Inside Ken Roczen’s Factory Honda CRF450R

Ken Roczen’s Factory HRC Honda CRF450R

Ken Roczen Honda CRF450R-

Jordan Troxell hase been a mechanic for a host of A list riders like Alex Martin, Jessy Nelson, and now Ken Roczen. We pulled Ken Roczen’s Factory Honda CRF450R out of the pits to learn all about the details and trick parts they are running in 2022.

THE FRONT END

Ken Roczen Honda CRF450R-handlebars

Starting at the front of the motorcycle is the Renthal handlebars. Ken has changed the style bend and bar several times through his tenure at Honda HRC. This year they went with a Twin Wall 996 handlebar.

Ken Roczen Honda CRF450R- levers

ARC takes care of the clutch and brake levers on Ken Roczen’s Honda CRF450R. His front brake side does ride pretty close to the handlebar so he can easily engage it when necessary.

Ken Roczen Honda CRF450R- grips

Renthal Soft compound half waffle grips are used on Ken’s bike. You can also see he is running grip donuts. The entire team is running this grip. It is something that they caught onto a couple years ago and prefer it over anything else available to them. You can also see that contrary to his brake side, the clutch is actually pretty far away from the handlebar. He is pretty picky when it comes to engagement point.

Ken Roczen Honda CRF450R- front brake

A lot of the teams opt out of the stock master cylinder set up and find an alternative that has larger pistons and holds more fluid. Jordan Troxell didn’t specify where this master cylinder comes from but we do know that factory teams do like to use the old era Honda CRF450R master cylinder frequently. Teams of a different color even run them. You can also see the carbon guards they are running to protect the factory equipment. There are more rocks on the supercross track than you might think or be able to see on tv. The bikes get torn up and the team doesn’t want to risk a DNF.

Ken Roczen Honda CRF450R- triple clamps

Ken Roczen is using an X-Trig triple clamp on his Honda CRF450R. We did notice he was trying several versions of clamps. This could be Kenny looking for a particular feel in the front end through the season. Remember, Ken has had some serious arm/wrist injuries so finding comfort might be top priority for him.

Ken Roczen Honda CRF450R- start switch

A simple start switch is added to Ken’s Honda. It has a billet housing and easy to reach button. The map switch is also simplified with some housing that is a little beefed up for Supercross racing.

Ken Roczen Honda CRF450R- map switch

Ken Roczen likes to kick it old school. He doesn’t have any special start map or anything to help his riding. He likes to do it off feel and completely on his own. The next generation of  Supercross rider seems to rely more on the electronic tech that the teams are providing to them.

Ken Roczen Honda CRF450R- front suspension

SHOWA provides the A kit suspension to Factory Honda HRC. SHOWA provides a ton of options and spends days out at the track testing with each rider before Anaheim 1 to tailor each set of forks to each specific rider. Check out the blue coated lowers on this bike! This says factory!

Ken Roczen Honda CRF450R- holeshot device

A Works Connection holeshot device is added to the front fork assembly. Ken Roczen runs it deeper than his teammates. Assuming by the statement that Jordan Troxell made, it is probably in the range of 150mm. Don’t quote us on that only a guess. Either way, he likes the front end to be sucked down on the starts.

Ken Roczen Honda CRF450R- wheel

The team is using DID rims with oversized spokes for extra durability in supercross. You can see in this photo that Jordan is wire tying the spokes together. If for some odd reason the spokes come loose or break off they will stay in place. The wire tie should hopefully keep the spokes away from flinging around in the wheel and causing more damage. It’s all about damage control and being able to finish the race.

Ken Roczen Honda CRF450R- tires

A Dunlop spec front tire is added to the CRF450R. This tire will eventually make it to the consumer market. All the major tire brands do their R&D by racing on it. Ken has used this tire for the past year now and hasn’t tried anything else. In the rear he will swith around a bit.

Ken Roczen Honda CRF450R- fork straps

These little silver straps you see on the bottom of the fork guard are to keep from the fork guards breaking off. Ken Roczen runs his holeshot device so low that the force could rip them off when the device disengages. The straps add some reinforcement to this area.

