Building upon the legendary CRF450R platform, the CRF450RWE (“Works Edition”) is for the rider searching for the ultimate advantage. With an extensive list of upgrades inspired by the factory Team Honda HRC machines of Ken Roczen and Chase Sexton, the Works Edition is purpose-built for lowering lap times and providing an unparalleled riding experience. In addition to the premium upgrades, the CRF450RWE benefits from the same engine and chassis updates as its CRF450R sibling to improve corner-exit acceleration and handling. The 2023 CRF450RWE is the result of 50 years of motocross heritage and continued race-driven innovation.
Compared to the CRF450R, the Works Edition version has several special components:
- Hinson clutch basket and cover
- New Yoshimura exhaust with stainless-steel header pipe and titanium muffler
- Twin Air air filter
- Throttle Jockey Team Honda HRC graphics
- Throttle Jockey seat cover
- Red cylinder-head cover
- Hand-polished cylinder ports
- D.I.D DirtStar LT-X rims
- Kashima-coated outer fork tubes
- Titanium oxide-coated fork legs
- Titanium oxide-coated 18 mm shock shaft
- D.I.D-DM2 Gold chain
- Gray metallic coated triple clamps
- Renthal Kevlar grips
- Dedicated ignition and injection mapping
ENGINE / DRIVETRAIN
The CRF450RWE engine boasts exceptional bottom-end and midrange power and torque, making for a linear delivery that is strong but manageable, even as the rider tires, while peak power is also very good. A five-hole piston oil jet and dual 12 mm drum scavenge pump manage lubrication.
Cylinder Head: The design of the Unicam® cylinder head, with the decompressor system’s counterweight on the left end of the camshaft, contributes to combustion stability in the extremely low rpm range and for a strong-but-manageable power delivery on corner exits, for example, as well as resistance to stalling. For 2023, engineers followed the direction of Team Honda HRC by updating the cam profile for better low-end torque. The cylinder head of the CRF450RWE features hand-polished ports, delivering precise power characteristics. As before, the cylinder head cover is magnesium, with a thin-wall design for weight savings.
Intake: The CRF450RWE features a downdraft intake design that delivers strong, efficient power, and a large air boot (4.1 liters on the clean side of the air filter) achieves in strong torque at low rpm. Following feedback from HRC, the throttle body has a smaller diameter (44 mm instead of 46), for smoother power delivery at low speed. In addition, the intake port has a narrower shape, while the air funnel is longer, a combination that results in increased low-end torque and improved throttle response. The Works Edition is equipped with a TwinAir air filter, which is easily accessed with the removal of a single side-panel bolt. The 60º fuel-injector angle enables the spray to reach all the way to the back of the butterfly, thus cooling the upstream side of the intake path for maximum intake efficiency and torque feel.
Exhaust: True to its “Works Edition” name, the CRF450RWE is outfitted with a Yoshimura exhaust system, featuring a stainless-steel header pipe and titanium muffler. For 2023, the Yoshimura exhaust system utilizes a resonator to increase power and torque. The engine’s exhaust port is centrally located, has an oval shape and is very straight, optimizing exhaust efficiency and torque characteristics. With the engine’s central exhaust-port location, the exhaust header and muffler are positioned close to the vehicle’s centerline for a slim profile, contributing to freedom of movement for the rider.
Clutch: The clutch is hydraulically actuated and has eight plates and a large volume for good durability with minimal slippage and light lever pull. The Works Edition comes standard with a Hinson clutch basket and cover, further enhancing clutch performance.
Electronics: The CRF450RWE has dedicated ignition and injection mapping for refined power delivery. A gear-position sensor allows the use of three specific ignition maps for first and second, third and fourth, and fifth gears. There are options for Standard, Smooth and Aggressive ignition maps, selectable via an all-new handlebar-mounted switch, enabling simple tuning depending on rider preference or course conditions.
In addition, Honda Selectable Torque Control offers three levels of intervention. HSTC monitors rpm spikes and responds by temporarily reducing torque by retarding ignition timing and controlling PGM-FI to aid rear traction. The three different modes differ in drive-management level, for differing riding conditions or rider preferences:
- Mode 1: The system intervenes most lightly and waits the longest to do so—useful for reducing wheel-spin and maintaining control in tight corners.
- Mode 2: A midpoint between modes 1 and 3 in terms of how quickly and assertively the system intervenes.
- Mode 3: The system intervenes most quickly and assertively, which helps in conditions that are slippery or muddy.
