I was invited to attend the press release ride at lake whitney to ride the 09 crf 450 yesterday. if any of you guys question buying the 1st year of a new model, you better think again. honda r&d have been riding this bike for 2 1/2 years.
the bike handles like a dream, stuck to the ground everywhere. the motor is deceiving, feels slow but there is no abrupt hit. very smooth and pulls way long. it is fuel injected and has kayaba suspension. i havent ridden whitney in 2 years and within 2 laps i was able to jump everything, by saying that i mean the bike is way comfortable. it is typical honda quality but i think they actually have built the best bike available to the public.
in the morning the track was wet and had good traction, the bike worked awesome. but what really got my attention was about 2.30 p.m. they quit watering and the track dried out. the bike hooks on slick dry hardpack like no other bike i've ridden.
the bike is 5lbs lighter than the 08 model.
seen a few people say the bike will headshake, but it doesnt at all. they moved the front axle 15mm closer to the crank and they moved the rear axle 18mm farther back. the weird thing is you run the sag about 106-108mm. more than previous year hondas.
according to the honda guys the bike will be in dealers around sept. 22nd