CRF450X - Costly to own, operate, maintain?

Hi all,

 

I am almost about to pull the trigger on a brand new KTM 300 XC-W (2 stroke) but deep down, I so don't like the idea of worrying about carrying my pre-mix everywhere I go.  It will be used for trail riding from single tracks to gravel/dirt/rocky trails.

 

The reason I am considering 2 stroke is ease and low cost of maintenance.

 

I would love to own a CRF450X but I am not made of money and seeing how much it would cost to re-build means that I really can't afford it (note that the only reason why I can buy a brand new KTM is because I am trading-in my streetbike change for change for the KTM (can't seem to find a buyer for it)).

 

I have always owned Honda/Acura cars and several motorcycles so for me, I would feel right at home on the CRF450X.  But again, I am so afraid about the cost of maintenance/rebuild of these high performance 4-strokes.

 

I am wrong to think that way?

Realistically, can I expect to own/ride the bike many years prior to needing a top and/or bottom rebuild?

 

Honest and educated advice would be highly appreciated!!

 

Thanking you in advance!

 

:-)

Edited by hopla

Any KTM is way less durable and reliable than any Honda.

I've owned both, including brand new recent KTM's.

 

Honda's due need the valves upgraded to Stainless Steel eventually, but the KTM is going to need pistons, rings, powervalve cleaning, shock bushings, rims, bars within the first year anyway !

If you ride a lot, then it will be twice a year.

 

Two stroke piston and rings last half as long than they do on four strokes.

 

KTM rims and bars are like over-cooked spaghetti.

 

The Honda will need nothing for the first 200-400 hours but tires, chain, gas, oil, and a valve adjustment.

But isn't the cost of a top end job a few thousands of dollars on a 4 stroke, as opposed to a few hundreds on a 2-stroke?

That's what worries me. :-(

But isn't the cost of a top end job a few thousands of dollars on a 4 stroke, as opposed to a few hundreds on a 2-stroke?

That's what worries me. :-(

 

 

Ha!  No, not quite that bad!

 

Piston and Rings cost about the same and last twice two three times as long on a four stroke.

A valve job on a CRF is usually only needed once in it's lifetime, to convert from Titanium intake valves to Stainless Steel intake valves.

At that time you replace all the hardware associated with the intake valves (springs, keepers, retainers, etc) to match the new valve weight.

Then you re-cut the valve seats to match the new valve faces and you are done.

Usually this is done by 'head shop' and it costs from $400 to 800 complete.

The other area of wear on a four stroke is the timing chain and tensioner. They should be replaced every other piston or so.

 

Don't get me wrong, a four stroke that is abused or neglected will cost WAY more than a two stroke to repair.

 

I've owned 13 four strokes in the last  8 years, and have never had to 'fix' any of them, accept when they become worn out.

 

Personally, I don't like two-strokes. 

The power band is too narrow, it starts too late, it's got no engine braking, it's harder to feel the traction to the rear wheel, they sound funny, they smell terrible, and they are only fun because they are lighter.

Edited by Krannie

what's the riding like in Ontario?

Not sure yet, this will be my first dirtbike.

in australia, we got a full 4 valve replacement for $200, and we got a crank replaced at the same time, for about $400, do the pistons yourself, the bottom end shouldn't ever need to be replaced on the X but mine got run out of oil... it wasn't even out of spec! piston every 100hours when your riding hard should be what you expect or trail riding even more, just so long as you change the oil! timing chain should last about 2 pistons, everything is easy to do on these bikes.

I own two exotic? bikes a husaberg and a husky.. I dont ride them because I am afraid of the price tag when I need to rebuild.. I ride my crf every day bc I know I can afford the parts.. nuff said?

Generally speaking 2 strokes are cheaper/easier to maintain. But as you mentioned, you have to deal with premix.

 

I rode a 300XCW at a demo ride. Thinking that was going to be my next bike I was really stoked at the chance to take it for a spin. Turns out, I didn't like it at all. I don't know why, but it just felt really odd to ride, something just wasn't right.

 

I dumped some money into my CRF450X when I bought it about a year and a half ago, and since then I haven't really had to do anything to it. It's been a super reliable bike. Which says a lot for one that has 650+ hours on it.

I personally would worry less about the difference in maintenance cost but more about the differences in the two bike.  There is a 2-stroke trend right now and a common belief that the 300 is superior for woods type riding.  The moto magazines have been boasting about the low end power, calling it comparible to a 4-stroke.  The 450x seems to be regarded as a bike that's only good for desert riding.

 

I spent some time on the 300xcw and my biggest issue was lack of traction.  (maybe I forgot how to ride a 2-stroke)  Its the cleanest running 2-stroke I've ever ridden and I like the light weight but I wouldn't be very happy if I would bought a 300 without riding one first.  The 450x is the most versatile and fun bike I've ever owned.

