Bought an 03 450 - sometimes you have to wonder.....

     Hey guys, I've been mainly on the YZ250F forum and occasionally the XR600 forum, now I've added another one to the stable. Quick intro - I'm 42 and have been riding / working on bikes since I was probably 12 or so. I like riding as much as tinkering / modifying them. I've had about 10 different dirtbikes and 4 different streetbikes over the years. Had an "incident" on the street so that was enough of that - asphalt really sucks. Also build / modify cars. Have worked on a few entry level dirt track cars and currently have a street car I drag race some. Anyway enough of that. This is about my most recent purchase and I thought some of you would find this entertaining although a lot of you have probably seen it before.

     Found an 03 on Craigslist, looked clean with title that would allow me to get a tag on it. Got there at dark and in a subdivision so I didn't want to really rip around much (although I was buying it from a cop so it might have been o.k.). First look over it's clean, it has Fluidyne radiators, billet upper tree, billet shock links, Yoshimura full system, new chain / sprockets and suspension redone by Factory Connection - figured even if it's not valved like I like at least it's been serviced. This guy was pretty much clueless to any of it - I don't think he rode it much or knew a lot about bikes in general. He said it had a K & N washable oil filter and he changed the oil every ride. I was thinking it either has a screen filter or a K & N air filter since they don't make a washable oil filter. Forks seals were leaking so I got him to drop price $100 and we made the deal.

     Next day cranked it up to check the oil after straightening out the carburetor vent lines from where he cleaned the carburetor - they were going everywhere. Pulled the stick and oil spewed out everywhere - way overfull. Drained it and refilled to correct level. Quick ride and it's blubbering some in midrange. Pulled carb and needle was 2 steps richer than stock - why I don't know. Put it in stock position - much better. Pulled the forks to put seals in - somebody had really snatched them apart brutally in the past. The metal washer was so dished it was touching the seal lip. Put in new bushings, seals, oil and fixed the washers. While the forks were off I noticed the steering stem bearing were pretty tight. Loosened them up quite a bit but they still felt rough. When I took them apart to clean them there were bottom bearings (30mm i.d.) in both positions even though the upper is a 28mm i.d. They had it really tight so it wouldn't flop around. Put the correct bearings in - thinking that's gotta be about it. Forks and shock are a bit harsh for my taste so I pulled the revalved one's off my 250 and put them on - much better. Rode it about an hour and figured I'd change the oil and check valve clearance. Oil filter was the standard Hiflo unit. Since the paper is reddish color he must have thought it was a K & N - that's my guess. Center intake almost out of clearance - I had figured this might be the case on an 11 year old bike. Pulled the top end to see what I had - mild port work on the head, forged piston that looked perfect and a rod with the beams polished. Put valves in an it had a small seep on the right cover. Pulled it to replace the gasket and it's got a Hinson billet clutch basket and pressure plate. Got it buttoned back up and went back to the carb to put on a bowl gasket as it had started to leak. It has a Boysen pump cover that I pulled and wondered how it wasn't absolutely pouring gas. The diaphram was in upside down (I'm thinking it had my pump timing off and was causing an intermittent tiny blubber in the woods) and the larger of the 2 o-rings was pinched pretty bad. Got that ironed out and fired it today and the water pump seal starts spewing. Changed that and I'm thinking and hoping FINALLY I've got all the previous "mechanics" handywork taken care of.

     All in all I'm very happy wtih it and I'll have to say the power just makes me laugh - it's unbelievable. It'll be a day or two until I get to ride it some and check it out. Sorry for the long post just thought it might be entertaining - just so many things that make me ask "WHY?". Clay


I just bought a house like that,I keep scratching my head thinking Why would somebody do this,get it fixed and on to the next problem.Congrats on the bike.nothing like a 450's power to keep you smiling.

I just went through a similar experience with a used 06 yz250, had to fix everythig from previous owners that were hidden away over time, pita but worth it in the end! Congrats on the 450, theyre fun!!

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