It is unmistakably a race-bred CRF – and looks it – but with the additions and modifications needed to be the road-legal dual-purpose Enduro we’ve been waiting for. As such, the CRF450L is a complete package, as happy roosting trails as it is linking them up on-road. It’s still a CRF450R; just one that’s quieter, from the engine to the new exhaust. Both fuelling and ignition maps are now managed by an 02 lambda sensor; compression ratio has been lowered and crank mass increased for improved drivability. The gearbox is a 6-speed – for longer legs on the road – and a cush drive has been added to the 18-inch Enduro spec rear wheel.
The plastics are lifted directly from the CRF450R and all lighting is LED, with the front headlight in particular throwing out a penetrating beam. Increased volume for the titanium fuel tank adds range and all the items that make the CRF450L ready to purchase as a licensed, road going machine – such as speedometer, horn, indicators and mirrors – are standard. When it’s a Honda, build quality and superior engineering are always a given, but this is where the CRF450L really stands out; it is designed to go 32,000km between major strip downs! From the trail-rider’s perspective, that’s all you want and need – something that is beyond reliable and expected of a new Honda Enduro machine. The CRF450L raises the bar in all areas.