The Honda TRX450 is still the num-ber-one choice for people building an
MX, woods or desert race machine.
There are plenty of aftermarket parts
available for it, and its reliability
has been proven for a decade now.
However, we wish Honda would at least
come out with a wider, track-ready
version. An aluminum frame and fuel
injection would be nice, too, but not
Lonestar Racing’s sport A-arms matched up to the Honda shocks perfectly. The
wider stance makes the red machine carve almost as good as the Yamaha. Best of
all, the A-arm setup costs $600.
Kawasaki dropped the 450 from the 2015 lineup. Hopefully, when it returns, it will
feature a wide front end. We liked the Kawasaki’s quick steering for tight trails. For
the track, it could use a steering stabilizer, and so could the other two machines.
You can’t find a better stock suspension system than what comes on the Yamaha.
It’s good for the track and the trails. Suzuki’s front end on the LTR450 was good,
but the shocks we super rough.
any noticeable body roll. With the
fuel injection, there was no throttle
lag, and the power was there when
you wanted it. The Kawasaki also has
reverse, which came in very useful
when loading, unloading and storing.
The Yamaha right out of the box
didn’t feel like it needed any adjustments. The power felt the smoothest,
but was there when you wanted it.
The fuel injection has a very good
power delivery with no throttle lag.
Suspension was soft yet firm for an
all-around good combo on the track
and in the desert. It has a perfect seat
and handlebar height when sitting
down and standing up. Handling felt
great, while the steering didn’t wander or feel twitchy. The front end felt
planted and did what you wanted it
to. Under each of our test riders, they
could turn two seconds a lap faster on
the Yamaha. From the sidelines, you
could tell the Yamaha riders were
making up time in the whoops and
The Honda felt a tad top-heavy, and
its seat and handlebar height combo
was cramped while sitting down
compared to the other machines but
felt good standing up. The Honda
is lacking the fuel injection, and the
power felt to be more in the low end.
However, when we cut the green
wire next to the CDI, the Honda really
woke up and felt almost on par with
the YFZ. Suspension was a bit firm
at slower speeds, but softened up
when the riding got more aggressive.
Steering felt good, yet when the front
end got light, it felt a tad jittery and
would dive into corners. All machines