Need Help From YZ450 Owners.. thinking about buying an '03..

its not hard to tell why the crf's outnumer yzf's so incredibly.

the honda is the easiest bike to ride. you could practically fall asleep on the thing.

to boring of a powerband for this dude.

Don't worry about the suspension. The forks tend to have a slap to them, they're not really that bad stock, plus you can always play around with the oil weight, height, clickers, even preload washers. You may find a setting that works great for you.

This might sound dumb, but take the bike for a test ride, get it really muddy, then offer to clean it up. You will be suprised at how much you will find out with a good hand washing. Things that you would never have seen till after you got it home. Worn pads, leaky seals, missing frame paint, nuts, bolts, etc. Also might see if he would let you drain a little oil, or take a peak at the filter. Could be some clues to the internals in there. Maintanence records written on the owners manual?

No matter what brand, a used bike is only as good as the previous owner maintained it.

I don't mind letting someone ride my bike, but getting it all muddy and washing it sounds kinda funny. I would prob. just look at them funny and laugh. :D

how do you guys with the 03's like the 4 speed tranny? do you miss having the 5?

i'm pretty convinced at this point. besides, i have a feeling whatever the suspension faults/deficiencies on the '03 450f are, are still better than my '97 yz250.. and i've gotten pretty used to the suspension at this point on that bike.. hated it at first, rebuilt it, struggled with clickers sag/rebound/compression.. and finally found some settings that work..

oh, and i rode an '03 yz250f a few weekends ago.. wow.. what a great machine that was too... can't wait to be on a thumper.. i'm just about the last guy in my group to get one..

how do you guys with the 03's like the 4 speed tranny? do you miss having the 5?

i'm pretty convinced at this point. besides, i have a feeling whatever the suspension faults/deficiencies on the '03 450f are, are still better than my '97 yz250.. and i've gotten pretty used to the suspension at this point on that bike.. hated it at first, rebuilt it, struggled with clickers sag/rebound/compression.. and finally found some settings that work..

My last motox was a 92 CR250--- a truly wretched motorcycle.

The YZF is a freakin dream. I love it. I did revalve my rear shock but that was because the seal was leakin and needed to be replaced anyhow.

Unless you ride on really steep, tight rocky junk the 4 speed is okay. I actually dropped a tooth on the front so I have NO topend speed but its such a great powerplant, and with the forks flush its WAY stable. I've never gotten any headshake and it turns fine for me.

I put a 47 tooth rear on to take away some of the hit.....

Now that I'm used to it (been riding every Sat for a while), today I'll be putting the 48 back on. The 03 with the TI exhaust is freaking awesome (power and sound).

I like having a bike that I can ride the entire track in 3rd if I want.... Just open her up and let the 4sp and the TQ do the work for me.:D The only time it so so is when the guy next to me is also on a 4sp. :D

how do you guys with the 03's like the 4 speed tranny? do you miss having the 5?

QUOTE]

I miss not having the extra gear. First is some where between first and second on other bikes, add this together with a very snappy motor with a teeny weeny flywheel and it is a complete hand full in tight trails. There are bikes that can make a mortal look like superman, on tight trails this one will make you look like a flounder.

I know, I know, it is a mx bike not a trail bike. :D

I have the 03 450. The 4 speed doesnt bother me at all, works fine for me on the track. You will notice it on the trail if you ride with others that are slow, like kids. Also on trails I turn my idle up so I dont notice the light flywheel as much.

The suspension may be slightly better on newer bikes, I wouldnt let that sway you.

One thing you must Inspect or replace is the cam chain tensioner, I didnt when I bought mine and 3 months later I had to put in new cams and a new crank due to chewed up gears.

how do you guys with the 03's like the 4 speed tranny? do you miss having the 5?
Yes, but when I had a 5 spd, I missed having 6. :D

If you gear a YZ426 and a YZ450 so that they have identical 1st gears, the 426 has a theoretical top speed 3 mph faster than the 450. The gear spacing is wider so that you shift less, that's all. Mine's geared two teeth (rear) taller than stock, and tops out right at 89mph. All MX gearboxes are close spaced like that.

One thing you must Inspect or replace is the cam chain tensioner, I didnt when I bought mine and 3 months later I had to put in new cams and a new crank due to chewed up gears.

Don't guess I've heard about this. Is this on the 03? Tell me more...

how do you guys with the 03's like the 4 speed tranny? do you miss having the 5?

The 4-speed rocks on the motocross track, but a 5-speed is better pretty much everywhere else.

The 4-speed rocks on the motocross track, but a 5-speed is better pretty much everywhere else.
Only if it's the same first four with an extra one on top. Otherwise, it's just another too-close ratio five speed to keep you busy shifting.
Stone stock, the '03 had two "problems", neither of which had any bearing on its reliability, which is is right up there with brick and stone.

The first one is that the engine is extraordinarily responsive right off idle, and was built almost without a flywheel. This makes them a little difficult to control at times. It's easily cured by adding either a Dr. D 6oz flywheel or the Yamaha GYT-R racing flywheel . You can get heavier ones from either source if you are going to be riding mostly woods and trails. With the Dubach ones, you can exchange for a different weight anytime without charge.

The other problem is that it had a grabby clutch. Either the Hinson or GYT-R clutch plate kit and pressure plate (all are made by Hinson) will cure this problem.

The rear shock is great, the forks could use some help. Revalve them and/or add sub tanks. The '04 was very similar, but had a better clutch and upgraded forks.

YZF's don't have valve trouble. They will eventually wear them out, but it takes a while. My '03 has never needed its first valve adjustment to this day. In fact, my sundial gives me more trouble than my YZF's do.

The CRF is a really great bike. If I thought I could trust them, I might own one. But given their record I don't think I can afford to.

Very well said...The single most important and significant update to a '03 YZ 450F is the heavier flywheel. It makes the bike much more rideable.

kmier,

Yep, 03 450. Regular inspections of the tensioner is a thumper thing in general, not specific to this model and year. However, and I am not sure about other bikes, but on the 03 450 you can not replace the gears on the cams or the crank, they are not a separate part of each componet. If the cam and crank gears become worn due to a loose chain you have to purchase new cams and a new crank to fix the problem. This is what happend to me, new cams, crank, chain, tensioner and gaskets cost me 1500 with parts and labor. All this could have been avoided if I had just inpsected and replaced the tensioner.

Check your tensioner, your valves, change your oil and clean your air filter often.

On a side note, even though I spent a lot of money on this machine, I still love it. I highly recomend this bike for anyone that wants a bike with balls, its a beast.

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