Ready to talk.

I have been a 2stroke rider all my life, currently rebuilt an 03 cr250 from ground up, it's my baby. I will never part with it. But the stable needs an open class honda, 500s are expensive now that the previous owners know everyone at least wants the engine, so that's out, plus I raced those for my teenage years. I got burned on a yzf450, probably due to me treating it like a 2 stroke and not doing valve maintenance which ended with horrible bills. Ahhh, quite frankly im gonna get a crf450. My question is not based on 2 vs 4 or any of that, it's towards people that have rode during the 2stroke era, and have adapted to the 4 stroke era. Will serious minds tell me if a 450crf is okay to be considered an open class machine, can it be compared to open class power. If I won't have a machine that is not more torque oriented then the hypo 250 I have I will simply save my money, but I want power and a change from my little 250. As I said, the cr stays, but will the crf be an addition or not anything noticeably different then what I have. The 04 yzf was cool but I'm only doing Honda, so someone set me straight.

hey maybe i can help u man . I have ridden 2 strokes for years now  , and had been out of the whole rideing buissness for a while so i went out and bought a brand new kx 450 . I rode the bike one full season and  then half of the next , and then i sold it . The reason being wasent any thing to do with power there torqy as  hell  but the power to me was almost electric at times , and its no  slinder little gal either man there porky  so im  in a resto project almost a year  long now lol doing a kx 500  . Just makes more since for me man , but the 450s are by no means short of torq  and suspension in stock trim is incredible , but the weight is there  hope this helps u man 

I think in the last ten years I have fought off 4t rode 250s then went ktm 300 and bought first 4t in 05 yz 450 that was just a monster of a motor didn't like engine breaking and felt like it pushed so went back to 01 cr500 that was brand new rode that for a year great trail smooth tons of power my riding buddy went through two crf in that time ending up with a service honda that was nice but had some glitches so after that yamaha came out with new alluiminum frame so went back with 07 yz 450 as far just hp there was so little different in actual pull either motor was great and was happier with that bike then I went with a hold over 09 kx 450 which with efi was and amazing motor clean put a q exhaust fmf on it and it was as much big bore as any so with work slowing down I sold it I actually paid $5999 for it brand new show room and I was sorry so I ended up a year later buying 05 ktm 525 sx which is a great bike that I am riding now I love the big bore and know the only thing I want to look at is 2 t I remember why I left the 2 t but my riding has changed to no more hare and hounds and off-road racing but thinking maybe bring back a little pre mix to the garage

The CRF450R will have LOTS more torque than your CR250R - especially anthing newer than '01. I raced CR's through '07 before I bit the bullet and switched to CRF450R. I would shoot for an '07-08 model if you don't want FI. '09+ have FI. I've been hung up on '08's ( I like the carb, 6 spring clutch, 22mm clamps and tranny sensor). My '06 and earlier felt a lot bulkier than the newer models. Regular maintenance is crucial to living with the 4 strokes. Get an hour meter and stick to a schedule. I raced CR250's from '97-'07, everyone I felt needed porting and power boost. I've never felt the 450's needed anything but a pipe to tune in a little "hit" in the power delivery - if you need more power than the 450, your a sick individual  ;)

Thanks guys, that helped! I do want to stay carbureted. I rode cr500s through the 90s and can deal with weight, they lighten up when you nail it. My 250 is ported, Palmer suspension, fmf gnarly and powercore2 sa, air box modification, pro tapers w/upper triple clamp, Moose rims, etc.... its got bottom! But not open class level. I have my eye on a 05 crf, but you say 07-09? Do steel valves make a difference? I ask because the yzf had valve trouble and by the time my 2 stroke mind figured it out it was too late and you just can't lap titanium valves in apparently. My 500s I set up with single rings and flywheel weights to tame it for Hare scrambles and I won a lot on them, maybe a rebuild a year and it was fast always, 4t maintenance is very crucial and I need to be in tuned to a real life maintenance program I what do you do?

'09 is fuel injected.

Doesn't matter what you did to the CR - if its a case reed engine its got no bottom end compared to the '01 and older CR's. The 450 will definitely feel like an open class bike to you.

I do oil change and valve check every 15 hrs of riding (by the hour meter). I also check the cam chain at this time (set everything at TDC and see if cam alignment mark has shifted) and a quick compression check. Its a short evening of work. Anything suspect gets fixed. The 450's aren't bad to live with unless you wait for something to fail to work on it. The OEM Honda stuff seem substantially cheaper the the other brands parts.

If you ride the 450 like an open bike - short shift and don't rev the snot out of it you can probably go 100 hrs before any real parts replacement is required. I've not had any CRF's older than '06, so I can't comment on their reliability. I've had the '06 thru '08's and keep running the '08's even though I get a chance to ride newer ones. Haven't been on the '13 yet, the '12 almost got me to switch.

I have had and built a few cr250s over the past 26 years and the 03 I have doesn't have a hit on bottom, but I can keep her in 3rd in tight stuff with roll on power, so I would venture to say it has bottom but not snap on bottom. Doesn't really snap anywhere just pulls until around 8500 or so. It's adjusted well for Hare and pretty well for mx. Best bottom on a cr would be 89 imo. Back to the 450, let's talk about the stories I've heard of a heavy front wheel that will track a rut instead of cut over it, is it true? My yzf didnt really but from what I can remember would be a possibility if not on the gas. It had 3 intake and 2 exhaust valves, 2 cams. Hondas are 2 intake, 2 exhaust, single cam, correct?

