Luckily for myself this provided an opportunity to head over to New South Wales for the official Australian media launch, with Honda Australia hiring out the Ranch MX complex just outside of Newcastle and allowing us to spend a full day carving out as many laps as we could on their new pride and joy.
Checking the latest edition of the CRF450R out for the first time it was easy to see the attention to detail Honda had put into this new bike, straight out of the box it is one great looking machine with clean sharp lines and a small compact look along with some nice little touches like the HRC logo set into the top of the triple clamps and the new Plastic / Graphic combination that now sees Honda running film insert mouldings that are integrated into the plastic shroud, replacing the old style stick on graphics, with the aim of keeping the graphics looking fresh and taking away the chance of the graphics peeling off due to rubbing or while being washed.
Normally before giving our thoughts on a new bike we would run through the changes from the previous model to the new model, but with this bike being completely new, that is a bit of a waste of time.
Instead we will look at what Honda was aiming to achieve with the new bike, from the motor, the ergonomics, suspension and an overall package and ill give my thoughts on how I thought it related back for the type of rider I represent, which really is the clubman / Vet rider, pretty much your average weekend warrior who enjoys getting out on the weekend for a ride or lining up to race for a bit of fun, knowing that the dayâ€™s trophies are probably heading home with someone else.
So where do we start?
Sitting on the bike for the first time, it is clear to see Honda have taken as much time ensuring the look from behind the bars is just as impressive as looking at the bike from the side lines.
Renthal bars come standard with pretty much no clutter on the control centre of the CRF450R, with just a single switch block housing sitting on the left hand side of the bars, housing both the kill switch along with engine mode selection button and FI Mode Indicator.
With the bars and levers set, the only other change we made to the bike was to adjust the rear shock to best suit my weight of 102kg with the stock spring.
Rolling out on track for the first time, it did not take long to feel pretty comfortable on the Honda, like most of the new bikes these days, everything is pretty well spot on from scratch, everything comes to hand and foot comfortably.
Honda has put a lot of time and effort into making a smaller, lighter and more compact frame for 2017 with a lower centre of gravity.
Weight savings have been found by reducing the overall weight of the main frame by 280 grams, while a all new extrusion moulded rear end to the subrame replaced the old forged plastic end, reducing weight over the very back of the bike, helping to improve the bikes overall centre of gravity.
Honda have given the bike an overall shorter wheel base again with the intention to lowering the bikes centre of gravity in order to give it a more overall balanced feel that helps to keep both the front end down and the rear wheel planted for maximum rear wheel traction and front end control.