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Tested: RedMoto Honda’s 2020 CRF RX Enduro range

RedMoto Honda’s 2020 CRF RX Enduro model range ridden and rated – four model range from Honda's official Italian EnduroGP race team and Enduro motorcycle specialists. 

 

To say RedMoto Honda’s RX Enduro four bike range is just two Hondas, plus two more with different sized pistons and some lights is just scratching the surface of reality. Honda calls the cross-country RX model the ‘ultimate off road weapon’ but for many riders that ‘closed-course’ bike doesn’t tick all the boxes for enduro.

That is where RedMoto step in and take the basic 250 and 450 CRF RX, ‘make them more enduro’ and tailor two unique 300 and 400cc versions for good measure. 

RedMoto’s philosophy is to turn their considerable expertise – from racing in the Italian and Enduro World Championships to international motocross and trials – to not only homologate Honda's CRF RX models but tailor them to suit the sport of enduro. 

Their CRF 250/300/400 and 450 RX are an impressive and intriguing quad of four strokes but how good are they to ride? We went to The Metzeler Off Road Park near Arco, Northern Italy to find out…

 
RedMotoEnduro models 2020 560
 

RedMoto RX Enduro model changes in a nutshell:

  • Smaller, 7.3litre tank size (8.5 litre standard on the Honda 250 and 450 RX) 
  • 300 and 400 models feature Athena design piston, cylinder and gaskets 
  • Different design and larger diameter exhaust system 
  • Honda RX ECU adapted for each bike for more European enduro style
  • Metzeler Six Days Extreme tyres 
  • Longer front brake hose 
  • Radiator cooling fan and additional radiator protection
  • Lights and wiring 
  • Ergonomic rear fender including number plate hanger 
  • Hand guards 
 
 RedMoto Honda CRF300RX DM2 6123 560
 

RedMoto CRF 300 RX Enduro 

It’s a cliché to write it but ‘which one would you buy if it was your money?’ is a good question but a good place to start. I’d have to say RedMoto’s CRF 300 RX has that perfect blend of power and weight – I’m pumping out another cliché here but it is true, this one ticks most boxes. 

RedMoto say the CRF 300 RX is built to satisfy the needs of customers with that same easy to ride manners as the 250 RX but with a spoonful more power from a useful 295cc piston and cylinder instead of the stock 249cc.

It’s a crucial change but nothing like the whole story behind what makes this a better bike: revised ignition timing and fuel maps, different cam profiles and exhaust valve timing, different combustion chamber, larger air intake, 10% larger air filter, different exhaust – more so if you add the optional Termignoni titanium system in the mix. 

 
RedMoto CRF300RX 4750 560
 

The latest generation Honda off road models have gear positions sensors which gives RedMoto the ability to adjust the ignition curve specifically for each gear – for the development of all four RX models in fact. Combined with some clever tweaking of second and third gear ratios (the ratio of second is now 16/28 for a ratio of 1.75 compared to the previous 15/27, equal to 1.8), a “complete re-writing” of the power maps in the ECU, plus an extra 100rpm, you can easily feel the difference on the track and realise where all the development time has gone from RedMoto. 

That gearing modification is a crucial one. It allows you to hold a gear for longer and if you’re spending most of your riding time in second and third gears, which many do, the attention to the power delivery and feel from the throttle is meaningful.

The latest generation chassis’ from Honda are a decent chunk away from the older models: lighter, easier to move around and more accommodating which naturally works better for enduro. That is amplified on the 250 chassis so to have all that but with a little extra torque and top end with the 295cc engine suited me just fine. If the RedMoto CRF 250 RX gets a thumbs up then their CRF 300 RX gets a two thumbs up from us.

 
RedMoto 250RX MGL0077 560
 

Honda CRF 400 RX Enduro

By the apparently simple change of cylinder, piston, and gasket to take the 450 CRF engine to 413cc displacement, the CRF 400 RX Enduro is something of a master stroke from RedMoto. 

That fierce 450 power too much for you or the type of events you do? Maybe with a little lower compression dispensing a slightly gentler power delivery at all rpm is the answer. It sure feels like it as I hop onboard for my first ride. 

