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did I make a mistake

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For a few years now I've been hearing how bad the CRF450 is, so I had to find out for myself. I broke down and bought a used one from a guy that I know. I've never bought a used bike before, but I got a pretty god deal on it and I know how well this guy takes care of his bikes, plus it's a Honda and everyone knows Hondas reputation for building reliable bikes. It's an 03 model with a few extras, it's got the White Bros. carbon pro pipe, pro taper top triple clamp, tag bars, fastway adjustable suspension link and clutch cable bracket. He also put a gripper seat cover on it. I haven't got to ride the bike yet, hopefully I will this weekend. It starts up and runs great, I've played around in the yard on a bit. But after reading all of the problems with the valves and the waterpump and countershaft balancer, I'm scared that I got a POS. Should I be concerned or just ride it? I know the guy would have told me if he had ever had problems with the valves, but he didn't mention it.

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Heck no! RIDE!!! Consider yourself educated by visiting TT and you know what to watch out for, that's all. Enjoy your new bike!!! :cry:

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You can go to any site like this for any bike and see people posting their problems but that is what these sites are for. If the bike was taken care of, you'll be fine. One guy I ride with who has a 2002 CRF450 changed his oil and cleaned his air filter every 3 months because his previous Honda 4 stroke ran for years on that schedule with no problems (he had an XR600). He's had the bike for 3 years and never checked the valves or anything more than the oil and air filter so the bikes are fairly tough. Dirty air filters and dirty oil will kill any bike eventually and his bike did seize last month but the oil wasn't in the sight glass so I imagine it finally died due to lack of oil. I have an 03 that has a little over 100 hours and the valves are fine as well as everything else on the bike. I changed the oil every other ride and air filter after each ride. I grease the bike's linkage and check the valves every 6 months and consider this to be normal dirt bike maintenance not just specific to the CRF. You'll be fine, enjoy the bike...

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I figure that for every person who mentions their problems on TT, there are pobably 10 who don't bother posting that their bike runs fine, and another 50 who can't use a computer or don't know TT exists.

The fact that you visit TT makes you about 1000% more likely to read about valve problems than the average Joe who just gets on with riding the bike.

Same with reading the injury posts on TT - hearing about all of the guys who have torn their ACL ligaments is interesting, but it doesn't make me want to take up knitting instead of riding my bike.

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I was sure I'd bought a time bomb after reading all the valve posts when I first found this site. It seems like everyone and his dog has the valves sunk so far into the head they nearly poke into the cam cover! But I have several friends ( the same guys who talked me out of buying a YZ250 and into a CRF450) who have had CRF's since they were introduced, some of them can't find the sharp end of a screwdriver and they don't have any problems, so why should we? My advice is to keep the oil fresh, keep the filter (air and oil) clean and stay off the rev-limiter (too many guys ride them the same way they ride 125 two strokes) and you'll be fine.

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