advice needed please CRF'ers

Hi all,


Not new to TT but new to the CRF forum so hello everyone.....


I've been hanging around on the XR400 section as I have owned one now for a couple of years.


I'm thinking of upgrading to the CRF450X and would like your general opinion and it would be great if anyone could give me a like for like comparison if you've owned both back to back.


First off what is the weight of the CRF compared to the XR, the XR is a bit of a lump to haul around especially picking it up when you are on a slippery muddy hill facing the wrong way LOL....


Secondly, power ? I love the grunt the XR has low down and the way it will just chug you out of trouble if you are halfway up something steep and slippery  and you picked the wrong gear and have no time to change down. how does the CRF compare?


Thirdly handling, is the CRF that much better than a well setup XR ? (XR is standard and so will the CRF be)


Simplicity, Air cooled versus water cooled, the XR takes a regular beating, is the water system on the CRF well protected and robust, I don't want to move onto to something more delicate than the XR.


I love my old XR but we are getting more and more into the tough green lanes/enduro stuff and I am looking at a more focussed bike, is the CRF the one ?


any advice welcome as well as any buying advice would be great, anything to look out for ???


p.s. I don't want a KTM





The crf is a maintance hog compared to the xr. I think the crf is better balanced than the xr, but it's still heavy. I also believe the crf to have WAY more power than the xr.

I don't exactly agree with what Mr Wrong said about the weight. or the maintenance for that matter. The X will feel like a 2t mx bike when you compare it with your XR.. as for the power down low and torque it wont have as much as the XR but its not far behind. It probably has the best bottom end of all the "High performance screamer 4t's". for the radiators, stock they are very easily damaged when you drop the bike, but that's easily fixed by some radiator guards and braces, and at the same time get a bash plate. for the maintenance for a High performance motor these would have to be the most reliable. the piston should last easy 150hours + and vavles about the same if you keep the air filter clean. once the valves go (intakes will be the only to move) replace them with stainless and it will last forever. the amount of oil the bike goes through is where its really seperated from the XR as probably every 10-15 hours you would want to replace oil in the motor and transmission as well as the oil filter. These bikes are very bullet proof and you will love it. Krannie can go into more detail about the valves and "setting up the X".

I think MR Rong is probably right ..

He says compared to the XR , the X is a maint hog ,The XR is low maintenance , air cooled ... Old school .

The X is not a light bike .

The X has more power , faster throttle response and more torque . Set up right the X will eat the XR in the handling dept .

 I have a stock CRF450x with bark busters and a HD tube int he rear.  Wet weight ready to roll is 274lbs (I put it on a scale, so I know for sure).


 As far as the radiators, it is wide up by the tank.  I've dumped it a number of times, but have only squeezed the one side in a bit.   Generally the bar plants itself and holds the bike before the radiator gets touched.   If however I was riding in more rocky conditions (I do mostly woods in the east), then guards would be a must.


 The CRF450x will beat the XR performance wise hands down even in stock form as the CRF450x motor is nothing more then a slightly de-tuned R motor.  With a few mods, you can crank it up pretty well to.  Plus the power to weight ratio would be better as well right off the bat.   You would most likely be quite happy just with a stock motor that's jetted properly.


  Maintenace wise, it will be more of a chore.   It's a racing bike and longevity was not the design goal.   XR's are very forgiving.


  I haven't ridden an XR recently (I had an XR500 in the late 70's/early 80's), but if your getting into more enduro riding and not happy with the XR, I think a CRF450x would make you pretty darn happy. 


  Certainly a much better ride, but it's going to require more attention and $$.



Edited by JimDettman

An X can be tuned for much lower rpm grunt than stock, but, it has far less internal reciprocating mass than an XR, so it will never go as low in the rpms and still maintain forward motion.

It's because of this the motor is 1000% more responsive, faster, better power, and more power.


You just have to change your riding style to match the modern motor....or get a rekluse auto clutch..



I thought I missed my XR650R, the king of grunt, after I bought my I bought another one.....then sold it 6 months later.


XR's are good for walking pace riding, but for everything else, they are at a big disadvantage.

