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4-Stroke Maintenance - its done me in

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I'm sure that you guys who are good at working on things are going to slam me, but I'm starting to think that these new 4s are part of a secret plot to sell more parts and keep dealer service shops in business.

I admit it: the new 4s currently exceed my mechanical ability (which is obviously very limited). I'm a fairly inteligent guy. I keep my family afloat. I have some life talents and skills. But, I'm here to tell you, if my family had to rely on my ability to work on the top end of a modern 4 we'd be on welfare. It's painful to admit, but, sadly, it's true.

Dirt Bike or Dirt Rider recently had a "step by step guide to 4 stroke top ends" (or something like this). It started out with something like...."it's really not that hard. Just follow these steps...." Well, 16 pages and 198 steps later (exagerating of course...but it was long) they arrive at "and there you go. Done. See. Was that so hard??" Well, yes.

To you guys who can fix any and everything. Hats off. Love it for you. Really, I do. As for me, I'm in big trouble when they finally kill the 2 strokes.

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Buck-up little camper, it's not that bad. After you get the right tools and do one 4s cylinder head, you will be a pro.

Like the sticker I saw the other day: "It's only kinky the first time."

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They really are not that hard, I think if you stick with it and keep your cool, you'll be doing them in no time, I am an auto mechanic, so maybe had an unfair advantage, but I did my first one without even having an owners manual or anything to look at, not bragging so don't get me wrong, just saying that if you take your time and stick with it, you'll get 'r done, just don't give up, the money you'll save when you get it figured out will be well worth it. :)

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Yea, once you learn some stuff about them and do it a couple times they really are not that complicated. I am getting ready to take my motor down to the cases today to install a new stroker crank.

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The thing is those of us who have both or have spent a lot of time on both (2s and 4s) really are starting to see that the 2s is just so much easier to maintain. Since I got my lastest 2s I don't even ride the 4s anymore, not that it's a bad bike it's just that I have to take more care of it than my smoker, and sure it's not that hard, I've done a lot of 4s maintanace but it takes time and a little patience, and I just want to ride. There's nothing that the 4s does that my smoker won't (300 exc), it's even so easy to start I don't miss the "button". Hi tech is cool and all but once the novelty wears off give me my smoker back. If I ride the 4s that just means I have to pull the tools out again and get busy, like I said, I just want to ride.

B

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On the new Husky 4 strokes it takes literally 2 minutes and you have a feeler on the valves (quick release on the seat, one bolt on the tank, 4 bolts on the cover all easy to access). Then if you find one that is out (I have had 2 valves slightly out .002 in 2200 miles) you take a clip out, slide the little rocker arm over and pull out the shim!!!!! Yep, no cam removal needed!!!! If you have the right shims on hand you can literally do a valve job in 10 minutes with one 8mm wrench.

here are all the parts to take off to get to the valves...

parts-1.jpg

here is the head setup...

head-1.jpg

Rockers in place...

rockers-1.jpg

Remove the clip between the rockers to get the shims out...

rockers-2.jpg

Done

Shock linkage has zerks, hit it with a grease gun and watch the dirt and water squirt out.

Air filter is a no tool item and very easy to get to even on a E-start like mine. Quick release for the seat, battery is mounted on a swivel bracket and the air box is roomy.

Did I mension these bike come with huge axles, hubs, spokes and excel wheels and the spokes that never move? Magnesium everything, super strong aluminum bars, enduro computer, light and number plate, etc.

Oh, these very bikes have won world ISDE championships for years as well as many other off road championships and supermoto championships. They only thing they are not superior on is SX.

Additionally even though dealers are not on every corner most of them are very eager to help you, give you deals and support you in ways the bigger manufacturers will not. I bought my last two from HuskyNW in Washington state and they are great and know everything about the product they sell.

Welcome back to 4 strokes :)

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I'm sure that you guys who are good at working on things are going to slam me, but I'm starting to think that these new 4s are part of a secret plot to sell more parts and keep dealer service shops in business.

