In the race for the tallest stack of survey forms sent in, it was a close battle between the Honda TRX450R and Yamaha YFZ450. But in the end, the Honda just barely squeaked ahead of the Yamaha. Both of these high-performance 450s were introduced as 2004 models and have been around the longest. When looking at the year model of Honda 450R surveys we received, you’ll see that 80 percent are from 2008 and earlier. That means there’s been plenty of time to see what can go wrong on this quad that’s ridden harder and faster than most. However, reliability is what 450R owners say they like most about their quads.
When shopping for a used Honda 450R, you should know that the most significant update occurred in the 2006 model. Its engine switched to a slightly bigger bore and shorter stroke to match the dirt bike version. The carb diameter dropped 2mm, the compression was raised and the swingarm length grew a half inch. Electric starting also became an option in ‘06, and that version was called the 450ER. You had a choice of push-button or kickstart for several years, but then Honda made electric-start standard equipment on all its 450Rs.
As good as the 450R is, there are plenty of aftermarket companies offering parts to make it even better. You’ll note that most of these owners aren’t shy about bolting on numerous improvements to their prized machine. Most of them say they’d buy another Honda 450R as their next quad. In fact, their fantasy dream machine would also be made by Honda as well. Satisfied quad owners typically display brand loyalty.