Upgrading Lighting on a Honda CRF450X Dirt Bike for Better Illumination

Upgrading Lighting on a Honda CRF450X Dirt Bike for Better Illumination
Table Of Content

Upgrading the Lighting on a Honda CRF450X

Having a good lighting system on your dirt bike is crucial for riding safely on trails and tracks. The stock lighting on the Honda CRF450X leaves something to be desired, especially if you enjoy riding at night or early in the morning. By upgrading to an aftermarket headlight and adding some auxiliary lighting, you can dramatically improve your ability to see the terrain ahead.

CRF450X Stock Lighting System

The stock headlight on the CRF450X uses a basic 35/35W halogen bulb. This provides enough light for smooth dirt roads or well-lit tracks, but it lacks the power to illuminate dark trails or wilderness areas. The headlight housing itself is prone to damage from crashes or roost debris. Replacing the entire headlight assembly can be expensive. The stock turn signals, taillight, and brake light also use basic incandescent bulbs that can burn out over time.

Aftermarket Headlight Options

There are several benefits to upgrading to an aftermarket headlight on a CRF450X:

  • Brighter output from HID or LED bulbs
  • More durable housings that resist impact damage
  • Spot and flood beam patterns for better visibility
  • Easy plug-and-play installs for most kits
  • Auxiliary lights can be mounted for more illumination

Some popular aftermarket headlights for the CRF450X include:

Baja Designs XL Sport Headlight Kit

This headlight kit uses a powerful 60W HID bulb and a durable billet aluminum housing. An external ballast powers the HID bulb. The kit includes high beam and low beam lenses. Spot and flood lenses can be purchased separately. The XL Sport kit produces over 2300 lumens on high beam for excellent visibility. It's a direct replacement for the stock CRF450X headlight and is road legal.

Trail Tech Voyager Pro HID Kit

For a more budget-friendly HID upgrade, the Voyager Pro kit from Trail Tech is a great option. It uses a 35W HID bulb in a tough aluminum housing that mounts directly to the stock location. An external waterproof ballast powers the HID bulb. It produces about 1500 lumens on high beam. Spot, driving, and spread beam lenses allow you to customize the light pattern.

DoubleTake Adventure Mirror Mount

If you don't want to replace the stock headlight, the DoubleTake Adventure mirror mount allows you to mount up to two auxiliary LED pods onto the CRF450X's mirrors. The compact Adventure pods use powerful Cree LEDs that produce 1000 lumens each. This provides serious extra lighting mounted high up on the bike. The mirror mounts ensure the pods are visible even with a standing rider. Wiring is simple with waterproof connectors.

Upgrading the Rest of the Lighting System

In addition to the headlight, you can upgrade the other lighting components on your CRF450X:

LED Turn Signals

LED turn signals will be brighter, longer-lasting, and more visible than the stock incandescent units. Options from RipTide or Glowteq simply replace the stock signals with minimal wiring mods needed.

Integrated Tail Light/Brake Light

An LED tail light/brake light combo unit like the Tusk Compact LED can replace both stock lights for a brighter and smaller package. This improves visibility and leaves more room for seats, bags, and other accessories.

Handlebar Mounted Work Light

For additional flood illumination, handlebar mounted work lights from Trail Tech or KC HiLites can be mounted on the CRF450X's handlebars. These compact but powerful LED lights typically produce 500+ lumens for lighting up trails and campsites.

Installing Aftermarket Lights on a CRF450X

When installing auxiliary lighting, you'll need to consider proper mounting, wiring, and aiming to get the most benefit. Here are some tips for installing aftermarket lights on a Honda CRF450X:

Find Secure Mounting Points

Lights should be mounted securely using provided brackets, clamps, or straps. Avoid overtightening fasteners on plastic mounts. Steering stabilizers, engine guards, fork braces, and frame tubes often provide good mounting points. Check that lighting doesn't interfere with controls, cables, or suspension travel.

Use Relays for Auxiliary Lights

Running high wattage HID or LED auxiliary lights directly off the CRF450X electrical system can overload wiring. Add relays triggered by an existing circuit to power auxiliary lights. Make sure to use adequate wire gauge sizes and proper fusing for a safe installation.

Route Wiring Carefully

Take care in routing light wiring to avoid pinching or melting. Use grommets when passing wires through holes. Avoid running wires near hot exhaust components. Make sure wires are secured neatly along the route. Add an accessory switch for auxiliary lights.

Aim Lights Properly

Proper aim is crucial for headlights and spot lights. Headlights should be aimed parallel to the ground with a slightly downward angle. Spot lights should align with the direction the bike points when seated. Test light aim in a dark area adjusting as needed. Poor aim can blind other riders.

Riding With Upgraded CRF450X Lighting

Once you've installed aftermarket lighting, it takes some practice to take full advantage while riding your CRF450X:

Adjust High/Low Beams as Needed

Get used to toggling between high and low beams frequently to avoid blinding other riders while still maximizing illumination of the trail ahead. Test beam cut-offs so you know when you are beginning to blind oncoming riders.

Use a Spot/Flood Combo

A tight spot beam aimed farther down the trail lets you see hazards well in advance, while a wide flood beam illuminates the terrain immediately in front of the bike. Switch back and forth between the two for best visibility.

Scan Ahead Frequently

Don't just rely on a tight spot beam. Frequently scan the wide flood beam across the trail and road ahead to identify hazards the spot might miss. Standing up on the pegs can help see farther ahead.

Keep Lenses Clean

Mud, grime, and debris can quickly block lighting. Carry a small bottle of water to rinse lenses as needed. SportDogs shield coating can help keep lenses cleaner between cleanings.

The Benefits of Upgraded CRF450X Lighting

Better lighting is a valuable upgrade for any Honda CRF450X owner seeking to extend their riding season. With powerful aftermarket lighting options available, you can feel confident riding into the darkness knowing the terrain ahead will be illuminated for safer night riding adventures.


How difficult is installing aftermarket lighting?

Most auxiliary lights just require basic hand tools and mechanical skills. Headlight kits involve removing plastics but are straightforward swaps. Wiring changes can be more challenging if not mechanically inclined.

What is the brightest headlight bulb option?

HID bulbs put out the most light - up to 2300 lumens, but LED headlights also work well. For strictly road use, a 5.75" DOT beam pattern headlight is best.

Can I wire auxiliary lights to the high beam?

Yes, wiring lights to only come on with the high beam can work well. Use a double throw relay activated by the high beam. Make sure not to overload the stock electrical system.

Will brighter lights drain my battery?

Running multiple high wattage auxiliary lights can overload the CRF450X’s stator and battery. Use relays, switches, and adequate wiring to prevent issues.

Are aftermarket lights street legal?

Auxiliary lights may not meet regulations, but most replacement headlight kits are designed to provide proper street-legal beam patterns and brightness.

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