does 02 crf450 have handling problems

i just bought an 02crf450 that i,m going to race harescrambles and mx.i want to know if the handling problems that alot of guys have been talking about is that big of an issue or is it something most of us can live,s way to cold right now to even get some riding on my new bike.

I don't have any complaints with my 02. The biggest problem was the front not grabbing with the stock 490 front. I changed to a 756 front and it was worlds better.

I did just put the the 03 shock linkage on, but haven't had a chance to ride it yet.

Some of the pro level riders I have spoke with said that the 02 felt like riding a "chopper", due to the rake angle of the stock triple clamps. Many have switched to the 22mm offset clamps, available from a few different companies. Also, the front forks may be a bit stiff for hare scrambles. You may want to soften the front end up a bit. Some of the best results have come from removing the "mid-valve" from the front forks. This allows the bike to have a plusher feel. Hope this helps, and win well my friend.


Triple clamps with 20mm offset will help. They're also expensive. The "Storm" link for the rear shock will also help. It's relatively cheap (around $100) Some people have done both, but many claim both are not necessary. I'd be very surprised if a Storm link and raising your forks in the stock clamps won't treat you right. Good luck with it.


I put the 2003 linkage on my 2002 CRF and it improved the handling (the front end felt more planted in fast sweepers). I purchased it on EBAY for $160.00 delivered. I also sold my 2002 linkage on EBAY for $95.00 the next week (maybe someone wanted to lower their bike?). This is much cheaper than tripple clamps. I did have to reset my rear sag. It did raise the seat a little, but I am 6'2. :)

I have both 02' and 03' crf's. I rode both bikes back-to-back and YES you can feel the difference. 02' does not turn as well. But Sunday morning I just got done putting on my 02', Applied Racing 22mm off-set Red T-Clamps(top/bottom)with rubber mount/over sized bar mounts with Fatty Bar(CR High). <font color="purple">Holy Smokes it does make a difference......for sure!!

I did the test again. Rode both bikes back-to-back for about an hour and my 02' handle's better altogether. Just like my 03'....100%.

I've been on this site since Oct.1 2001 and heard everybody talking about doing this to the 02' and I thought it turns fine for me. Well they are right......I feel the difference and it looks Great too. :)

Great Sunday ride!!! Had some fun!! :D

Mine turns perfect with a storm link and 22mm clamps.


Storm link, new front tire and front forks 4 mm below line has my bike turning great. Was thinking about new triple clamps, but after yesterday at the track , don't think i need them. For the scrambles you may want a steering damper.

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