CRF450R • KX450F • 450SX-F • 350SX-F • RM-Z450 • YZ450F
It’s all about potential and priorities
The point in throwing the 2014 450 motocrossers into a vat and pouring them into the off-road environment is…what’s the
point? These machines are all serious track racers, and even the
weakest—or, more to the point, least changed—has enough DNA
to dominate a motocross course under the proper guidance. But,
the reality is that few 450s are actually raced. More are ridden at
practice tracks or used for play riding and exploring off-road.
With this mission statement of versatility, we require a bit more
out of them than just ballistic power and suspension designed to
flatten the biggest of leaps. Tractability and a broad powerband
are key, resisting flameouts at lower speeds is mandatory, and
suspension adjustability is crucial. The majority of these
machines haven’t changed all that much since last year, and all
need a little love to get them into a healthy off-road mindset.
We’ve decided to attack this year’s 450 motocrossers-gone-hybrid with revised criteria. They were all put through an incredible and violent test on our long test circuit, where hills, hack,
rocks, ruts, sand whoops and erratic speed zones demanded the
most out of the machines. We evaluated them as is, identified
their priorities, and ended with the overall potential of the
motocrosser as a do-it-all machine. To make all the 450 MXers
legal for off-road use, we installed spark-arrested, slip-on
exhausts from Bill’s Pipes, DR.D, FMF, Pro Circuit, Slasher and
Yoshimura. We also installed handguards to protect our mitts
from everything the trails had to throw at us. So here goes.
We tested USFS-legal pipes from Pro
Circuit, FMF, Yosh, DR.D and Slasher.