I admit it: the new 4s currently exceed my mechanical ability (which is obviously very limited). I'm a fairly inteligent guy. I keep my family afloat. I have some life talents and skills. But, I'm here to tell you, if my family had to rely on my ability to work on the top end of a modern 4 we'd be on welfare. It's painful to admit, but, sadly, it's true.

Dirt Bike or Dirt Rider recently had a "step by step guide to 4 stroke top ends" (or something like this). It started out with something like...."it's really not that hard. Just follow these steps...." Well, 16 pages and 198 steps later (exagerating of course...but it was long) they arrive at "and there you go. Done. See. Was that so hard??" Well, yes.

To you guys who can fix any and everything. Hats off. Love it for you. Really, I do. As for me, I'm in big trouble when they finally kill the 2 strokes.

Where are you at in North Carolina? What kind of bike is it? Maybe if you see someone actually go through it one time then you would understand it better. If I can help you, I am in the NWestern corner. :)

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i can do most of my maintence myself but bigger jobs like valve replacement require me to ask my father do it for me (he's a master mechanic) :)

i would just buy the service manual for your bike and stick it out. :)

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I remember back when I got my first dirt bike (2 Stroke) after being away from off-roading for over 20 years, I thought it was a bitch to work on the new bikes compared to my old CZ250, anyway after doing about 15 Mods on my 2001 RM250, I sold it for a YZF450 and realized how much harder it was to work on 4 strokes than 2 strokes.

Its been 4 years now and I am on my 3rd 4 stroke and I have loved everyone of them.

Frankly I don't understand what the maintenance difference is between the 2 bikes except for the valves?

Stick with it partner, by 2010 smokers will be a thing of pictures and memory.

- Rich -

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The thing is those of us who have both or have spent a lot of time on both (2s and 4s) really are starting to see that the 2s is just so much easier to maintain. Since I got my lastest 2s I don't even ride the 4s anymore, not that it's a bad bike it's just that I have to take more care of it than my smoker, and sure it's not that hard, I've done a lot of 4s maintanace but it takes time and a little patience, and I just want to ride. There's nothing that the 4s does that my smoker won't (300 exc), it's even so easy to start I don't miss the "button". Hi tech is cool and all but once the novelty wears off give me my smoker back. If I ride the 4s that just means I have to pull the tools out again and get busy, like I said, I just want to ride.

B

I couldn't agree with you more. I had a CRF450 and went to a YZ 250. It seemed like I was working on the bike more than I was riding. Between adjusting valves, changing engine oil every other ride, oil filter, trans oil air filters and every other little thing I just got sick of it. Now it's Trans oil, ail filter and go. Top ends on 4s suck. 2 strokes 20 minutes for a complete top end. As soon as the AMA evens out the playing field between the 2 and 4 strokes, the 2s should start coming back (hopefully they level out the field). This years 2 strokes are already the best batch of 2 strokes ever built. As long as there is blue smoke and rapppp, I'll be on them.

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When the first YZ400's starting showing up, I kinda thought this would happen. I used to own a 5-valve Yamaha streetbike and I knew the top end inside and out. I also know that most people like simplicity in their bikes. Modern thumpers are technological wonders and I love mine, but I also came very, very close to getting a YZ250 instead. The realiablity is a known value with two strokes and whether anyone admits it or not, they aren't too far off (if any)when it comes to performance in the hands of mortals. Sure four strokes are neat and all, but what happens when they get 3 to 5 years old? I've owned older two strokes and have never had problem one, hope I can say the same thing about my CRF450 in a couple years.

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I don't know much about wrenching on a 450 because the last two I've owned have been stone reliable. Since 01, I've owned and raced a YZ 426 and two CRF 450s, all purchased new. After years of getting burned by used smokers, I only buy new bikes now. Prior to the thumpers, I owned six 250 smokers and I rarely got more than six months out of a top end.

