YZ or CRF ?


20 replies to this topic
  • rr558

Posted August 25, 2011 - 07:10 AM

#1

I'm a yamaha guy (have an 09 ) I'm looking at new bike and deciding Honda or Yammie . My only issues are how damn tall the yz is, it's like 2'' taller than the Honda. I'm 5'9. How much does the link lower the bike ?

  • crf450319

Posted August 25, 2011 - 07:47 AM

#2

I can't say how much the link lowers the bike, I've never had one.

I went from a string of 7 Honda's (2 crf450s) and in 2010 switched to Yamaha. Not because I don't like Honda's, but because of the issues associated with them. I lived through the worn intake valve issue, which IMO was a complete waste of my time and $$. The suspension on the '09+ takes a lot more work to get dialed in, the 4 spring clutch sucks (hey, let's create another problem where there wasn't one before !) but there is a $600 fix if you want to remedy the problem. Just some things to consider.

Of course, this is just my opinion.. If Honda "fixed" some of the issues I'd be more inclined to buy another one.

  • Gunner354

Posted August 25, 2011 - 07:59 AM

#3

I can't say how much the link lowers the bike, I've never had one.

I went from a string of 7 Honda's (2 crf450s) and in 2010 switched to Yamaha. Not because I don't like Honda's, but because of the issues associated with them. I lived through the worn intake valve issue, which IMO was a complete waste of my time and $$. The suspension on the '09+ takes a lot more work to get dialed in, the 4 spring clutch sucks (hey, let's create another problem where there wasn't one before !) but there is a $600 fix if you want to remedy the problem. Just some things to consider.

Of course, this is just my opinion.. If Honda "fixed" some of the issues I'd be more inclined to buy another one.


There you go! Heard it from a former owner! Couldn't said it better!

  • rr558

Posted August 25, 2011 - 08:28 AM

#4

The clutch issue doesn't bother me as much as how tall it is .

  • YamaLink

Posted August 25, 2011 - 01:05 PM

#5

I've owned about 5 CRF since 2002. Great bikes but the valve issue scares me especially on a new one. Full disclosure: have not owned a CRF since 2009 so I don't know if their reliability is up to Yamaha's standards.

  • jratcliffe3

Posted August 25, 2011 - 02:02 PM

#6

I'm a yamaha guy (have an 09 ) I'm looking at new bike and deciding Honda or Yammie . My only issues are how damn tall the yz is, it's like 2'' taller than the Honda. I'm 5'9. How much does the link lower the bike ?


I'm having the same quandry as you, currently on an 09, had 2 hondas before that. I much prefer working on Honda's, they have quicker motors in stock form (but can't speak for the new Yams). Think the valves have got better - a local shop said their team bikes are doing a season before adjustment.

Also rode a 250F honda on a tight mx track and was instantly as quick as on my 450, having never rode a 250F (they were 125cc 2T before I quit, been on 450's since starting again). Really tempted to chop the yam in for one of those!

  • crf450319

Posted August 25, 2011 - 03:22 PM

#7

I'm having the same quandry as you, currently on an 09, had 2 hondas before that. I much prefer working on Honda's, they have quicker motors in stock form (but can't speak for the new Yams). Think the valves have got better - a local shop said their team bikes are doing a season before adjustment.

Also rode a 250F honda on a tight mx track and was instantly as quick as on my 450, having never rode a 250F (they were 125cc 2T before I quit, been on 450's since starting again). Really tempted to chop the yam in for one of those!


I don't know if the valves have gotten any better, in '06 Honda softened the valve seat material in an effort to prolong valve life. It didn't work. It goes without saying that generally, you won't find a more reliable dirt bike than a Yamaha. The thing with the Honda's intake valves is that once you wear through the ti coating and have to adjust once, you're on borrowed time. For me, the risk of having to spend $500 on an aftermarket valve/spring kit after I put 60 hours on my new bike is a huge turn-off.

I've got a buddy who's dealing with the OEM Honda clutch/basket/spring failure right now. I'll tell you that he's not very impressed with the engineers over at Honda that thought a 4 spring clutch would be a good idea in a 450. He's sidelined, while I'm still riding...

