2019 Honda CRF 450L

Tex68w

Beach Bum
I brought this lovely lady home last week. I don't have many miles on her yet, but from what little I have ridden I can already tell that I am going to have many miles of fun on this bike. I have a laundry list of aftermarket goodies set to go on in the coming weeks and I am looking forward to the progression of that build. Stay tuned for more updates.



 

Tex68w

Beach Bum
Nice! please keep us posted, this is high on my list for my next bike.

Will do! Once the exhaust goes on and I change out a few more bits I will have already dropped 10+ pounds off of the bike. It's really smooth on road and I think the front end is better than the KTM 500 and Husky 501 I was also considering. I think the full FMF exhaust and Vortex ECU will really wake it up and pull out a lot of the potential hidden in this engine. I am already confident that I made the right choice with this bike and I haven't even put 100 miles on it yet lol.
 

Wallygator

Adventurer
Very nice! In for where you take this. It seems to be a great platform with it's only limitation being weight. The KTM's are all about minimal weight but I feel they will require a lot more maintenance than the Honda. I priced a KTM 500 EXC at the dealer a few days ago and they wanted $12,227 out the door...:oops:...then would need accessories like skid plate, radiator guards, etc...just crazy expensive, but the best performance. Worth thousands more than the Honda...I don't think so. Hondas are reliable (hence the weight) and I expect this bike to be no different. Look forward to more of this build.
 

Paddler Ed

Adventurer
I've got one of those rear IRC tyres on the WR250 here; I managed to get it as a take off from the local dealer as a lot of the local riders want something more aggressive, but so far it seems to be nice on the road and dirt (done about 250km on a mix of road and dirt)
 

Cummins_expo

Adventurer
Watching this thread- What did you ride before? Will be cool to hear some comparison. I just missed a bought it and scared me sale on one locally ( huge discount off new)
 

Tex68w

Beach Bum
Watching this thread- What did you ride before? Will be cool to hear some comparison. I just missed a bought it and scared me sale on one locally ( huge discount off new)
My most recent small bike was a KTM 300 2T. I was leaning heavily towards the KTM 500 EXC and Husky TE501 prior to considering the 450L. The fact that this bike is better on road and I have a local dealer network played a large factor in my decision to buy Red this time. I paid $9600 OTD so it was less to swallow than the KTM or Husky pricing, but I feel they are still over priced.

I have a Seat Concepts Comfort Low seat and Zeta Pro Armor Full Wrap hand guards arriving here later this week. I am looking at pulling the trigger on some GoldenTyre rubber tonight too (GT216AA 90/100x21 Fatty up front and a GT333 120/11x18 out back), the factory stuff is garbage off-road. The front end on this bike feels better than the 500 I rode, but it needs a little tweaking in the compression, it's a tad sharp still. I will definitely be keeping this thread/build updated here for you all.

I snapped this pic just prior to being chased off of this local grass/turf farm lol.

 

BADDANDY

Adventurer
I really wanted the Honda, but not big enough of a leap from my 15 year old modified DRZS. That $10,300 sticker price sealed the deal for me, FE 450. 2018 OTD $11,000. After 1,000 miles, 800 of it single-track, I made the right decision. So much, I got her a sister, 19' TE 250i. 500 miles of single-track on her. Both have only costed me in gas and oil so far. Reliability on both on the forums/facebook groups are thumbs up for those that haven't dickered with them. If I'm paying this much money, and as all 3 are near the same price, I'm buying the one that is the lightest and most powerful. The side benefit was the dealer, only KTM and Husky, even though in OR, treated me like part of the family. KTM mom-n-pop dealer near my house is where I go for supplies is so cool, shim one-for-one swaps at no cost. Never would get that at a normal dealership! Very interested to see how light you get your L down to.
 

