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Honestly: How hard is it to deal with a 450 mx bike off-road???

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Im always hearing they're to powerful, to heavy, to hard to kick start, to expensive to maintain etc etc. Are 450 MX bikes really that much of a pain for riding/racing off-road? Im 17 and 6-foot 200 lbs. i think i could muscle the thing around, but is it really that heavy? are they honestly that difficult to start when hot? like when all my buddies stop to talk will i be trying to yell over my idling bike out of fear of being left behind as im kick starting? and what kind of maintenance would i be looking at?

the price ive been seeing some go for used, and the torque and power they make is very tempting. but im so turned off by the gripes i always hear from them. I mostly ride for fun, but plan in starting Hare Scrambles. Id also like to start going to the track, but doubt ill race seriously.

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With all the articles and stuff it can be hard to make a decision. For your weight and size a 450 is perfect from a power and near perfect from a supension stand point. 450s are usually set up for riders in the 170 lb range and from what I gather will work for those in the 190 range without after market treatment.Remember you have to count your gear too.

Much depends on your experience level and where you do most of your riding, although being in vermont I'm guessing it will be serious woods.If you are fit and have either been riding alot or are a good patient learner you will do fine.

As far as being heavy they are somewhat ,but any woods modified bike will be a few pounds heavier than the brochure stats anyway.I think any improperly jetted bike, 2 or 4 stroke, is hard to start.So many new bikes come with e-start too!They can be pricey if they blow up, but if well maintained and used mainly for recreation 4 strokes will go longer before needing a rebuild.

Simply put, a 450 bike will provide you with a good managable ride without a ton of pricey upgrades for a guy of your size and weight.If you are looking at used bikes you may find a lighter 2 stroke that has already been modified possibly even for a guy close to your weight.Hope this helps!

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You'll need suspension redone, because stock MX suspension will beat you up! You'll need the ususal engine guards.

Yes, the power of the MX 450 wants to fly off jumps, where a offroad 450 wants to torque up obsticales (sp). I have a crf450r and the thing is a beast, but it has problems when the trail dictates slow speeds. I was clutching the hell out of my 450 in the slow stuff and if I didn't it would stall! The cure for this is easy, you can get the heaviest flywheel or get a Rekluse clutch.

As far as starting goes, if you jet it properly, the modern 4 strokes start on the first kick. If you crash just simply pull on the hot start lever and a couple of kicks your up and running.

The MX bike definitely have about a 25lb or more weight advantage and when your throwing around a bike that's huge. Also if you happen to crash, it's alot easier to pick up.

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My '06 CRF450R outweighs my '94 CR250 by 3 1/2 lbs. Does it feel more topheavy in comparison? Marginally. I ride woods, if one of these bikes is too abrubt on the power delivery for the woods, it would have to be the CR - but neither is problematic in my opinion.

Being a maintenance intense kind of person, I don't see a huge difference here either - as long as the maintenance schedules are religiously adhered to....on both bikes. Any neglegted bike will be more prone to spontaneous mushroom clouding. The routine maintenance items aren't that far apart...checking the valve clearance on the stroker...removing and cleaning the power valve assembly on the smoker...couple or three top end rebuilds for the smoker vs. new valves, etc. for the stroker...

I haven't had a problem starting or re-starting my CRF from day one. Just a couple of little common sense techniques are all it takes.

When it gets down to brass tacks, I've got it worse than any of the smoker or stroker owners...I have both! :applause:

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to expensive to maintain etc etc. Are 450 MX bikes really that much of a pain for riding/racing off-road?

Actually, 250F's are more of a hassle for maintenance because people are harder on them. No one can really use ALL of the power a 450F has to offer so riders don't tax the engine nearly as much as they would on a 250F, which is basically ridden like a 125 in the upper rev range all the time. I have only ridden MX bikes off-road, and as long as the suspension is setup for it...they're fine. They are naturally more aggresive than an off-road bike, but they can do the job if you are up to the task (read: more work to handle).

If you plan on racing off-road, get an MX bike and set it up for off-road. If you're just going to ride or casually race sometimes then an off-road specific bike would be a better choice.

