2019 Honda CRF 450L

Tex68w

Beach Bum
Beach riding, back lake trails, night ride to the jetties, smooshed rattle snakes, beer run, a salty locals Mad Max fishing bike/quad/contraption, bikes still there in the morning, all in all it was a pretty good weekend.








 

Tex68w

Beach Bum
Took the bike in to get the tires mounted today. I put a Dunlop D606 120/90 on the rear and a GoldenTyre 216AA 90/100 Fatty on the front along with some rim locks. I'll have to wait and see how they do over the next few rides before I pass any judgement, but they certainly look better and there's no question they will be loads better off-road.




 
Last edited:

Paddler Ed

Adventurer
Interestingly we swapped from a D606 to the IRC! In the size that's run on the WR it was actually quite a rough ride on hard dirt roads (we've been in drought, so the roads are just dust), whereas on the XT it's fine so there are some sizes that it works better than others.

I've heard lots of good things about the Golden Tyre tyres, know someone running them on their Africa Twin.
 

Tex68w

Beach Bum
Interestingly we swapped from a D606 to the IRC! In the size that's run on the WR it was actually quite a rough ride on hard dirt roads (we've been in drought, so the roads are just dust), whereas on the XT it's fine so there are some sizes that it works better than others.

I've heard lots of good things about the Golden Tyre tyres, know someone running them on their Africa Twin.
Yea each bike, rider, conditions, and tire size are different. The IRC's were excellent on road and not bad in the gravel, but they were far from confidence inspiring off-road and would wash out very easily when pushed or in loose terrain. The D606 is a legendary 90/10 off-road/on-road DOT dual sport/enduro tire and it will be more in line with what I want this bike to do. I was going to run a 120/100 GoldenTyre 333N on the rear instead, but I got a great deal on the D606 and I didn't have to wait for it to arrive. The 216AA Fatty on the front looks like a ripper and I can't wait to push it off-road. These tires dominate the Hard Enduro scene so they will be more than enough for my needs. Post up some pics of the WR, those are fantastic bikes.
 

Tex68w

Beach Bum
Took the bike down to the back lake trails today, the weather was just too perfect to pass up the opportunity. I covered 24 miles of two-track with a few breaks and an off or two lol. The first spill was due to hitting a telephone pole hidden under a puddle as I was running through it. The funny thing is that I knew it was out there but I couldn’t remember exactly where it was and I was thinking about it not more than 30 seconds before I nailed it and went flying over the bars lol. Lucky for me I ended up in some soft sand and shrubs but I’ll be sore in the morning. Bars were a bit tweaked and got my first “real” scratches on the bike.
The second off was rider error when the front end washed out from under me when I grabbed too much front brake trying to go from fourth to second before a wet and uneven spot.

The tide was high which means there were very few people out today but it was great for me because the trail was quiet and traffic free less a few turtles trying to get to the other side. The winds were ripping which was a saving grace because it kept the mosquitos at bay. No rattle snakes today either.

I capped the day off with a stop at the local bbq spot for some yard bird and a cold one. I could get used to this but that Texas heat is coming on fast and in a few weeks days like today will be a but a distant memory.








 

Wallygator

Adventurer
I may be joining you on owning one of these things, going in Tuesday to see if I can make a deal. (y) Really don't need it but you only live once and I live in an area that is just too pretty not to explore by dual sport. An just having the ability to take it with me on road trips so I won't have to break camp for errands should be a huge bonus. So the Vstrom may just be out of here on Tuesday
 

