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2002 CRF450R Vet/Old Man Project

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Been lurking about for a few months now reading all about tips, tech, setup, and maintenance of the 02 450r I recently purchased. By far the best forum I've come across and it's been incredibly helpful in learning about what it takes to keep the new thumpers ticking. This is my first 4t since my XR80 back in the early 80s.

Last bike was a 1997 RM250 about 7 years ago and I rode 90% mx tracks in the louisville area (just for fun...never raced).

So I had been looking for a bike to rebuild and ride and I came across a beat up 02 450r for $800. Needs a lot of love to get it back in good shape so I thought I would start and keep a thread on the project. Plus it would be the very best way to find out exactly what I should do from folks with tons of knowledge and experience.

I'm wanting to put together a solid bike that I could possibly race in a few Vet class races in the future. I'm 41 years old with above average mx skills (for an old man).

First and foremost I'm going to strip it down, clean it up, and fully assess the situation. I already know she's going to need a minimum of intake valves. Clutch feels pretty sticky as well (pull it in and you still get quite a bit of resistance when rolling). Previous owner spray painted the frame and swingarm black so I'm either going to strip, polish and brush them back up or polish the swingarm and do a bed liner on the frame. Tires are shot, as are the chain and sprockets.

Probably going to be the 536th build thread for an 02 so most won't be interested but who knows, someone might and I know I will need some helpful info and opinions along the way.

I've got a reasonable budget for the build but the wife pregnant with twins so it won't be a super duper high dollar build. I just want something that will be fun on the mx track and competitive enough to make it a fun weekend if I do wanna ride in the vet class a few times.

First off I'm going to get the intake valves up and running. I've read that some folks swap an 06 head while keeping the 02 cam. If the valves are shot and need replacing would this be the best route to choose or would a SS valve kit be just as good an option?

Thanks.... and sorry for the incredibly long 1st post.

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SS valves would be more durable, and probably less expensive in the long run.  you will have to send the head off for that work though as springs and seats will need to be reaplaced.  probably guides also.  check the compression, i would count on a rebuild just due to age and condition you described.  anyway, sounds like a ton of work, but should be fun.

 

that 97 RM had those really good, yet complicated forks, right?

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I have an 02 that runs really well on MX tracks for it's age. Many mods done to it. Most of those mods can be accomplished by purchasing used parts from ebay though. 

By the sounds of it I would imagine the bike is a ground up rebuild. It is my experience that a bike like that was probably not well maintained. If it were me I would go through the entire motor and suspension. If you're going to do the work yourself and you buy all your parts online you can save a boat load of  money. You will need a couple specialty tools like a CRF450R specific flywheel puller and counter balancer spanner. A cam gear holder is nice to have but not a must. Depending on your budget there are some other tools that are nice to have but not needed for 1 engine build...

 

Your going to need to check the cylinder, crank, tranny, and everything else. They might be fantastic. You may be sitting on a time bomb.

 

The 02 in stock form will stand tall in the desert. Mine was really stable at high speeds without a stabilizer. For MX turning was like turning a tank. Here is wait I did to mine to make it a much better MX bike. Again, almost everything was bought used on ebay

 

05 forks (lugs further back then 02)

20mm offset triple clamp

04 linkige (helps bike turn better)

13T front, 51T rear sprocket

complete 05 ignition (everything)

05 Carb

04 airbox and 08 airboot (02 box and boot was major contributor to valve issues)

Factory Connection high speed spring (Installed in rear shock during routine service)

280mm front brake/rotor system (just replacing the stock line with a SS braided line will make a huge difference)

13.5:1 piston

MRD Exhaust

Head is a stock 06, stock valves. Valves have not moved since I bought the bike (approx 100 hrs)

Edited by mrmoto35
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IMG_0132.JPGThe 02 is a great bike to ride. The clamps ,and linkage are stock on my bike , it turns great. Suspension set up is key , the right springs and sag setting make a big diif. , valveing would be helpful for you too. You best bet for the head is big bore`s new head and valves , and they have the 06 head , all you have to do is bolt it on. Good luck with your rebuild.

