-ratio, five speed

Final Drive

#520 T-ring-sealed chain; 13T/50T

Chassis & Suspension

Front Suspension

Showa telescopic inverted coil spring. 305 mm (12 in.) travel.

Rear Suspension

Pro-Link® KYB single shock with adjustable spring preload, rebound damping adjustability, and compression damping adjustment separated into low-speed and high-speed; 312 mm (12.3 in.) travel

Dimensions & Additional Information


Front: 90/90-21 Rear: 120/90-18


Front: 260 mm disc with dual-piston caliper Rear: 240 mm disc

Ground Clearance

328 mm (12.9 in.)

Seat Height

959 mm (37.8 in.)


1,477 mm (58.1 in.)

Curb Weight

118.2 kg (260.6 lbs.) including required fluids and full tank of gas—ready to ride

Fuel Capacity

8.5 L


Extreme Red


No warrranty




2018 Honda CRF450RX – Totalmotorcycle.com European Specifications/Technical Details
Europe/UK MSRP Price: £ GBP (On The Road inc 20% Vat)


Bore × Stroke (mm) 96.0 x 62.1
Carburation Fuel injection
Compression Ratio 13.5:1
Engine Displacement (cc) 449.7
Engine Type (cm³) Liquid-cooled 4-stroke single cylinder uni-cam
Starter Kick & Electric


Brakes Front 260mm hydraulic wave disc
Brakes Rear 240mm hydraulic wave disc
Suspension Front Showa 49mm coil spring fork (305mm stroke)
Suspension Rear Showa monoshock using Honda Pro-Link system (133 stroke, 312.5mm axle travel)
Tyres Front 90/90-21 Dunlop GeoMax AT81
Tyres Rear 120/90-18 Dunlop GeoMax AT81
Wheels Front Aluminium spoke
Wheels Rear Aluminium spoke

Dimensions and Weights

Caster Angle 27° 26′
Dimensions (L×W×H) (mm) 2,175 x 827 x 1,274
Frame type Aluminium twin tube
Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres) 8.5 litres
Ground Clearance (mm) 328
Kerb Weight (kg) 118
Seat Height (mm) 959mm
Trail (mm) 116
Wheelbase (mm) 1477


Clutch Wet multiplate
Final Drive Chain
Transmission Type Constant mesh

Instruments and Electrics

Ignition System Digital CDI




Manufacturer Specifications and appearance are subject to change without prior notice on Total Motorcycle (TMW).

About Michael Le Pard 3259 Articles
"Mr. Totalmotorcycle". Owner and Founder of Total Motorcycle. Supporting over Motorcyclists and Motorcycling for 19 great years. Total Motorcycle is my pride and joy and being able to reach out 300 million people has been incredible but I could not have done it without the support of my visitors, readers and members, thank you so much! You are making a difference to millions of riders worldwide. Thank you.

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