The 02 CRF went two seasons on the original piston and valve setting. The 04 CRF is about to start its second season, and everything is still in spec. Oil changes? Yeah, every couple rides at a cost similar to running Maxima 927 in a smoker. Valve checks? Yeah, about a thirty-minute job at the same intervals as changing pistons in a smoker. I wish I could change a top-end in "20 minutes", but I couldn't even clean the power valve in that amount of time. Honestly, I ask just about everyone I see at the track if they've had problems with their 450s, and most just laugh and say "like what".

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Patience is the key take your time and with a little practice you'll get it. Don't try to fix her all up in one night.

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I came to the same conclusion...I loved my CRF's, but the riding/wrenching ratio is much higher on my YZ250, and I no longer worry about an expensive engine repair should something go wrong!

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Part of it is having a decent place to work and some tools. It helps to have a shop with a bench, air compressor, basic metric tools and some of the special tools specific to the bike. Add a small solvent tank drill press etc, and you can do a lot. Its tough to get excited working in a double car garage with no room and no heat on a cold day. It doesn't have to be as nice as a motorcycle dealer shop, but you will be there as riding a dirt bike is ongoing maintenance to keep it running.

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I'm sure that you guys who are good at working on things are going to slam me, but I'm starting to think that these new 4s are part of a secret plot to sell more parts and keep dealer service shops in business.

I admit it: the new 4s currently exceed my mechanical ability (which is obviously very limited). I'm a fairly inteligent guy. I keep my family afloat. I have some life talents and skills. But, I'm here to tell you, if my family had to rely on my ability to work on the top end of a modern 4 we'd be on welfare. It's painful to admit, but, sadly, it's true.

Dirt Bike or Dirt Rider recently had a "step by step guide to 4 stroke top ends" (or something like this). It started out with something like...."it's really not that hard. Just follow these steps...." Well, 16 pages and 198 steps later (exagerating of course...but it was long) they arrive at "and there you go. Done. See. Was that so hard??" Well, yes.

To you guys who can fix any and everything. Hats off. Love it for you. Really, I do. As for me, I'm in big trouble when they finally kill the 2 strokes.

i don't care that 4 strokes are heavy, hard to start, and expensive. i love riding on them but the truth is that i can barely keep my 2 stroke going. if new 4 strokes required much less up keep, or if i were a better wrench, i'd probably have a 4 stroke

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I remember back when I got my first dirt bike (2 Stroke) after being away from off-roading for over 20 years, I thought it was a bitch to work on the new bikes compared to my old CZ250, anyway after doing about 15 Mods on my 2001 RM250, I sold it for a YZF450 and realized how much harder it was to work on 4 strokes than 2 strokes.

Its been 4 years now and I am on my 3rd 4 stroke and I have loved everyone of them.

Frankly I don't understand what the maintenance difference is between the 2 bikes except for the valves?

Stick with it partner, by 2010 smokers will be a thing of pictures and memory.

- Rich -

sounds like you're off loading your 4 strokes before they need any top end work. rebuild one 4 stroke head and you'll know what we're talking about

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I don't know much about wrenching on a 450 because the last two I've owned have been stone reliable. Since 01, I've owned and raced a YZ 426 and two CRF 450s, all purchased new. After years of getting burned by used smokers, I only buy new bikes now. Prior to the thumpers, I owned six 250 smokers and I rarely got more than six months out of a top end.

The 02 CRF went two seasons on the original piston and valve setting. The 04 CRF is about to start its second season, and everything is still in spec. Oil changes? Yeah, every couple rides at a cost similar to running Maxima 927 in a smoker. Valve checks? Yeah, about a thirty-minute job at the same intervals as changing pistons in a smoker. I wish I could change a top-end in "20 minutes", but I couldn't even clean the power valve in that amount of time. Honestly, I ask just about everyone I see at the track if they've had problems with their 450s, and most just laugh and say "like what".

you realize you're comparing USED 2 strokes to NEW 4 strokes, right?

you've had 3 new bikes in the last 4 years. i'm sure you're wrenching time and $$$ would have been less with 3 new 2 strokes, don't you think?

also, cleaning powervalves does take a long time if you use an expensive, dirty burning oil like 927

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