The CRF450R’s handlebar-mounted switch allows selection between three modes, depending on conditions and rider preference. The HSTC system can also be switched off completely.
HRC Launch Control provides the best option for a strong start and also has three modes to choose from:
- Level 1: 9,500 rpm, for high-traction conditions and/or advanced riders
- Level 2: 8,500 rpm, for high-traction conditions and/or average riders
- Level 3: 8,250 rpm, for slippery conditions and/or novice riders
The Engine Mode Select Button (EMSB) alters the engine’s characteristics and three maps are available to suit riding conditions or rider preference:
- Mode 1: Standard
- Mode 2: Smooth
- Mode 3: Aggressive
CHASSIS / SUSPENSION
The motorcycle’s heavier components are positioned centrally and as low as possible for precise cornering without sacrificing high-speed tracking, and to achieve minimal squat under acceleration and negligible pitching during hard braking. For 2023, updates to the suspension settings and frame improve stability and turning.
Frame / Swingarm / Subframe: The frame uses narrow main spars and features optimized reinforcement ribbing on the backside of the pivot plate, contributing to the low frame weight of just 18.5 pounds. For 2023, frame rigidity has been optimized by increasing the thickness of the aluminum material at the joint where the twin horizontal braces meet the down tube, from 4 mm to 6 mm. Similarly, the material at the upper shock mount has been increased from 4 mm to 6 mm. These changes allow the front and rear suspension components to move more freely and avoid binding, improving stability and bump absorption. In addition, the engine hangers are now made from steel instead of aluminum, a switch that works with the revised frame rigidity to improve front traction.
As before, the subframe features a simple design that weighs just 2.0 pounds. The swingarm is narrow, providing good clearance in ruts, with rigidity tuned to maximize rear traction and cornering.
Suspension: As before, the Pro-Link® rear-suspension system uses a Showa shock absorber with adjusters on the right side and an ultra-light steel shock spring. Because of the updates to the frame rigidity, the shock now moves more freely, which allowed the switch to a stiffer spring rate (from 54N/mm to 56N/mm) without introducing harshness. Hold-up is improved as a result, for better performance in ruts.
Front suspension comprises a 49 mm inverted Showa® coil-spring fork and a gas-liquid separation structure. For 2023, the fork setting has been updated to the changes to the shock, for proper front-rear balance. The CRF450RWE’s lower fork legs and shock shaft are coated with titanium oxide to minimize stiction and improve ride quality, while the outer fork tubes are Kashima coated to enhance the Works Edition aesthetic. The upper and lower triple clamps are gray and are designed to offer a good rigidity balance for optimum handling and feel through corners.
Wheels: The CRF450RWE features robust D.I.D DirtStar LT-X rims for increased handling performance and durability. Petal-style brake rotors disperse heat, and a low-expansion front brake hose gives strong feel and consistent stopping power. The CRF450RWE comes with Dunlop’s excellent Geomax MX33 tires, generally considered to be the industry standard for soft to intermediate terrain. Developed with the help of top motocross pros, MX33s feature technologies that deliver superior grip, slide control, bump absorption and durability.
As before, the CRF450RWE has slim bodywork, with a smooth junction of the radiator shroud and side panel, facilitating rider movement and cornering. Each radiator shroud is produced in a single piece instead of two separate parts, and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) were used to design air-outlet vents in the shrouds. The radiator grills optimize the number of fins and their angle, maximizing cooling performance.
The seat base has rearward-facing tongues and front-located mounting tabs, easing installation, and using acceleration forces to keep the seat securely in place. A special edition Throttle Jockey gripper seat cover comes standard on the CRF450RWE. The 1.7 gallon fuel tank is made of lightweight titanium.
Only eight fasteners are used to secure all of the main bodywork components—both radiator shrouds, both side panels and the seat, and all of the bolts for the main bodywork parts have 8 mm heads, simplifying maintenance.
A single switch cluster addresses several functions: engine stop, ride-modes and Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC). The starter and HRC launch control are on the right side of the Renthal® Fatbar® handlebar. There are two locations for the handlebar clamp, and the clamp can be turned 180º; as a result, four different mounting positions are possible, through a range of 26 mm.
To complete the Works Edition package, the CRF450RWE comes with a red cylinder head cover, a D.I.D-DM2 gold chain and Throttle Jockey graphics, matching the Team Honda HRC factory machines of Ken Roczen and Chase Sexton.