The first thought that went through my head when our former bro, Brent Jaswinski, was assigned to attend the Honda CRF450L launch was, “Damn, that’s going to be a fun one.” The new Honda dual-sport was a much-anticipated model with promises of real trail bike performance in a plated package. Did it live up to the hype? Well, I couldn’t wait for Brent to write his review. So, I shot him a text, “How was it?” To be honest, I’m pretty sure I texted him while he was still at the launch for the bike. I was curious, as was the rest of the world, about whether this new model would be a thrilling performance-driven machine, or yet another soft polite dual-sport with street bike mentality. I don’t remember exactly, but I’m pretty sure he responded with something along the lines of, “It rips!” It was at that moment I couldn’t wait to start planning a comparison of the Honda CRF450L against the time-tested king of dual-sports the KTM 500 EXC-F.
As motorcyclists, many of us can relate to riding BMX as a kid. Back then, the lifestyle was about grabbing your bike and using whatever’s around to its full potential. Ledges or benches were perfect for grinding, staircases are opportunities to jump down, walls were meant for riding, and gaps were meant for clearing. Introduce an empty swimming pool and the possibilities are nearly endless.
By now we trust you’ve read the novel of a 450 shootout penned by Scott Rousseau, Editor-in-Chief of our sister site, Dirtbikes.com, comparing the Honda CRF450R, Husqvarna FC450, Kawasaki KX450F, KTM 450 SX-F, Suzuki RM-Z450, and Yamaha YZ450F. It’s definitely a lengthy read, but Rousseau packs it full of information suitable for the MX veteran and noob alike. And in case reading isn’t your thing, the accompanying video provided in the link above is both informative and entertaining (though you’ll still have to read the test to see our winner).