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Are Alloy Frames Strong?

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I was just chatting to a salesman in the local bike shop (sells all 4 jap makes)and he was explaining to me that the alloy frames on the CRF are quite weak compared to the steel frames of other makes....

He told me that a reasonably soft drop would result in a bent frame. :)

could this be right..are they that weak?. :) ??

i am thinking maybe DRZ-400 or KTM 450exc if this is true as i tend to "drop" the bike occasionally....

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aluminum frames are stronger than steel, but much softer, and less forgiving when bent. just get a skid plate, and you'll be fine. steel is tougher than aluminum, because it can be dented without losing much of its strength. Aluminum is better if you are willing to buy/make a skid plate to protect it from rocks.

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Personally I like the aluminum frame. I don't think I've ever seen a dented side spar on a CR or CRF, but I have seen them on wadded streetbikes with aluminum frames. I suppose it's possible, if you were to smack a rock when you dropped it. I dropped mine a couple times and there's lots of stuff that hits the ground way before a frame rail touches anything. But then again there are lots of guys who can break a ball bearing in sandbox, so who knows?

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The salesman is an idiot. Just because aluminum is a softer metal does not mean it makes a weaker frame. I remember reading a couple of years ago in one of the rags that the honda boys can go alot longer on a frame for the race bikes as opposed to the other brands. Secound if it was a weaker frame do you think all the oem's would be switching to them, no they wouldn't, but now yamaha and suzuki both have aluminum frames.

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...a salesman in the local bike shop (sells all 4 jap makes)and he was explaining to me that the alloy frames on the CRF are quite weak compared to the steel frames of other makes...

He's definitely more salesman than engineer :)

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The salesman is an idiot. Just because aluminum is a softer metal does not mean it makes a weaker frame. I remember reading a couple of years ago in one of the rags that the honda boys can go alot longer on a frame for the race bikes as opposed to the other brands. Secound if it was a weaker frame do you think all the oem's would be switching to them, no they wouldn't, but now yamaha and suzuki both have aluminum frames.

Actually its somewhat the opposite. The teams typically measure the aluminum frames every race and replace every 3 or so. The steel frames they measure every 5 races or so and replace as needed- about twice a season.

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thanks for your opinions...

...ok...by the sound of your above posts , would I be right in saying that the alloy frames on the CRF are not an issue when it comes to strength ?? :)

my XR4 has survived countless drops without any frame issues....so would the CRF be able to handle similar?? :)

man, its hard choosing a new bike !

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The STEEL frames stretch(wheelbase gets longer). Aluminum breaks when over fatigued, therefore no stretch.

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yes i must say ive never heard of alloy frame issues before......and somehow i'd rather take advice from this forum than most of the sales guys out there in bike shops.

looks like its gonna be a CRF450x :) !!!....(hurry up Honda and get 'em to Australia!)

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