In some unexpected news, it appears that Honda has quietly discontinued the CRF450L in Australia. So quietly in fact, there has been no news of it at all!
So how did I find this out? Well it started a couple of months ago when I was doing my video on the Honda CRF450L Rally. I was searching for information and noticed that the 450L wasn’t on the Honda Australia website. While weird, I didn’t really think anything of it at the time so I just grabbed the information I needed from the United States website.
Now recently, I have had several of my Australian followers mention to me that the CRF450L has been discontinued by Honda in Australia. They were told this in person by dealers and I have since seen several other comments that appear to confirm this. Today I did another search on their website and I can’t find any trace of the bike. After doing some Googling too, I haven’t been able to find any news of the 2021 model being bought to Australia.
Now I don’t know about you, but I find this absolutely bizarre. The 450L was a massive product launch for Honda and it saw plenty of publicity not only in Australia, but worldwide. Dozens of journo’s went on launch rides and it was all over the internet and magazines. Hell, I myself even went into a dealer when they got released to check one out and see how much one would cost. And here’s the thing, it’s still really popular worldwide.
So why was the 450L dumped from the Australian line up after just 2 years? My first guess would be because of sales. But that theory of mine appears to have been debunked when we look at the most recent sales data for the year. According to the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), off road motorcycle sales have jumped significantly (39.9%) in the first half of 2020 verses 2019. The CRF450L in particular has seen a 215.7% sales bump, going from 134 to 423 sales this year making it the 4th most popular bike in its category. So in other words, sales are good.
Ok, maybe it’s because of that little known virus that sounds like a beer from Mexico? Well the chief executive of the FCAI, Tony Weber believes the virus is partially responsible for the sales uptick. Weber goes on to state, ‘’People can’t go for overseas holidays, and for quite some time, they couldn’t even go for holidays within Australia. So, we believe that, instead of spending up big on expensive family vacations, people are treating themselves in different ways – and this could mean they are taking up new sports like trail bike riding.’’
So honestly, I’ve got no idea why it’s been cancelled. Looking at the Honda Australia website, the only trail bikes listed are the CRF250F and CRF250L. Looking at the sales data from last year, while the 450L wasn’t exactly flying out of show rooms, it was still selling at similar levels as the KTM450EXC, Yamaha WR250F and Husqvarna TE300. So I can’t quite put my finger on this one. Without the CRF250X, 450X and 450L, Honda Australia have a huge gap in their product line-up and the other companies sales are not showing any signs of slowing down.
I’ve sent an inquiry to Honda Australia, but until then, it looks like Honda, and dual sport fans are being left out in the lurch. Luckily, there are a ton of other bikes to choose from.
Update: Honda Australia have gotten back to me and confirmed that unfortunately yes, the CRF450L is officially discontinued. Sad times.
People in Australia have also informed me that the bike didn’t sell enough at its original price of $14k AUD. Honda then dropped the bike to $9990 (man what a buy at that price!) and sold their remaining inventory. So it looks like the bad initial press about the low power output and price were the main reasons why it was cancelled.