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About bikenband

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    Anything with 2 wheels dirt or pavement. That includes bicycles too. Motorcycles owned: 2002 Honda CRF450, 2000 Suzuki SV650, 1995 Harley Davidson Road King.
  1. I was in your exact position with my '02. I did all the research, comparisons, read all the posts, and went with a Big Bore Thumpers complete new head w/stainless steel valves. No sending your head back and forth, no down time, no muss no fuss, just bolt it on. I have over 40 hours on it now and the valves have not moved. And at $549 it really is the way to go.
  2. bikenband

    '08 head on an '02?

    The '02 head pipe will fit right onto the '08 head with no issues.
  3. bikenband

    2008 top end needed

    Go to ebay and type in "CRF450 Top End Kit" hundreds of choices. I would be surprised if you can't find a kit that suits your needs there. If you can't, order whatever piston you like, then order the gasket set separately. As for the head I went with Big Bore Thumpers complete head package for $575. It's a great deal and you'll have way more time to ride since you won't be fiddling with those valves anymore. Oh, and absolutely do hone the cylinder. My local shop did it for $10.
  4. bikenband

    '08 head on an '02?

    UPDATE! Got the bike all buttoned up in March of 2013 using the '08 Big Bore Thumpers head. Bike now has 30 hours on it and runs EXCELLENT. Valves have not moved and I'm very happy with my decision. The '08 head does seem to have a bit more bottom end and I don't feel any loss at the top.
  5. bikenband

    seal rubber parts in gear oil~!

    Yes, it sounds like the rubber cushions on the back of your clutch basket are failing. The thick, gray tranny oil (with little shards of rubber mixed in) are pretty good indicators. Pull the clutch cover, grasp the basket and see if it spins back and forth, accompanied by a clunking or knocking sound (if they are REALLY bad). You may also be hearing this sound at idle and low rpm's. I went the easy route and just ordered a new OEM clutch basket, as it comes ready to bolt in with nothing to grind or press in, etc. The next question I would ask is do you do a lot of low speed trail/woods riding? If so, this can make your bike run hot due to not getting enough air flow through the radiators. This is bad for those rubber cushions and causes them to break down much quicker. Check your coolant level after every ride, if it needs constant topping off its an indication the bike is running hot and expelling coolant out of the radiator overflow hose. There are many fixes for this: engine ice coolant, 2.0 bar radiator cap, larger radiators.
  6. bikenband

    Smoking after piston and ring install

    When I did my top end I took the cylinder to a local shop and had them hone it for $10. Way cheaper than buying your own ball hone and really, how many times are MOST of us going to use that tool? When installing the piston, I went with the "best of both worlds" method. I poured some oil onto a paper towel, wiped down the cylinder, then rewiped it with a dry paper towel. Oil is still retained in the crosshatch. I broke it in correctly and have had no issues.
  7. bikenband

    SS valves and performance

    I installed a Big Bore Thumpers head with SS valves 9 months ago. I felt no difference in performance and the valves have not moved after over 20 hours. Oh, and I ride fast.
  8. Try the easiest route first. Sounds like possibly some cam chain noise going on so check the cam chain slack (there shouldn't be any) and the tensioner. My '02 also had a WICKED knock at low RPM, but the knock would go away when I revved the motor. It turns out the knock was coming from the clutch basket. The rubber dampers on the back of the basket were completely gone. My trans oil was black and thick from the dampers being eaten up and mixed in. Pull off the clutch cover and grasp the clutch basket. Does it move back and forth and "knock?" If it does, those rubber dampers are toast and that will make a lot of noise at low RPM, especially at idle.
  9. bikenband

    Seals............. Oil or Loctite?

    I just finished a complete rebuild on my '02, I used green LocTite on all of the seals. 10 hours on the bike (including about 2 hours of wide open in the desert) and no problems. Only use a little like the video said and get them in nice and even. A little tap with a seal driver doesn't hurt either.
  10. bikenband

    Cylinder Head Help

    Just finished a rebuild on my '02 using the Big Bore Thumpers head. It was a good deal, made things easy, and the motor feels awesome. As Shawn said, do hone the cylinder. My local shop did it for $10, good for peace of mind.
  11. bikenband

    05 CRF450 Rebuild Transmission Headaches

    Yes Dutch is correct but don't do what I did last weekend: The thrust washers on the very ends of the transmission shafts go in with the chamfered sides facing TOWARD the gears. I put them in backwards...... I didn't realize I had it wrong until I had the entire bottom end buttoned up, external shift mechanism, oil pump assembly, and all. New center case gasket ordered, halves coming back apart next weekend
  12. bikenband

    Knock at idle.

    Before you go digging into your motor, check the clutch basket. Pull the clutch cover off the right side of the motor, grab your clutch basket and rapidly move it back and forth (clockwise/counterclockwise). If it clicks or knocks it probably means the rubber dampers on the back are worn out. There are many ways to fix this but easiest is to order a new OEM clutch basket, or "clutch outer set" as they call it.
  13. bikenband

    knocking noise

    Check your clutch basket. Pull the right side crankcase cover off and move the clutch basket back and forth. If you feel alot of free play accompanied by metal to metal knocking noises, that means the rubber dampers on the back of your clutch basket are worn out.
  14. bikenband

    When to replace connecting rod?

    SO, I've started to disassemble everything (top end off, kickstarter, idler gear, clutch, flywheel, etc). When I got the clutch basket off I found ALOT of free play when I held the gear on the back and moved the basket back and forth. This indicated that the rubber dampers on the back of the basket were toast. Turns out this was causing the KNOCKING noise and had nothing to do with the rod! No worries, the crank/rod are original ('02) and it's right at the service limit spec, and I'm this far into it so I'm still going in. A word to the wise: overheating of the transmission is one of the main reasons the clutch basket dampers wear out. A while back, I was getting coolant leaking from the weep hole of the water pump housing which was caused by the water pump shaft being scored, which messes up the seals. This causes your bike to run low on coolant which in turn causes your bike to run hot, which causes the tranny to run hot......it's all connected.
  15. bikenband

    '08 head on an '02?

    The '08 water pipe and head gasket are different part numbers than '02. And it doesn't appear that the numbers are just superseded as alot of Honda part numbers are.