Tex68w

Beach Bum
I really wanted the Honda, but not big enough of a leap from my 15 year old modified DRZS. That $10,300 sticker price sealed the deal for me, FE 450. 2018 OTD $11,000. After 1,000 miles, 800 of it single-track, I made the right decision. So much, I got her a sister, 19' TE 250i. 500 miles of single-track on her. Both have only costed me in gas and oil so far. Reliability on both on the forums/facebook groups are thumbs up for those that haven't dickered with them. If I'm paying this much money, and as all 3 are near the same price, I'm buying the one that is the lightest and most powerful. The side benefit was the dealer, only KTM and Husky, even though in OR, treated me like part of the family. KTM mom-n-pop dealer near my house is where I go for supplies is so cool, shim one-for-one swaps at no cost. Never would get that at a normal dealership! Very interested to see how light you get your L down to.
I've already dropped 10lbs and there's likely a few more to go. With the 450L there's a 26-27lb weight difference between it and the KTM 500 and 21-22lb between it and the Husky when all are fully wet. After my full FMF exhaust and Vortex ECU the power will be negligible if any difference at all and the Honda is far and away the better bike when on the pavement and at speed and I found the suspension better out of the box, it has a stronger sub frame as well.

I have had two KTM's in the past, they are fantastic bikes, but they aren't perfect, I always had to wait weeks for parts, smaller dealer network, more maintenance, and obviously more money all around. I had a Husberg a few years back (570) and I loved that bike but I got talked out of it. This was obviously prior to the Husky merger but now that they are one in the same I feel like I have kinda tasted that flavor as well. I was leaning Husky 501 if I didn't buy the Honda but I got the Honda for $9600 OTD, only fools pay retail. I'm not gonna lie, dealer network played a large roll in my decision, the closest KTM and Husky dealer is over an hour and a half away and in the middle of a large city. Even as silly as this might sound, I also wanted to try something new, everyone buys Orange when it comes to an Enduro or woods bike and for good reason, they've had that market locked down for a while now, but I wanted to be different and try the new flavor, it's nice to see a Honda back in the garage after all of these years.

At the end of the day all of these bikes are excellent choices and 99% of us will never be able to ride them to their full potential so the few horses here, the few pounds there, some more expensive parts over there, etc. really don't matter. Buy what you like and what moves you and get out there and enjoy it. I am hoping that this ends up being a long term bike, I usually keep my two-wheeled machines around a lot longer than my autos lol. But if for whatever reason the bike ends up not being what I expected/wanted/needed then it'll likely go up on the chopping block in favor of a KTM 500 or Husky 501.
 

Tex68w

Beach Bum
I returned home this evening from the holiday and I got around to putting on the Seat Concepts seat and Acerbis hand guards. I opted for the Comfort Low model seat with the low-slip black top and low-slip red sides. The red isn't an exact match but then neither was the factory seat. It's a night and day difference in terms of comfort and feel and for once I can ride without focusing on how much my nether regions hurt. I like that I gained another inch of standover as well, I can nearly flat foot it in sandals so I should be good in my MX boots. The factory seat is lighter by about 1/2 pound.


Factory seat



Seat Concepts Comfort Low




I decided to run the Acerbis X-Factor hand guards over the Zeta's for a couple of reasons. One, I liked how large the actual bar itself was in comparison, it is thick and should provide ample protection with or without the plastic guards. And two, I prefer the bar mount because it allows me to adjust the angle of the guards themselves in relation to the handlebar and my controls. They provide you with mounts for both 7/8" and 1 1/8" bars which is nice should I upgrade to fat bars in the future. I also like how the lettering is color injected plastic all the way through and not a sticker or paint that will smear or rip off in pieces every time you smack it on something.







She's coming along, I am still waiting on the Vortex ECU for the FMF full exhaust install and I need to get new rubber on this week. Skid plate is in the mail and I'll be looking into a few other odds and ends after I get some miles on her and hone in on what else it is I need/want.


 

Wallygator

Adventurer
I'm picking up what you are putting down...what's the review. Tell us about it. I would love this bike but a lot of money. I have a 2014 Vstrom 1000 and a 2017 YZ250X. The YZ is used from extreme Enduro to MX. A great bike. The Vstrom is fun but not as versatile as I think the 450 L would be. Do I need a Honda 450L?
 

