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Any 04 to 05 comparisons on the CRF450?

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I have the 04 CRF450 and am contemplating purchasing the 05 (if it is ever available and isn't seven grand).

I am wondering if any of you who have managed to snag one of the 05's has any input on what(if any)differences stand out between these two model years. I am almost tempted to keep the 04 . . . .

The bits and pieces I have gathered so far indicate that the 05 has (1)a fourth generation frame, (2) a slimmer profile, (3) perhaps a little bit more engine snap off the bottom, (4) a little lighter, (5) tad bit better fork response and bottoming resistance.

It would be great to read some subjective comparisons from some who have some seat time on both.

From some of the reports coming from the 05 YZF450 camp, it is also not ruled out in my mind (no valve problems, CRF-style power and improved KYB suspension--sans aluminum frame).

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It depends on what you are going to do with the bike and where you ride. It's everything the mags say...much lighter feeling, better cornering, much snappier off the bottom, etc. If you are a serious racer and are in shape, you'll love the new bike, but be forwarned - it is much more race oriented (i.e handfull) I had a tricked out 04 which I really liked and I can honestly say that I am still working on the setup on the new bike to get it in the same comfort zone of the 04. Have you ridden a CRF250?? If not I would highly recommend it, you might find that you go faster on that bike.

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I can honestly say that I am still working on the setup on the new bike to get it in the same comfort zone of the 04.

I'll second that. Did my first two rides, and noticed a few things. As a woods only rider I love the tighter, better steering. The power is a bit tiring, but a flywheel will be here in a day or two. The suspension is pretty stiff. I just started adjusting the clickers, and figure it will soften up some.

If my 04 wasn't stolen, I would have never moved to the 05. I loved my 04. This one just needs broken in more.

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What the narrowness does is let me use my legs to grip the bike much better than the '04. Of course I'm kinda on the small side so this is a BIG difference for me. I'm able to control it much easier in turns and in the air as a result. It initiates turns better and carves way better. The lighter weight and brakes on the '05 combine to make the most noticeable difference for me when I took it out... I'm able to brake much later and don't have that feeling of momentum carrying me past where I want to go. On a track, once you get to know it, you can pick out the brake points and hit them lap after lap. But it's on the trail that I get into trouble with my '04 because the weight can carry you to and through... Maybe with the '05 I'm being more careful not to scratch the plastic 😢 but I don't have the same sensation when I come in hot and try to slow the bike down. My suspension is still stock and very stiff and I haven't had a chance to dial it in. But in the air it feels as good as my 250. Good luck in your decision.

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The suspension is pretty stiff. I just started adjusting the clickers, and figure it will soften up some.

Have you replaced the oil in the forks yet?

The oil Honda delivers the bikes with is more like a transport/run in oil, it is quiet thick 😢

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I have about 1.5 hrs on the '05 after trading in the '04. In my opinion the bike is a lot better. You will not be sorry if you go with the '05. It has more low end, feels about 15 lbs lighter in the air, and tracks way straighter through the woops. I rode a buddies '04 back to back. The '04 felt like a tank - wide and heavy - compared to the '05. I am way light (155 lbs) for the suspension so it is not set up for me yet and the jetting is a bit off on top, but once I get it dialed in I am expecting this bike to be amazing. Even as it is I am clearing a rhythem section that I never could on the '04.

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