Street Riding on CRF450X

I have a street legal '07 CRF450X. I have several friends with dual sport bikes such as DR650's, XR650's, etc, and they are always planning rides that require a significant amount of highway miles (20 to 40 miles) mixed in with the back country legs. Of course they are always inviting me along on these rides, but I feel leary about riding my 450 on the highway for that long. Obviously, the seat is not all that comfortable to just cruising along at highway speeds, and I run nonDOT knobbies. But I am mostly concerned that riding at highway speeds at constant RPM, etc will take a toll on my engine. What do you guys think?

Gear it properly (able to cruise @ 70 without being wound out) and you should have no problems.

I personally do not like riding my X on the pavement for more than a few miles at a time.

Gear it properly (able to cruise @ 70 without being wound out) and you should have no problems.

I personally do not like riding my X on the pavement for more than a few miles at a time.

Would proper gearing be around 14/48 for those speeds on the pavement?

But I am mostly concerned that riding at highway speeds at constant RPM, etc will take a toll on my engine. What do you guys think?

At the very least, swap out the stock 13 front for a 14. That should get you a few more mph's. Check out this gear ratio chart. And be sure to run a full quart of transmission oil.

Would proper gearing be around 14/48 for those speeds on the pavement?

That would work well. I run a 14/49(for higher speed), so I can swap the front to a 13 and get a better gear ratio for tighter trails without having to touch the rear.


I run 15/45 and that is around 6900rpm at 70mph. Not sure if running 17's makes a diffrence or not but that is what my Vapor reads. I try not to take the highway if at all possible because it is so windy and I dont like the revs to be that high. Anyways running 15/45 you can still power wheely 1st and 2nd no problems!

If you have a bike and live in Arizona you're crazy if you have not plated it yet. One day Arizona will be like other state and you can't plate it.

The bike will do fine on the street for 30 or 40 miles. Sure you will not be able to ride 100 mph on it, but it will do just fine at 50 to 60 mph. Like others said put a 14 tooth up front. It does help a lot.

..mine is plated in arizona.. and i run 14-47 gearing.. we often ride 20-25 miles to connect trails etc. but riding more that 20-25 miles on the pavement at highway speeds will set your jewels a tinglin', with the stock seat..

40 miles and i would need a break... but it could be done..

I think that gearing is the biggest obstacle on the 450X to making it into a good, all-around dual sport ride. I don't believe that there is an acceptable compromise between gearing that will allow sustained highway speeds and at the same time be low enough for tight single track.

I usually swap the gearing depending on the conditions:

  • Strictly street riding, I use 15/49. I could see going even higher.
  • Dual sport rides, I use 14/51. This isn't bad on the low end but feels like it is screaming over 60 mph.
  • Off-road (mostly tight, hilly, wooded trails), I use stock gearing 13/51 and could see going a little lower at times.

I run 15/47 and it works good for higher speeds, without sacrificing too much down low. (I wish there was a 6th gear!)

Enjoy the monkey butt :D from 40 miles on the X seat. If you are going to do it a lot, maybe look into a Corbin seat.

I love the X but it sucks on the street. And yes so does the seat. I use multiple gearing combos. It all is not good. My 91 XR250L does better on the street. The new X as everybody knows must come street legal with six gears. I run a full quart. Have two X's and no tranny lock yet. I also run max 5-10 miles on street. Aren't we riding dirt bikes? I know sometimes ya gotta ride street.

90% of my rides are dualsport rides and I run a 13/49 or a 14/49 depending how much road were doing. Most of the time I just leave the 13/49 combo on there and try to keep the speeds down on the road. :D

I run a 14 /51 on mine. its works great in the woods and on the street top spedd is around 85mph. but the law man says you cant go that fast. so for the 4-5 miles between trails your only going about 40 average and stock gearing is just fine for that. going plus one inthe front helped me pull 1st and 2nd longer in the woods and keeps the revs down on the street.

I use my x as a dual sport only and i run 14/45 gearing. Dont wanta dive off into any tight single track with that but it works good for anything else. Have had no oil usage or any other problems from extended time buzzing down the pavement.

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