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Project X

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So a couple years ago a friend of lost the bottom end of a CRF 450x, most likely crank bearings. A bike he did not own and was borrowing. He got prices from a local company for a rebuild and spoke with the owner of the bike and it was decided to buy a used motor off ebay, instead of re-building the original motor. The blown motor was put to rest in a corner of a garage. I got an idea that if I could buy that motor for a good price, I could rebuild it and have a spare motor for my 450x. At the time I knew the head was good and the crank was bad. I assumed the cylinder was still good but that would cost me later.

Since the motor was put away and left for dead it took quite a while for it to be located and shipped up to me. I think I paid $300 for the motor and shipping. My plan was to get a new crank and bearings installed and use original cylinder and head. Well one thing led to another and I found out the cylinder had a decent scratch in the Nikasil and would either need to be recoated or replaced. At the same time since the head was apart I might as well upgrade that too, right? New Kibble White intake valves, springs, seats and seals, along with new stock exhaust valves and seals. A little clean up on the ports and recut the valve seats would make it good to go. The bike had low hours and the valve guides were still good. So already, my budget project is adding up. I priced out re-coating the cylinder vs. a new cylinder vs. a big bore kit. It was just a little more for a new cylinder vs. a re-coat, so I decided to buy a new cylinder. Soon enough though, I had my eye on a 478 big bore kit.

As my budget would allow I bought all the parts required to completely re-build the motor. I ended up going with the 478 kit. I had DANCO Performance do the rebuild, a company who has always done great work for me in the past. I had a spare stator and heavy flywheel kit around so that was installed too. I think that gets me about 120 watts. When it was all said and done I think I was into the motor $1375. I didn’t think that was too bad. So now I have a brand new motor sitting here to install in my bike anytime I need.

As time went by I was able to buy a CRF 450r rolling chassis for $500 with the thought that I could install my re-built motor in it. Or worse case I would have an extra set of suspension, wheels, brakes and a few other parts making it well worth the money.

As some of you know, and I know now, you are unable to install an X motor into an R frame without extensive work. I bought the chassis without seeing it and I found out later there was no wire harness or carb. The X and R wiring harness are not interchangeable anyways. I then got to thinking that if I can find a used X frame I could almost build a bike with all the parts I have acquired.

parts.jpg

parts 2.jpg

As I scan Ebay and the net for a used CRF 450x frame is discover they are more than extremely rare. A used X frame is just not around. I can buy a new one for around $1200 but that really bites into my budget bike. As my project stalls and I start telling my friends of my issues the problem gets solved. A year ago a buddy of mine bought a used 450x with a rebuild project in mind. He was able to buy a used frame for his project. Last year we completely stripped the frame to get his project ready. The frame was hung up on his wall as art.

Edited by thomas12
added some info

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As some of you know, and I know now, you are unable to install an X motor into an R frame without extensive work.

Actually you can install the X motor into the R frame with very few mods, I have one as does a riding friend. The problem you ran into was that your chassis appears to be a 02-04, you need an 05-08 R chassis. Also if you're interested I have a clean 06 X bare frame with Ohio street title that I am willing to sell.

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Well thanks for the offer but like I said in the post I was able to pick up a frame from a friend. An X frame is a pretty rare find.

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I got my frame, swing arm and sub frame back from powdercoating. Along with a few other parts. Time to start putting it all together.

assembly parts.jpg

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No problem with Red. I also have a black swing arm but my rims will be black so i think the contrast with the red will be good. Boy, building from scratch, there are a lot of small parts you need to get. Clips, screws, washers just lots of stuff.

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