Ken Roczen Honda CRF450R- front caliper

A works Nissin front caliper is used on the bike. You can also see the huge carbon rotor guard on the bike. This acts as protection and as a ski in deep ruts. This will allow the bike to glide through a deep rut instead of getting hung up by the front brake system.

Ken Roczen Honda CRF450R- radiator Ken Roczen Honda CRF450R- radiators

The team is running a stock version of the radiators. They are polished to give that factory feel. Twin Air provides the fin covers to keep rocks or debris out that area. On the top you can see the 1.8 radiator cap over the stock 1.1 that the 2022 Honda CRF450R comes with. The pin going through the cap is placed there for insurance purposed. Ken’s legs are in that area quite a bit and they don’t want his leg rolling off the cap on accident during the race. If the cap spun off it could cause the fluid to burst out.

Ken Roczen Honda CRF450R- transponder holder

ARC also makes the transponder holders for HRC. These are a more robust and sturdy design in comparison to the flimsy plastic ones you will get at Supercross.

Ken Roczen Honda CRF450R- electronics

So right behind the right shroud you’ll see some electronic pieces attached to the motorcycle. The team moves the regulator to here instead of the stock position which is lower and further back on the frame. This is to give the team a little bit more room back in the shock area for quick changes and easy access. In this photo you can also see the secondary start button. In the event that the start button on the handlebars is damaged Kenny can still get the bike going again with this button located under the shroud.

THE ENGINE

 

Ken Roczen Honda CRF450R- water pump

A unique component to KR’s CRF is the water pump configuration. The water pump is removable versus the stock Honda you can’t. On the 2022 Honda CRF450R the water pump cover is pressed in.You can also see that HRC is protecting their water pump lines with an extra housing cut out of radiator hoses.

Ken Roczen Honda CRF450R-o2 sensor

Like most of the factory bikes you see in the pits, Roczen’s Honda is equipped with an O2 sensor coming off the header. This gathers data for the team to use and make adjustments during race day.

Ken Roczen Honda CRF450R-exhaust

Yoshimura provides the exhaust to the entire team. They have worked with factory Honda for a number of years now. They will make changes to the lengths/design of the exhaust to better suit the needs from the rider and the engine package provided by Honda.

Ken Roczen Honda CRF450R- bike

You can see the full Hinson clutch set up that Ken Roczen is using on his bike. Jordan Troxell didn’t want to give us all his secrets as to what springs are inside but he did tell us that compared to Sexton, Kenny is lighter on the pull. Roczen is very picky on clutch engagement and how it feels in his hands. The team spends a lot of time dialing in the amount of free play vs engagement point Roczen is looking for. You can also see behind the Hinson clutch cover the primary cover is magnesium. This material has been used by factory HRC for many years now and increases the durability of the engine. These bikes get hammered with rocks and debris every weekend. You don’t want to have a puncture in the cases.

Ken Roczen Honda CRF450R- engine

Bob Reichman is the man behind the engine building at factory Honda. He is the head man for the 450 program in Torrance,California. He does all the dyno runs and adjusts the power characteristics for both Ken Roczen and Chase Sexton. Bob works closely with Wiseco to get everything he needs when its building time.  The team has actually de-tuned the engine again this year. Roczen doesn’t like the “hit” very much. He doesn’t use the clutch very much and always rides in a taller gear. He lugs the bike in a lot of places and prefers a taller gearing to compliment his riding style.

Ken Roczen Honda CRF450R- skid plate

A full coverage carbon skid plate is used on Kenny’s bike. This is produced by CMT. You can see they have holes in it for heat and it literally wraps around both sides of the motorcycle to protect it from any damage. A lot of the skid plates can also act like a ski if the rider comes up short on a jump. It will glide across the landing instead of stick them to the ground.

Ken Roczen Honda CRF450R- brake tip

In this photo you can see the factory HRC brake pedal with titanium tip added to it. We forgot to check but on previous bikes Kenny actually had grooves on the bottom of the pedal. He would hook his foot under it when he was doing whips at the track. You can also see the brake snake added to the bike using an old clutch cable. This brake snake helps avoid the pedal being bent out or broken off.

