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what is the advantage and disadvantage of stiff frames

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stiffer frame allows for less flex in the chassis so the forks/shocks in theory could work better. They also give more feedback and vibration to the rider.

what has happened since the 97-99 CR gen 1 chassis, is that engineers figured out much like the works bikes of the mid 80s that riders cannot ride a perfectly engineered frame or motor. It is to much. SO they have given flex back into the frame to improve the handling and feel to the rider.

I know a lot of the 97-99 honda teams drilled large 2" holes in the inside spars of the frame then filled it with expandable foam to give it flex and cut down on vibration.

Im sure someone will have a more correct engineering answer, but that should give you the basic info.

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I don't know but I love my 98 CR250...Not sure why such a bad wrap...It's a high speed dirt bike, not a Cadillac. I have the 2nd year of the 1st generation aluminum frame. I sure as hell won't be drilling any holes, but I'll be looking into flex bars, and 03 CR forks.

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Exactly...My buddy who rides a CRF250 freaked out about how much it vibrated on the stand in neutral, but he's not really the type of guy that is into anything built for nasty speed. But you said it, when I am on the bike rolling through the RPM range, I don't feel anything but power. To really answer the question of the thread, I love the stiff frame, as it gives more honest feedback about what my suspension is doing.

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My belief on the matter is that some riders prefer a vague handling experience (flexible frame), and some prefer a more sensory-rich experience (stiff frame).

It is sort of the whole trade off, stiffer makes the suspension work harder, and transmits more vibration, where as softer frames absorb more energy resulting in a plusher experience. Everyone has a preference, and it isn't a one size fits all solution, even if the majority of riders prefer less rigid frames.

Its mainly about what you can handle; A long day on the trail is easier on your body with a plush bike, but that doesn't mean the 97-99 are bad, just different.

Could be argued that they are more fatiguing than other bikes, but that doesn't make them a "bad" bike ... 'cause if you've seen Supercross/Motocross races from that era, the CR was just as competitive as any other production bike out on the track. Some riders prefered it to the steel frame CR's that came before it.

For most hobby riders (including me) it really isn't a big issue, as most bikes made are a hell of a lot of fun to ride!!

Although some bikes are not fun to ride, the 1st gen CR's are not part of that group, they are a blast!!

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'cause if you've seen Supercross/Motocross races from that era, the CR was just as competitive as any other production bike out on the track.

This is the answer right here. Somebody(s) have blown this issue WAY out of proportion. Not referring to anyone who posted in this thread - rather just saying there's this rumour out there about the 97-99 CR250s. Sorta like Saddam Hussein had WMDs coz Colin Powell said so. :smirk:

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Oh yeah! Lusk gave McGrath a ton of competition in the 98 and 99 Supercross series, and Tortelli annihilated the field at the opening round of the 99 Motocross season. Glen Helen was not known as the easiest track either. His CR just walked all over every other bike out there. Did he drill the frame? Who knows, but the bike was flippin' fast, and stable enough to basically ride the wheels off of it to win both motos. A "bad" bike wouldn't have provided him the confidence to do that. :smirk:

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Well these first generation frames are bad...as in bada$$! They are tough to ride. Not for most guys, but if you can ride one of these fast, you can ride anything fast!

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This is the answer right here. Somebody(s) have blown this issue WAY out of proportion. Not referring to anyone who posted in this thread - rather just saying there's this rumour out there about the 97-99 CR250s. Sorta like Saddam Hussein had WMDs coz Colin Powell said so. :smirk:

x2!

I can tell no difference in the frame stiffness between my 97' and my buddies 02'...they feel the same to me. I am a good rider not a pro by any means so I guess you have to be a pro to tell the difference... everytime someone says "oh that 97' has a stiff frame" I just shake my head, I still don't get it...

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I can tell the 97-99 bikes are more rigid than your "standard" issue dirt bike, but that is because the suspension was intentionally made stiff also.

They were purpose built RACE bikes that Honda set up to handle big air while also supporting larger "American sized" riders (200lbs).

It seems to me, the people who gripe the most about them being stiff, are usually smaller guys ... sort of the same rule that applies to prison. :ouch:

Also guys who ride trails tend to complain about the rigidity of the bike more than people who are performance oriented riders.

To me, 97-99 CR250's are a really good bike with a killer engine ... sure there is always going to be a "better" bike on consensus polling, but not everyone rides the "best" bike ever made!!

Just because Honda improved upon the nature of the aluminum frame, it doesn't mean the bike is bad, because I know many good bikes from the past that the 97-99 CR is leaps and bounds better than.

Edited by 2strokes4me

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I can tell the 97-99 bikes are more rigid than your "standard" issue dirt bike, but that is because the suspension was intentionally made stiff also.

They were purpose built RACE bikes that Honda set up to handle big air while also supporting larger "American sized" riders (200lbs).