Tex68w

Beach Bum
I'm picking up what you are putting down...what's the review. Tell us about it. I would love this bike but a lot of money. I have a 2014 Vstrom 1000 and a 2017 YZ250X. The YZ is used from extreme Enduro to MX. A great bike. The Vstrom is fun but not as versatile as I think the 450 L would be. Do I need a Honda 450L?
I can't possibly give a full and honest review on the bike just yet, I don't have nearly enough seat time on it at the moment. But from what I have experienced so far I can tell you that this bike isn't a full on enduro/woods bike, it is not simply a detuned motocross steed, and it is not a true dual sport. That said, this bike has a little DNA from all of those segments and does a great job of rolling them all into one. It has the top shelf suspension from Honda's 450R motocross bike which is arguably the best factory squishy's on the market. It has the size, weight (close), lights, and handling of an enduro/woods/cross country bike. And lastly it has the wider ratio transmission, on-road refinement (in comparison to other plateable enduros), power to weight ratio, and the majority of the load bearing ability of a dual sport. It does none of these things exceptionally well but it does all of them better than average.

I think a lot of guys buy this bike expecting it to be a smaller dual sport that they can replace their 650/690 with and dump thousands of back highway miles on and while you probably could, that's not really this bikes segment. This is very much a 450/500 KTM/Husky, but with better suspension, high speed handling, less buzz/vibes, lower maintenance and all around reliability. I see this bike more as a 90/10%-80/20% bike and not a 50/50% bike like I hear some expecting it to be. It can be a supermoto, it can commute to work and back, but it can also rip down any trail or in the open desert and then take you back home via the street legally and with enough power and stability to do it safely while still having the power and speed to pass others at highway speeds. This is more of a connect the trails bike via short stints on the road with the bulk of your riding off-road. Think vacationing in Colorado riding trails during the day and jumping back into town for lunch and dinner via the highway, that's where this bike will shine.

I can see using this as a BDR style bike, exploring backroads in rural areas where you might jump from asphalt to dirt road, to trail, and back to tarmac all day long. I have a lot of that type of riding in my area and I plan to utilize it to branch out and discover areas nearby that I would otherwise skip over in a cager. I'll have her down at the beach this weekend for some beach and back lake riding and fishing with some buddies, it'll be the first time I've ridden her in sand. Standby for future upgrades and ride reports.
 
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Wallygator

Adventurer
I can't possibly give a full and honest review on the bike just yet, I don't have nearly enough seat time on it at the moment. But from what I have experienced so far I can tell you that this bike isn't a full on enduro/woods bike, it is not simply a detuned motocross steed, and it is not a true dual sport. That said, this bike has a little DNA from all of those segments and does a great job of rolling them all into one. It has the top shelf suspension from Honda's 450R motocross bike which is arguably the best factory squishy's on the market. It has the size, weight (close), lights, and handling of an enduro/woods/cross country bike. And lastly it has the wider ratio transmission, on-road refinement (in comparison to other plateable enduros), power to weight ratio, and the majority of the load bearing ability of a dual sport. It does none of these things exceptionally well but it does all of them better than average.

I think a lot of guys buy this bike expecting it to be a smaller dual sport that they can replace their 650/690 with and dump thousands of back highway miles on and while you probably could, that's not really this bikes segment. This is very much a 450/500 KTM/Husky, but with better suspension, high speed handling, less buzz/vibes, lower maintenance and all around reliability. I see this bike more as a 90/10%-80/20% bike and not a 50/50% bike like I hear some expecting it to be. It can be a supermoto, it can commute to work and back, but it can also rip down any trail or in the open desert and then take you back home via the street legally and with enough power and stability to do it safely while still having the power and speed to pass others at highway speeds. This is more of a connect the trails bike via short stints on the road with the bulk of your riding off-road. Think vacationing in Colorado riding trails during the day and jumping back into town for lunch and dinner via the highway, that's where this bike will shine.

I can see using this as a BDR style bike, exploring backroads in rural areas where you might jump from asphalt to dirt road, to trail, and back to tarmac all day long. I have a lot of that type of riding in my area and I plan to utilize it to branch out and discover areas nearby that I would otherwise skip over in a cager. I'll have her down at the beach this weekend for some beach and back lake riding and fishing with some buddies, it'll be the first time I've ridden her in sand. Standby for future upgrades and ride reports.
Nice writeup and thanks. Definitely look forward to more reviews, mods, and pics. You are using exactly how I believe I would. Think I am going to move on from the Vstrom. Would like a bike like your Honda to haul on the back of the 4 for exploration and store runs on trips, a nice and capable dual sport but more dirt oriented compared to say a DRZ 400. The reliability of the Honda vs the KTM/Husky has me overlooking any slight weight penalty with the Honda. It's also a lot cheaper.
 
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