A characteristic of all the big capacity enduro models from different European manufacturers is how docile they can be on part throttle, in lower gears and in the tight stuff. Part of the deal with RedMoto’s CRF 400 RX is to make the 450 manageable and more like the other competitors on the market. They have done just that. 

 
RedMoto Honda CRF400RX 4737Static 560
 

Like the all the bikes in the RedMoto line-up, the 400 undergoes a transformation along their factory assembly lines to acquire all the homologation and development changes to make it a bona fide enduro bike. The 'extras' the 400, those details behind the surface though are simple: a 92mm diameter Athena piston (96mm is standard), matching cylinder and gasket plus a lower compression ratio (13:1 compared to 13.5:1 on the 450) to make the power “more gentle” at all engine speeds.

Like the 300 model, RedMoto’s development attention is focused on making that power work for the rider in a meaningful way with revised ignition timing and fuel maps, different cam profiles and exhaust valve timing, different combustion chamber, larger air intake, 10% larger air filter and adjusted ignition curves specifically for each gear.  

Another detail on the two larger capcity bikes is the different diameter exhaust manifolds where it divides towards the two silencers: 35mm on the right and 42mm on the left. 

 
RedMoto400RX MGL0611 560
 

Big bike riding impressions

Immediately the CRF 400 RX is impressive, punchy and sharp on track. The temptation often is to think you need more power but plenty of riders better than me have proved that is a load of old hog in enduro. What suits you, suits you and it doesn’t matter what capacity of bike, fast riders are still fast.

The question is what makes you faster and I reckon the 400 is a piece of me. By delivering the skills of the bigger 450 (same chassis, stability and same engine inertia) but with 413cc the performance draws closer and allowed me at least feel in charge of a fast bike on the tight Arco enduro tests. 

What it did best was grip and fire out of corners like no other bike in RedMoto’s model range. Even without playing with the traction control or engine map options it was storming out of the tight turns – catching me unawares and I admit I binned it once as a result.

 
Redmoto MGL0038 Honda CRF RX Test 560
 

Apart from Honda’s revised chassis and suspension settings playing a role in boosting riding confidence, RedMoto’s reworking of the power maps feels like a deceptive presence helping you put power to the ground. 

Another big emphasis for the 400 and 450 models in 2020 is the new injection and launch control settings. Easily adjustable on the Renthal handlebars, the three mode power options and launch control let you play with power – the two bigger models also have Honda’s three traction (torque) control options as well. In the morning snow on this test it was easy to find reasons to play with the settings! 

Honestly speaking on any bike I stick with standard power and traction modes most of the time. Really there was little benefit in this cold because all throttle use was tempered by the weather but for sure, in sloppy mud conditions or different rider confidence levels, these options are a bonus. My only other regret with the 400 and 450 is that we didn’t have a chance to exploit the power and test those higher gears on this tight track. That'll have to wait for another test.

 
 RedMoto 450 RX MG 0371 560
 

All that exit speed naturally enough makes you faster down the straights and sees you arrive at the next corner faster. I stepped up through the RedMoto range in the morning so with each test session on track had more power and weight to deal with. 

The 400 was the biggest jump of all and maybe because I got so excited or perhaps because it was gripping and driving so damn well, this was the bike I got tired on the quickest as well – hence the 300 ended up the answer to the ‘what would you buy?’ question.

In this tight, twisty and in places pretty rocky test track, the combination of RedMoto’s stronger and more durable clutch springs plus tall first gear on the two bigger bikes felt a little too much. If it were me I’d be looking at a different final ratio than the stock 13/50 to make first gear less of a clutch slog on the slower stuff. 

 
RedMoto 400 RX M1 5936 560
 

Are the four RedMoto RX Enduro models out the box, well developed, ready to go enduro bikes? 100%. RedMoto have put the effort in and turned Honda’s standard bikes into four distinctly different models all with unique purpose. No question also these bikes have the build quality you expect from a Honda. Add in the XR 450 model and you have a four stroke for any weather.

(More on that XR in a separate post coming soon).

Special version RX models

Want to add power parts to your RedMoto RX? They got that covered with the Special Enduro models, four Enduro models available in upgraded configuration equipped with a series of exclusive special parts: 

  • Magura hydraulic clutch lever and master cylinder 
  • X-trig triple clamps
  • Termignoni exhaust
  • Renthal handlebars
  • Excel rims
  • Sump guard
  • Coolant hoses
  • Axle pullers
  • Steel rear sprocket

In practice, with just €1300.00 plus VAT (€1200.00 on 300) compared to the retail price of the stock model, the end customer can buy a motorcycle equipped with a kit worth well over €3200.00.

