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Looking for a newer CR - recommendations?

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My friend has a 1996 CR250. It's been a real sweetheart of a bike, very reliable, and always a 1-kick starter. But the bike is due for retirement, and my friend is mulling over possible replacements. He is a long-time (25+ years) Honda CR rider, and frankly, we'd love to see him continue this "tradition". He rides the woods mostly, but hits the tracks occasionally. He's definitely a "thinking man's rider", fast but always smooth and very much in control.

So, which recent CR - let's say from 2002 on - do you guys think would serve him best?

Is there one feature, like a frame upgrade or motor re-design, that makes one year superior to another?

Frankly, he is looking for a bike that he will be happy with for the next ten years. :bonk:

He likes the CRF450X, but he's really concerned about the 4-stroke maintenance thing (unknown territory for him).

Thanks in advance!

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In your specified year range, the '05 - '07 models are probably your best bet. The '05 - '07 bikes are identical except for BNG updates, so choose on graphics.... or you best deal. These are extremely good all around bikes with very good suspension and probably the best porting setup of the '02 - up bikes. The components, quality, handling, brakes and plastics are all top notch. The only question mark is with the power delivery; the engine makes plenty of power and is extremely reliable, but some don't prefer the way the power is delivered primarly in the midrange. The bike perks up a lot when you get the Mikuni jetting sorted out. If you'd prefer to have a different power delivery, a $200 - $300 port job by a competent tuner makes all the difference in the world. Add in Honda's excellent Service Manual and ready parts supply and you've easily got a 10 year bike :bonk:.

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+1 for the 05'-07'. Adding the the huge improvement list (bottom of the page) over 04' and older is the removable powervalve casing that let you clean it without having to remove the whole cylinder.

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In your specified year range, the '05 - '07 models are probably your best bet. The components, quality, handling, brakes and plastics are all top notch. Add in Honda's excellent Service Manual and ready parts supply and you've easily got a 10 year bike :bonk:.
+1 for the 05'-07'. ...the huge improvement over 04' and older is the removable powervalve casing that let you clean it without having to remove the whole cylinder.
:naughty::bonk::D Excellent! Just the info I was after.

Thanks guys!

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