Is Honda Planning a Production Version of the CRF450 Rally?

The Honda Africa Twin is just making its way into dealerships, but does the biggest of the Japanese manufacturers have another surprise in the offering by way of a production version of the CRF450 Rally? While most were assuming the concept CRF250 Rally would make its way to sale, new patents point to the bigger, Dakar bike reaching showroom floors.

2016 Honda CRF450 Rally 006

This year’s entry into Dakar

Dakar is currently underway for 2016 and at the time of publishing this article, Honda’s Paulo Goncalve is leading on a CRF450 Rally. The bike has been at the pointy end of Dakar since it was entered in 2013, yet Honda doesn’t offer a motorcycle for sale like it – the bike is based on the CRF450X though the new Africa Twin is a closer spiritual companion. But a CRF450 Rally would definitely fill a void in the marketplace where not even KTM currently competes.

Looking at the race version of the bike and the patents, there are signs that this is a production ready machine and not just a patent filing for Honda to protect the design of their race entry. The skid plate and engine guard is much more conservative than the race version, there’s no hand guards and the exhaust can is fairly Honda off road standard. But otherwise it’s very similar in appearance to what’s currently being raced South America.

Honda have given subtle hints that their ‘True Adventure’ series will continue and there’s now an exciting chance that will be in the form of a 2016 CRF450 Rally.




Honda CRF250 Rally Concept Looks Set for Production

Remember the Honda CRF250 Rally concept that was shown earlier this year at the  Osaka Motorcycle Show? Like many we were enamored with a bike that would offer a seriously lightweight enduro styled machine for the market and there’s now an even stronger indication that Honda actually plans to put this concept into production.

Honda has taken the step of registering the design of the CRF250 Rally concept with the European Trademark and Patent office. While that’s doesn’t provide an ironclad guarantee that the bike will be produced, such filings are generally only done with a company is looking to protect its intellectual property in preparation for a release to market.

Given how much focus Honda will be putting on the new Africa Twin over the next few months, it would make perfect sense to release another bike to ride its coat tails so to speak – and especially one that would sit at the opposite end of the range for price.

Further adding to the likelihood of this bike going into production is that the designs registered have lost all the expensive bits of bling such as a Mugen exhaust, Noguchi seat and Renthal bars and in their place are stock standard items from the CRF250L – although the larger fuel tank appears to remain.

If it is heading to market our first real glimpse could come as early as next month in Milan. Fingers crossed.