Honda's prototype 2017 CRF450 looks set to be winging its way to Europe as HRC's Makato Ogata has been chosen to represent Team Japan in the Motocross of Nations at Ernee in France on September 27. The bike, which features a new chassis, bodywork, engine and electric start, is currently being tested by Akira Narita in the Japanese championship while Ogata is still using the current factory version, allowing the team to compare the two models.

But it's thought Ogata will soon get to swing a leg over the new bike as it nears final tweaks for production, and it'll be a chance for Honda to show off the bike in Europe.

It won't be the only factory Honda on its way to France as Toshiki Tomita will ride a works Honda CRF250 in the MX2 class. The third member of the team is Suzuki's Yohei Kojima who will be in the MX Open class.

Related Articles

Honda's official rider coach in Japan is former world champion Ben Townley who will also race the Nations for team New Zealand, alongside Cody Cooper and Kayne Lamont.

Townley, who officially quit pro racing two years, still contests some races in Australian and New Zealand, last represented his country in 2010 at Thunder Valley in the USA and won a moto. It's not known if he'll get a full factory Honda to race, but it's unlikely to be one of the all-new bikes.