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Honda... valve problems... what years ?

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I've been looking for a nice used bike the past couple of months.

I've been told by almost every mechanic and rider I've spoken with to avoid Honda CRF's due to valves being a real PITA to deal with.

I know, all bikes need vales checked or replaced when it's time, but is there any truth to the comments about Honda CRF250 Thumpers having more valve problems/issues that say a Yamaha WR ?

I'm not married to any brand, and after looking all over the place I see Honda CRF's for sale ten to one more often than WR250F's. I know, Honda sells a lot of bikes, but, Yamaha does too.

If the valve issues are legit, which years should be avoided when looking for a used CRF250 ?

I see more 2005 and 2006 models than any others, but I'm not sure if the valves are part of the reason for this.

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I bought a new CRF 450 in 2003. In the first six months, I put two sets of intake valves. Honda wouldnt help me. They said to follow the maint. schedule. Thats it. My answer was thank you and good by to the CRF and back to two strokes for awhile.

I had friends that had the same bike and never touched the valves. Maybe bad luck, I dont know.

I would by a newer CRF or X for that matter, I think the valve issue has probably been resolved. But just my opinion.

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maintenance > solves every problem.

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My 06 crf450r has been a nightmare. I wish I had something different. 450s and 250s both have valve issues. 15-20 hrs is all most people have the oem valves last. I put Kibblewhite intake valve kit in mine and its much better, but a little slower reving now. I'm sure if you go on any forum for any make and model, of race bikes, you'll hear something bad about them. The CRF is nothing like a XR for reliability but way more fun.

Edited by Happytrail
Unfinished

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my 09, new in the spring of 10 was torn down with about 50 hours on it and the valves had not moved still like new

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i have an 05 X with close to 200hrs on the original valve train and still in spec...the 73 year old man i bought it from was the original owner and kept a log wich he passed on to me,he changed the oil every 15 hrs on the piston side and every 30 on the gearbox side,cleaned the air filter after every ride,im guessing he didnt hit the rev limiter much,i ve kept up with his program and though im pretty sure i ride the bike harder than he did i dont think ive hit the rev limiter once,i dont short shift the bike much but i dont red line it either...there are plenty of peeps that have gotten long life from their valve train on these bikes but i guess there are also a bunch that havent,i can only speak for my bike log on the honda forum and check out some of the posts there

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you ask Honda... valve problems... what years ?

well its every year! :thumbsup:

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im pretty sure its more prominate in the 04 to 06 models...at least in the X models

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Most owners will change the valves to stainless steel Kibblewhite etc which then make them last .

I know of owners with less than 50 hours and replacing valves on new models .

Go with the WR if you going for an older bike then you wont have valve issues .

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I am on my 3rd set of intakes on my 07 450x but in the end got it sorted kibble white do ss valves been great done around 40 hours with them now with stage 2 cam and have not moved ..as for cr s i like them ,got just under 300hrs all up with very little problems. ss valves may kill top end on a 250 as i think it revs harder

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My 06 crf450r has been a nightmare. I wish I had something different. 450s and 250s both have valve issues. 15-20 hrs is all most people have the oem valves last. I put Kibblewhite intake valve kit in mine and its much better, but a little slower reving now. I'm sure if you go on any forum for any make and model, of race bikes, you'll hear something bad about them. The CRF is nothing like a XR for reliability but way more fun.

So your saying with just the addition of ss valves you can feel it reving slower?

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I bought my '05 CRF 250R used, and put over 60 hours on it. Not sure how many the original owner had on it. I would always wait til about 30 hours before checking the valves because the bike was always easy to start and ran strong. They were never far off from being in spec. It was a really solid bike, and was still running great when I sold it. I hope my 2010 450R is as well. I've grew up using Honda ATVs for working and hunting, and my Honda loyalty carried over when I got into mx a few years ago. So far, I have no valid reason to go to another brand.

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15-20 hrs is all most people have the oem valves last.

Hahah! Good one...:thumbsup:

I'd like to see some data that proves this is the case for "most" people.

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So your saying with just the addition of ss valves you can feel it reving slower?

You beat me to it! I call BS, but thats just me.

That being said, Kibblewhite stainless intake and exhaust are going into my X.

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theres a kit you can buy that replaces the valve seats with a different material and uses the titanium valve,i dont have my notes handy so i cant check but its on ebay,the company does complete head rebuilds also,from what i ve read its the same seat material that ron hamp used in his head rebuilds and seem to last forever,i think you loose some horse power pushing the heavier SS valves

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My 08 had problems (two sets of intakes). I ended up putting Ferrea stainless in it.

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just budget for a stainless conversion, the valve problem is so common it's impossible to ignore when you price one of these used

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maintenance > solves every problem.

I knew someone would throw this in....... My son and I bought 06 YZ450s. After 4 years of riding, we never had to replace valves. Only checking them from time to time. Never having to adjust them. So a difference in vendors, maybe. Our maintenance was clean air filters after every ride and change oil and filter every 3rd ride.

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yz's do not have the honda valve problems, you have 1800 posts you probably know this already

and maintenance seems to have nothing to do with how long they last, spend some time on the crfonly or the crf forums here and you'll see that

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