It seems to me, the people who gripe the most about them being stiff, are usually smaller guys ... sort of the same rule that applies to prison. :ouch:

Also guys who ride trails tend to complain about the rigidity of the bike more than people who are performance oriented riders.

To me, 97-99 CR250's are a really good bike with a killer engine ... sure there is always going to be a "better" bike on consensus polling, but not everyone rides the "best" bike ever made!!

Just because Honda improved upon the nature of the aluminum frame, it doesn't mean the bike is bad, because I know many good bikes from the past that the 97-99 CR is leaps and bounds better than.

I agree, well said!

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In my experience, beginner and/or slower riders are less sensitive to handling issues. Pro riders are at the other extreme. I've owned a first year aluminum framed bike from each of the Japanese manufacturers and three out of the four had major handling issues because of it. When the frame is too stiff you lose 'feel' in the corners. When you can't feel what the bike is going to do you end up slowing down...

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My problem is I am not a 'pro' rider ... I don't have any national titles under my belt, and I've never ridden with any guys who do. :smirk:

Even as a 'novice' I can tell the limits and uncertain nature of a bike, while pushing it. The main complaint that I see with the 1st gen is that the springs are not set up for a 140lb girl in high school. Because of this, it has developed a reputation for being "too stiff" ... but this is obviously in comparison with race bikes that are not stiff enough. The real issue, as I see it, is that people need to spring the bike to match a riders weight. Even at 200lbs+, those year CR's have really rigid springs.

Either pro AMA race teams were using a completely different bike from 97-99 ... or the 1st gen Cr isn't as bad as its reputation?

Because it was at the front of the pack all three seasons while racing against the steel-framed competition.

I'm not arguing with you, just saying that even 'pros' have different preferences when it comes to the amount of feedback that makes them comfortable. Street, dirt, doesn't matter .. a rider will come in from doing a lap on a bike that has the exact same configuration that he used last week, and say, "I can't feel what the forks are doing." When the week prior he went out and ran at the front of the pack all day. The love or hate for a bike is a personal matter, and not absolute.

If I was a 140lb high school girl, I'd hate the bike too. :bonk:

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My problem is I am not a 'pro' rider ... I don't have any national titles under my belt, and I've never ridden with any guys who do. :smirk:

Even as a 'novice' I can tell the limits and uncertain nature of a bike, while pushing it. The main complaint that I see with the 1st gen is that the springs are not set up for a 140lb girl in high school. Because of this, it has developed a reputation for being "too stiff" ... but this is obviously in comparison with race bikes that are not stiff enough. The real issue, as I see it, is that people need to spring the bike to match a riders weight. Even at 200lbs+, those year CR's have really rigid springs.

Either pro AMA race teams were using a completely different bike from 97-99 ... or the 1st gen Cr isn't as bad as its reputation?

Because it was at the front of the pack all three seasons while racing against the steel-framed competition.

I'm not arguing with you, just saying that even 'pros' have different preferences when it comes to the amount of feedback that makes them comfortable. Street, dirt, doesn't matter .. a rider will come in from doing a lap on a bike that has the exact same configuration that he used last week, and say, "I can't feel what the forks are doing." When the week prior he went out and ran at the front of the pack all day. The love or hate for a bike is a personal matter, and not absolute.

If I was a 140lb high school girl, I'd hate the bike too. :bonk:

Can I use springs from a different year CR or say a 450? Is there any known type of spring that makes them better. While I also don't see the over rigidness, I am very very new to suspension and what these bikes need. Any ideas or anyone know of a thread dedicated to these bikes and suspension setup's?

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I see lot of people commenting on the 1st gen aluminum CR's. I have one here all stock. This bike has a great motor no question. The suspension is harsh. I think it is just poorly set from the factory. Its not just the fact that it is stiff but the rear likes to kick up over whoops. Maybe it packs up or bottoms out. The handilng is odd as well it is hard to throw into corners it feels like a street bike. Stable at speed but hard to change direction. The CR also will wash out the front tire if its the least bit sandy or if you are off the power. This is the worst part of the package. It will take you out with no warning. I want to get it to handle right but not sure where to start.

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That's where I'm at also man...My problem is I'm so new to riding that I don't even know what I want, what questions to ask, or what I'm feeling with the bike even, to be honest...I've got my hands full with the riding basics, and maintenance/jetting, etc...I wish there was some info source regarding the suspensions on these bikes and what settings have worked for different types of terrain...Like do they need to be stiffened up? Softer? I've heard arguments both ways...I dunno maybe I'll figure it out after this whole summer of riding every weekend.

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I once spent a few hours drinking/chatting with a AA woods racing champ who told me that he loved racing an old '97 CR250, but every now and then it would just throw him off without any warning.... He goes faster than most of us tho...

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