Manufactured in Italy, Vertex has developed a reputation for quality aftermarket replacement and performance piston kits for dirt bikes, ATVs, and UTVs. The company employs both both cast and forged manufacturing processes so that it can supply a wide variety of replacement pistons to fit both performance needs and budget.
Each Vertex piston kit includes, the piston, rings, wrist pin, and circlips. The Vertex Honda CRF450R and RX pistons are forged from 4032 aluminum alloy, which Vertex has found to provide the right combination of strength and durability. The piston starts as a T-Box forging (similar to the F1-style bridged box pistons found in many modern four-stroke off-road and motocross engines). It is then heat treated with a T-6 hardening and tempering cycle, and the piston skirts are treated with a high-tech molybdenum disulfide (MOS2) coating to aid in a fast break-in time and longer piston life. Standard pistons and components are OEM replacements, but Vertex offers A, B and C sizes, so you can choose the proper fit for your cylinder, with A being the smallest and C the biggest.
Vertex manufactures Replica, High-Compression and GP Racer’s Choice piston kits. The High-Compression piston kit raises the Honda’s compression ratio from the Replica kit piston’s OEM 13.2:1 up to 14.4:1. The top-of-the-line GP Racer’s Choice piston features a different profile, combustion shape and a shot-peened dome to maximize power. Shot-peening is a process by which the surface of the piston is shot with round metallic, glass, or ceramic particles to strengthen and relieve stress in the piston by essentially hammering the surface to make it stronger. The compression ratio of the GP Racer’s Choice piston kit is 13.95:1
Vertex piston kits for the 2017-18 Honda CRF450R and CRF450RX start at $179.95 for the Replica piston kit with the stock compression ratio. The High-Compression piston kit is $219.95, and the GP Racer’s Choice piston kit is $265.95. For more information, visit http://www.na.vertexpistons.com.