Long distance 250X

Hey guys. New to this site, looks great!

I just put a deposit down for a new CRF250X, should pick it up next weekend.


Just after a bit of advice.

My father is looking at taking it on a desert run later next year. The one thing that's bothering me, is the maintenance that is talked about on here, including valve adjustment/shimming required so often.

He will be riding probably up to 3000 kilometres total, but most of it will be relatively easy throttle, fairly high speed riding at around 80km/h.

Obviously I have been looking at gearing, to lower the revs at speed to try and help prolong engine life.

Would going to a 45 tooth rear cause too much bog on takeoff in first gear?

With the bike setup like this, would it be possible to expect the engine to last that long (with regular oil/filter changes of course) without any valve adjustment???

The reason I ask, it's a little hard to stop and adjust/shim valves with minimal tools out in the desert!

If it's cutting a line too fine, I'll just tell him to buy a second hand XR400 and be done with it.

Thanks in advance,


Hi Jason,

First welcome to TT, second, what do you mean by a Desert Run ? If this is more like long distance touring in the desert I would be a bit cautious if I was to choose a 250 X, an XR400 would definately be considered. Now on the other hand if I was to race the Finke I would definately be riding a CRF 450 X. A lot of guys here who trailride in the desert would more go for the 450X as a bike and leave the 250 as a bush weapon, so they maybe best to ask as to its performance in your situation, the 450 X would probably be brilliant in what your dad is looking at doing but yes, you have to maintain it more. I am not sure if we have the 06's in the X on our shores yet but the majority of valve issues seem to be solved with these motors, a lot of the problems you read are about the 04's, but they are a minority.

Just keep in mind with your choice that the 250 X is a screamer (high revver) the XR400 is a plugger (low revver) and the 450 X is well just an awesome bike that will do what the 250 X does but at lower revs but with a hell of a lot more torque on hand.

Lastly, where abouts in Australia are you ?

Thanks for the reply.

I'm in NSW, about 2 hours north of Newcastle.

When I say desert run, I mean out across the Simpson Desert or Canning Stock Route, with a few other bikes plus 4x4's.

He has previously taken our old XL250 across there, which made it across fine, but it's getting a bit long in the tooth now.

There's not a demand for torque with the riding he does - mostly high speed, low throttle, some sand work. As you say, long distance touring.

It's not so much bush trails they ride, but more deteriorated dirt roads.

Thanks for the advice,


A Stock 250 X goes about 72 MPH (not sure on KMH) and per the manual requires a Piston every 15 Hours.

Assuming about 50 MPH Average you are going to have to plan on doing some work on the Bike during the trip. Like say 3 Pistons if you follow the Factory Guidelines.

I think an XR 650R is a MUCH better choice.


My 250 X has about 80 hard hours on it, not a guess as I have an hour meter on the bike. Alot of that has been single track, with quite a bit of more open terrain as well. No one accuses me of being slow and I ride it pretty hard. I change the oil (both sides) every 10 hours and check the valves at the same time. I've never had to adjust the valves yet, and the bike burns zero oil between changes. I ride with several other 250X guys and they haven't had any issues either.

Some guys have problems but most don't. I would say get the X, break it in moderatly hard, put some time on it, check it over and go for it.



You are not far from me, I am actually at Newcastle, why I asked is if you want some advice and maybe preperation help, chase up Andrew at Axis MotorSports www.axis-motorsports.com he is in Newcastle too, and he knows Hondas better than anyone in Australia.

Over the next 3 days he is away as he also works for Honda launching the new bikes around the country, currently doing the 450 MX shootout with ADB.

Have a look at my Garage and you will see what he has done with my bike here.

I would also suggest if you use the 250X and take spares and you dont use them great, at least you have them for down the track, there are heap of fellas like DougJ whose X just wont stop. And I am sure a 250x will be heaps more comfortable than an old XL.

Oh, by the way is it the 05 or 06 model you are looking at ?

CowboyBob - that 15 hours is only recommended if RACING...Hardly the kind of riding my dad will be doing.

Just to clarify, most of my riding will be tight trails. I'm not buying it for the old man to ride, it's just a bonus if he can take it with him on the desert run, which is why the questions were raised.

The problem I've got with taking the spares, is that the old man would have no hope of even adjusting valves, let-alone replacing a piston! Espescially in the desert with minimal tools.

Unfortunately, it's the 05 model, as the local dealer can't get hold of an 06 until march next year apparently. Either way, I'm getting a good deal, so it doesn't really bother me. Should have it friday I think!

Thanks again. Although I think it would be peace of mind if he just got himself a torquey monster like the XR400/650.


Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now