Honda released their latest edition of its flagship motocross bike, the 2023 CRF450, during a media event. Held on the eve of the opening Pro Motocross round at Fox Raceway, the function featured the entire Team Honda HRC lineup – Ken Roczen, Chase Sexton, Hunter Lawrence and Jett Lawrence – as well as Honda legends from the past, including champions Gary Jones, Johnny O’Mara, Rick Johnson and Trey Canard, as well as former Team Manager Dave Arnold.
When Honda introduced the first CR250M Elsinore fifty years ago, we changed motocross forever. And for 2023, we’re launching three new ways for you to dominate on the track: the CRF450R, the CRF450RWE, and the limited edition 50th Anniversary 450R trim. Updates include changes to the intake tract to give the engine more low- and midrange torque – giving you faster corner exits and the ability to pull taller gears. The updated chassis is more robust at key points, resulting in better stability, optimized suspension performance, and improved handling. There’s even a new, stronger muffler.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first Honda Elsinore, we’re producing a special, limited run of the CRF450R complete with blue seat, gold handlebar and rims, commemorative graphics, and more.Finally, there’s also our CRF450RWE (WE for Works Edition). It gets all the 2023 improvements plus special touches like a new, exclusive Yoshimura exhaust, Twin Air filter, Throttle Jockey seat cover, Hinson clutch basket and cover, premium DID DirtStar LT-X rims, Kashima and titanium oxide-coated fork, a red cylinder head cover, and hands-on touches like special cylinder-head porting.
“Honda is synonymous with motocross, and that’s a direct result of our dedication to the sport for the past five decades, as well as the invaluable contributions of top riders – from Gary Jones in 1973 to Jett Lawrence in 2022,” said Brandon Wilson, American Honda Manager of Sports & Experiential. “The 2023 CRF450 is worthy of that heritage, and the 50th Anniversary Edition pays tribute in a way that we’re sure will be appreciated by motocross enthusiasts. We look forward to current and future Honda champions continuing to grow our motocross legacy.”
For 2023, The CRF450’s engine and chassis updates also carry over to the premium CRF450RWE and the closed-course off-road-focused CRF450RX, raced by the SLR Honda and JCR Honda teams in the NGPC and WORCS competition.
While Honda celebrates 50 years of motocross heritage with the 2023 CRF450, the rest of Honda’s popular CRF Performance lineup, including the CRF450-S, CRF450X, CRF450RL, CRF250, CRF250RX and CRF150, continues to deliver industry-leading performance and reliability.
The CRF450R’s technical updates include a narrower intake-port shape and longer intake funnel, revised cam profile and smaller throttle body diameter, resulting in smooth power delivery and increased torque, improving acceleration out of corners. The frame’s rigidity has been optimized by increasing material thickness in strategic locations and the use of steel engine mounts (replacing aluminum) helps improve front-end traction. A higher-rate shock spring and revised fork settings complement the rigidity-optimized frame without introducing harshness. To enhance strength and reduce noise, the muffler body is constructed from heat-treated aluminum, and a new inner-pipe design is used.
For 2023, Honda also offers a 50th Anniversary Edition of the model, featuring a livery reminiscent of the legendary ’80s CRs that ruled AMA Motocross and Supercross. Easily recognizable to fans of that era, this version features a blue seat cover, white number plates, gold rims, gold handlebar, gray-metallic triple clamp and special graphics.
2023 Honda CRF450RWE
Building upon the legendary CRF450 platform, the CRF450WE (“Works Edition”) is for the rider searching for the ultimate advantage. Purpose-built for lowering lap times and providing an unparalleled riding experience, it features an extensive list of premium upgrades inspired by the factory Team Honda HRC machines of Roczen and Sexton, including a stainless-steel Yoshimura exhaust, hand-polished cylinder ports, Hinson clutch basket and cover, Throttle Jockey seat cover and graphics, D.I.D DirtStar LT-X rims and DM2 gold chain, coated fork tubes, fork legs and shock 18 mm shock shaft, gray metallic triple clamps, Renthal Kevlar grips and dedicated ignition mapping. In addition, the CRF450WE benefits from the same engine and chassis updates as its CRF450 sibling to improve corner-exit acceleration and handling.
2023 Honda CRF450RX
From high-speed NGPC and WORCS tracks to the technical woods riding of GNCC, the CRF450RX is a versatile, yet refined machine that is perfectly equipped for the variety of terrain found in closed-course off-road racing. To improve corner-exit acceleration and handling, this model receives the same chassis and engine updates as its motocross-focused relative, the CRF450. Built with off-road specific features like dedicated ECU and suspension settings, an 18-inch rear wheel, an aluminum side stand, a large 2.1-gallon fuel tank and hand guards, the championship-proven CRF450RX is ready for the track or trail, which is why it’s the motorcycle of choice for a variety of off-road racers, including the SLR Honda and JCR Honda teams.
2023 Honda CRF450R-S
Honda’s flagship motocross machine – the CRF450 – continues to push the technological envelope in an effort to stay at the front of the pack, but some customers prioritize value. Honda addresses the needs of both groups, as the CRF450-S (based on the 2022 CRF450 raced by factory Team Honda HRC riders Chase Sexton and Ken Roczen) is available at a very attractive price point without making a big sacrifice in terms of performance.
EXCLUSIVE WORKS EDITION
Simply stated, the best of the best. The CRF450RWE Works Edition includes all the standard CRF450R features, but also gets a special hand-ported cylinder head; Hinson clutch basket and cover; Twin Air filter, Throttle Jockey graphics and seat cover; upgraded DID DirtStar LT-X rims; an exclusive Yoshimura exhaust system including a titanium midpipe and muffler; titanium oxide-coated lower fork legs; revalved suspension; an RK gold chain; special ECU settings; and black triple clamps. Available in extremely limited numbers.
450cc UNICAM ENGINE
Honda Unicam cylinder heads combine the best of single- and double-overhead-cam designs. The configuration contributes to a compact engine that saves weight over a comparable dual-overhead-camshaft motor and also permits a narrow included valve angle. This flattens the combustion chamber to facilitate ignition flame propagation, allowing a high compression ratio. Since less space is taken up in the cylinder head, the camshaft sits lower in the head for a more compact engine and a lower center of gravity.
NEW INTAKE TRACT, THROTTLE BODY, AND CAM TIMING
To help boost the CRF450R’s low-and midrange power delivery, for 2023 we’ve made changes to the intake tract and throttle body to boost intake-mixture speed. New ECU settings, ignition maps, and cam timing using less overlap are all inspired by our factory HRC racebikes, and all work together to help you get on the gas sooner and roost out of corners faster and harder.