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Thanks for the replies! I knew about the airbox/boot issue and triple tree/offset but it's incredibly helpful reading about what parts and years folks have used and are compatible with the 02.

The more I look at the bike the more I realize it really will end up being a complete rebuild/restoration.

I will post some pics of the mess after the in laws scram (on sunday) and I have a chance to really strip it down and start cleaning everything up.

It has a new piston and rings (haven't even been broken in yet) and new kickstarter gear.

If I can't find an 06 head on ebay during the next few weeks I may just go ahead and rebuild the oem head w SS valves.

Also I see a new linkage/bearings are definitely in my future. After further examination there is a considerable amount of binding (or seizing). While a full rebuild of both shocks was on my list, new linkages weren't something I had thought of.

Looks like the previous owner wanted a blacked out bike. Instead of pulling parts and painting, he left them on and went nuts with the black rattle cans. I've got a strong feeling that it's going to be a good indicator of how well he maintained it as well.

If I didn't love working on bikes this would definitely be one to scrap and start with a better base. Haha.

Thanks

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2002 here too. Great old bike. Not the most nimble or quickest turning, however, it is comfy enough to pull off 180km days in the woods. Mainly used for woods and the random track day. Love seeing these old bikes!!! I will be following this build.

 

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Big Bore Thumpers sells a complete head with SS valves for $550. A good friend of mine just ordered one for his 05' as it was the most economical option. When pricing the separate head rebuild options, just remember you need more than just a couple valves. There are guides, seats, spring keepers etc and the labor to install guides and seats.

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Here she is in all her $800 glory.

Ordered an 04 airbox and boot off ebay today.

$550 sounds great. Yeah when you add it up a used head with new valves springs etc would probably cost as much if not more.

Would an 06 linkage have the same geometry (or be beneficial on an 02) as an 04? Lots of googling has yielded no answers.

Pics of what I find on sunday after the step - mother in law leaves. Woman sounds like a goose with a rock stuck in its behind. I've never hear so much talking without anything actually being said in all my life.

I swear I walked out of the room while she was talking, came back 20 minutes later and she was still talking. No one else was in the room.

Thanks for the help folks.

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Here she is in all her $800 glory.

Ordered an 04 airbox and boot off ebay today.

$550 sounds great. Yeah when you add it up a used head with new valves springs etc would probably cost as much if not more.

Would an 06 linkage have the same geometry (or be beneficial on an 02) as an 04? Lots of googling has yielded no answers.

Pics of what I find on sunday after the step - mother in law leaves. Woman sounds like a goose with a rock stuck in its behind. I've never hear so much talking without anything actually being said in all my life.

I swear I walked out of the room while she was talking, came back 20 minutes later and she was still talking. No one else was in the room.

Thanks for the help folks.

I did mine a few years ago but If I remember correctly the Gen 2 linkage (05-08) does not mate well with the Gen 1 swingarms do to binding. There are some old threads here about it.

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Awesome bike man. If mine turns out half that well I will be stoked.

I've got a ton of pictures to post but I'm having trouble loading them in. The bottom line is the bike was so much worse than I thought. Enough so that its a bit embarassing. Actually really embarassing. Everything is covered in oil and funk. Bald tires bad chain and sprockets. Just bad.

Then I open it up and everything looks new. Real new. So it's either been gutted and rebuilt or he took perfect care of it minted acne wise and never washed it or cleaned it in any way.

I'm going with option A.

So I do have a question, which I'm sure is a kook question. So the intake valves are in spec. The exhaust valves have zero clearance. Isn't that odd? So with zero clearance on exhaust valves wouldn't I get a fair amount of life out of them by shimming them?

Or is it time to proceed as planned and buck up for an 06 head.

I will post pics of the grime with a little 02 under it as soon as I have time to get on the pc and figure it out.

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I guess to clarify just a little....I've read a ton about intake valves. Once they hit zero they are toast and it's time for a valve job. I have searched and searched and I found nothing about exhaust valves. I know they last a lot longer than intakes.

But I guess my question is...at zero are they toast and ready for a rebuild or can I shim these and get 20 hrs or so out of them?

