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Old 15 Dec 2012
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Qatar
Posts: 15
Amount of Maintenance CRF450 vs XR650R or XR600R

Hi People,

I've owned had XR600s and XR650Rs forever while living in developing countries (Egypt, Libya, Mali) and love them for their reliability and mechanical simplicity. I just bought a 2008 CRF450x, ran great for 6 months. Now has issues, valves, pistons and or carburetor. The guy I bought it from did a few modifications: piston, jetting , cam and exhaust. This bike is so different from those I have experienced. I'm in Qatar at the moment and going to move to West Africa where parts and service will be unattainable. My questions:

Should I go back to an all stock set-up?

Do CRFs require more maintenance than XRs?

Are they more finicky?

Thanks, Steve
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Old 15 Dec 2012
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Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 107
Yes they are much more high maintainance they hold a very small amount of oil,which is working twice as hard or more,the valve life isn't great,not as bad as the 250s but still can be alarmingly short.
Probably the worse aspect can be the crank life,I've seen several 250s have big end fail within 60 hours from new and I've done a few 450s that have not done a huge amount before needing a con rod kit,usually a large amount of metallic debris stuck to the ignition pulse coil in left hand side of motor is a give away.
I rode a 450 Honda for supermoto a bit this year and I've just moved it on before I end up into 600 quid or so of engine bits on the thing,it went fine,sounded fine,valves were fine...but into another season and it would likely to have needed attention.
From my experience the yamaha is probably the most reliable of the bunch,but I think for a something your not going to compete on I'd have a drz or xr.
The drz will do fairly big mileage if looked after without problems and is still quite a capable bike off road.
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Old 28 Dec 2012
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Truron Nova Scotia, Canada
Posts: 207
what about a CRF250L for adventure touring?

I am planning another Africa tour in September and plan on finding a bike in South Africa rather than go through the considerable expense and hassle of shipping my bike over (93 R100GS). I have seen some of the write-ups on the new Honda CRF250L dual purpose bike and looking into the pre-feasibility of one of those. It is a CBR tweaked for less civilized use and the reviews have been most promising. The gas tank is small but they are amazing gas mizers reportedly. Not much after-market stuff yet but there are apparently seats and back racks and more stuff coming. Not sure how it would measure up to a 20,000 km. trip. Any thoughts out there?

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