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Africa 450x desert prep - oil cooler, wheels, valves

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Hi,

I am prepping a 2008 bike for long distance Africa desert riding. I am planning to fit an oil cooler and have some questions about wheels and valves.

Anyone had any experience with running a high temps and running an oil cooler?

I have heard that most people replace the titanium valves for steel ones. Is this just for racing or is it recommended for enduro aswell?

Finally how do the wheels stand up to abuse? Is it necessary to change them from standard?

many thanks for any help,

Brian

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Change stock titanium valves to stainless valves. There are a number of options. Check the stickies at the top of the forum page.

Stock wheels are fine as long as you check the spokes regularly and aren't running a race pace through nasty rocks. Just keep spokes properly tightened and grease everything that moves and you should be fine.

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I would jet it correctly and go over everything carefully. Use Locktite wherever possible and Ultra Heavy Duty tubes. The bike in otherwise bone stock trim will do very well in high temps. OEM rims are just fine even for racing. For sure grease everything with high temp grease like steering and swingarm.

I speak from experience riding in Yuma, Arizona, where temps will commonly reach the 115-120F range. 450X can take the heat no problem at all.

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bvacher - What do you mean by "long distance"? And how about "high temps"?

Are you racing or fun riding/touring?

But like these guys have said, get the IN valves changed to SS and don't worry about the oil cooler.

Then again, if you're talking about riding the bike at 85mph for 85 miles straight on some desolate African dirtroad in 120 degree heat....👍

The stock wheels will hold up just fine.

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Hi,

Long distance means we are doing about 3-4000km through Mauritania and Mali. one stretch is 300km. pretty hot and sandy.

many thanks for all your help

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Hi,

Long distance means we are doing about 3-4000km through Mauritania and Mali. one stretch is 300km. pretty hot and sandy.

many thanks for all your help

Sounds like a great time! Bring extra well oiled airfilters....LOL:thumbsup:

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Wouldn't the addition of an oil cooler also increase oil capacity?

Seems like this side effect from the above mod would be one the nicer results. I know guys have done this to their ktm 525exc's when setting up for long multi-day work.

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Oil coolers are nice but really not necessary on the 450X, IMHO. There's more stuff to break and leak and they are expensive. I can't think of a single desert racer using one but I'm sure some do. Maybe the BITD/Baja guys can chime in about them.

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Surprise: I ordered this morning 2x CRF 450x + rally kit for riding the 2009 Heroes Legend Rally.

I also have access to some info through HT (Dutch company which build bikes for Dakar 2009.

Also look: http://www.honda-dakar-rally.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=15&Itemid=29

Steel valves are useful to avoid damage by sucking dirt through a bad mounted airfilter, titan valves are also more prone to damage by bad fuel quality.

Stronger wheels are possible, but if you ride a little conservative it's possible with stock wheels.

Warning: use bib mousse inner tubes and Michelin Desert tires. Otherwise you will be more changing tyres than riding.

BTW are you planning take part in an organised trip in Africa?

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Steel valves with heavier springs are only needed for security (bad mounted air filter) and bad fuel quality.

A friend of mine goes to Dakar 2009 with a complete stock 450x.(and drives around 40th place). Only real motor change is a LeoVince open exhaust.

Important is to use bib mousse inner tubes and Desert tyres (both Michelin).

Change regularly air filter and oil, check spokes and for loose parts. that are important issues.

BTW: are you planning to compete in an organised event?

I drive the 2009 Heroes Legend (march) from Paris to Dakar, and ordered this morning 2x 450x + Desert Boano kit in Italy.

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I hope you guys take lots of pictures and tell us all the details about these Africa rides! Sounds like the perfect adventure on the 450X!

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Hi Africa racer,

what rally kit have you ordered? is this a special kit or do you mean you have just built the spec on your own? Will be running the radiator/oil cooler from PWR and probably stay with the titaniums for the 4000km trip using an octane booster. Running mc deserts but was planning on running heavy duty tubes and slime rather than mousses. Figured i would still have to carry tubes with mousses or are they that dependable? I ran tubes and slime last year in morocco, but maybe mauritania and mali are different beasts...

do you have any more info on your 2009 trip?

thanks,

Brian

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It's the Boano kit. Slightly like the pic above. That bike Roberto sits on is (I think) an Africa Twin. Piggy back reservoir is on the left side, while the CRF has it on the right side. The kit contain large alu +/- 30 ltr tank devided in 2 compartiments, a rock protection alu incl. storage for some tools and 2 ltr water(developing carbon/kevlar version)in front of the engine, carbon/kevlar front fender and head, double halogen headlights and Leo Vince exhaust. Further alu mounting kit attached to main frame fo

r the roadbook. Roadbook+ICO tripmaster+GPS holder are bought separate in Holland.

No rear tank unlike the bike above while it affects driving to much (like a car with a rear engine) and not needed for radius.

It's the same kit as used for the Gasgas Desert 515.

Look for info on my trip march 5 till march 22 2009 on www.heroeslegend.com

Expected are 300 participants cars/bikes from 17 countries incl. 9 people from S Africa incl. Alfie Cox. , a few trucks but mainly for assistance.

his is not a race but an endurance. In specials you have to drive at your own choren average speed.

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