MotorcycleJazz – Honda CRF450X

8 Jun 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on MotorcycleJazz – Honda CRF450X
Honda T4

The basic CRF_X platform has been around for several years so reviews and opinions on it are plentiful. The MoJazz CRF450X is a fairly unique project bike that we built specifically to our needs. Any bike that was going to not make us miss our Vegas to Reno and Tour of Idaho conquering XR650R was going to have a lot to live up to.


We’ve been intrigued for some time with the light weight and electric start of the latest Honda Baja bike and after years of wearing ourselves out kick starting large bore thumpers we finally decided to pull the trigger this year. Our only reservation concerned reliability. The XR650R is probably the most overbuilt and essentially bulletproof bike ever produced.

In all of our years of 1000 mile ironman rides through the night – in places where failure would have meant catastrophe – we never experienced as much as a hiccup. Legends are born of legendary deeds and the XR650R, as far as we are concerned, is a true legend.

We’ve ridden a few stock CRF’s around and were impressed with how well they performed right out of the box. But there’s a lot more in there waiting to be liberated once the various regulatory agencies have gone away. That’s what we were after.

We didn’t even bother to ride our CRF450X around the block after it rolled off the truck. Instead it went straight onto the lift of Pocatello Power Sports owner Chris Hymas for the Honda closed-circuit engine, exhaust and airbox modifications and a Hotcams stage 2 cam (since swapped for a stage 1 cam). We also spent some time experimenting with different needle settings for the main jet eventually determining that the top position (leanest mixture) produced good fueling from a range of 2000 all the way to 10,000 feet of altitude.

Honda T4
Honda T4

After a few rides we decided to replace the stock 450X head and valves with a 450R head and aftermarket valves (Wiseco titanium intakes and Kibblewhite stainless exhaust) and raised the needle one clip setting. The 450R valves are bigger with stouter springs and we are happier with the extra horsepower and less nervous about fragility (Note: After swapping out the OEM head and valves for the R upgrades we went 20 months and two seasons of racing before we found a valve even close to being out of spec). A little of the down-low torque appears to have been lost with the R head (verified on the dyno) so we modified our final drive ratio for a little more low-end grunt.

Installing the Jagg oil cooler and filter adapter is a snap. We had to modify the supplied radiator mounting bracket (to accommodate our Acerbis Tank) but it was easy. The system works great.

Oil capacity is nearly doubled and the bike runs much cooler. And the directions are in actual English – tres cool. We also installed a Hinson clutch cover that was much beefier than the stock unit and upped our transmission oil capacity to almost a full quart.

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