News 14 Oct 2020

Potential of 2021 CRF450R evident in Schock's top 10 result

FXR Chaparral Honda team makes US and production bike debut with new model.

Image: Octopi Media.

A top 10 result in the US debut of the 2021 CRF450R from FXR Chaparral Honda’s Coty Schock left a strong impression on the production bike platform at Fox Raceway’s final round of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship.

With limited seat time on the all-new model, which began as a media test bike for team owner Michael Lindsay, Schock delivered his best 450MX performance of the year and produced a fitting result of 12-10 for 10th overall in what was a relatively low-key first appearance of the model.

The FXR Chaparral Honda program was formed prior to Monster Energy Supercross this season with longtime media personality Lindsay at the helm and, despite a luckless run through much of the year, supporting Schock’s campaign in the outdoors eventuated in a strong debut for the production specification 2021 Honda CRF450R at the professional level. The team is currently in the advances stages of finalizing its 2021 structure.

“Considering how 2020’s been in general, it was definitely a great way to end it,” Lindsay told MotoOnline. “It was, for once, it was a plan that all came together. Outdoors was never going to be a whole team program thing for us, it was just that I wanted to help out Coty, give him some bikes and some parts, support him with a few things.

“With two rounds to go, I told him to just bring the bikes back. I was listening to some of the comments about the current set-up and I had just rode the ’21 that week, so I was like, ‘yeah, you know, it does this out of the box, it does this out of the box, I think you should come try it and I think you’d like it’. So, he comes out, rides the stock bike the one day – I already had an ECU on it, but other than that it was stock – and we figured, let’s have some fun with it, go racing.

“We reached out to Honda and asked is there any way to get the thing homologated in time, because I thought it would be a cool story to take a showroom bike, throw two or three things at it and to go race it. The race group side at Honda was all about it and then I had to get permission from the media side, because it was technically one of their media bikes even though it’s an existing production bike, so that took a couple days to get clearance. Following that, the week before the race we confirmed the paperwork was in and it was homologated.

“It felt really good that we were able to do North American debut for the new bike, the production bike’s debut, because of course the one in MXGP is full works. Coty had, not only his best ride of the year, but his best ride ever with a top 10 and actually got to run up front for some time in that second moto. Overall, it was good and we couldn’t have asked for any more – it went even better than expected.”

Schock’s performance has made it evident that the 2021 Honda is hugely capable in race trim, primarily due to providing a better platform to work from, according to Lindsay. The team had Enzo Racing put in a suspension setting with minimal testing, XPR Motorsports came up with a cleaner ECU setting on the dyno and a pre-production Yoshimura based on the new RS-12 was fitted, alongside minor additions such as wheels, handlebars, gearing, etc.

“I even said it in the review I did initially on the bike that the base was better,” continued Lindsay. “But I will say, the base of the engine that they built and the chassis changes for this year are not only good for somebody at Coty’s level as a pro, I think they’re better for basically anybody overall. The new chassis definitely has that Honda feel, quick responding with a lot of front-end feel, but it has a wider window of operation with a little more built-in comfort that works on a wider range of surfaces. Plus, the power is broad and linear, makes good power that will suit the consumer level.

“My favorite thing was him nailing a good start in the second moto. He only practiced something like two starts on the hydraulic clutch and that’s a much different feel to launch with – the way you control it. So, to rip a fifth or sixth place start and run up front on something that any ‘Joe Blow’ can basically have, it shows that you can run top 10 at an AMA national on a bike that you’re going to put $2000 into or so – that’s what pretty much anybody who would buy that bike would probably do. If you work with good people, you can compete even at that level.”