1 cam and 4 valves. Handling is a very subjective thing. All my bikes get revalved suspension right off the bat as I am on the small side - so I can't comment too much on suspension. The '06 felt heavy, the '07 not so much and the '08 better yet. Feels like a heavy CR. Power on the '08 is extremely predictable and plentiful throughout the entire RPM. The '06 and '07 have more hit and are more susceptible to stalling.  The '08 feature a different ignition map for 1st, one for 2nd and one for 3-5th - make it much better than previous models.  '08 has a steering dampener and 22mm clamps. Previous models have 24mm clamps which I always swapped out for 22mm (which I also did on CR's as well). Not sure what else I can tell you other than try to find someone with some and ride them and form your own opinion.

Yeah, guess I got to find someone to let me try it. Saw more then a few decent priced 05s, trying to get one with ss valves though so I can ride it without suspicion and tear it all the way down as soon as I get it home like every bike ive ever owned

If the valves gave you trouble on a yzf, you're in for a world of hurt on a Honda...

If the valves gave you trouble on a yzf, you're in for a world of hurt on a Honda...

I was just thinking the same thing.

Valve seats upgraded in '06. Have not lived with any of the older 450's - and he started the post with he was only going with a Honda....

Whats the reason for not wanting fi? Sorry if you said it, i just skimmed through.

I have been a 2 stroke guy for 26 years, never had issues tuning a carburetor, it's easy. To seriously jump to a 4 stroke and then add fi in the mix is going a bit fast for me. Plus I have tons of jets and a couple slides for mikuni and keihen carbs, no accelerator pumps though(I'm starting to hate 4 strokes as I write this) however, what just caught my eye was the opinions honda heads and valve are more of a pain then Yamaha, I have never heard that before! It was one season and the yzf was roached because one intake was out of spec. To hear honda valve systems are inferior is news to me. My local tracks and hate scramble crowd are full of ktm and honda only people because of Yamahas need for constant shim attention. Plus the titanium valves put a spin on it too because you can't lap them without hurting the nitride coating. What's up with honda? I'm about to just send out for a stroker kit for the cr I got.

Hondas come with titanium intake valves, so you won't be avoiding titanium valves if the bike is stock. Do a search and you will find a lot of threads like these:


Yamaha's are traditionally known for having the longest lasting valves of any brand, though all of the brands have gotten pretty good valve life in the last couple years. Hondas used to be known for poor valve life, especially the earlier years. There is a reason why companies like Big Bore Thumpers sell full CRF heads with upgraded valve seats and valves to replace the stock components.


Keep in mind that any bike will have valve problems if air filter maintenance is not kept up on. There are plenty of people who have never had valve problems with Honda's, but there are also plenty that have had problems.

Edited by KJ790


Keep in mind that any bike will have valve problems if air filter maintenance is not kept up on. There are plenty of people who have never had valve problems with Honda's, but there are also plenty that have had problems.

Same true for Yamaha, Suzuki, Kawasaki and KTM  :thumbsup: ............ 

But he started the thread with he was only getting a Honda

I dont let my bikes turn to junk. Airfilter cleaned every ride, trans oil every other, 30 hr on rebuilds unless suspect, linkage every 10 rides, nuts and bolts checked every ride, cleaned every ride. Steel sprockets and oring chain-kerosene and toothbrush then lubed every ride. My bikes last, they are healthy and I put hard earned money into them. I ride hard, and make sure any injuries I get was not from a broken bike. Maintenance is not nor ever has been an issue. My 92 cr500 went 12 years and cylinder was still in spec with nice cross hatch.


I made the switch. Have had cr500, cr250, yz125 and yz 250. Now on 06 crf 450 and love it. If you ride tracks you'll love it. For trail riding stick with the two strk unless the trails are pretty open. I've ridden singletrck on it and its not very fun. Im considering a 2014 model now. Can't decide which one.

'08 model - carberated - feels lighter than '06 - really smooth power delivery and way less prone to stalling (gear sensitive ignition mapping). I felt the same way about the '06 in the woods - '08 is worlds better.

'08 model - carberated - feels lighter than '06 - really smooth power delivery and way less prone to stalling (gear sensitive ignition mapping). I felt the same way about the '06 in the woods - '08 is worlds better.

I'm a hare scramble guy first and foremost, but most races are a nice mix of single track, mx, and wide open field. I recently won the last one I was in last Sunday, but them dang 4 strokes will start barking at the door on wound out fields! If I had a six speed I think I would be okay, I pull them up hills, destroy them in the tight stuff, and don't lose anything on mx, but I think four strokes are faster at top speed, maybe by quite a bit! Acceleration is not a compromise, but I think my bike only goes 65, them things probably do 80! After the last race I tore my bike down and see the beginnings of blow by under the rings, so that may not have helped, but I will admit those 4 strokes got a heck of a top speed!

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