In addition RedMoto the Rekluse Core Manual clutch, complete with clutch basket (€750.00 including VAT) or the Rekluse Radius CX Automatic clutch complete with clutch basket (€950.00) both as optional extras. For 2020 the Rekluse clutch basket is also included in the price indicated, to further improve the performance and durability of the clutch unit.

The optional Termignoni exhaust system with a new configuration compared to the 2019 model, increases torque and raising the power curve for a price of € 1075.00 including VAT (saving on the shelf price).

 
 RedMoto Honda 2020 Enduro CRF 450 400 RX 560
 

Technical Specifications

RedMoto Honda CRF 250/300 RX Enduro:

Engine: 249.4cc/295.5cc liquid cooled, 4v, DOHC, four stroke

Bore and stroke: 79 x 50.9mm/86 x 50.9mm

Compression ratio: 13.9:1

Fuel capacity: 7.3litre

Oil capacity: 1250cc

Ignition: Electronic PGM-Fi three selectable maps and traction control via handlebar buttons

Gearbox: five-speed, chain final drive

Suspension: 49mm USD Showa forks, Showa monoshock – fully adjustable 

Brakes: 240mm (r) 260mm (f) disc brakes

Wheels/Tyres: Metzeler Six Days Extreme, 90/90-21 (f) 140/80-18 (r)

Weight: 111kg

Seat height: 957mm

Wheelbase: 1486mm

RedMoto Honda CRF 400/450 RX Enduro:

Engine: 249.4cc/295.5cc liquid cooled, 4v, DOHC, four stroke

Bore and stroke: 79 x 50.9mm/86 x 50.9mm

Compression ratio: 13.9:1

Fuel capacity: 7.3litre

Oil capacity: 1250cc

Ignition: Electronic PGM-Fi three selectable maps and traction control via handlebar buttons

Gearbox: five-speed, chain final drive, 13-50 ratio

Suspension: 49mm USD Showa forks, Showa monoshock – fully adjustable 

Brakes: 260mm (f) disc, twin piston caliper/ 240mm (r) disc, single piston caliper

Wheels/Tyres: Metzeler Six Days Extreme, 90/90-21 (f) 140/80-18 (r)

Weight: 111kg

Seat height: 957mm

Wheelbase: 1486mm

 

RedMoto Honda 2020 Prices (incl. tax, prices may vary in different copuntries):

Honda CRF250RX Enduro €10,290

Honda CRF3000RX Enduro €10,790

Honda CRF400RX Enduro €11,090

Honda CRF450RX Enduro €11,090

Special versions:

Honda CRF250RX Enduro €11,590

Honda CRF300RX Enduro €11,990

Honda CRF4000RX Enduro €12,390

Honda CRF450RX Enduro €12,390

Honda CRF450XR Enduro €10,090

Who are RedMoto? 

RedMoto are the sole distributor of Honda off road motorcycles in Italy who take the motocross, enduro and trials bikes from Honda Italy to 108 specialist off road dealers, outside the street bike dealer network, around the country. 

The wider picture is the deal with Honda Europe to convert the enduro models into homologated and race bikes to distribute through a network across Europe. 

One thing RedMoto acknowledge is the their job is harder each year because the sport of enduro in Europe is developing and in many cases getting more extreme at the events. “For sure we are selling Honda motorcycles which is a top quality brand but for sure the competitors are increasingly competitive and for the different aspects of enduro sport.” Says Michele Berrera.

The role of the RedMoto race team is to develop the bikes through the season for the next model so truly this is a professional set-up and system which you can genuinely say is race-proven. Riders from three world level race teams are contributing including Alex Salvini, Thomas Oldrati and for 2020, Danny McCanney testing and proving the parts for next year’s models. 

More information: RedMoto.it 

 
Photo Credit: Davide Messora/Yuri Cortinovis
 
 
 
 
Byline jp ISDE 2018 Enduro21
Jon Pearson
Enduro21 Editor and Bike Tester
jon.pearson@enduro21.com