Ken Roczen Honda CRF450R-rear master cylinder

A works rear master cylinder is used on Roczen’s bike. There is no sight glass window on it. The team doesn’t want to take the risk of the window getting hit and losing fluid during the race. The bikes are so carefully looked at that they don’t need a window to know they have fluid in there.

Ken Roczen Honda CRF450R- rear brake

You can see the works clevace used on Ken’s bike with custom brake stop. If the rear pedal was to be hit upward, this stop will keep it from ripping the guts out of the rear master cylinder.

Ken Roczen Honda CRF450R- grip tape

Throttle Jockey provides the grip tape to Kenny’s bike. You can see it is specifically placed on the bike where he squeezes the most. They only want to add it where it will be used and avoid adding extra weight to a bike they spend so much money on reducing weight.

Ken Roczen Honda CRF450R- foot pegs

The team has been using the same works foot pegs for quite a few years now. Jordan told us that they hold up for a really long time. You can see the mount and peg itself are all works parts from Honda. We didn’t get any information if they peg has been lowered or the position at all has been change. It is pure factory eye candy.

THE REAR END

Ken Roczen Honda CRF450R- axle blocks

In addition to Hinson giving the team all the clutch components they all produce the coated axle blocks on Roczen’s bike. The team can make a 1 tooth sprocket change to the bike by simply flipping the block around the opposite direction.

Ken Roczen Honda CRF450R- rear shock

Out back you’ll find the factory SHOWA shock and yes the shock shaft is coated like the front forks. Anything to create less friction and give the suspension a smoother feel on the track.

Ken Roczen Honda CRF450R- linkage

The team spends a great deal of time testing parts before the season starts to come up with the best overall package for Ken Roczen to race on. Jordan didn’t go into details but he did say they have linkage options and different pull rod lengths to choose from.

Ken Roczen Honda CRF450R- seat and bike

Roczen likes the stock seat foam on his bikes. Factory riders are all over the map when it comes to seat preferences. Kenny doesn’t run the light seat foam because it feels a little too hard for him. Jordan explained to us that there is a window to be in. New seat foam is a little too stiff but you get up to 10-15 hours on the seat and it becomes too soft for him. It’s all about finding that happy medium.

Ken Roczen Honda CRF450R-sprockets

Renthal supplies the sprockets and DID supplies the chain. The chain does not have a master link in it and is pressed on. The team doesn’t want to risk the master link getting pushed off and the chain to derail off the motorcycle.

Ken Roczen Honda CRF450R- chain guide

You are probably wondering what makes this a factory part? The rear chain block looks extremely close to the stock 2022 Honda CRF450R model. The one shown above is actually missing a window cut out. This keeps from rocks or mud packing up in the chain and either breaking it completely or causing slow damage to the chain.

Ken Roczen Honda CRF450R-

Twin Air supplies the air filters for the team. They have options to run in Supercross and Pro Motocross. Supercross doesn’t normally have as harsh conditions as the outdoor series does so the team can run a lighter/thinner air filter.

Ken Roczen Honda CRF450R-shifter

A works shifter and works shifter tip are used on Ken Roczen’s bike. Jordan adds a little silicone to the end of the tip so no mud gets packed in. You can also see that the ignition covers have a material added to them for durability as well.

Ken Roczen Honda CRF450R- data system

Ken Roczen Honda CRF450R- data system

In the two photos above is the data system that HRC is using. This records data on the motorcycle during operation and the team can review it at the semi. Ken Roczen can give feedback on the back and the team can match that feedback with hard data they are pulling out of the motorcycle. The radiator does have an antenna (GPS) on it so the team can see exactly where something is happening on the track.

Ken Roczen Honda CRF450R-

Throttle Jockey has been with Factory Honda even before the Ricky Carmichael days in 2003. The graphics companies work hard to come up with a cool design and keep the graphics as light as possible. The factory teams will go with a thinner graphic to reduce the amount of weight they are adding to a bike. A bike can easily gain 2-3 pounds back in graphic material alone.

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