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New to me 04 CRF250x

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I just picked up a lightly used 04 model two days ago from a friend of mine. It has pretty low hours and has been sitting quite a bit. It wouldnt run due to gelling of the ethonol fuel. Got it cleaned up enough to run, but it still has issues....Hard to start cold, and a bog on accel. Bike is totally stock.

While I am not new to dirt bikes, it has been AT LEAST 20 years since I have been on one. I own a few street bikes and a track bike so I do know how to ride...sort of! With the price I got on this I figured it would be a good bike to play around on, as I doubt I will do anything serious on it, mainly just trail riding.

I am going to start off with a complete maintenace once over and some near free mods: Opening up the stock exhaust and airbox, then rejetting with the AP mod. ( that carb sure is a bitch to get out!)

Now I have a question at the risk of sounding incredibly stupid. The previous owner installed a Works Connection plug kit and I did not get the original dipstick. How am I supposed to check the oil on this thing? This seems like the worst product ever made right now...

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Indeed the carb is a pain to get at! Trust me, you will never get good results on tuning this carb if its dirty. Before jumping into the mods, I would be absolutely sure all jets and orifices are clear, this includes the AP and nozzle. I just went through this and ended up removing the carb 3 times before I completely cleaned all the circuits. I was in too much of a rush and thought I found the problem each time. Thoroughly cleaning the first time will save you some effort and frustration. I used carb cleaner & compressed air from a can used to clean computers. Be sure to check the AP, my diaphragm was destroyed and needs to be replaced. My experience the AP mod is a must, although I did this many years ago, I see now there are alternatives from Merge Racing. Also, if you open the airbox, you should probably open the exhaust up. Based on those decisions you will need to rejet, lots of info here on all that. As for checking the oil... I'd say just change it, both tranny & engine oil, then you will know how much is in there. I usually drain each and measure each of them and keep a record. This way you will know if something is going on unsat.

Edited by desmolift

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I'm going to tell you what a wise man told me shortly after I bought my CRFX.. Before you do anything to the bike you MUST check the valve clearances! You MUST do this first. DO NOT touch anything else until you have checked the valve clearance. Seriously. Quit fiddling with the carb and check the valve clearances now.. Right now.

While you have the cam/rocker box cover off, check the lobes of the cam for discoloration in addition to checking all your valve clearances.

Post back and let us know what you find and then I'm sure someone else will explain to you what needs to happen from that point.

I know you said "low hour" bike.. How many hours exactly does "low hour" equate to? You have a "race bike" that requires a lot of maintenance to keep it running, and to keep from breaking expensive parts. If the bike has 15 hours or more on it, and it has been ridden hard, or raced, then you will need a piston, at minimum, and probably a lot more. If you have not read the owners manual yet, do yourself a favor and go into the manual and look at the required maintenance, and at how many hours each of the service items must be addressed. These bikes were designed to need a LOT of maintenance at "low hours".

I just recently purchased an 04 CRF250X just like you and I want my experience to save you some head-aches if possible.

The more you know about the true condition of the bike right now, the better off you will be.

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Forgot to mention that in addition to carb problems, the valves being out of spec will cause hard starting.

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I know you said "low hour" bike.. How many hours exactly does "low hour" equate to? You have a "race bike" that requires a lot of maintenance to keep it running, and to keep from breaking expensive parts. If the bike has 15 hours or more on it, and it has been ridden hard, or raced, then you will need a piston, at minimum, and probably a lot more. If you have not read the owners manual yet, do yourself a favor and go into the manual and look at the required maintenance, and at how many hours each of the service items must be addressed. These bikes were designed to need a LOT of maintenance at "low hours".

I just recently purchased an 04 CRF250X just like you and I want my experience to save you some head-aches if possible.

The more you know about the true condition of the bike right now, the better off you will be.

Kawa, I know you have some dust in your beard from your experience with the industrial site 250X -- but you still got a screaming good deal . Even after you restored it --- you have an "as new" 250X for low coin compared to buying new --- that said, -- 15 hours is a gross exaggeration, so is "Lots of maintenance" ---- they don't take any more maintenance than any other 250F 4 stroke , including the WR ------but if you are starting out with one that has had no maintenance -- then making up for 8 or 9 years of neglect is gonna cost some time and coin

These off-road bikes are not a direct comparison to an MX bike where you may feel you got &%$#@!ed if you have to change the oil when you get it ----- they are competitive for years when they are kept up

KAwa has a 5 page thread on here about his rather unique situation and his trials and tribulations getting it back running strong after it was in the hands of some factory workers, and used for things most people would probably use a golf cart or a Kawi Mule for -- it has some good info ---but is worst case scenario outside of buying one that had been stored outside in Louisiana or something like that

---- but without kidding, - "low time" is no more than 40-50 hours --- every bike should have an hour meter, but if not, who knows

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Yes I have had my hands full with my "project". I just wanted the op to be sure of what he has before he gets his hopes up or in too deep financially.

I stand by my statement that he better check his valves NOW!!!

I stopped short of telling him to prepare for the worst. If he reads any/many of the other threads he will figure it out.

An inquiring mind might ask why there is an entire cottage industry devoted to the heads on this specific bike.

Edited by Kawabuggy

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I understand "low hours" is VERY subjective, but without an hour meter there really is no way to know for sure. Why a bike that has all its maintenance based on hours does not have an hour meter is beyond me.

That said, this bike qualifies as "low hours" in my subjective opinion: Original brake pads with a lot of pad left. Original chain with low wear when pulled on the rear sprocket and low wear on the guide and roller. Minimal carbon build up in the exhaust. Original tires with >~75% life left. Minimal scratches (except for where it went down on the left side)

I got the oil in the engine and trans, along with the engine oil and airfilters changed out. Ive been playing with it a bit every day and can get it to start up cold pretty quick, but it struggles to maintain idle for a few minutes. It runs great other than that and the minor bog when whacking the throttle. So far I am not into this for much more than the purchase price and I dont forsee any major repairs being necessary soon. The bike works pretty good.

Ive downloaded and printed (at work) the owners manual. It does seem like the bike requires regular maintenance, but I wouldnt say it is excessive. Im used to changing the oil on my track bike after 3 or so trackdays, the fork oil and brake fluid 2x year, frequent valve clearance checks, etc.

With the reading I have done so far it seems most of the catastrophic failures in the engine are related to the valvetrain, which is not abnormal on high RPM engines. Valve springs seem pretty cheap for these and would go a long way towards reliability for anyone that runs their bike hard. I have not checked the valve clearances yet but will do it before the bike goes out for a real test run (even though I dont believe its necessary). I still need to get some dirt oriented gear before that happens, along with a fork oil refresh and brakeand coolant flush.

Has anyone made a chart with all the available camshafts showing duration, lift, etc?

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