You're surprised that you're as quick on a "tight" mx track on a 250F ? Really ? That shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who understands the difference(s) between a 250F and a 450F. That's an apples to oranges comparison on two different levels - the track, and the bikes.

It all comes down to personal preference, and there's nothing (well almost nothing) that annoys me more than someone who ignores the faults in a particular brand, because they've invested themselves into that brand. When they start to believe that the bike produced by any company is the sh*t, regardless of obvious short comings. The same can be said about some Yamaha owners. I'll buy the bike that will suit my needs, the one that will take the least amount of $$ to set up for me, and have the fewest potential headaches. IMO if Honda hadn't sh*t the bed with the '09 450R, I would have bought my 8th Honda... If they can fix it, I'd have no problem buying another one.

  • grayracer513

Posted August 25, 2011 - 04:41 PM

#8

The thing with the Honda's intake valves is that once you wear through the ti coating and have to adjust once, you're on borrowed time.

The same is true of all titanium valves, including Yamaha's. It does, however, seem to take MUCH longer to happen on a YZF.

  • crf450319

Posted August 25, 2011 - 07:33 PM

#9

The same is true of all titanium valves, including Yamaha's. It does, however, seem to take MUCH longer to happen on a YZF.


That was my intended point, as jratcliffe3 said that a local shop is getting a season before they have to adjust.

  • Gunner354

Posted August 25, 2011 - 08:27 PM

#10

That was my intended point, as jratcliffe3 said that a local shop is getting a season before they have to adjust.


I have to waive the bullsh@t flag on this one!

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  • jratcliffe3

Posted August 26, 2011 - 12:37 AM

#11

The same is true of all titanium valves, including Yamaha's. It does, however, seem to take MUCH longer to happen on a YZF.



I won't disagree that it does take longer on a YZF. I'd be interested to see the valve openings against cam rotation angle overlaid for both bikes. My betting would be that the CRF valves stay wider open for longer, and therefore close more quickly (higher impact against the valve seat), which probably accounts for some of the better performance of the CRF at the expense of valve longevity.

The clutch issue is a cock up by Honda, does it cause many riders problems?

I don't know about the US but there is also the price difference to take into account. Here at the moment, a 2011 yam is around £6500 (I paid £4600 for my new 09 at the end of 09), and a 2011 Honda is about £5600.

  • blakers213

Posted August 26, 2011 - 05:30 AM

#12

I have to waive the bullsh@t flag on this one!


I will second that BS. First of all pros rev the heck out of their engines and second they don't adjust valves they replace engines.....often.

  • grayracer513

Posted August 26, 2011 - 08:27 AM

#13

My betting would be that the CRF valves stay wider open for longer, and therefore close more quickly (higher impact against the valve seat), which probably accounts for some of the better performance of the CRF at the expense of valve longevity.

You'd be wrong in that. First, there is no fundamental difference in the exhaust valves between 4 and 5 valve heads, and the 4 valve YZ450's are apparently continuing the tradition of longevity established by the older bikes. Peak power output between the two engines has always been very similar, and most of the perceived performance differences relate more to the ignition map than anything else.

The cam grind could be at fault, but only in the way the "quieting ramp" is ground. This is the profile of the cam in the first and last 10-15 degrees of the lift curve, and it governs how quickly the valve is accelerated and how gently it returns to its seat. Otherwise the cam profiles of the two engines are not particularly different in any significant way.

  • Family Man

Posted August 26, 2011 - 11:01 AM

#14

So true. I have ammased 100's of hours on my 07 yz450f. The Chain didi eat through the swing arm and the rear wheel is done. The foot pegs are worn almost flat in spots. Changed the piston, wrist pin and circlips, cam chain, water pump{failed} once. and complete clutch once, replaced with wiseco baskete and oem everything else. clutch plates and springs several times.Changed the oil every couple of rides and put gas in it and ride. Oh yeah and Ive had to repace blown out wheel bearings and fork seals and oil several times, just like any other brand. I dont know a singe honda owner who hasnt changed their valves. I have heard of fast expert/pro level riders grenading the yzf tranny, but they probley would have don the same to anyother bike. Sure I could probley do a valve job on my yzf, but why the rest of the bike is pretty much trashed by the time the valves need attention.

