Originally Posted by rmhrc628
I see a time when the crf450 base sled is used like the old xr600 sled was - in every dam event on the globe. To win. Safaris. Dakar. Anything else?
I think the new 450x base is going to be the start of the (long awaited) fightback by Honda for global domination managed and led by none other than JC himself.
I'd like to think that you are right mate (about the CRF/Rally spuring an XR-like resurgence in the popularity/usage in wider everyday applications... both racing and recreational)... but I think your looking at it through your rose coloured (HRC) glasses and just a touch high on those JCR feromones...
The XR was a success (in many facets of racing and recreational applications) that is pretty much unparalelled in modern times (old timers will claim that the ancient BSA singles and even the more contemporary DT1 Yamaha's excelled in any number of different racing or recreational applications... depending on wether the guards were up high... or down low and what type of tyres/gearing/exhaust were fitted). Sure there were XR's that won Oz Safari's (lots of them) Baja's (a good fistful of them), GNCC's, Hare n Hounds, Enduro's... hell, even some loonies stripped everything off them they could and raced them in 4 stroke MX (White Bros Nationals, Thumper Nat's etc.) and yeah, they did attain a great deal of success. And this led to a cult following out amongst club enduro riders, trail riders, play racers and budding adventure riders the world over... that still exists today (well over a decade after the last XR 600 R rolled out of the factory).
This "crossover" from competition to everyday joe racer is what set the bike apart... but what kept it there was it's relative (compared to todays workshop intensive 450cc competition enduro mounts) simplicity of ease and maintenence.
The HRC CRF 450 Rally is every bit as specialized and unobtainium enriched as the factory KTM 450 Rally. If they make a "customer spec" version available for other competition riders (like the KTM 450 RR) that too will be a fairly specialized, specific use type of motorcycle. For the CRF to gain a wider acceptance amongs the adventure/trail rider genre, it will need to undergo significant engine changes in order to meet the "everyday use criteria" that you "XR analogy" dictates. I am thinking total engine redesign in a slim chassis package... Think; DRZ400E engine in RMX 450 chassis... or similar.
HONDA have no 400 cc engine of this type... is it in the works, will HONDA make a CRF Rally styled production model... with a suitable dual pupose type motor... and "reinvent" the legendary XR 400 of the 21st century?
I dunno, maybe... but then again, I was still waiting on the 25th for santa to leave a KTM 690 Adventure Unicorn under my tree... sometimes I think they're just out to toy with our emotions mate...