2 Wheels

Ken Roczen and his Honda CRF450R Dirt Bike

German-born Honda Racing Corporation team hero Ken Roczen is a Supercross warrior. After a daunting broken arm sustained in a dirt bike crash at the 2017 Monster Energy Supercross Championship at Anaheim, Roczen was sidelined due to his brutal injury. About a year later, the former Red Bull KTM rider was injured again while riding his Honda CRF450R racing machine to sit out another nearly entire season of Supercross races.

Ken Roczen riding an airborne factory HRC CRF450R build
Ken Roczen | Honda Racing Corporation

Ken Roczen’s then girlfriend Courtney Savage––now his wife since November 2, 2018––stood by him as he worked himself through both injuries, and now she and fans everywhere will be watching from the sidelines as he rides his custom Honda dirt bike in an effort to gain another victory in 2020. But we want to know more about that CRF450R.

Honda’s OEM based bike is a custom factory build. It boasts the best parts and it’s set up exactly the way Roczen wants it. This means stiffer settings than teammate Justin Brayton, according to the team’s 2020 mechanic Jordan Troxel. Roczen reportedly isn’t clutch heavy in his riding and rides with more “mellow” settings.

But when you take a look at this bike, mellow is the last word you’d use to describe it. Ken Roczen rides with a hydraulic clutch on his CRF450. Additionally, it employs a high set Renthal bar with triple clamps from Honda Racing Corporation. ARC brakes and HRC custom grips also adorn the handlebars.

the handlebars of Ken Roczens Honda dirt bike
CRF450R | Honda Racing Corporation

Custom CRF450R

Showa suspension lends its expertise to what is a frequently flawless ride from Ken Roczen. Both front and rear get the Showa and a custom brake pedal is a must for the Supercross rider. It’s designed precisely for his particular actions while riding––including fan favorite tricks.

“A very trick part on Kenny’s bike is the brake pedal. Yes its a works part but what’s even cooler is that they custom made this pedal to help Roczen place his foot under the pedal when he is throwing whips for his fans. There are notched marks similar to the top of the pedal so Ken can hook his foot to his while the bike is sideways.”

Dirt Bike Magazine
custom grip on the handlebar of Roczen's bike
CRF450R | Honda Racing Corporation

Each rider’s ride style affects the build of their bike. Renthal sprockets and an HRC shifter are also seen on Roczen’s CRF450R. HRC also created the trick anodized covers for the hydraulic clutch. The impending doom of a hit from rocks or debris during a race is eliminated by carbon guards. This is a modification that is seen across the board for factory teams.

Yoshimura exhaust and pre-production Dunlop race tires complete this bike. Along with HRC sensors for data analysis. This way HRC learns about the bike’s performance in order to improve the CRF450R.

a fresh dunlop dirt bike tire on the Honda Racing Corporation CRF450R
Dunlop tire on the CRF450R | Honda Racing Corporation

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A stock skid plate and carbon protectors fortify the machine for insane laps in the ruts and over the whoops. Honda obviously knows what it’s doing. Everything down to the titanium footpegs and the Nissin rear master cylinder is ready for racing. But it’s up to Roczen to take the win.