There may have been little logic in my decision to buy the 2005 Honda CRF450X, but living in rural Thailand, with the nearest shop about 5 or 7 kilometer following an unpaved road, has probably something to do with it.
The Honda enduro bike that now lives in my kitchen, I have a large kitchen and no garage, makes me happy every morning when I come down for my breakfast.
In theory a four-stroke 450cc - the dirt equivalent of a Honda Fireblade - too expensive, too powerful and too big to recommend itself to an inexperienced off-road rider like me. The lighter Honda 250X would have been the sensible choice.
But in practice the big Honda is proving fantastic; powerful, slickly suspended and bristling with the kind of trick engineering - aluminum beam frame, titanium valves, magnesium clutch cover, etc. - that suckers like me will fall for every time.
The Honda CRF450X is the enduro version of Honda's best-selling 450R motocross bike. It uses a detuned motor for more accessible power, adds token lighting and also features that most beautiful of creations, the electric start. After two epic holidays last year on dirt bikes, I was looking to buy, I like Honda's, I love the look of the CRF range and when this bike, with its red Excel rims, gold hubs and mighty Works Connection sump-guard turned up at a bike dealer I fell in love. Three days later it was mine.
I spent some extra money on an aluminum stand, high grade engine and transmission oil and a replacement clutch cover for the damaged/repaired one the bike came with.
The Honda enduro bike made living in Thailand so much more pleasant that I can hardly think about a time I did everything by car or by walking.