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2021 Honda CRF450R

21YM HONDA CRF450R

For 21YM the CRF450R receives a wide array of improvements and upgrades under a development theme of ‘Razor-sharp Cornering’. Firstly, it’s 2kg lighter, thanks to a revised frame and subframe. The new frame and swingarm’s rigidity balance, combined with tighter chassis geometry, heightened ground clearance and suspension changes, are all targeted at creating optimal cornering performance. Learnings from Tim Gajser’s championship-winning 2019 campaign reduce rider fatigue, allowing enthusiasts of all ability levels to consistently post optimal lap times.

The engine also benefits from HRC’s knowhow to give a strong focus on low- to mid-range torque. The decompressor has been relocated, airbox volume is up, the throttle body redesigned and exhaust ports re-shaped. The exhaust downpipe is new and a single muffler replaces dual mufflers.

A larger-volume hydraulic clutch has an even lighter lever action, while other weight-saving details include a smaller fuel pump and optimised magnesium cylinder head cover. New plastics, too, are lighter and slimmer to aid rider freedom and the seat is a smaller unit, lower at the back. A smart new all-red graphic scheme completes this major update.

The original VFR1200F and Honda’s current DCT line-up The evolution of DCT

Honda is marking a decade since its Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) technology first appeared in its two-wheeled product line-up.

Having first appeared in dealerships across Europe on the VFR1200F sports tourer, Honda’s DCT remains unique in the world of powered two-wheelers. In total, over 140,000 machines with DCT have been sold in Europe, and in 2019, 45% of Africa Twins, 52% of NC750X’s and 67% of Gold Wings sold in Europe were the DCT version.

Its success has been in large part due to a constant evolution of the technology, with refinements to the smoothness and timing of the gear shifts, and adaptations to match the riding characteristics required of a broad range of different models. Examples include an off-road focussed ‘G switch’ addition for the Africa Twin and X-ADV, and synchronisation with Hill Start Assist, Walking Mode and Idling Stop on the flagship GL1800 Gold Wing luxury tourer.

For more information about the evolution of DCT technology, click here to read an interview with Dai Arai, the Chief Engineer responsible for guiding the evolution of DCT since the original VFR1200F: link