8/30/2001 - "The CRF450R is the easiest starting dirt bike ever," Duane Brown said. "If you were lying on a muddy trail with the 450 on top of you, it would still start with one kick." On August 30, brothers Duane and Chris Brown joined magazine editors and other industry experts to ride the long-anticipated CRF450R. Duane and Chris came home more than impressed. The 450 is the skinniest, flattest bike ever, according to Duane, and features classic Honda handling. Perfectly carbureted, the 450 suffers from no off-idle stumble typical of many four-strokes, and it will lug down and run at low RPMs without stalling. Weighing in at 234 pounds with an empty tank but ready to ride, it is some 20 pounds lighter than Yamaha's big-bore thumper. The power was amazing. The 450 was significantly faster than the YZ 426 but much tamer. "It feels like a DR400 on steroids," Duane said.

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