The CRF450l is Hondas first fully road legal lightweight adventure bike to hit the market. It has some superb and unique characteristics making it uniquely suited to the long distance trail rider, but as with many such bikes even Hondas epic work can be improved upon a little for riders like ourselves.
The part we all wanted most!
You know the score. You have too much ‘stuff’ bolted to your bars or hanging off every available Ram Ball mount slot available. You have charging cables everywhere and you can’t see the bikes clocks properly whilst the folding mirrors keep getting in the way of everything whenever you tuck them up safely out of harms way.
In addition, you can’t help thinking that on those long road runs just a little bit of relief from that wind blast would be really nice…Say hello to the AS Mini Fairing!
Super simple and bolted to the top of your triple clamps in seconds you’ll instantly gain a great looking fairing that will keep your GPS up high (exactly where you want it to stop you constantly looking downwards), allow you access to a mounting point for a 12v power source and a single 12v switch, and it will add a small screen that really does help to deflect a surprising amount of wind blast. Finally, it keeps the areas around your clocks clear so that you can access the superb amount of fuelling data available from the Honda display (km/l average, km/l live, litres used, trips, speed etc.).
At this price, what’s not to love!
Please note : GPS Mount, 12v power source and 12v switch not included.
Unlike bikes like the KTM690/Husky701 the CRF450l has a traditional box section triangulated rear subframe. Why is this important? Because it gives the adventure rider the opportunity to add a load to the rear of the seat without any fear of the fender becoming unstable and collapsing under the back wheel or damaging the fuel tank (which IS the rear subframe of KTM/Huskys!).
The Adventure Spec Rear Rack shown can be used with or without the Adventure Spec Side Luggage Supports.
Add an AS triangulated rear rack to the bike and the possibility of attaching extra fuel or tool loads to the CRF becomes a sensible reality (and with the slack steering head angle and longer swing arm it won’t tank slap at higher road speed either!).
SIDE LUGGAGE SUPPORTS
Looking to mount a traditional ‘square’ throw over pannier to your CRF like the Adventure Spec Magadan Panniers? You’ll rightly be worried about your bags disappearing under your back wheel or catching fire on the exhaust then!
Add these simple side luggage supports to keep your luggage safe and exactly where you need it to be.
Simple vertical strap slots are designed to work perfectly to hold your AS Magadans in place both vertically and horizontally.
The Adventure Spec Side Luggage Supports shown can be used with or without the Adventure Spec Rear Rack
We were really excited to get our hands on one of the first CRF450ls in the UK and spent quite a while admiring its fine lines on arrival…until we got to the rear of the bike…
Our first question : What is that?
Our second question : How long do Honda think that will last?
The standard Honda tail tidy is no thing of beauty which, is unfortunate because we think the rest of the bike is… It is large, unwieldy and clearly prone to damage (although it is really well made).
We thought about this one for while and concluded that if were to make an aftermarket part to address these problems it needed to:
- Make the bike look better
- Be smaller and far less prone to damage than the standard unit - Retain the ability of the bike to stay in fully legal road trim (if the purchaser chose)
We’re really happy with the result. We’d even go as far as to say that if you add a small ‘plate and remove the side reflectors it makes the bike look amazing.
Coming with a traditional twin cradle frame the engine is well protected from impacts onto flat surfaces, but less so for more pointed or thrown rock impacts. In addition, as a modern EURO spec engine it has a lot of additional pipes and tubes to the right lower side of the engine area that looked worryingly exposed to those of us at AS with memories of smashed engine bits on remote trails caused by flying debris.
The original Honda bashplate was low and plastic, the combination of which was not really providing the level of protection we’d normally be looking for. Hence the new design of AS CRF450l bashplate.
We’ve been making protection parts for many years so we started with our usual high quality aluminium plate and got to work.
You all know the points by now. Tough, light, welded, easy to fit and remove (for oil changes) and most importantly cut high where it’s needed and low where it isn’t to make sure that your bike stands the best chance of ending it’s trip with the same amount of oil and water inside that it started with.
We’ve already given our a good battering and so far it’s behaving beautifully.
After 6000km on the new CRF450l on almost every form of rideable surface we can tell you the following:
- The loaded CRF’s fuel economy will drop to 14km/l on soft sand or hard technical riding
- On a gentle hard pack run of 100km/h it will return 25km/h - On a motorway at 130km/h it will run at around 21km/l - On a mixed off-road day on a low ish throttle it will return about 18km/l - Overall after 6000km it has averaged 22km/l
We can also tell you that the standard fuel tank holds 7.6 litres, so using the data above you can check if the range the CRF has for your riding location and style is enough for you.
If it isn’t then you’ll need extra capacity and the IMS 3 (US) Gallon tank is the best option we’ve found to extend the CRF’s capacity. At 3.8 Litres per US gallon that will give you 11.4 litres of fuel and a range of upto 285km if you ride softly or 160km in dunes.