Tex68w

Beach Bum
I may be joining you on owning one of these things, going in Tuesday to see if I can make a deal. (y) Really don't need it but you only live once and I live in an area that is just too pretty not to explore by dual sport. An just having the ability to take it with me on road trips so I won't have to break camp for errands should be a huge bonus. So the Vstrom may just be out of here on Tuesday
Awesome, I hope you find the deal you are looking for! They are great bikes, a little twitchy on the throttle at first until it breaks in, it's the only real complaint other than the seat and small fuel tank, but those are pretty standard upgrades on any bike. I am still waiting on the Vortex, I'll go back to the FMF exhaust when it finally arrives. I'm planning on riding the National Forest this coming week if the weather doesn't ruin my plans. For now I am keeping it as is with the exception of some radiator braces to protect those better, after having a few off's on the last ride I figure it's cheap insurance. Later this year I'll add taller bars/risers, a Trail Tech Voyager Pro, and a bigger fuel tank when the 4+ gallon offerings hit the market.
 

dms1

Explorer
When these were first announced everyone was saying that the 500 bottom end oil change maintenance was going too make that bike a flop for serious overlanders. What can you say about that?
 

Wallygator

Adventurer
When these were first announced everyone was saying that the 500 bottom end oil change maintenance was going too make that bike a flop for serious overlanders. What can you say about that?
I believe the change interval is every 600 miles and probably takes 10-15 minutes to do. I'm sure during easier, ie, longer, mellow dual sport rides that interval could be extended. Also I feel this is Honda protecting Honda, meaning if you look at the maintenance intervals recommended by the factories on most dirt bikes, you would go broke trying to follow it and spend most of your life working on the bike. I would probably follow the 600 mile interval as close as I could, but I believe if you are not running the revs too high and really beating on it, that the 600 mile interval could be extended with no issues. But honestly don't think it would be much of an issue stopping at a shop after breakfast in anywhere USA during the trip and changing your oil out real quick like.

I think keeping the valves in order is maybe more important and I would try and follow that check religiously.

Also this bike is not meant to be a cross country or "overland" type bike. This is a link trail to trail type bike. An "overland" bike to me would be a BMW GS whatever or a Triumph 800, something with some comfort to it. A dirt bike is the last bike I would pick to ride "overland" for 1000's of miles. I would have to hate my ass. I actually like my ass and don't like when it's in pain. :giggle:
 
Last edited:

Tex68w

Beach Bum
When these were first announced everyone was saying that the 500 bottom end oil change maintenance was going too make that bike a flop for serious overlanders. What can you say about that?

@Wallygator is correct, the oil change interval is every 600 miles. A lot of guys are changing the oil within the first 200-300 miles, but after seeing how clean their oil was I elected to stay with the factory recommended schedule and I will be changing it for the first time at 600 miles which is rapidly approaching. I have attached a snap shot of the maintenance page from the owners manual and aside from checking torque specs and spokes, radiator, valves etc. I plan to stretch my oil changes to every 1,000 miles after the second scheduled oil change at 1,200 miles, if everything looks good.



In regards to this bike being a good "overland" option, I think everyone's idea of what makes a good overland travel bike differs. In my eyes a good overland travel bike would constitute a bike that has a large tank, requires very little/low maintenance, and can handle the extra weight of gear on the sub-frame/pillion. The CRF450L embodies none of those, it needs a larger tank (only 2.01 gallons from the factory), see service intervals above, and the factory recommended specs for subframe load capacity is around 235 lbs, that said lots of owners have been surpassing that on the regular with no issues. Can it be turned into a bike that would excel in that category, for sure, but IMHO there are better options out there. Out of the box this is a big enduro with a plate, it is not a light weight dual sport or adventure bike as they would have you believe. This bike is a direct competitor to the KTM 450 and 500 EXC or the Husky FE 501, a large thumper for the woods that is street legal from the factory. While it is hands down the very best on-road bike in that category, it is still buzzy and light at highway speeds in comparison to the mid-size adventure bikes. In other words, it is not a bike I want to be riding at 70-75 mph for hours on in while covering tarmac miles.

The KTM 690 and the soon to be released 790, the Husky 701, Triumph 800, BMW 800/850, KLR 650, and hopefully the soon to come Yamaha Tennere 700 are all what I would suggest for someone looking to "overland" on two wheels. Light adventure aka Dual Sport bikes reign king in this category and are more adept at covering long days/hours/miles in the saddle but are still capable of traversing rather questionable off-road terrain.

