Honda Marks 50 Years of Motocross With Its 2023 CRF450R

Honda’s 2023 CRF450R 50th Anniversary Edition will be available starting this September.

Honda’s 2023 CRF450R 50th Anniversary Edition will be available starting this September. (Honda/)

American Honda will celebrate the anniversary of its first motocross machine, the 1973 CR250M Elsinore (find out more about the original Elsinore in the The 11 Most Important Motorcycles of All Time article), with a revised CRF450R platform in 2023. The base off-road model will start at $9,599 and be available in July. A special 50th Anniversary Edition, with retro livery inspired by the brand’s ‘80s-era MX bikes, will start at $9,899 and be available this September.

Revisions to the 450cc single include an updated cam profile and reduced throttle body diameter. The intake port is narrower, as is the intake funnel; both revisions are intended to balance power delivery and provide more torque with the goal of improving exit performance out of corners. These changes also required revisions to the ECU and ignition map settings. The single-muffler exhaust has been strengthened with a new outer shell and inner pipe construction.

Related: The Bike That Got Away: 1978 Honda CR250 Elsinore

The frame is updated as well, with new, more robust cylinder-head hangers. The frame is thicker than before, providing a more rigid setup that promises improvements to overall handling. The suspension mounting points have also been reinforced as well. The swingarm is updated to complement the rigidity changes in the mainframe, and the subframe is nearly a pound lighter than last year’s model.

Suspension settings front and rear are updated for improved handling, with better damping performance up front and faster rebound out back.

A bevy of up-spec elements return as well: titanium fuel tank, lightweight fuel pump, torque and launch control, engine mode settings, a works-style hydraulic clutch, race-ready Dunlop Geomax MX33 tires, and more.

Related: Racing The Lake Elsinore Grand Prix On A Honda CRF450L

This platform revision will also extend to two other 450 iterations, the CRF450RX and CRF450RWE.

2023 Honda CRF450R Technical Specifications and Price

Price:$9,599/$9,899 (50th Anniversary Edition)
Engine:450cc, SOHC, liquid-cooled single; 4-valve
Bore x Stroke:96.0 x 62.1mm
Compression Ratio:13.5:1
Fuel Delivery:PGM-FI w/ 44mm downdraft throttle body
Clutch:Wet, multiplate
Transmission/Final Drive:5-speed/chain
Frame:Twin-spar aluminum
Front Suspension:49mm Showa USD fork, compression and rebound damping adjustable, 12.2 in. travel
Rear Suspension:Pro-Link Showa shock, preload, compression and rebound damping adjustable, 12.4 in. travel
Front Brake:2-piston caliper, 260mm disc
Rear Brake:1-piston caliper, 240mm disc
Wheels, Front/Rear:Spoked; 21 in., 19 in.
Tires, Front/Rear:Dunlop Geomax MX33; 80/100-21 / 120/80-19
Wheelbase:58.3 in.
Seat Height:38.0 in.
Fuel Capacity:1.7 gal.
Claimed Curb Weight:245 lb.
Available:2022
Contact:powersports.honda.com

Engine and chassis refinements promise a better-handling and more torquey machine.

Engine and chassis refinements promise a better-handling and more torquey machine. (Honda/)

Specific changes to the engine are aimed at improving corner exit.

Specific changes to the engine are aimed at improving corner exit. (Honda/)

A more rigid frame is meant to give riders more precise handling.

A more rigid frame is meant to give riders more precise handling. (Honda/)

The CRF450R gets a revised swingarm and subframe.

The CRF450R gets a revised swingarm and subframe. (Honda/)

The exhaust is stronger, with a new outer shell and inner pipe.

The exhaust is stronger, with a new outer shell and inner pipe. (Honda/)

The 2023 CRF450R is priced at $9,599.

The 2023 CRF450R is priced at $9,599. (Honda/)

The 2023 CRF450R 50th Anniversary Edition will be priced at $9,899.

The 2023 CRF450R 50th Anniversary Edition will be priced at $9,899. (Honda/)
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