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Horsepower speed, or Gonad speed?

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I'm in the middle of buying up aftermarket parts for the '05 I'll buy and race in about 3 weeks. As I'm doing this, I keep wanting to reach for some of the Horsepower-boosting modifications out there for the bike. I promised myself I'd just get the suspension done and race this new one as is. After all, it's a great stocker. HOWEVER, after already dropping about a grand on parts for a bike I haven't even purchased yet, I'm starting to do a little internal reflection. You know, a soul-searching kind of thing.

Here's what I reminded myself of, about my philosophy on racing speed:

Bubba Stewart can smoke everyone I've ever ridden with, and he can do it on a tiddler!!!! How can I justify reaching for more Horsepower speed, when all I simply have to do is leave the throttle in the OPEN position more than I do now? If I turn the throttle on and leave it there, I can eventually scare the bejesus out of myself 😢 , and I'm not a faint-hearted kinda guy. So, therin lies my answer; The bike has more than enough ponies to get me to the finish line first. It's up to me to be the best rider I can be to make that happen. Horsepower is not a legitimate limiting factor in my situation.

Am I the only one to shake off the primal instinct to "power up" an already strong motor? Am I the only one to take responsibility for the piloting skills and Gonad factor of going faster? No way. I know there are plenty others, because I see guys racing Vet classes on CRF250s and WINNING!! 😢

I just thought I'd share my full-circle drama with you guys and see if others have similar thoughts or experiences.

*The most my lap times have ever dropped was after 1 on 1 professional motocross training. For some reason, I tend to forget that over time, but it's a simple and plain fact. I just have to remind myself once in a while.

Oh, who am I kidding, big bore kit, here I come!!!

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you seem to suffer from the same thing i do. i know damn well that the bike has more power than i could ever use, but i still keep wanting to put things on it for more power. i'm trying to convince myself to learn how to ride it how it is. i don't know if this is a possiblility or not though. its so fun to spend money on these dang things, i don't know if i can teach myself to stop. but i guess the best thing to put money into is the suspension, so that will be my next move.

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Theoretical situation:

You are racing a guy that is pretty much equal skills...you are dicing back and forth...you come out of a corner side by side, grab the throttle wide open at the same time, heading down a 4th gear straight...

...now, he has a stocker, you have a faster version, say, a nice pipe and matching camshaft and high compression piston. Guess who is gonna win that drag race, all other factors being equal? Also factor in you may not have to shift as early...shifting costs time.

Besides, it's all about the FUN, and fast bikes are FUN² 😢

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heres what i would do, save your money that you'd normally spend on big bore kits, valves, pipes, etc and build a track or use the money for lots of practice. Most mortals cannot use a 125 2-stroke to its full potential, why waste money making a 55+ hp crf450? practice, practice, practice...

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The bike has more than enough ponies to get me to the finish line first. It's up to me to be the best rider I can be to make that happen. Horsepower is not a legitimate limiting factor in my situation.

You've answered your own question. HP is cool and like rap said, all things being equal, if it comes down to a drag race...

At me level, I can't imagine more HP doing more for my speed/riding than breaking later and later i.e. carrying speed.

I modded the crap out of my 450 sand toy, but I won't touch the inerds of my CRF w/ anything but OEM stuff.

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I think you guys are missing the point. At least for me, my mods are all about boosting the bottom and mid power, thereby further flattening the torque curve. It's not at all about winning a drag race to the next corner. For me it's lots of easy to control roll on grunt. It'e about having more confidence to clear obstacles right out of corners. It's about not having to push the bike as hard to go the speed I'm comfortable at, saving energy. It's about riding a gear higher in many sections of the track.

Now for you guys building top end monsters, I don't know what you're after. But modding motors is not all about peak HP and dyno graphs. If you know a little about what you like in a motor, you can make more of that. That's what my mods do for me. Power Now, Stage 1 Hot Cam and Dr. D pipe. No extra wear and tear with these mods either. In fact I rev the engine even less, so it should last even longer!

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You know, our women must have a good time laughing about how we are with our bikes. I mean, I'm like a little kid all out of control, buying silly stuff I KNOW I don't really need. It just feels really good, though. Modifying our bikes is what we do. We're manly men who like playing in the dirt on powerful racing weapons, after all.

We have enough things to laugh at women for. I guess this is one thing they can look our way and get a chuckle out of. 😢

The rest of my life has been so structured and disciplined that it feels pretty damn good to throw a leg over the 450 and ride like I stole it until my hands turn to blistered silly putty. The competition, challenge and comeraderie are all very positive and healthy things, for sure. 😢

Hey, at least we're not sitting around all drunk watching TV all weekend. Silly as it seems, it could be a lot worse.

Rage on, guys!!!!!!!! 😢

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I love to work on mybike and try to upgrade it and ake it badass but when it comes down to racing I get much more satisfaction out of hard practice. Why not practice so that you can depend on yourself instead of your bike.

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You know, our women must have a good time laughing about how we are with our bikes. I mean, I'm like a little kid all out of control, buying silly stuff I KNOW I don't really need. It just feels really good, though. Modifying our bikes is what we do. We're manly men who like playing in the dirt on powerful racing weapons, after all.

We have enough things to laugh at women for. I guess this is one thing they can look our way and get a chuckle out of. 😢

The rest of my life has been so structured and disciplined that it feels pretty damn good to throw a leg over the 450 and ride like I stole it until my hands turn to blistered silly putty. The competition, challenge and comeraderie are all very positive and healthy things, for sure. 😢

Hey, at least we're not sitting around all drunk watching TV all weekend. Silly as it seems, it could be a lot worse.

