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First Bike: CRF450R and CRF450X... How big is the difference?

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Aug 9, 2007
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#1
Hey guys, this will be my first Dirt Bike, but I have ridden and owned various ATV's both Sport and 4x4. I know most will say that the CRF450 may be too much to handle for my first bike, they are probably right, but I'd like to get something that I can grow into, especially since it's gonna cost around $6,000.

My main question is about the Honda CRF450R and the 450X. My main use for the bike will be trailriding, and the trails I ride on have various terrain, from both close and open woods to open dirt roads, but I'd also like to occasionally go the the mx track. I know that the 450X is a trail bike but I was wondering if it can also be used for an mx bike every-know-and-then? I'd also like to hit some jumps on it, is it well suited for getting air, hows the suspension? Or do you think I should just get the 450R, how does it handle the various terrains? I know the 450R is built for the track, but do you think I could adapt and use it as a trail bike?

I'd also like to know how the two versions compare against each other in regards to horsepower, torque, acceleration, top-speed, etc...

Edit: And what about the CR250r, would it work well for me?

1) your physical size (both height and weight are important) 6'1'' 162lbs, 20 years old
2) How physical / aggressive are you ? Pretty aggresive but not crazy, I know my limits . I am an athletic and strong person, I run and lift weights regularly.
3) what do you plan to ride- MX/SX tracks, woods, fields with friends or ????? Mainly woods/trails, but I will occasionally hit the MX track.
4) Do you have any riding experience? Only on ATV's
5) Do you think you will race ? that depends, probably not though
6) Are you mechanically inclined and will you be doing your own bike work? I can do the basic stuff, as for the advanced stuff my dada can help
7) Do YOU have a preferance to a brand/ motor choice (2 or 4 stroke)? Preferably Honda, and I'm pretty much set on a 4 stroke
8) Do you have a dealer close by your home that you might use and what brand(s) does he carry? Yes, a Honda/Suzuki and a Yamaha dealership
9) How much ($) do you plan to spend on a bike? Around $6,000
10) Do you live in California? no, Texas
11) Your age? 20
12) anything else that you think would help form an opinion dont think so
 
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_JOE_

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#2
The X would be your best choice. It has a heavier flywheel and a wide ratio tranny, which make it alot more rideable in the woods. The R is alot of bike in tight quarters. You will especially appreciate the X's tranny on those open dirt roads. The suspension will be fine for an occasional trip to the track. If you find yourself jumping alot, just go with stiffer springs. A complete suspension service is cheaper than trying to make the R a woods capable ride. Other than the items stated, the two bikes are very similar. Oh, and the "magic button" on the X is a great feature, and the lights too!
 

Papakeith

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#3
I don't agree with the stiffer spring comment. Different valving ? yes, but sprung weight is sprung weight.
 

DougRoost

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#4
The X is still the better choice as Joe points out, the R is a handful in the woods. Stalling, abused clutches, etc. are typical. That and I wouldn't buy a 4 stroke without e-start, especially for woods riding and fun.
 

_JOE_

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#5
Papakeith said:
I don't agree with the stiffer spring comment. Different valving ? yes, but sprung weight is sprung weight.
You may well be 100% correct. I'm not sure of the difference, if any, in spring rates. But the valving is most definately different.
 
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#6
Have any of you actually ridden a 450R in the woods? I ride mine all the time and love it, more than my KDX. 9/10 I would rather have my CRF than my KDX while riding in the woods, the 1 time I want my KDX is when there is an especially large log to hop in the path. I must say though that my R is not totally stock, it's an 04 with FMF powerbomb, and some suspension work (supposedly stock but compared to the 07 I rode it's much softer and actually works better everywhere). I can't say exactly what else because I bought it with everything already on it but if I decided to add anything it would be a larger flywheel weight. Like I said, hopping logs can be tough because it doesn't like to continue moving.

For the stuff I ride I hardly ever get out of 1st gear and when I do it's for a second or two before I'm back down. I've never ridden my bike at top speed yet, even at a high speed cinders race I couldn't.

Too be honest though, I haven't ridden a 450X (although many friend have them) so I can't say if they are even better than my R. I absolutely love mine but when I compared it too the 07 I rode it makes me think that mine has other mods I do not know about. Best bet would be to try both out and see what you like, I'm kind of an A-type personality and love the more power I can get, try them first.
 
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#7
Thanks guys, I'd also like to know how a CR250r 2 stroke would do :) , I've been reading up o them and some say they are better for the average rider, easier to drive, maintain etc.... maintanence is big for me. How do the CR250r and the crf450 compare in terms of maintanence?
 

_JOE_

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#8
With a few mods any mx bike can be a very capable woods machine. Like Thebleakness said, you can ride a stock mx'er in the woods, it's just not as easy as a trail bike. With your lack of experience, easier is better for a while at least. The 2 strokes work great in the woods as well. They have very tuneable powerbands with porting and bolt-ons. Flywheel weights are great investments for off-road bikes. The 2-t will be a little less labor intensive maintenance. They are easier engines to work on. Any way you go, you won't be disappointed. All the newer bikes are great. Just go to your local dealer and see what they can do. For 6000, you could probly walk out with a new leftover 250. Good luck!
 

tnrider

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#9
I love my crf450R for woods riding. it can tractor over anything and i like the close ratio transmission. i have the heavier flywheel still in the box as after i purchased it, decided i did not need it. elect start would be nice at times but it starts after a few kicks when cold and 1st kick after warmup. as for maintenance, its not that bad. if you are riding at the top of the rpm limit, then you better do more - as for me, its mostly oil/filter change and checking things that never seem to get out of shape...