Ridden a CRF450 ???

A friend of mine has owned an XR600 for years. He is an intermediate plus rider who does most of his trail riding at Stonyford(full of big hills). He is concidering getting a CRF450 for his next bike, but he is hesitant that he won't beable to ride the CRF as easily as the XR. He feels comfortable with the XR. Have any of you XR riders ever rode a CRF. If so,what did you like, and dislike? Thanks for the imput.

my brother races a crf and i hop on it from time to time. i've always been an xr rider so i've never spent a lot of time on bikes with mx ergos. i feel like going from the xr ergos to the crf ergos is like going from riding a mountain bike to a bmx bike.

however, i'm sure if i spent days on the crf versus minutes (cause that's as long as my brother will let me ride it for) i'd get used to the layout.

i can put that crf places i'll never be able to stick my xr. i can flog the crf like a red headed step child while i have to be a lot more submissive with my xr.

however, on the same token, my xr forgives me when i miss a shift, end up in too tall a gear, flog the clutch, etc. meanwhile the crf will 99% of the time answer with a stall.

this can be fixed with flywheel work.

probably the biggest reason why i'm not riding a crf right now is the work schedule. while i try my best to take care of my equipment, there just isn't enough hours in the day to make sure i have everything ready to go racing every sunday. with my xr, i can afford to miss an oil change here and there. generally the bike will forgive me if i overlook scheduled stuff.

do the same with the crf and it will shite itself before you even get it out of the truck...

i'll be on the crf once the offroad specific version comes out in the next couple of years. by then they will have watered down the orange county girl in the bike and make it a little more apt to the off road world.

If he's comfortable with the old XR600, then why doesn't he get an XR650R instead of a CRF450? The CRF really isn't that great as a trail bike. It'll do, but it's designed for an MX track. Also, the CRF engine will not hold up as long with low maintenance like the ultra reliable XR engines will.

As an example, I bought a YZ426 in '00, and used it for trail riding. After less than one year, I wanted something more fit for trail use. The YZ just wasn't cut out as a good trail bike (tiny gas tank, stiff suspension, prone to engine stalling at low speeds, and no O-ring chain). I bought an XR650R instead, and two years later, I'm still lovin' it! And uncorked, the XR650R is just as potent as those MX bikes, but with more stump pullin' torque and a cushier ride!


I like what secretatlas had to say. Also, if money isn't a problem, tell him to get both bikes :) If he has to get just one bike, then have him try to spend some time riding each bike before buying it. If you or he asks around, you guys might be able to find some new people to ride with that have both bikes so he can try them both out and decide for himself.

If the XR650R lost 50lbs, it would be much closer to my ideal bike, but sometimes the added weight can work to your advantage, especially at higher speeds and for dual sport riding. Both bikes are awesome in their own respects, but if he spends more time MX'ing, then go for the CRF. I think the XR650R hides its weight very well and I especially like it on the types of trails I ride, but its more difficult for me to handle on steep loose downhill sections or when the going gets so tight, twisty and or rocky that you're having to almost stop while your riding. As long as the XR650R is moving 5+ MPH, it feels much lighter than it actually is. It's also a blast in the dunes if he's into that type of riding. If I bought a CRF for trail riding and general purpose fun, the first thing I'd do is install a z-Start clutch :D I think the CRF can be made into a very fun trail bike and I really enjoyed myself the few times I've ridden one. I'm looking forward to when the CRF450X comes out (whenever that is) and maybe them I'll give my XR650R a new stable mate, but I won't get rid of it.

Rode a CRF once, what a rocket!...very impressed with the throttle responce(pumper carb?) bike felt soooo light after getting off my BRP, felt kinda like good old open class 2 stroke, but with great handling. Also much easier to start.

With all that said, he comes the "but"...but as others have said, it's still an MXer, and has short comings for medium to long desert rides, I know there will be a lot more demand for maintenance. Gearing is a little tall in 1st, and short(compared to BRP) in 5th.

P.S. Seen a lot valve issues on the CRF forum...

What about the 19" rear on an MXer? Does that need to be swapped out for an 18" for trail riding and off-roading, or is it not that big a deal?

I own an XR650R now and will for a while but My brother is looking at a bike and I thought of suggesting to him the CRF450 just so we have best of both worlds and we can swap but before I did I thought I'd check with the CRF450 group on this forum to see what would be involved to make it a good trail bike and they were very helpful. It was the "CRF for trail riding?" post if you would like to see what they said! Just another source of info to make your decision easier, I hope!

Enjoy, JT

Have your friend get an XR650R. The CRF is unbelievable, but its geared so tight, that it's no fun on anything but a track. Even long straights on a track can get you riding high rpms in 5th. Also, the CRF has less than a quart of engine oil. That might be ok on a track where you're riding motos, but how about a morning-long trail ride. With the XR, you put fuel in it and go, and go and go.

Also keep in mind. The CRF is meant for MX. It is much better on a track than the big pigs. But thats about it. The 600's and 650's can go wide open all day long at high speeds. You will burn up the CRF doing that. That cute little piston it has can't take the abuse. Also there is a oil burning/loss problem at high speeds with the crf. :)

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