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HONDA CRF250X: Suggest the best parts upgrade/modification for increased horsepower.

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I own a 2013 Honda CRF250X.  I really like the way the bike handles in the steep, technical trails I ride.  Now that I have gotten used to the power of the bike, I would like to know what I can do to increase it.  Can anyone suggest a tried parts upgrade/modification that has worked for them.  Are the upgrades/modifications worth the price?

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Sure there are ways to increase the power output but it helps to know how much you want or dont want to spend! There are differing opinions about what to use to accomplish it and some guys will even argue that the 250X needs to be detuned (usually the old guys) to be the most effective for the most difficult slow speed technical trails. But only you can know if it is worth it for you.
But for more power from the 250X it usually starts with re jetting the bike and opening up the air box. Make sure you have the best sprocket combination for the type of riding and whatever the power output is at the time. Beyond that you can install a different exh system, high compression piston, possibly a different cam to name just a few options. Honda is common and there are many aftermarket parts available for a crf 250.

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I like the gearing and low end on my 250.  The trails I ride are steep and rocky with many obstacles.  Often, I'm needing to quickly get the front end up to clear an obstacle or land flat on a downhill drop.  I'm practicing getting the front wheel up quickly while going very slow.  I can't just blip the throttle and get the front end up at a moments notice, like on a 2 stroke.  I was thinking a modification might help me.  Maybe I just have to practice a lot more.  Really other than that, I like everything about the bike.  It is comfortable, it handles well, and it tracks up hills with little effort.

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A 250R cam is a great upgrade. Otherwise, since used 250's and 450's sell for the same price roughly, sell the 250 and get a 450. You will never get the power of the 250 even close to a 450.

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Yep, I think what the OP is referring to as 'power' is actually torque and less so top end HP.

(since he mentions steep, technical trails etc.)

If it's the case, in stock form a CRF250X probably makes the most low end / midrange  'grunt' it ever will,

most mods will gain you some upper rpm torque/HP but at the cost of low end.

Although it won't increase torque, a heavy flywheel can 'store' energy and help keep momentum/prevent stalling.

 

For major low end torque gains, you'll have to step up to a CRF450X.

 

Edited by mlatour
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On 5/16/2017 at 6:02 PM, Benski said:

I like the gearing and low end on my 250.  The trails I ride are steep and rocky with many obstacles.  Often, I'm needing to quickly get the front end up to clear an obstacle or land flat on a downhill drop.  I'm practicing getting the front wheel up quickly while going very slow.  I can't just blip the throttle and get the front end up at a moments notice, like on a 2 stroke.  I was thinking a modification might help me.  Maybe I just have to practice a lot more.  Really other than that, I like everything about the bike.  It is comfortable, it handles well, and it tracks up hills with little effort.

You need several things to align to make lofting the front wheel easy, or even to happen:
Most important is body movements to compress the suspension so the rebound unweights the front wheel, the next items just help.
Bottom end and mid range torque  is needed to assist body movement.
Suspension soft enough to allow rebounding, turn out the clickers.
Traction, a high traction tire and low PSI help.

Lots of Trials riding videos show how to loft the front wheel, and Trials bikes have big flywheels.

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You need several things to align to make lofting the front wheel easy, or even to happen:
Most important is body movements to compress the suspension so the rebound unweights the front wheel, the next items just help.


Chuck makes a very good point here.

Also, sometimes there just isn't enough time to compress the fork, so another technique I find helpful (especially on lower powered bikes or in low traction situations) is to momentarily "seat bounce" to lighten the front. As I'm applying power, I'll force my weight a bit further back on the seat as I de-weight the pegs. As I'm doing this, I allow my upper body to pivot back under the acceleration to further accentuate the weight shift to the seat while allowing my upper body weight to help pull on the bars to further transfer weight from front to back. This really helps loft the front quickly. Just remember to keep your weight back and power on as the rear wheel hits the obstacle. At this point, start to extend your legs back to the standing position to help prevent the rear from kicking during rebound. If you're at slow speed, you can alternatively reduce power as the rear wheel hits, allowing the rear tire to gently roll over the obstacle as long as you've quickly transitioned to standing so your legs can absorb the impact by allowing the rear to rise.

It's tricky to describe, but really works.
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On 5/16/2017 at 6:02 PM, Benski said:

I like the gearing and low end on my 250.  The trails I ride are steep and rocky with many obstacles.  Often, I'm needing to quickly get the front end up to clear an obstacle or land flat on a downhill drop.  I'm practicing getting the front wheel up quickly while going very slow.  I can't just blip the throttle and get the front end up at a moments notice, like on a 2 stroke.  I was thinking a modification might help me.  Maybe I just have to practice a lot more.  Really other than that, I like everything about the bike.  It is comfortable, it handles well, and it tracks up hills with little effort.

Without knowing for sure what the conditions are when your having trouble getting the front wheel up it might be a little hard to be able to answer specifically, but yes shifting your weight rear ward whether you are sitting or standing is usually needed to lighten the front end and help the rear wheel with traction. Its hard to lift the front end if the rear wheel is spinning very much.  Also using the clutch will help alot with getting the front wheel up so practicing using the clutch to get the timing right is needed. When you find the right balance between how much throttle to use and clutch release it becomes much easier, and you can use that technique between shifts also to lift the front end, just pull on the bars alittle.

With our 250X its usually easy to get the front end up in first, second or third gear and often dont need to use the clutch depending on conditions. Our bike has quite a few modifications including the 14-49 sprocket combination.

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Have you done the CCC mods to the bike yet? Once you get the air box fully opened, screen out of the air filter cage with a back fire filter, at least a new muffler, and get the jetting  right you will probably be able to pick the front up with nothing but throttle through third gear. First and second will be extremely easy , third gear may need a little help. Pink wire mod also helps. I installed a toggle switch on the pink wire so I could swap from the crf and crfx map. A cam out of a r model will push the power up in the rpms and you will not have  instantaneous front wheel lift at real low rpm's like what it sounds like you want. If your bike is all stock there should be no bogs and when you open up the intake, exhaust and rejet it there should not be any bogs either if the jetting is right. It should be just as good as stock but more power every where.

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From the post about lifting the front wheel, I think the bike probably has all the power you need.  Experience and technique are probably more what you need.  People always think they need more power but 30 years ago, people where doing what you want to be able to do on XR250's with half the power you have now.

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Ditto what tidtid said in the first part of his post.  For my 2015, I opened the air box, removed back fire screen, added JD Jet Kit, FMF Powercore 4, 13 tooth front drive (stock was 14), stock 53 tooth rear.  Front tire comes up easily with just the throttle in first and second, and will come up in third with a little help.  I also changed out the pain in the azz stock fuel screw with a Flex Jet.  The bike has been totally transformed and I couldn't be happier.

Total cost was less than $400, with the pipe being the biggest expense, at around $270.  Jet kit $70,  Front drive gear $8,  Flex Jet $30,  Air Box Free  

 

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On 6/23/2017 at 9:13 AM, scott_01_xr400 said:

From the post about lifting the front wheel, I think the bike probably has all the power you need.  Experience and technique are probably more what you need.  People always think they need more power but 30 years ago, people where doing what you want to be able to do on XR250's with half the power you have now.

Maybe, but their smile was only half as wide!

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Thanks for the help and replies.  I'm going to get out there and keep practicing until I get it down!  I tell myself to not overthink things, just ride!

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