Honda reliability?

I posted this over in the honda section but they dont like me or something... so....

Just wondering if Honda ever addressed what some people claimed to be valve problems from the early generation? How do the newer (2005+) 450's fair in reliability? I've been seeing alot of good deals that have caught my eye, and Im in the market since the 426 is gone. But Im very skeptical as you could imagine, back in the day everyone I talked to said to stay away from Honda... but Im willing to give them a shot. Can anyone give me some honest advice? Thanks all!

I posted this over in the honda section but they dont like me or something... so....

Just wondering if Honda ever addressed what some people claimed to be valve problems from the early generation? How do the newer (2005+) 450's fair in reliability? I've been seeing alot of good deals that have caught my eye, and Im in the market since the 426 is gone. But Im very skeptical as you could imagine, back in the day everyone I talked to said to stay away from Honda... but Im willing to give them a shot. Can anyone give me some honest advice? Thanks all!

I answered this question a year or so ago over in the Honda forum, but I don't feel like finding the link :thumbsup:.

What happened with the Honda valves had nothing to do with the valves themselves, but with the valve seats. They were not as durable as they should have been. Honda used a different material in the valve seats on the 05 CRF450X (which I used to own), and went to that same material in the 06 CRF-R's. This virtually eliminated the problems with Honda valves (and in truth, a good part of the problems with the valves was lack of owner maintenance. Owners thought that the Unicam engine was like the engines in XR's, which would run forever with only oil and air filter changes).

I wouldn't worry about the Honda's reliability. If you can find a good deal, go for it.

Well said they are fine now I will have one soon I believe. i love my yamaha but I think im going to buy a new 07 or something left over and give it a try. I want to know for myself.

My friends are die hard honda owners and anal maintainance people like me, both of them had 06 CRF450's and now one has a 08 CRF450. The 2006's each went through a set of exhaust valves twice, they were always re shimming every 2 weeks, they think this is normal!!! No problems with the 2008 yet to report so can't answer that one.

Meanwhile, while they were getting there valves ordered and valve seats cut and wot not, I was putting gas in my bike and riding, I think I shimmed 2 times, once after first 5 hours of break in, and once after a season, but it was just one valve and it was just on the end of the tollerance so I did it anyways.

They also always seem to be breaking bolts. and stripping threads on the engine, the metals they use must be ultra cheap.

I had an 05 CRF450, went through 2 sets of valves, 2nd was stainless. There were lots of little things that went too. That was the first bike of any brand not a Yamaha I had owned since 97. I'm glad to be back on a Yamaha. The thing that made me the maddest about it all was Honda would never own up to the problem and just said it was a maintanince issue with the owners. That pushed me, happly, right back to Yamaha.

Realy fast guys can destroy both bikes, pretty darn quick. I like my yamaha and plan on buying another one. Ive had my bike for almost a year, an 07, and I havent had a hint of valve problems.

had my 07 yz 450 for a year now and ive only checked the valves twice neither times needing adjustment (at the beggining of this season and after breakin) and the bike starts like a charm each time runs great!

240 hrs on my 06 , 1 adjustment, 170 hrs on my 07 no adjustment , not going to even look at my 08 yet with 40 hrs... Got to love those yamaha 's!

I posted this over in the honda section but they dont like me or something... so....
It's your avatar. They're a little sensitive over there about trolls.

Your best bet is to do two things: Read through the Honda forum and take notes, and talk to guys in the service departments of dealers that sell both bikes. The Hondas would be in for service more often just because there are more of them, but ask if the numbers are in line with the units sold, and what kind of problems they have. Asking that question in the CRF forum will get you a biased response, much like you would get here, and a reaction somewhat like poking a bee hive.

Wear at the valve face and/or seat is not a maintenance issue. You can change oil every ten minutes and have no effect on it because oil doesn't lube the valve faces. If you say that keeping the valves at the correct clearance extends their life, I have to ask, "why would they not just stay there by themselves, instead of requiring constant adjustments?".

Honda says they have addressed the valve durability with the '06 models, and that they are better. Some agree. Some don't. It has always seemed odd to me that the same people who cranked out the indestructible stone that is the XR650R didn't get this one done better than they did.

The really funny thing about manufacturer reliability is that it only takes one rotten egg to tarnish the brand for years and years (permanently, in some eyes).

Back in the day, Maico's were pretty awesome bikes. But then they had a couple years where they absolutely laid rotten eggs. Trannies would self destruct, rear shocks would tear off the frame mount, etc.

While it is true that there was a lot of interanl turmoil throughout the company while this was happening, these problems sealed the casket, at least in North America.

My Dad still has his '84 XR500 that he swears by. That thing is completely indestructible (at least the engine and transmission are). But he bought one rotten egg of a Yami back in '82 (the first YZ490) and won't even look at my bikes when he comes to visit.

Many folks are the same way.

My 07 CRF450 has been fine so far. Getting an oil change every week.

I like the site glass for that, you can see the color of the oil.

I think they are reliable enough. I would have got a new YZ but the dealer here said I would have to wait 4 months, so a honda it was..

I have an 06 honda 450 with 70 + hours on it and no engine problems to speak of. I have however stripped countless bolts, they use some 6mm, and and my rear axle nut seized due to a cheap lock ring. The axle blocks broke when trying to free the axle and I broke out the sawsall to fix things...

My 2000 WR400 has 300+ hours and no problems.

My 2002 YZ250F has 150+ racing hours and zero problems.

The best bike Ive got is an 08 YZ450, which is truly the hot ticket and the suspension / handling is leagues ahead of my Honda.

It's your avatar. They're a little sensitive over there about trolls.

Your best bet is to do two things: Read through the Honda forum and take notes, and talk to guys in the service departments of dealers that sell both bikes. The Hondas would be in for service more often just because there are more of them, but ask if the numbers are in line with the units sold, and what kind of problems they have. Asking that question in the CRF forum will get you a biased response, much like you would get here, and a reaction somewhat like poking a bee hive.

Wear at the valve face and/or seat is not a maintenance issue. You can change oil every ten minutes and have no effect on it because oil doesn't lube the valve faces. If you say that keeping the valves at the correct clearance extends their life, I have to ask, "why would they not just stay there by themselves, instead of requiring constant adjustments?".

Honda says they have addressed the valve durability with the '06 models, and that they are better. Some agree. Some don't. It has always seemed odd to me that the same people who cranked out the indestructible stone that is the XR650R didn't get this one done better than they did.

I totally agree. I loved my venerable 2003 XR650. It never gave me one bit of trouble and I really rode it hard. It really made me a Honda lover until I rode a new 450 and fell in love with the more powerful, lighter weight package. Even though I had issues with the tranny on my 07 YZ450, I still think its a great bike.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now