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I have a 250, 400 and 450 they are very diferent. The weight is about the same. Depending on the way you are with maintenance it could be easy or hard to start. It all depends of what you want the bike for and if you can handle the extra ponies on the 450. the maintenance is about the same for all bikes. If you are not pushing the bike hard probably the 450 will be more maintanance free. But if you beat the hell out of the engine any bike will need more work. I realy find more exciting to ride the 450 since it has that extra on it.

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I hear that alot about riding a 450 in the woods. "Man, that's alot of bike for riding on a trail" Usually the person saying that is riding a quad or a bike smaller than a 250 4T or 125 2T. I'm always left with the impression that the person saying the remark is to chicken to ride a big bike.

I almost always pass them on the trail later in the day trying to get unstuck from a mud hole or trying their umpteenth attempt of getting up a hill to get out of a valley.

On another note, a well maintained and tuned 4 stroke will not give you starting problems. Any bike designed for dirt is not going to be maintenance free. Maintaining my 4T is about the same as my former 2T.

As for "muscling a bike around" You don't need to do that with any bike. You should be using body english to finesse the bike around.

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17 6' 200 lbs.??? Dude you should be able to throw around a 450 like it aint there!!!!

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If you plan on racing off-road, get an MX bike and set it up for off-road. If you're just going to ride or casually race sometimes then an off-road specific bike would be a better choice.

I disagree. Much easier just to take a Competition Enduro or Cross country bike and set it up , than it is to set up a MX bike for off road. MX bikes are so brutal when ridden offroad.

Dwight

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I disagree. Much easier just to take a Competition Enduro or Cross country bike and set it up , than it is to set up a MX bike for off road. MX bikes are so brutal when ridden offroad.

Dwight

No arguement here. I get my fillings rattled out on the MXers:crazy:

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I disagree. Much easier just to take a Competition Enduro or Cross country bike and set it up , than it is to set up a MX bike for off road. MX bikes are so brutal when ridden offroad.

well, this depends on the type of racing you're doing. dezert racing conditions aren't all that different from natural terrain mx, so you need something with sufficient bottoming resistance to control some big g-outs and high speeds, and deal with massive sandwhoops, etc...

on lower speed trails/woods, yeah, you'd almost certainly want a revalve for racing. however, i rode a stock 06 yz450f offroad a few weeks ago, and the stock suspension out of the box was better for offroad than any ktm i've ever ridden except the 07, so if you have to revalve anyway, no big difference.

i think the yamaha and the honda 450's (the only ones i've ridden) have nice mellow powerbands that are perfect for offroad riding.

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my crf450r rocks in the woods out west. 1st gear can be a little tall for creeping around tight trails but I'm not having a lot of fun unless I'm running in 2nd, 3rd, and sometimes 4th gear anyways. This is were the mx bike shines just give it throttle and it will pull, wheelie or jump any obstacle. If you have clutching problems you can get a recluse and coast through the slow spots and blip the throttle when you want.

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I disagree. Much easier just to take a Competition Enduro or Cross country bike and set it up , than it is to set up a MX bike for off road. MX bikes are so brutal when ridden offroad.

Dwight

I disagree. The reason their are so many mx bikes racing off road is that they can be set up without to much cost or expense. I've done it both ways. I tried a yamaha wr and tried to make it a racer. To me making a yz woods ready was easier and I ended up with a much more competitive package. But thats just me.

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but is it really that heavy? are they honestly that difficult to start when hot? like when all my buddies stop to talk will i be trying to yell over my idling bike out of fear of being left behind as im kick starting?

You are being mislead!!!

1-Im only 5'7" 125lbs and i had no problem getting my 04 CRF450R through tight norcal trails, at your weight you will love it!

2-They are more difficult to start when hot, but if you can find neutral it really only takes a kick or two. Starting is much easier than you think.