Rage on, guys!!!!!!!! 😢

AMEN 😢

The way I see it to is if they can "modifiy" the house all the time (i.e. paint a room again a different color cause they got bored with the current color, buy dining room set that is used maybe once a year, etc), then I should be able to have my toy to modify as well 😢 She spends a lot more on the house than I do/have on my bike. LOL

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"I'd rather put my money into a pair of running shoes, a bicycle, a clinic by a pro and gym memberships to gain my speed and placing. Granted, those options are not "fun" but it's the route I choose to take."

And your method is more reliable with reasonable certainty. There's a reason why guys like Marty Smith do triatholons for fun...And RC, when that guy retires, he's going to rip the moutain bike circuit a new one...

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I think you guys are missing the point. At least for me, my mods are all about boosting the bottom and mid power, thereby further flattening the torque curve. It's not at all about winning a drag race to the next corner. For me it's lots of easy to control roll on grunt.

Mine has about the same bottom as stock. With a fatter midrange and a lot more top end. I have tons of roll on. AND I can "drag race" if the need arises, and it does. It's the best of both worlds. And my engine has one of the flattest power/torque curves you will ever see! That's why I rave about it so much, it is as easy to ride as the stocker unless you ride in a too far back position and hold on with your arms all the time...it just has a whole lot more of everything. 😢

Now for you guys building top end monsters, I don't know what you're after. But modding motors is not all about peak HP and dyno graphs. If you know a little about what you like in a motor, you can make more of that. That's what my mods do for me. Power Now, Stage 1 Hot Cam and Dr. D pipe. No extra wear and tear with these mods either. In fact I rev the engine even less, so it should last even longer!

Mine is a top end monster, IF I want it to be.! But it also has more midrange than stock as well. I can torque it, shortshift it, etc., with ease. OR I can let it rip and make ears bleed. You really need to ride it to know what I am talking about. 😢 Until you have ridden one set up like that, you simply cannot know what it is like.

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I only make ergonomic and protective changes to the bike. Engine wise, the 450 is seriously overkill on a track already. What more do you need out of a bike that can probably do any jump on any track in third gear?

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Power does nothing if your rear tire is bouncing all over the place. Suspension is where it's at.

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I haven't spent a dime on power, it's all been on bike protection and handling... Then again I don't race the track. I do know though that the bike will get me over and through anything at the track. I'd rather have my bike reliable then outragously over powered... If I wanted that I'd be on a CR500!!!!

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I don't believe in Santa Claus, Sasquatch or motor mods for my CRF. Just a different rear sprocket to wake up the power delivery suits me fine. Through the years I've learned that my results are best if I spend my racing budget on minor suspension mods, fresh tires, and lots of practice fees.

Our sport is so psychological, that sometimes just thinking you have an advantage will give you one. If spending a grand on the motor is the "sugar pill" that you need, then go for it.

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I second the suspension, but I can understand the power thing, 5th gear power wheelies are pretty cool, but I would personally rather have more tractor than funny car, but the funny car can give you a shit eatin grin for days!!

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Power does nothing if your rear tire is bouncing all over the place. Suspension is where it's at.

I had my suspension done long before ANY motor mods....some people just keep missing the point. Some modified bikes are faster EVERYWHERE in the power range, not just a top end monster. I spend my money because it is MINE and it makes the bike more FUN. Some people go and spend thousands of dollars on BLING BLING. I spent a grand on engine mods and a nice pipe AFTER spending a few hundred dollars on suspension work. It's MY money and I LOVE having a fun, faster than all get out bike. Stop knocking on those that choose to do so. If you like your stocker, so be it.

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Keith they just dont understand its the way the engine delivers the power the peak hp numbers realy dont matter its just there if you find a place you can use it .one of the top A riders in michigan had switched to a ktm he said it was easyer to ride be cause the power was smooth and preditable his lap times were faster .he said the crf 450 was to abrupt.we changed the cam on the honda and now he says he will never ride a stock bike again it has way more power than the ktm but its usable .

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This is a legit honest to god question, don't kill me for it... If you wanted more power why didn't you get something like a KTM525 or something. The money into the motor and exhaust would probably even out the extra cost of the KTM.

LOL, Bling Bling!!! I love it!!!! My plain white, non stickered desert raced beat and scratched to hell bike is so far from bling it's not funny!!!!

I do LOVE the sound of the loud exhausts you guys run though!!! Just for me I can't run them where I ride or I would for the sound alone, lol, not the power!!! If I wanted more power my head would've went to RHC when my valves went but instead I just tossed in the SS valves and a stock '03 piston and called it good. LOL, I didn't even bump up to the '04 piston... Stock is good in the desert and baja!!!!

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Bling is great! It is fun to pull up to the line next to a guy you know can probably clean your clock and catch him drooling over your bike. I had an experience the other week with a local 250 pro that just destroyed the class. I offered to let him ride my bike and he came back offering to buy it on the spot. I obviously declined but proposed to him that if he calls me when he trains at the track, I'll come out a ride with him and he can throw some laps on my bike while I'm catch my breath while he shows me what my bike is REALLY capable of. My riding has improved greatly because of the additional training opportunity and also the confidence I have in my equipment. All of your arguments have merit.

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