 

It would be ideal if you could ride one before you spend an addtional 2-3K more for the 300.

Edited by BigRichard

Agree with the boys. And good job Krannie for not going off the deep end on a KTM post. lol J/k Just read your post on that. Just to show you the cost of a full top end if you ever decide to do a CRF 450 X. Head Brand new with stainless steel valves, titanium retainers, new keepers and heavy duty springs for $550. And thats shim and bolt on. And a new cylinder and piston is $363.97  and that is a completely new top end threw Bigborethumpers.com. They are not that bad. And way fun to ride. 

It would be ideal if you could ride one before you spend an addtional 2-3K more for the 300.

 

They both sell for about the same price, here (the 300XC-W and CRF-450X).

Interestingly, I called the Honda dealership to see if they would take my trade-in and when I spoke to their service person, he mentioned that the 4 stroke KTM had better reliability and longevity than the CRF due to the fact that they were detuned and not maxed-out.

I was kind of stunned to hear this from a non KTM dealership. :-O

Now, on top of debating 2 stroke vs 4 stroke, I am debating between Honda and KTM for the 4 stroke.

Nothing is simple.

Thanks all guys for your useful feedback, much appreciated!

Edited by hopla

Agree with the boys. And good job Krannie for not going off the deep end on a KTM post. lol J/k Just read your post on that. Just to show you the cost of a full top end if you ever decide to do a CRF 450 X. Head Brand new with stainless steel valves, titanium retainers, new keepers and heavy duty springs for $550. And thats shim and bolt on. And a new cylinder and piston is $363.97  and that is a completely new top end threw Bigborethumpers.com. They are not that bad. And way fun to ride. 

 

Thanks for the back door insult

Agree with the boys. And good job Krannie for not going off the deep end on a KTM post. lol J/k Just read your post on that. Just to show you the cost of a full top end if you ever decide to do a CRF 450 X. Head Brand new with stainless steel valves, titanium retainers, new keepers and heavy duty springs for $550. And thats shim and bolt on. And a new cylinder and piston is $363.97  and that is a completely new top end threw Bigborethumpers.com. They are not that bad. And way fun to ride. 

 

A top notch valve job with Stainless steel valves, all new springs, retainers, seals and cotters runs between $ 330 and $ 390 depending on valve selection...new OEM piston kit runs $ 150 and Gasket kit A runs $ 45. Very rarely does a 450X need a new head or a cylinder. The whole top end can be done for $ 525 and you will have a first class ride...

I bought a used X with 85 hours on it a few months ago. I come from an mx background and have never ran a top end more than 40 hours in my life except on a kx500 (preventive maintenance)

I was skeptical about the top end on the new X, so I brought it to my mechanic , as he was doing the suspenders too nada few other things.

Ordered up a new cam, tensioner, valves(I'm sticking with Ti, but most switch to stainless), high comp piston, and a bunch of other miscellaneous goodies

Surprise surprise! When the boys cracked the engine open , it needed nothing! I was shocked, but also happy the PO evidently kept up with his oil and filter changes ---- we just replaced the piston and cam/tensioner , as those are performance boosting parts, - and buttoned it back up again.

If nothing weird happens , I will check it out in another 50 hours

For me, 85 hours is quite a few weekends of riding, and I have also destroyed other motorcycles within 85 hours or less, so I was pretty enthused to see the Hondas hold up this well

Edited by DMC707

 I spoke to their service person, he mentioned that the 4 stroke KTM had better reliability and longevity than the CRF due to the fact that they were detuned and not maxed-out.

 

Their service person is a dipshit.

Their service person is a dipshit.

haha thats exactly what i thought!

 

The 450x is deffenantly detuned more then pretty much any other bike stock, deffenantly alot more detuned then any ktm out there

LOL

Let's just not turn it into a brand bashing contest though.

Just looking for objective advice, I know that each brand (and sometimes models within a specific brand) have their strengths and weaknesses.

Thanks guys.

Thanks guys for providing all the numbers.  I love quantitative data, as ''expensive'' or ''cheap'' is so subjective.  Thanks again guys! :-)

The Honda 450x is a great bike. I started out with an '06 that lasted until this May, when I was offered way to much money to say no... $5000 so she was gone (mind you they were all plated). I had also picked up two '07's from folks that I know very well and I had done all the Mod work and maintenance on both bikes. So I purchased them and sold them too. I then searched for a decent replacement and low and behold... I now have a brand new leftover '12 sitting in my garage that is also plated with all the usual Mod's and aftermarket parts that I wanted and best of all it didn't cost me a dime... I bought it with all the profit from selling the other three 450x's. The moral of my story is "there is not a better bike out there" at any price. IMHO.

Yes, I do realize that is just my opinion. :thumbsup:

So good luck!

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