2004 CRF450R Issues

I'm going give a long description of what's going on with the bike to try to make it easier for someone to possibly think of what's going on.

I bought this bike a few months ago ImageUploadedByThumper Talk1379984750.593880.jpg

I've since removed the steel rear subframe, the large sliders, and the rear hand brake. This bike had only a few hours on it after having the head rebuilt when I got it. So I bought the bike, rode it to work two days in a row (ran out of gas the second :s) and it was running great; started first or second kick, idled well, pulled hard, all was good. That weekend, I headed out on a short trip, about 300 miles round trip. I rode it easy and mostly rode at about 55mph when cruising. The bike is geared to where 75mph is still not revving it very hard. So I stayed the night and headed home the next day. When I was about 15 miles from home I could tell the bike was running a little odd. I looked at the temp and saw that it was climbing pretty fast. The temp stayed at a consistent 145-155 the whole trip and now it was at 170 and climbing. I shut it down at 190 and pulled over to let it cool off. It had boiled most of the coolant out so I refilled it and got back on it. It took many kicks to start and was hard to keep running. This is where all the problems began. I was able to ride it back home and it never got hot again but it was running pretty bad. It didn't want to idle, was hard to start, it popped and backfires, and died under load sometimes.

My first assumption was that I blew a head gasket, cracked the head or warped the head. I started taking it apart and first checked valve clearances which were all in spec. I ordered the parts and went ahead and replaced the base gasket, rings, head gasket, and exhaust gasket for good measure. I also put in a new plug and redid some sketchy wiring. I checked the head for warpage and it checked out ok.

I got the bike back together, first kick and it was running. Not only was it running but running perfect, sounded great, throttle was crisp and was pulling better than when first I got it. I watched the temp climb to to 150 and it was still running great. I thought all was well, but a few minutes later I could hear the change in tone and it was running like crap again. I headed back to the shop and it died like before as I was coasting in. I let it cool in front of a fan, checked fluids and tried to start it. I could barely get it to hit for a few seconds. Had to take a break from kicking it and then finally got it started again. I rode it around a little and it was back to exactly how it was.

I started leaning towards an electrical issue and came across a very good deal on a coil, harness, and cdi. I replaced the coil and cdi tonight, finally got it started and it still ran horrible. It does have a trailtech stator so my next check for tomorrow is the stator and pickup.

Sorry for the long post I just wanted to give all the details. Any thoughts on what could be going on or what else I should check? I sold my ZX-10r because I didn't ride it much and used the cash to buy this because I knew I'd ride it a lot, well I rode it 3 times before it went to crap. :)

It's the stator. A very, very common tail with the TT stators.

Get a Baja Designs stator rewind and you stator troubles will be over for good.


By the way, that motor is not really designed to go 300 miles at a time on a regular basis. 

If that is your intended use, you should invest in an oil cooler for more oil capacity in the engine, and run one quart of oil in the tranny.

That motor  with the OEM piston and ring usually burns a few cc's of oil every hour, and it's not uncommon to be down 50ccs (about 8%) in one hard, long ride.

Just thought I'd mention it.


There is a new 3 -ring Piston from Red Bar designs that eliminates the OEM oil burning issues.

It's a heavier piston by only one gram....

Edited by Krannie

Thanks for the response. I did notice it being low on oil when I got back, that definitely could've caused it. I will swap the old stator back on it and see what happens. After that I can move onto getting a better one. Thanks for the info about the oil use and it's ability to do what I'm wanting. If I can get it back to 100%, I will probably sell it and get something a little better for small trips. I mainly want it for riding to work and blasting around town, which it's perfect for, but I'd like to at least be able to head out and ride 100 miles every once in a while.

You can do it on that bike, you just have to be prepared for more maintenence, more often, and possibly some upgrade to make it a long distance bike.

I have and R and and X, and even the X is a bit better for tarmac, but still is way too 'dirt' to be any fun on any roads but canyons.

Ok. I will look into the options you mentioned once it's running properly. I was itching really bad for a supermoto and got a decent deal on it. Thanks again.

I meant to also say that the 300 miles was round trip over 2 long days. I stopped a lot and for a decent amount of time at a few stops. I guess the main thing is that I only checked the oil prior to leaving.

Yeah, I'm not trying to be a wet blanket....there are just so many posts here made by the unaware, about catastrophic failure because ' it blew up for no reason'....

These are not XR's........

I put the stock stator back on and it's running great. I let it heat up, cool down, heat up.... and so on with no issues. Since I need lights, can I have Baja Designs rewind the TT stator or should I just buy one of theirs? Thanks for they help.

I put the stock stator back on and it's running great. I let it heat up, cool down, heat up.... and so on with no issues. Since I need lights, can I have Baja Designs rewind the TT stator or should I just buy one of theirs? Thanks for they help.

I don't think BD will want to re-do the TT stator. 

TT's quality has improved over the years, but I still use BD only for stators. 

Running the oil level high in the trans is key on that bike. The transmission doesn't oil properly for street use and you'd end up seizing the transmission. Simple fix is to just run the level higher. 

Thanks for the tips. I emailed BD about rewinding my stock stator.

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