CRF or YZF???

Forgive me father for I have sinned!! I really could use some input here. Here's the problem I'm facing.

I am going to buy a 03 450. I had the 02 CRF 450 and sold it for a 02 KTM 520. I had issues with the Honda because it felt cramped to me but I felt very confident on it. I am not an aggressive rider but I felt like I could push myself more on the CR than on my 2000 KX 250. Anyway, I sold the CR for the KTM thinking that because it was thinner and somewhat taller I would like it better. That was a mistake, because I never felt confident on the Katoom. I rode (just a few times) my buddies 01 YZ 426 and loved it but did not want the starting problems or added weight.

Now, Yamaha has addressed those issues and has what will for sure be the bike everyone else is chasing.

So now that I have stumbled through all of that, this is what I'm wondering. Can you guys that have experience with the Yamahas give me some insight to help me choose between the YZ and CR. I know this is a totally vague question, but I'm looking for the pro's and con's in an attempt to not make the same mistake I made with the KTM.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

echo, the choice is simple. go blue. What did you expect to hear in a yamaha forum? The reason is not just that i am yamaha-biased, but the yzf is just a better bike. first off, the crf couldnt compete with the 426f, and now the yamaha's will be 450cc's. The honda has inferior handling, due to the angle of the forks, and this can only be changed by investing 500$ in triple clamps. The honda lacks the hard hitting power of the yamaha as well. Its engine design is simpler and less advanced than that of the yamaha, which may be better for people of less mechanical ability. Unfortunately, yamaha has gone the route of the auto decompression system just like the honda, but like the honda, the new yamahas will be ultra light. how light? 220lbs, same as a 250 2 stroke. DOnt get me wrong, the crf is a good bike, but im convinced that yamaha is ahead of honda in design and performance. hope this helps out!


I think you already answered your own question. You sold your CR because you were not happy with it. Why would you get another? You said you loved the YZ when you rode it. Go ride your buddies YZ again to make sure.

I felt the same way on my buddies CRF. Like the bars were on top of my knees and I had to ride totally bent over at the waist.

The only con's with the Yamaha are going to be the waiting lists and the dealer markup. Although I see you live in AZ, so you may not like the 4 speed.

If the 520 is an SX, how much do you want for it?

Thanks for the input. You're right about me answering my own question, I just have that "what if" thing going through my head. My buddy sold his YZ and bought the 520 about the same time I did. He loves it. I hated it.

I know I want the YZ it's just that it's an unknown for me. But it is hard to argue the points you brought up.

I hope that the 4 speed is not a big issue. We are all going to have to wait to see but if it is anything like the 520 it will be more than enough for me.

I have already sold the KTM and am riding (unfortnately) my 2000 KX 250. It's a great bike but now I have been spoiled by the thumpers. Now I can't get into riding because I'm running on premix.

Anyway, thanks for the advice. I guess I know the answer...


Both bikes you mention are GREAT. But........ you hit the nail right on the head when you said the CR feels cramped. It's set up a tad tighter than the YZ.

Definately wait for the 03 Yam 450, you'll get the best of ALL worlds.

I have a buddy that is very fast and very wierd. He bought a 2002 YZ426 and liked it. He then rode another buddie's CRF450. He sold the YZ which had about 6 hours on it to buy the CRF. He rode it once and started complaining about the suspension. He brought to the local suspension guru for a revalve. To make a long story short after 5 revalve he still wasn't happy. The suspension guru threw him out of his shop. He then sold the CRF and bought another YZ426. This was all in the space of one month.

Don't forget to read the latest issue of MXA. It has an update on the '03CRF450 and a very detailed update on the YZ450F. Just more info to consume.

Just to make this interesting go post this on the crf forum and see what kind of replys you get from them.

I posted pretty much the same question on the CRF page shortly after this one.

Both have been very helpfull and I appreciate all of the feedback.

The decision has been made...

Town and Country has my check in their hands for the 03 YZF 450. (6400.00) Out the door.

I won't get it until late August or early Sept. I will let everyone know... and thanks again.

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