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Mod Squad

Mod Squad | 2024 Honda CRF450R A+ Upgrades!



Presented by Leatt

The 2024 Honda CRF450R returned completely unchanged and we’d be remiss if we didn’t say that we were disappointed. While the engine is massively powerful with a great range of mapping options, it is the bike’s rigid feel and overall unpredictable handling character that has left us wanting for the past couple of model years. That said, we set out to make our test bike easier to ride with greater comfort, trustworthiness, and predictability as the main targets.

To address the lack of comfort, we sent our suspension components to enzo racing and they revalved the fork and shock to best match our test rider’s speed and ability. The fork revalve costs $220.00, plus parts and oil ($63.00 & $28.00), while the work to the shock costs $220.00 plus parts and oil ($88.00 & $33.00).

Initially, our goal to improve the front-end predictability of the CRF was with a set of Xtrig 24mm offset triple clamps. Imported exclusively to the United States by Technical Touch USA, the Xtrig ROCS Pro clamp features the split clamp design with opposing clamping surfaces for a more-even tension on the fork tubes. This can provide smoother, more supple action as there is less binding going on as the inner fork tubes slide in and out of the outers as the compress and rebound. One of the trickest features of the clamps (there are two, actually) is the adjustable steering stem. Our particular set offered the standard 22mm offset, or the 24mm setting that we were initially after. The second cool feature of the Xtrig clamp is the PDHS handlebar clamp system, which includes four elastomers that help add further comfort to the rider’s hands, isolating them from small chop feedback and engine vibrations. We ran into Honda HRC’s Trey Canard a few days before our first test on the bike and told him what we were looking to accomplish with the 24mm offset, and were surprised when he advised us to also try the standard 22mm setting, saying that the 24mm offset would certainly gain stability, but at the cost of front-end precision in corners. Canard said that the greater rigidity of the billet aluminum Xtrig clamp alone would be enough to improve the bike’s front-end feel. Since we already had the clamps installed in the 24mm setting we rode our first motos of the day that way and found that Canard’s words rang true. It only took about 30 minutes to disassemble the front end and change the steering stem setting and once again, we found that what Canard said was spot-on. The Xtrig ROCS Pro clamp costs $899.99, while the PDHS bar clamp is $188.99. They are worth every penny..

Technical Touch USA also imports Moto Master Brake components from the Netherlands, and they are the best we’ve encountered. The discs are laser cut from ultra-high-grade steel and patterned and shaped to provide the greatest amount of airflow and cooling for minimal fading and squealing. We installed a $308 oversized front rotor kit which also includes a billet aluminum caliper carrier to accommodate the larger 270mm disk. A set of Moto Master brake pads are also included. Though it is the same size as stock, the $136.00 Moto Master rear caliper features the same pattern and venting for a performance increase out back. Pads cost $39.95.

Hinson Racing is best known for its billet aluminum clutch baskets which reduce fading and are hard anodized to provide greater durability. They also produce top-quality clutch plate replacement packs, which include fiber and metal plates, as well as heavy-duty springs. We maintained the stock clutch basket but replaced the worn OEM plates with a $219.99 Hinson package. We also replaced the beat-down stock clutch cover with a cooler and more durable $199.99 Hinson cover.

We’ve always had great success with FMF Racing exhaust systems, and the Factory 4.1 system works especially well on the CRF450R Honda, as it evens out the powerband and makes it easier to ride and control throughout an entire moto, without sacrificing overall power. The Factory 4.1 RCT Titanium Full System with Titanium End Cap costs $1,374.99. A pretty penny, no doubt, but if the weight savings and appearance are not of utmost importance to you, the exact same performance gains can be had with the stainless steel version that costs $1,049.99.

Finally, we wrapped up the bike with a set of Backyard Design USA graphics, which cost $239.00. Backyard Design USA’s website features a custom graphics configurator that allows you to completely design your own kit. Use code SWAPMOTO for a 20% discount!

For traction, we replied on the awesome we Maxxis SI soft-to-intermediate terrain tires. We have been super pumped on the grip and durability of the SI, as they are a massive leap forward from the ST they replace. The 80/100-21 front costs $102, while the 120/90-19 rear costs $139.


enzo racing 714/541-5218 www.enzoracing.com

Hinson Racing 909/946-2942 www.hinsonracing.com

Technical Touch 909/949-4155 www.technicaltouchusa.com

FMF Racing 310/631-4363 www.fmfracing.com

Backyard Design USA www.backyarddesignusa.com

Maxxis Tires 770/962-5932 www.maxxis.com

Donn Maeda

Donn Maeda is a 30-year veteran in moto-journalism, having worked at Cycle News and Dirt Rider before launching MXracer Magazine and TransWorld Motocross Magazine. Maeda is the Editor-In-Chief at Swapmoto Live and you can catch him on a dirt bike or in the saddle of a mountain bike on most days.

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