Thanks and sorry for the flurry of posts.

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Ok i finally figured it out.

Here it is prior to tear down. And $800 bike! Haha

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Ok i finally figured it out.

Here it is prior to tear down. And $800 bike! Haha

looks pretty good man. And a steal at 800. Here's my 03

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With the build I did the motor had already been completely rebuilt when I purchased it so I was lucky. Personally I would be pulling the motor out and taking the head and cylinder off to check the piston and cylinder at a minimum.

This can be done in the nick but it you want to go through everything else it is easier to remove.

I would then remove the carb and give it a full service.

If it is as bad as you say to look at in my experience everything else on the bike will need looking at.

I replaced every bearing on the bike and meticuosly cleaned all dirt from it. Takes time but I got out of it pretty cheap sourcing a lot of parts from eBay.

Check out my build thread if you want to see what I did.

Good luck with it mate but most of all enjoy the rebuild, I know I did!

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Hey folks. I've got a bunch of pics to post from the teardown. I've also got a ton of pics to post of new or new to me parts.

Wife is pregnant with twins and was in the hospital on bedrest (off and on) since October 20th. Haven't really been able to do a ton of work and basically I've just stripped it down and loaded up on goodies.

Parts list to date includes:

270mm rotor and bracket

New Rear Rotor

New Brake pads front and rear

20mm FBN Racing Triple Clamps

2004 CRF450R Shock Linkage

Pro Circuit Exhaust

2004 CRF450R Airbox

Twin Air Filters

Stainless Steel Brake Lines

Dunlop MX51 Tires Front and Rear

13/51 Sprockets and new chain

Eibach 5.7 shock and .48 fork springs

Knock Off Platform Footpegs

Knock Off 3 finger style levers

Fork Rebuild Kit

Shock Rebuild Kit

Carburetor Rebuild Kit

I've already trimmed 3 inches off the muffler and repacked it. Just because I had the free time (sitting with the wife) I stripped and cleaned all of the funk out of linkage roller bearings. They actually looked really good and weren't pitted at all once I got the funk and crud off them. Re-greased them with Bel-Ray Waterproof Grease and put it all back together.

Stripped an cleaned the carb. Put in the new, stock size jets and needle and gaskets etc. It had some really strange sized jets in it. I will have to go look and see what they are but I've never seen anyone running jets this size on a bike (and I researched it a lot). I figure I will at least want to have the stock sizes as a baseline when I start tuning this thing here in a few months.

I'm about to rebuild the shock and fork and start putting her all back together.

All in all I've spent about $600 on parts.

Still think I may put new red plastic, seat cover, and graphics on it.

New bars and a water pump rebuild/impeller and unless there's something I forgot about that may be it for a little while.

I will post the pics I took of the teardown as well as those of the parts I've got on deck and ready to go.

Thanks!

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Here's the new and new to me goodies. I should be able to finish up the clean up and start putting it all back together this week.

Also, when I rebuilt the carburetor, the main jet was a 138. I've stared at it for at least 30 minutes trying to figure out if it could be a 188 or a 168 with some of the lettering worn off but it really doesn't look like that's the case.

Is there any chance that it really was a 138 and why on earth would someone need to jet it like that 500 feet above sea level?

Thanks for your help!

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Here's the new and new to me goodies. I should be able to finish up the clean up and start putting it all back together this week.

Also, when I rebuilt the carburetor, the main jet was a 138. I've stared at it for at least 30 minutes trying to figure out if it could be a 188 or a 168 with some of the lettering worn off but it really doesn't look like that's the case.

Is there any chance that it really was a 138 and why on earth would someone need to jet it like that 500 feet above sea level?

Thanks for your help!

I bet someone was chasing symptoms of the bike running far to rich and ended up masking the issue with a 138 jet

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The previous owner had rebuilt the bike (piston and rings) and it hadn't even been started since the rebuild.

When I first bought it I immediately pulled the head the check the valve clearance. The intake was spot on but the exhaust valves were zeroed out. I thought it was odd as I've researched the valves on these things for hours and hours and I've never found anyone that's had issues with exhaust valves.

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