My plans for this bike include a larger fuel tank, either the IMS 4 gallon or the large Safari Tank (both coming out in the fall), some small no-frame saddle bags, and possibly a tail rack. I intend to travel with it and take it on trips like Baja this fall, Colorado/Nevada/Utah BDR's, Big Bend, Palo Duro Canyon, etc. Trips that require covering 100-200 miles mostly off-road in a day but might have some tarmac time thrown in. Ride to the trail head, rip all day, then ride back home kind of bike. Eventually I'll add a 300 two-stroke for hard enduro type trail riding and maybe/possibly/not sure a mid-size adventure bike should I ever get the itch to cover more road miles in the future, but that's a long shot. I prefer to dodge trees and small animals on the trail these days instead of dumba$$ drivers texting and not paying any attention to riders on the street.
 

Wallygator

Adventurer
@Wallygator is correct, the oil change interval is every 600 miles. A lot of guys are changing the oil within the first 200-300 miles, but after seeing how clean their oil was I elected to stay with the factory recommended schedule and I will be changing it for the first time at 600 miles which is rapidly approaching. I have attached a snap shot of the maintenance page from the owners manual and aside from checking torque specs and spokes, radiator, valves etc. I plan to stretch my oil changes to every 1,000 miles after the second scheduled oil change at 1,200 miles, if everything looks good.



In regards to this bike being a good "overland" option, I think everyone's idea of what makes a good overland travel bike differs. In my eyes a good overland travel bike would constitute a bike that has a large tank, requires very little/low maintenance, and can handle the extra weight of gear on the sub-frame/pillion. The CRF450L embodies none of those, it needs a larger tank (only 2.01 gallons from the factory), see service intervals above, and the factory recommended specs for subframe load capacity is around 235 lbs, that said lots of owners have been surpassing that on the regular with no issues. Can it be turned into a bike that would excel in that category, for sure, but IMHO there are better options out there. Out of the box this is a big enduro with a plate, it is not a light weight dual sport or adventure bike as they would have you believe. This bike is a direct competitor to the KTM 450 and 500 EXC or the Husky FE 501, a large thumper for the woods that is street legal from the factory. While it is hands down the very best on-road bike in that category, it is still buzzy and light at highway speeds in comparison to the mid-size adventure bikes. In other words, it is not a bike I want to be riding at 70-75 mph for hours on in while covering tarmac miles.

The KTM 690 and the soon to be released 790, the Husky 701, Triumph 800, BMW 800/850, KLR 650, and hopefully the soon to come Yamaha Tennere 700 are all what I would suggest for someone looking to "overland" on two wheels. Light adventure aka Dual Sport bikes reign king in this category and are more adept at covering long days/hours/miles in the saddle but are still capable of traversing rather questionable off-road terrain.

My plans for this bike include a larger fuel tank, either the IMS 4 gallon or the large Safari Tank (both coming out in the fall), some small no-frame saddle bags, and possibly a tail rack. I intend to travel with it and take it on trips like Baja this fall, Colorado/Nevada/Utah BDR's, Big Bend, Palo Duro Canyon, etc. Trips that require covering 100-200 miles mostly off-road in a day but might have some tarmac time thrown in. Ride to the trail head, rip all day, then ride back home kind of bike. Eventually I'll add a 300 two-stroke for hard enduro type trail riding and maybe/possibly/not sure a mid-size adventure bike should I ever get the itch to cover more road miles in the future, but that's a long shot. I prefer to dodge trees and small animals on the trail these days instead of dumba$$ drivers texting and not paying any attention to riders on the street.
Exactly, I believe this bike is the perfect companion to your overland vehicle, not a separate means to "overland". In other words you have a base camp, your vehicle, then you have the bike to explore, run errands, etc...the perfect very capable companion
 
Top