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Does high-performance 4 stroke and reliable not go together?

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I have been out of the sport for about 10 years and my last bike was an '02 CRF 450. I had very little problems with that bike and did regular maintenance on it - not meticulous by any means. I changed oil regularly and the air filter and tightened bolts and that's about it. Now as I look at getting back in everyone seems to be anti-4T because they are going to blow up or require a huge amount of wrenching. Was I just lucky before? I really like the 4Ts and was assuming I would get another (450 probably) for old man MX riding and desert trail exploring. Am I crazy?

-mx

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naaah....you sound like a guy that maintains his bikes so do the same and you should be fine. just dont expect zero issues over the life of the bike ( like ANY bike).

Joe

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if you look after the bike, it will be fine. But like any bike parts wear, it just so happens that mx bikes are more built towards performance rather than reliability in the past few years, so parts wear quicker than bikes from say, a decade ago.

But that being said. I had an 08 crf 250 and being a bike I bought myself I looked after it. filters, oil, grease etc. And never needed a thing. Most reliable bike I ever had.

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It seems to me that the older 4 strokes have better reliability because they use heavier duty components, are less efficient and arn't looking to shave every ounce they can.

Also, 450's in general are more reliable then 250's because you simply don't need to rev them as much to get the speed/performance.

Keeping the oil fresh and regular valve jobs will help for sure, but abuse is the number one issue with 4 strokes and honestly, thats up to the rider and how hard they twist the throttle! You can make any 4 stroke MORE reliable then stock for sure, but it would take the punch out of it.

Edited by tye1138

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Reliable is the key. My buddy still senior class races a CRF250R. If his bike runs for two weekends he says it’s reliable. My trail riding buddy rides a WR250F. If his bike runs for two years before needing anything, he says its reliable. Both are modern high performance 4 strokes.

Type of riding, maintenance, and use are key to reliable. Whether it’s a modern high performance 4 stroke or an engine of yesteryear.

This is all second hand knowledge, since I’m still the guy on a KX250 smoker!!

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When you say "they are going to blow up or require a huge amount of wrenching" I think you may be referring to 250Fs. As mentioned, they generally require more maintenance than 450s because the 250Fs make peak power at such high RPMs..and in turn, wear faster. As a group, the big bores are quite reliable. Depending on the mix of MX to Desert, you might consider a bike with a wider ratio gearbox, such as a KTM 450 EXC or WR450. I list these because I know alot of people than ride KTM 450s and Ive owned a WR. Im not sure how fast you plan on running, but you will run out of gear more quickly on a MX bike. Also, no light, kickstand, coolant overflow, etc. However, if your riding mostly MX, a CRF450R/YZ450/KX450/450SX will suit your needs well.

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Funny because I had the same year crf450 still sitting in my basement and I've rode it hard the last couple of summers and it will still start perfect, besides like rebuilding everything was taking care of. Now I feel the same but it's true 250fs are going to need so much more work than any new 450. I'm looking into a fuel inj 450 for sure!

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