Yep, a buddy of mine bought his this week, he had an '03 and says the motor and suspension are better on his new pne, (but he hasn't really broken it in yet so I am a bit sceptical) I should be able to con him into letting me take a few laps on it Sunday I'll post my impressions vs my modified 02. :)
I think these are BOTTOM of the line Renthal bars though. I washed out on a sandtrack the other night and gotta the slightest "tweak" in my bars now. This isn't my first pair of standard sized Renthal bars....but definitely the first to bend (and I've had some pretty spectacular get-off's too). As much as I like how the bike runs and feels, their are some quality control issues with this bike! I think Honda has cut a few too many corners.
I have found that those rubber mounts twist real easy and several times when I thought my STOCK handlebars had bent, it turned out that the bar mounts had twisted in the rubber grommets. Loosen the bar clamps and loosen the clamp mount nuts, line everything up, and retighten. You might be pleasantly surprised.
There was this time when the bars actually did bend though........ ;)
Remeber you're leaving it up to the dealer to get these on tight. I think the torque spec is around 45 ft/lbs for the bar mounts. That's pretty tight and I bet half the dealers don't get them tight enough.
I just tighten them with a box end wrench now because it is hard to get a torque wrench in there. I think you'd have to crank them down to the point that the rubber mounts were useless to keep them from twisting in a crash.
It's kind of nice because I'd much rather realign that stuff as opposed to replacing handlebars all the time.
Yes, they are out and in showrooms in colorado. I personally think this year not enough has been done to them to warrant an upgrade/purchase of a new bike. As for the handlebar, I actually switched to a solid mounted triple clamp, because of my rubber mounts tweaking in the handle bar every time i went down. I find the solid mounts to be much more responsive anyway, just make sure you lock tight the bar mounts. As for bars, it seems i have tried and bent them all. you name the brand I have bent them.
Yeah, that's a good idea, unfortunately not the problem here. I noticed my handlebars (entire front end) "sticking" when I turned it full left. After checking to ensure no cables were binding, I figured my steering stem bearings had gone bad (knowing my luck) and took apart the entire front end to inspect them. Lo and behold they were fine (light grease....so I took the opportunity to grease them real good), but when putting the bike back together I noticed the "stopper" (thing that allows you to only turn your bars so far) has worn a 1/8" indention into the neck of the steering assembly and was sticking in this indention. I mean, if it's not one thing it's another! I suppose after time maybe this will either smooth itself out or wear completely throught the frame. I thought about sanding the indention out but am leary of weakening the frame at this point.
I was thinking just the other day about epoxying/jb welding a piece of sheet steel over this spot where the stops hit the frame. Its kinda of like the abrading that happens under the shrouds and even if you don't crash hard....it eventually wears a good sized crater in the frame.
Yes, all the aluminum frame Honda's do get wear spots in the frame sparts where the shroud touches, and where the steering stops come to rest on them. Thats cuz aluminum is such a soft metal. One trick I did on my CR, is to put electrical tape on the spares right where the radiator shroud rubs against it. It did the trick. Also, as far as the radiators bending, I believe one of the first mods to be done to any bike, are the "insurance" mods. Such as, the Devol radiator guards. I believe they are like $66 right now, and that beats having to buy a new radiator for $185, or the hassel of having your radiator repaired.
Then the rubber bar mounts... yes all rubber bar mounts are prone to bending the handlebar mount legs. They allow too much flex, and provide a weak point for the top clamp legs to bend, or become tweaked. One solution is the RG3 clamp, that has a 4 post rubber mount system. But that's expensive at $289 I believe. One of the best clamps on the market though. Otherwise you could do like someone else mentioned and make them solid mounted. Rubber mounts have their pro's and con's like anything else.
my 2000 frame does the same wearing at the steering stops and they get a sticky feeling if gone unattended. I read in a mag somewhere I think transworld to go ahead and file these spots down which I do every6-10 months. it works great and I wouldnt worry about weakening the frame cause your just smoothing out the outside of the frame, it is still 1/4 in thick or so.
HOW IS THE PERFORMANCE ON THESE NEW 04 CR 250's
Does the low end bog, how is the mid-top end and most importantly how is the suspension?
I'd rather have an Aluminum frame any day....Steel frames get ugly looking fast...I won't even mention the rusting...Plus after a hard season of flexing the bike feels loose....Your CR will feel like new after a hard year...
The 04' CR250.....Let me put it this way...Get some Renthal bars and buy an 03' And have Eric Gorr port it for $155 if you're too slow to take advantage of Honda's strong midrange and top end thrust.....
The 04' honda feels just about the same as the 03 with just a tad more beef on the low end and less top end...
In my opinion, the 03' makes more out right HP than the 04'....If your memory fails you, the 03' CR250R was number 2 on the dyno (right behind KTM).
you want holeshots ? Stick with an 03 cr250...Much harder mid to top pull.
talking about the clamps, i've bent two of them this year. They seem to be the weak point of the steering on the Cr's. Mind you, they are half the price of a std set of renthals so it's cheaper to replace the clamp.
Bars - I don't know why everyone is so excited about the Renthals on Stock Hondas. Did anyone really think they would put a good set of Renthals on there? I personally hate renthals, even their Fat bar bends too easy. If you don't want to save your arms and wrists by throwing on a set of Flexx bars, at least get a set of Pro Tapers. (FasstCo Flexx bars are the best money spent on a bike outside of suspension work)
Steering Stop indentation. The one reply suggesting filing it smooth is the ticket. The only time it gets the indentation is after a hard get off or something similar to cause a hard hit. File it smooth and that feeling of a magnet holding the front end up against the frame will be all gone until your next real hard get off.
I can't believe its taken this long for the other manufactures to get onthe aluminum bandwagon.
What quality control issues are you referring to on this bike? Does it apply to the 4-strokes as well?