See if you can try one before you buy one:ride:

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The main problems with the MX style bikes for off-road are these, first gear is usually a little tall for the real tight stuff, and the power delivery comes on a little strong when you are putting in a lot of miles. I see you are in Vermont so I am thinking tight single track, roots, and rocks. I would suggest either the KTM 450 or even the 400, they are both designed for that enviroment. Add in the e-button and the starting is an after thought. Don't underestimate the 400 either, I have a buddy that is an AA Pro, 6'5" and 215 pounds, that thing hauls him to some great finishes on a regular basis. The thing is, both bikes make very trackable power, the 400 just won't wear you out as fast as the 450. If you want to MX from time to time go with the 450 XC. I am riding a CRF450R and use it to race enduro's and MX, it is a great bike all around, but my next one is going to be a KTM 450, I love riding the tight singletrack, and the lower first gear with e-button is just the way to go.

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I ride strictly woods on my CR250 and CRF450R and even in the tight single-track rocky, rooted, rutted southern end of the Appalachian Mountains, they do very well for me. The couple or three times I've ridden the "enduro version" bikes that belong to friends, they just didn't feel quite right to me. Either lacking in suspension feel & feedback, or power on hand, or both. Of course, we humans are pretty adept at adapting to whatever we happen to be riding. I just have always prefered to start with the MX version and make the few necessary mods for the woods.

And from what I've seen & read about making the woods bikes to perform like the MX versions, I too would have to agree that it's easier and less expensive to start with the MX.

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The answer to the question of if a 450MX bike can be good in the woods is:

*YES

But that's not the WHOLE ANSWER.

I bought a new 450 and set it up for woods big time. Gearing, Rekluse, suspension, kickstand, jetting, OS Tank, tall/soft seat, wide/low pegs, stabalizer, skid plates, etc.

15119527-5.8.06385-2.JPG

this one is a pic of me in a round of the 2006 OMA Nationals, I got 2nd in B-Open/250+ (like 15 seconds back from first after 2.5hrs racing, NEWMAN!!) - same bike, different plastic:

378110248-nathanOMANATIONAL.jpg

The bike flat out hauled. I was fast on it. But it was a handful. You HAD to respect it. Here's the dealio yo: in a harescramble (I'm talking 2+hr tight woods racing your ass off) you get really fatigued. When you get really fatigued and you're goin' balls out, you can make tiny mistakes, or get spiked out, or whatever, and when you do that, and accidentally grab a handful of throttle, the 450 can punish you. Also the mad power will fatigue you faster on a MX 450 than on other alternatives. When you're more fatigued, you can't go as fast.

In the end, I traded my 450MX (05 CRF450R) in for a 250 pinger.

77184996-nathanHWY89.2.JPG

But let me be clear: the 250 is no where near as powerful. But I am faster on it. But I see this as a good thing. I don't care how tough you think you are, you're not going to use the peak power of that 450 more than 1 or 2 places in a lap, depending on the course. The 250 I even wished was a tiny bit less powerful, like a 220 or something. I can sling it around more, I can abuse and punish the bike and the throttle, instead of being abused and punished BY the bike and the throttle.

Of course there will always be those that say: you're just not an advanced rider if you can't handle a 450 in the woods, etc. Thats fine. I handled it fine, I was fast, I was almost always in the top 3 of my class. I don't deny it can be done, and done well. I"m just saying a 250 pinger is a slightly better choice - for woods racing.

Look at all the best woods racers in the world. None on 450MX bikes. All on 250 pingers.

I've got a lot of cool pics of both bikes described above, but somehow villagephotos isn't responding this morning...

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But let me be clear: the 250 is no where near as powerful.

There is that much of a gap? :applause: I never would of thought. :applause:

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There is that much of a gap? :applause: I never would of thought. :applause:

It surprised me too. Yes. My CRF450R will eat my CR250's lunch. The alpha-male can get away with being rude like that.

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+1 for everything ncj01 said. I'm 6'3", 230, in shape and my 450 can wear me out when racing. The quick jerk of the throttle in the tight stuff adds up and if you're in a harescramble that last for 2+ hrs you will not be as fatigued on a 250f.

Someone else mentioned the ktm 400, I think that is a good option as well.

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