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Friday, August 26, 2011
Gear: 2012 Honda CR450F

By Ryan Leyba
ESPN Action Sports

The Honda CR450F is one of the sickest looking bikes currently in production.

While the motocross racing world has been overrun by the new technology of four-stroke motorcycles, freestyle motocross hasn't quite welcomed the new bikes with open arms. However, all of that is changing for multiple reasons. One being that a lot of companies like Honda, Suzuki and Kawasaki have quit manufacturing two-strokes and because the new four-strokes are becoming better and better each year making for a far superior motorcycle.

WHAT IT IS:
Honda has a long-standing reputation of being the world's best and most reliable motorcycle manufacturer. Setting the trends like being the first to introduce aluminum framed motocross bikes, Honda has been and remains to be at the forefront of dirt bike innovation.

Nate Adams proved that the CR450F is perfectly capable of winning X Games gold medals at X17.

The 2012 Honda CR450F is no exception. Some years see Honda make leaps and bounds in terms of technological updates, and some not so much, however each year's model is always better than the previous. For 2012 Honda has added stiffer fork springs, outer tubes and front axle making for a much more FMX friendly front end right off the showroom floor. The rear suspension has also seen improvements in the form of stiffer settings and an all-new shock linkage allowing for improved tracking and handling.

Other FMX-friendly features include Honda's progressive steering damper, and wider footpegs, which help improve footing when coming back from tricks. In the power department, the CR450F remains at the head of the class by offering their patent and refined 449cc Unicam engine.

WHY IT RULES:
With the rising prices of four-stroke motorcycles, with the CR450F retailing at a steep $8,440, consumers want to get the most for their money right off the showroom floor and Honda's latest offering presents the need for minimal -- if not any -- expensive modifications.

As FMX is concerned, the CR450F is quickly becoming the standard just as its two-stroke predecessor, the CR250F. Nate Adams is the latest FMX pro to ride red, following the lead of other top pros like Todd Potter, Josh Sheehan, Derek Garland, Matt Buyten, Beau Bamburg, Wes Agee, Lance Coury and Brian Deegan, with a host of others sure to follow suit in the near future.

WHERE TO FIND IT:
Unlike most gear we feature on ESPN FMX, the Honda CR450F can't be purchased online ... for obvious reasons. To take a look at the bike and kick the tires, head to your local Honda motorcycle dealer and they'll get you dialed quicker than you can say "SICKKKKKK!"