I remember the XR400 being one of the funnest bikes to ride.  I rode an '02 on a poker run last summer, and after riding CRFs (Rs and Xs) for the last 10 years, the XR doesn't cut it anymore.  It seemed top heavy and slow but it somehow handled rocky terrain really well.  It's an easy starting bike, but I was annoyed to have to kick start it.  E-start has definitely spoiled me. 

I've been riding XR's for 13 years and recently moved to the CRF last February.  There is nothing the old XR does better than the 450x save for ease of maintenance.  The CRF has tons more power, better handling, lower CG, tougher frame, better ergo's, and on and on.  I love my XR's, and for a beginner they're a better machine than my 450X, but in no way would I go back. 


That being said, for an all around off road machine for a new/learning rider, I don't believe there has ever been a better bike made than the XR400r. 


I could have bought three bikes with all the money I spent on my XR over the years, but six months after getting my CRF450X I sold my beloved XR :)

I have to agree with 5kcstq. The XR is a nice bike, no doubt about it. But it is very front end heavy compared to the X. I find it harder to get the XR front wheel up in the air to get over that obstacle that suddenly appears vs the X. The X can be a little front end heavy also, but not as bad as the XR. You might find that adding a flywheel weight to the X helps improve the torque.

The xr is a more managable bike.  Its a trade off for everything with the crf, its longer, more rake on the forks which equates to not handling the tight twisties as well as a 400.  It doesnt like being in first gear for long periods of time, but show me a big bore watercooled 4 stroke that does.  But after going from the 400 to the 450, i would never go back to a 400 for tight woods riding, its just a funner bike to ride.  The crf is heavy, period, but with how the weight is centered in the chassis it doesnt feel anywhere near as heavy as a 400.  When the suspension is setup correctly for your weight/terrain, is jetted correctly, and has a good set of tires equipped youll never want to ride an xr again. As for reliability, mine is a 2006 and has been jetted, r pipe, pink wire mod, airbox mod, and the same set of valves that are in spec, i just keep good oil in it and a clean filter.  It frequently see's the rev limiter in the desert and gets the crap beaten out of it in the woods, never had issues or gripes as far as maint goes.  Ive grown up riding an xr100/200/400 and will never own another one.

I have had a few 500's and the last was a 650l before jumping to the 450x. I won't look back. I've also done all the mods as mentioned above but you don't have to do them, a stock one will be great to start but more than likely you will get around to just because it is such a fun bike and you will want more..If you add a Rekluse you will forget about the low end  your 400 had.


I just sold a maxxed out xr400, USD forks, pumper, stator, light, scotts, and all the guards and skid plates, 2 tanks, fat bars, etc.  It was going to be my forever bike, very Bro capable for my friends visiting.  I learned on the bike and thought things could not get much better.  The wife has a crf250x and I am 1 and 1/2 years into my crf450x.  We bought a 2nd cherry 450x for her in Baja and longer rides up here in the mountains.  It is the way to go.


I rode it once and then tore it down,  Works connection rad guards, opened the air box, JD kit, tuned the carb and pumper, merge spring, TM chain guard, 14/48, new acerbis handguards with the triple clamp mounts, hour meter, pink wire, disconnected the clutch switch, Rekluse, Slime.  Changed the fork oil inner and outer and mirrored the clickers as on my 450.  Had to adjust an exhaust shim if you can believe that.   It had a 3.2 IMS, original FMF q pipe, and skid plate.  The bike is amazing.  First shakedown yesterday and it sure seems "quicker" than my x but mine has the SS TRX valves and 02 cam, more of an all day bike knocking at 250 hours.  


Get the X.  Many like you and I used to be love the XR and will always give you a fair price.  Buy a manual, read it and keep the valves in check and dial in the carby.  You will not regret it.

I bought one of my  X's  from a gentleman who also had an XR  --  The XR had been gathering dust  since he got the X and it was for sale too.  (he was jumping ship from the X  to an even  more dedicated race platform I think  )  Most who jump from an XR to an X are glad they did and won't go back.   ITs a little more maintenance to check the valves periodically  ,  but heck, bikes have been water cooled  for 30 years - get some good valves if/when they start to move on and get some decent radiator guards and keep rockin

I had an xr 500 and an xr 400, The 450X is not comparible. The x handles much better even after modifications on the xr s. The frame is better, Suspension much better,Brakes better,And electric start is the best. Ride a stock one and you will understand.

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