KIWI RIDER 11 2018 VOL.2 - Page 53

The engine is powerful providing excellent traction while not feeling too tiring to ride pipe has been increased 187mm and the right muffler tube is 98mm longer. There’s no big change to the engine but it has been tweaked. The squish has been revised, as has the piston skirt, piston ring and conrod. The engine cases have been strengthened too. Giving the tweaked motor its air, the filter now has twice the surface area and the fuel injection has been adjusted to suit, with the system now injecting fuel twice per cycle. The result of all this is peak power at 9500rpm is up by 2.4hp (1.8kW) and peak torque at 7500rpm is up by 2Nm. Honda says this isn’t at the expense of low down grunt with the new bike making more torque everywhere above 3000rpm than last year’s bike. New for 2019 is a three position launch control activated by holding down the start button, thrown in to the 450’s arsenal to help nail those holeshots – more on that below. The three power modes (Honda’s Engine Mode Select Button) remain with Map 1 being the broadest, Map 2 is softer power for traction, while Map 3 is for higher rpm/ more aggressive power. Lastly and perhaps the most obvious change visually, gone is my beloved Renthal old-school skinny bar... Honda has finally adopted a fat bar. Along with the new bar, there’s a two-position top clamp that allows for four bar positions when the bar post clamps are rotated 180 degrees. It’s fair to say that Honda has not sat still in the last 12 months, but has kept pushing forward with its 450... they know that the competition is hot. The big news last year for the 2018 model was the electric start, which carries over to this year as you’d expect. KIWI RIDER 53