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2004 CRF450R Questions before buying

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I'm riding a '00 YZ250 right now but am looking into buying a 4 stroke. I have found an '04 CRF450R for a pretty decent price but really don't know much about Hondas and can't seem to find the info I am looking for. What I'm trying to find out is how well the engines hold up compared to other 450's and do they require a lot of maintenance? Also, is the suspension any good? Honestly, I am drawn between getting a YZ450F and this CRF450R. The only thing I have noticed in my research is that it seems like a lot more people are rebuilding their Hondas than Yamahas and this makes me raise an eyebrow. I am by no means rich and I enjoy riding much more than I enjoy fixing so I want something that will hold up. I don't race but I do ride a lot of MX, well, lately about all I have been riding is MX. Any info on this bike would be appreciated.

Thanks

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you can find out a lot about the honda's from this forum.the 04 is a good bike just keep an eye on the valve clearance.and keep the air filter clean and the oil changed often.i put a 06 head on mine some people put stainless valves in the intake to help them last longer some earlier model bikes have valve wear problems.

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My 04 was a great bike, but like others will say you'd more than likely have valve issues with a pre 06 CRF450. If you were looking at an 06 Honda vs a Yamaha I'd say you are probably in great shape with the Honda. You should check into the history of that Honda. Maybe it's already had the head off and valves replaced with the SS ones.

Otherwise, Honda had excellent reviews for a number of years starting with the first one in 02 up through I think 07, maybe even 08, I forget. Nothing against the Yamaha either. If I didn't have a Honda I'd probably own a Yamaha.

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TONS of threads on just the info your looking for. As a whole, it's a fine bike. Have one myself. Is the one your looking at?? who knows. Have a good mechanic look at it if your unsure (that KNOWS the crf450..not just a buddy that got his first bike a year ago). The best thing you can do before you spend money, is do what you can to get a bike that has been maintained.

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I owned an 06 YZ450F GREAT ENGINE TURNING SUCKED BIG TIME! I am more of a smoker rider and sold it as fast as I got it. I just picked up a couple 04 CRf450's as I couldn't pass up on the prices. My friends have loved them and not one has had any issues with them.

My advice is to check the bike out thoroughly before purchase and then do all of the maintenance yourself before riding it. Check the valve clearance (super simple to do yourself) make sure engine is cold and try to start it. If it takes more then a cpoule of kicks it could be plugged pilot jet or tight valves. Mine took 20 kicks to start it when I checked it out. Turned out to be clogged air filter and pilot jet. The valves were spot on! My Tranny fluid is Silver so I am flushing it andthen replacingit with a complete Hinson set up that I won at the Woods Memorial Benefit that Hinson donated to the auction. I also had Enzo change my fork seals and fluid and go through the shock as well.

Joe

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I love 4t bikes now.. but having been riding/racing 2t all my life till 6 years ago, give yourself about 4 rides to "get used" to the 4t thumper. The "timing" of turning and throttle is a bit different, and there is considerable motor braking compared to a 2smoker. That was the biggest thing i had to get used to especially riding in Florida sand.. I agree with SHCowboy, love my 04.. just think im loving my 08 a tad bit better (especially once i get slightly softer fork springs for the woods :smirk: )

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what do they want for the bike thats what really makes the differance if its a "good deal" or not

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I also went from a 2000 yamaha yz 250. The 450, a blast due to the power! The downside, it wears me out faster. I ride woods, and the 450 really takes some learning to ride compared to the yz, but they both are fun bikes. Now I just want to find another newer 250 2t for the woods. They both rock, you will love it, case closed.

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I wouldn't get too hung up on the valve thing. regardless of make, a big factor is how it was maintained through it's lifetime. Buying a used bike from an unknown party, is a crap shoot at best. But if you look for the tell-tale signs of good/bad maintenance/ownership, it can save you time, hassle, and big $$ in the end. If it's been rode hard and put away wet, I personally would stay far away- no matter how good a deal.

One of my favorite things about the CRF design...separate engine and tranny oil. I was reminded of that fact yesterday when one of the bikes in our group (non-Honda) started shifting funny. Long story short, pulled the engine side oil filter, low and behold, metal shavings from the tranny...on the motor side. Bad news. Had that been a Honda, the transmission shavings would have stayed on the tranny side.

