CRF vs YZF reliability

I'm looking for some honest feedback on reliability on the 450's. I am currently racing a 2004 CRF450 I bought new in late 2003.

I raced it 2 classes at each event since new totalling about 60 times and practiced a lot. I had no problems until this year. I have now had to rebuild it.. as expected, piston, valve springs..., replace the rear hub -worn bolt holes, replace a bar mount that bent on an impact, stripped bolt holes in the aluminum cases-replaced with heli coil, replaced the ac pump diaphragm due to cutting out bad-fixed.

I had raced a 2001 YZ250F before that for a year and a half and had no problems. I have raced 3 years now and worked up to B class. I know I have lodged a lot of time on the bike and I'm looking to get a new 450 for 2006. Maybe as soon as they come out.

how has the reliability of the YZ450 been. Any thing I should be aware of. I know they detuned it for 2005. Would you choose it over the crf450? I like everything about the CRF450 except the recent money I have had to put in it. the handling, motor, and all that is awesome. I know the CRF wins the magazines shoot outs, but that rarely includes reliability issues. Would any bike be wore out based on what I have put it through?

I appreciate your feedback.

Actually they made more power out of the yz 450 they just smoothed it out. here is what i got from the yamaha web site....

Faster and smoother than ever.

Redesigned combustion chamber, piston, intake ports, carburetor jetting and airbox for improved combustion efficiency, resulting in smoother more controlled power delivery.

Redesigned CDI unit for smoother more controlled power delivery.

Primary drive gear ratio has been changed from 2.82 to 2.65:1, clutch spring rate is reduced 6 percent for lighter lever pull, and a new shift mechanism provides more positive shifting.

All-new fork with TCV (transfer control valve) for stable damping, improved mid- to full-stroke performance and better rider feedback.

New, aluminum Renthal handlebar is 90 grams lighter and more durable.

Revised triple clamps for even better handling.

Shorter, re-routed front brake hose for increased brake feel and easier bleeding.

Stronger swingarm with stronger new linkage for better performance.

Rear shock has a new, full-rebound oil lock circuit for a smoother ride.

New-design rear sprocket and chain guide reduces wear, chain wobble, and noise for more efficient power transfer.

Rear brake bracket is 35 grams lighter, and designed for easier rear wheel installation.

New front fork protectors are larger for better coverage.

The YZ450 is the son of the YZ426. The 426 was and is one of the most reliable pieces of any kind of machinery that exists, to my knowledge. Like anything that evolves, the YZ450 appears to be even better than the 426 was in terms of dependability. The '03 had a clutch chatter thing, and there was some rare trouble with the redesigned cam chain tensioner, but both these problems are long gone.

My '03 just got it's timing chain replaced as a maintenance measure. That's the most serious work that's ever been done to it. Its first required valve adjustment has yet to happen.

Opinions vary on the power characteristics of the '05 vs. the earlier models. Some say it's just as strong, and that the power was simply moved up the rev range to make the low end come on more gracefully. Others say that it's just plain not as quick off of corners as it used to be. One thing is certain, the bottom end is not as explosively strong as it was. It seems to me that they're still fast, but the bike needs to be ridden differently now then before.

The '05 has far better suspension, but the steering and perceived weight differences between the CRF and the YZ450 remain. The YZF sits an inch higher than the CRF and turns more slowly, giving it a heavier feel, even though there's only 2-3 pounds difference in weight. On the other hand, the YZF sticks in a corner much better, and runs straighter over the rough stuff.

There are a lot of things about the Honda that I like, but on my budget, I have to stay with what I can depend on. If reliability is important, Yamaha is your bike.

Thanks fella's. I have always had confidence in both the Honda's and Yamaha's up until recently. It just seems that in an effort to shave weight and make the bikes quick revving we are giving up some durability. I am seriously looking at the Yamaha but I hope to wait for th 2006 to come out to see what they say about it. I wonder if they will do something about the top heavy feel and slow cornering. That did exist in my 2001 YZ250F too. i also wonder about the aluminum frames and if that Will show up on the 450 and change it's handling too. I shy away from the models prior to 05 because the guys who rode them said they were a handful and I was just moving up to he bigger bike.

The Honda has the perfect mix of power and rideability. I will keep an eye out on the mags in the next few months too. The transworld articles I read on the 450 shoot out for 05 actually had the yamaha near the bottom overall and listed HP at 45.?? and Honda on top at 49.?? hard to believe. they liked the Suzuki and Hnda the best with Honda edging out the zuki. Two of my friends have th 05 CRF's and like them a lot so I'm still pondering it all.

Again this is going to be a little bias because of where you posted it, but as owning a YZ previously and 80% of my riding buddies owning CRFs, speeking from a KTM owner now, I would say definately Yamaha. Honda is very slow to work out the kinks. As soon as Yamaha saw something the matter with their bikes they changed it the next year.

Reliability - Yamaha hands down - GreyRacer is right on target, the 450 is a refined 426 that is refined from a 400 - Hondas are more maintenence - valves are higher maintenance - a lot more oil changes - Yamaha valves last longer period - but still require maintenance - Yamaha wins here period!

Cornering - Honda has "Stock Yamaha" beat - Yamaha has higher center of gravity - Yamaha still corners well. I use Storm Racing link on my 03 and it turns as well as a Honda - 06 Yamaha will be a new design hopefully and Aluminum frame - Honda gets the win here by a narrow margin

Suspension - both 05's are good out of the box - "B" - rider will probably modify valving/springs anyway - TIED in stock form - / TIED in modified form

Power - 05 Yamaha power has been redirected to different parts of the RPM curve - I would not say " detuned" as the mags label it - just different - The Honda 05 has great linear power - As a "B" - rider both should be in the same ballpark - Maybe a slight edge to Honda - this is personal preference

For 05 both are great bikes and you will win on either. As the owner of 5 Yamaha 4strokes since 99 - I would try the 05 Honda for a different ride - For 06 any Red, Yellow or Blue bike will be great. And this is why and when I will buy one for me....... :)

i have owned and worked on several of the crf and yzf and as far as relaibility goes if you do your proper maintenance both motors will last as long has you have your bike, but if you arent big on the routine maintenance the yamaha would be the most reliable.

the honda feels lighter and turns better but isnt as stable in the fast sections as the yamaha. the yamaha feels like the front tire push a little to much in the turns and the honda feels like it cuts into the turn to much.

i tried the honda this year, but i would have been completly with either bike.

as long as you do the proper maintenance the crf is a great bike. All bikes require rebuilding after riding certain time periods especially if your racing. i race a 02crf450 and i have yet to do anything to it except change the oil and clean the air filter. other then that it runs great. have not had one problem with my crf. I was looking at a yzf450 but then decided to get the crf just becuase the power delivery and the weight difference. the honda is just easier to ride in my opinion

Yep I had no trouble the first year and a half with my CRF. It's just been since then. I do change the oils every 6-8 hrs max. I keep the air filter clean... It's just wear and tear items and age. The torque and braking and whoops and jumps ... all have taken a toll. thanks for the feedback. I'll let you know what I decide. Joe

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