The CRF450L first rolled onto the scene in 2019 as a bold dual-sport machine that could furiously tear up the trails and perform admirably on the asphalt too: a true dual-sport motorcycle that takes the best DNA from Honda’s off-road-only CRF450R and blends it with road-going sensibilities. The result is a comfortable, durable, and incredibly versatile motorcycle.
Powered by a potent 449cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke engine capable of delivering 41.7 horsepower and 23.6 lb-ft of peak torque, the CRF450L has all the hallmarks of an off-road only motorcycle, but thanks to the addition of a few key pieces, it’s actually 100% street legal in all 50 states.
These additions include a modern catalytic converter, LED lighting, comprehensive instrumentation, and everything needed for street-legal fun. To make things even better, Honda has given the CRF450L a fuel-injection, an electric starter, a titanium fuel tank, and tough Showa suspension.
If you’re looking for trail to trail adventuring, traveling from dirt track to asphalt and back without the need of a trailer, the CRF450L is the ultimate dual-sport machine. For 2020, the Honda CRF450L’s sole update is the addition of new and improved graphics.
On this page:we’ve curated specs, features, news, photos/videos, etc. so you can read up on the new Honda CRF450L in one place.
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2020 Honda CRF450L Features
FULLY STREET LEGAL
The CRF450L is equipped with a catalytic converter and is fully street legal in all 50 states. That means you can ride it wherever it’s legal to operate a motor vehicle—in state and national parks, on the road, on public lands. Plus, you don’t need to haul your bike to the trailhead in a truck or on a trailer. Best of all, it makes finding gas a breeze.
An electric start system ensures trouble-free starting in all conditions. The electric starter also drives the clutch side of the crankshaft to provide superior lubrication to starter gears while producing a narrow engine with a short, strong crank.
449cc UNICAM® ENGINE
Honda’s Unicam® cylinder heads combine the best of single- and double-overhead-cam designs. The configuration contributes to a compact engine that saves weight over a comparable dual-overhead-camshaft motor and also permits a narrow included valve angle. This flattens the combustion chamber to facilitate ignition flame propagation, allowing a high compression ratio. Since less space is taken up in the cylinder head, the camshaft sits lower in the head for a more compact engine and a lower center of gravity.
The CRF450L features our proven fuel-injection system. It’s part of the reason the CRF450L offers such excellent torque and spot-on metering and response, especially in the critical low-rpm range. It also automatically compensates for elevation and weather changes.
TITANIUM INTAKE AND EXHAUST VALVES
Lightweight titanium intake and exhaust valves permit use of smaller valve springs, reducing overall engine height.
WIDE-RATIO SIX-SPEED TRANSMISSION
Like our CRF450X, the CRF450L rocks a wide-ratio six-speed gearbox. That gives you a low gear perfect for tight, slow situations, and a top gear that’s tall enough for highway riding to the next gas stop or trailhead.
The CRF450L’s dual radiators feature a refined core area for superior heat dissipation compared with conventional dual-radiator designs. A coolant recovery tank is located in front of the engine between the frame downtubes for improved center of mass, and the tank is protected by a plastic skid plate.
The CRF450L is a “ride anywhere” type of bike, and because conditions vary so widely, we’ve equipped it with a light electric fan for the radiator. Rock crawling or riding on a hot Arizona single-track, it helps keep your engine running cool.
FINAL-DRIVE SPROCKET DAMPER
Designed to keep your bike quieter while not adding any weight, these unique drive sprockets are just another example of the CRF450L’s innovative engineering.
Last year we redesigned the CRF450L’s crank to have 13 percent more inertia than the CRF450R. Why? To smooth out power delivery and make the engine more user-friendly in tight, technical situations.
The CRF450L features an all-LED lighting package, including the headlight. That’s a big deal, because it takes a lot of weight off the front end. And the lighting pattern is also specially designed for both on- and off-road situations.
The LED taillight is integrated into the rear fender. It’s light, compact and rigid.
Light, compact, and offering excellent performance—just like the CRF450L itself! Conventional batteries are heavy, but not this premium piece. It’s all part of why your new CRF450L performs as well as it does.
The CRF450L’s factory skid plate is light, yet also offers the engine and lower-frame protection serious riders demand on a machine like this.
TITANIUM FUEL TANK
Holding 2.01 gallons, the CRF450L’s premium titanium tank is light and tough.
18-INCH REAR WHEEL
The CRF450L’s 18-inch rear wheel gives you an excellent choice of on/off-road tires.
IRC GP TIRES
The CRF450L’s tires give you good off-road traction and on-road life. Tires are always a critical part of any on/off-road bike, and we’ve hooked you up with some great ones here.
LOW CENTER OF GRAVITY
The compact Unicam® engine and Honda’s famous concentration on center-of-mass engineering help keep the CRF450L’s center of gravity low. That means the bike feels lighter, and it helps handling too.
This is the same design as our latest CRF450X uses, and that’s a really big deal. It means the CRF450L is a true off-road bike, and not some compromise. The twin-spar aluminum frame is both light and stiff, and provides the basis for the CRF450L’s excellent handling. The chassis geometry is specially selected for responsiveness, and also is wider than the standard MX frame to accommodate the six-speed transmission.
WORKS-STYLE FRONT BRAKE
Compact twin-piston front brake caliper, anodized-aluminum brake pistons and lightweight 260mm front disc offer great stopping power while minimizing unsprung weight for improved turning and handling.
WORKS-STYLE REAR BRAKE
HRC works-type rear brake system uses a 240mm brake rotor combined with an integrated rear master-cylinder and fluid reservoir, a set-up that eliminates the separate reservoir and hose.
They may not help you go faster, but the sweet black DID DirtStar rims sure look good.
FUEL MILEAGE METER
An important feature for planning gas stops and calculating your bike’s range under varying conditions, the Fuel Mileage Meter shows current fuel mileage and average fuel mileage as well as fuel consumption. Displays in either miles or kilometers, and applies to both the A and B tripmeters. The Fuel Mileage Meter is in the same digital instrument display as the speedometer, odometer, tripmeters and digital clock.
The Gear-Driven Counterbalancer reduces vibration and drives the water pump. Eight clutch plates provide the surface area necessary to handle the engine’s massive torque, while carefully matched clutch springs provide a light feel at the lever.
Hey, a sidestand may seem like no big thing, but take a look at the one the CRF450L uses. Tucked up high and out of the way, this forged alloy piece is just another example of how the CRF450L gets it right.
Placing the rider’s legs at the narrowest part of the frame helps improve comfort and handling.
WORKS MX STYLING
Having a hard time spotting the differences between our factory MX bikes and the CRF450L? You’re excused. The “L” looks like our MX bikes because it’s derived from them—the smooth bodywork makes it easy to move around, and the updated for 2020 in-mold graphics not only look cool but are durable, too.