My 2005 has been a great bike- but then again, I keep it so clean you can eat off the motor.

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yz less trouble

had a 99 yz250 it was awsome. love my 450, but i want to build another woods weapon 2 stroke. took time to get used to the turning. at the end of a long desert ride, the 450 is easier to ride. the two stroke worked better in the tighter tech for me.

btw-fxrs? i ride an fxrp if that's what it means. i could post tons on how i built mine.:smirk:

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Unfortunately, this one got away on me so the hunt continues. At least now I know. Thanks for the advice.

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Unfortunately, this one got away on me so the hunt continues. At least now I know. Thanks for the advice.

I've learned to do the searching but to let the bike find you! If you find it it leads to impulse buying! I know it may sound crazy what im saying but if you think it out you will save yourselve a lot of grief and money in the long run.

This one didn't get away, it just didn't want you! Now that you're a bit more educated, the next nice one will want to be yours!

JoeJoe

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I've learned to do the searching but to let the bike find you! If you find it it leads to impulse buying! I know it may sound crazy what im saying but if you think it out you will save yourselve a lot of grief and money in the long run.

This one didn't get away, it just didn't want you! Now that you're a bit more educated, the next nice one will want to be yours!

JoeJoe

Yeah, I have definitely been a victim of impulse buying before and what you are saying makes perfect sense. My YZ250 that I have now was absolutely great except for the fact that the first time I used fifth gear it started jumping and skipping and all sorts of other crap. The guy I bought it from didn't have the space for me to get it into fifth gear ever when I was test riding it so I got hosed on that. It would shift into gear fine but then it would jump in and out. Turned out the shift fork was worn and wouldn't hold it in gear. So while I had it apart I rebuild the whole motor. LOL!

I really don't like buying used because you never can tell what you are really getting, but I don't like new bike prices either. No matter what bike I get, I won't really feel totally comfortable with it until I have been through the whole bike.

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i feel the same way about going through the bikes to make sure they're mechanically sound. the 450's are really cheap. you'll find the right one. before i got mine i did research to find upgrades that would make it perform better for the riding i do. the 450's are fmf'ers, and most can't ride them to thier potential. find a vet owned trail-ridden bike from someone who has to be at work monday morning. lol!

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I've got an '04...love the bike! Really, if the bike has been cared for, and is still stock, the most important/"necessary" upgrade is the stainless steel intake valves...the soft stock Ti valves do wear out, and if you put the SS valves in, stay up on air filter cleanings and oil changes, the bike is almost bulletproof! I enjoy mine, and like you, can't see paying new bike price.

They're not like trail bikes, for sure, they require a bit more attention, but the extra attention given is more than returned in the form of light weight and ridiculous power!

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I've got an '04...love the bike! Really, if the bike has been cared for, and is still stock, the most important/"necessary" upgrade is the stainless steel intake valves...the soft stock Ti valves do wear out, and if you put the SS valves in, stay up on air filter cleanings and oil changes, the bike is almost bulletproof! I enjoy mine, and like you, can't see paying new bike price.

They're not like trail bikes, for sure, they require a bit more attention, but the extra attention given is more than returned in the form of light weight and ridiculous power!

agree with all ya say, except even with ss valves on an 05 or earlier head, your gonna have valve issues if you ride alot. Been there, done it. Even after converting to ss valves and hd springs, i still shimmed, shimmed, replace.. repeat.. until i replaced the 04 head with an 08 head (could do 06 or 07 too) with the better valve SEAT MATERIAL. it isn't the valves that have issues really, it is more about the seat material on 05 and earlier heads beating up the TI valve coating, then the valve itself. the SS valves lasted about 2x as long as the stock TI intake valves.. for me..

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oh, good catch! yeah, the valve seat material is softer on the pre '06 heads...i was told that too, by the mechanic who installed the valves and cut the seats for them.

Definitely not a deal breaker in my humble opinion, and if the OP is planning on logging large amounts of hours on the bike, updated heads are readily available for that motor.

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