  • bryawn

Posted August 26, 2011 - 12:10 PM

#15

In my experience and in riding with other people with Honda 450s, it's seems that the Hondas compensate for their high maintenance needs by being hard to start. Now that's some damn fine engineering.

Get the Yam and cut down the seat if it's really a problem for you. I'm 5' 9" and have no trouble riding tall bikes. As long as the ergos are good when I'm riding, I'm happy. If I need to touch the ground, I hang off one side. No biggie.

  • rr558

Posted August 26, 2011 - 09:01 PM

#16

I spent a good amount of time on 09 Honda that is set up really nice with rebuilt engine top to bottom from an awesome tuner/ builder. Switched between my 09 and his. The Honda just fits me really well so probably going to the dark side as I cant beat the savings in money over new. The 09 Honda handles a lot better then The 09 Yammie. I have ridden a 10/11 YZF and The Honda fits me better.

  • upnorthbacon

Posted August 27, 2011 - 01:37 AM

#17

After all the reading I've been doing trying to decide on a bike for next year I always come back to yamaha. All thier engineering seems to be higher quality and bulletproof. I believe the crf's have 1 piston ring and I believe the yz's have 3. Then there is the cam issues, which sounds like it's not a big deal you just have to stay on top of the Cr's maint. more. All the reading I've done in mags says the honda's are better bikes overall. But let's face it most guys are going to be fast on whatever they ride, no matter the color. If you can ride both that would be best, or at least sit on both and see how they feel. between a lowering link and maybe a seat with a little foam cut out you shouldn't have a problem making up the height difference between the two. Realistically you'll likely never have a problem with any new bike, but anyone who works on bikes at dealerships will tell you in most instances the yamaha's have less problems. The same goes for thier sleds, boats, etc! I've owned a Kx250, Yz250, Cr125, Wr250f, Blaster, Warrior, Suzuki Lt500, Quadsport 230, Fz1000, Kawasaki Z1000, Busa, and a ton of sleds! I've never had any major issues that weren't from previous owners lack of maintence. It is nice that Yamaha at least stands behind thier products with a 30 day warranty, my understanding is honda has none?

  • crf450319

Posted August 27, 2011 - 04:22 PM

#18

The 09 Honda handles a lot better then The 09 Yammie.


Find one article that says the '09 crf450r stock suspension/handling is better than an '09 yz450f and I'll eat my underwear. The '09+ Honda's are known for their stink-bug stance and shite, unbalanced suspension. There's a reason why most guys soften up the shock and stiffen up the forks with new springs, if the suspension was anywhere close to being set up you'd go stiffer/softer on both ends.

'09 was the first year that Honda went from Showa (which Honda owns), to Kayaba.

That was one of two main reasons that kept me from buying a new '09 Honda, I would have had to spend $800 - $1000 on suspension to get it anywhere near close to the Yamaha's stock stuff.

  • rr558

Posted August 28, 2011 - 05:00 AM

#19

Find one article that says the '09 crf450r stock suspension/handling is better than an '09 yz450f and I'll eat my underwear. The '09+ Honda's are known for their stink-bug stance and shite, unbalanced suspension. There's a reason why most guys soften up the shock and stiffen up the forks with new springs, if the suspension was anywhere close to being set up you'd go stiffer/softer on both ends.

'09 was the first year that Honda went from Showa (which Honda owns), to Kayaba.

That was one of two main reasons that kept me from buying a new '09 Honda, I would have had to spend $800 - $1000 on suspension to get it anywhere near close to the Yamaha's stock stuff.


If you read one of my post I said the Honda was already set up with about everything you could do (same as YZ) I agree stock Yammie is better but neither is anywhere close to stock. Plus the guy who built the bike is a close friend and a great shop TZR out of Il.

  • bdm626

Posted September 02, 2011 - 10:37 PM

#20

Seems to me that that CRF vs. KXF vs. RMZ vs. YZF vs. SXF comparisons are pretty arbitrary. They are all great bikes.
For me it depends on dealer quality/location and other minor issues like "what's my favorite color?" and "the EFI tool on YZF is really nice" and "SXF e-start is nice" and other minor stuff like that.
They are all amazingly good bikes. It's just really tough to decide.





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