Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Chat Forum > The HUBB PUB

The HUBB PUB Chat forum - no useful content required!

BUT the basic rules of polite and civil conduct which everyone agreed to when signing up for the HUBB, will still apply, though moderation will be a LITTLE looser than elsewhere on the HUBB.
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 11 Oct 2008
butchdiamond's Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: NFA
Posts: 138
Exclamation What's happening to Hondas?

I had the chance to ride a new CRF450X the other day. This is said to be the new XR400 which is a bold claim. I used to have an XR400 - great bike.

Don't get me wrong the CRF was very nice - it's a bit more powerful, has more suspension travel and is a bit lighter (which is impressive considering it's water cooled) but it's no XR.

For some reason it just didn't feel right, and it didn't handle as well as my old XR and I felt much less confident with it (being spanking new didn't help).

Honda don't make XR's (apart from the 125) anymore, or the great old XRL. Also - no Africa Twin. Now I've never ridden an AT, but I know people who have them and they swear by them. Honda is doing a new Transalp instead. I had a quick ride on a 2004 TA a while back and it was ok, but not much good for rugged overlanding methinks.

All these new computer controlled, fuel injected, liquid cooled, alloy this, alloy that bikes are said to be so much better - but are they? What's wrong with a good old boot start, air cooled thumper?

Maybe I'm missing something here and I should just get a grip and move with the times, but it seems to me that Honda has binned a lot of the good old proven bikes in favour of more complicated newer "better" technology. Why?
__________________
BD.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 11 Oct 2008
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Sussex
Posts: 14
why

Emissions
Easier to sell something labelled "New"
KTM (and other competitors)
Profit Margins
Low sales and hence low profits of XRs
but the real reason is that they knew it would upset you
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 11 Oct 2008
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Somewhere west of Laramie...
Posts: 479
Also, the trail bike and (true) overlanding market is incredibly small compared to any other catagory...

The CRF range are race bikes (the X's with lights so they can be used in enduros, and more easily made 'road legal' for those event that require such machines) - a substantially bigger market. It is also far more lucrative, as racers by their nature always want the next best thing (read next year's model), and typically trash their bikes by the end of the season, thus needing a replacement anyway...

The technology in the CRF range is a great evolution of the dirt bike as a dynamic machine for racing, but not, as you sermise, ideal for everyday riding - the maintenance schedule is far more demanding, and the engines themselves not designed for huge mileages, especially on the highway.

I too lament the passing of the world-ready trail bike... currently, only Suzuki produce anything remotely similar with their DRZ... and I understand even that will be replaced next year with an enduro version of the RMZ450...

That's progress?

In marketing and production terms (and for Honda certainly), it seems so...

xxx
__________________
JennyDakar.com
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 11 Oct 2008
butchdiamond's Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: NFA
Posts: 138
Well it's worked - bastards!
__________________
BD.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 11 Oct 2008
Stephano's Avatar
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Abu Dhabi
Posts: 897
Quote:
Originally Posted by butchdiamond View Post
Don't get me wrong the CRF was very nice - it's a bit more powerful, has more suspension travel and is a bit lighter (which is impressive considering it's water cooled) but it's no XR.

For some reason it just didn't feel right, and it didn't handle as well as my old XR and I felt much less confident with it (being spanking new didn't help)
I had an XR400 which I loved but was sadly stolen. I replaced it with a CRF450X. In my opinion, the difference for the better is amazing, there's less weight, power when you want it and the handling in dunes is a joy.

As for reliability, I already commute 50km on mine everyday and it's not let me down. For the ultimate test, I'm planning to ride it from the Middle East to the UK in early 2009. We'll see how it goes...

Give the CRF another chance. It might grow on you.
Stephan
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 11 Oct 2008
butchdiamond's Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: NFA
Posts: 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephano View Post
Give the CRF another chance. It might grow on you.
Fair enough. Maybe my opinion is a bit too quick off the mark.

What about the AT? Who makes a good overland twin now? I've heard good stuff about the R800GS and I hope to give one a try, but BMW doesn't have the best track record and it's a very complex machine.

I like the idea of something simple. Honda simple. Yes, I do ride a Yamaha, but because it was the right type of bike, available at the right time within my budget and, being an XTZ, it's still pretty basic.

Both BMW and Yamaha are still making overland machines new. They may be very new fangled but at least they're catering for the market. What has Honda got new for the likes of us? Bugger all, it seems.
__________________
BD.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 12 Oct 2008
PocketHead's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Sucre, Bolivia
Posts: 556
I think that the patenting for XR engines has expired so they sell their tooling to chineses to make chinese bikes.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 12 Oct 2008
mollydog's Avatar
Banned
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: california
Posts: 2,134
For the price, ease of maintenance, comfort and utter toughness, no other twin comes close.

Last edited by mollydog; 24 Mar 2009 at 18:55.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 12 Oct 2008
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Somewhere west of Laramie...
Posts: 479
All is not lost?

To Add to what Mollydog has said/offered...

MCN reported recently that Honda will have a new 'XR' 250 out for 2009 - all new (and not a rehash of the older Japanese-spec e-start aircooled bike as I thought) - alloy beam frame, 250 efi engine with e-start - very much in the vain of the new WR250R, and the KLX250 that Kawasaki are meant to be bringing into the UK too next year... I guess the new EU learner laws have revitilised the sub 33bhp trailie dual-sport market?

As for a bigger RTW twin... rumours still persist of a TDM engine based 'Super Tenere' from Yamaha in 2009... if it is anything as good as the XT660Z Tenere, then it will truely be a successor (albeit blue instead of red) to the Africa Twin...

Honda do of course have their new XLV700 Transalp in Europe too, which although no mega-off-roader, I imagine would be every bit as good as a V-Strom as a RTW bike?

xxx
__________________
JennyDakar.com
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 12 Oct 2008
butchdiamond's Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: NFA
Posts: 138
Great history, Patrick. I didn't realise that Rotax made the new 800GS engine... so there is hope!
__________________
BD.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 12 Oct 2008
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: yorkshire
Posts: 368
The CRF is a very good bike
but the XR400 is a great bike
For raceing the CRF is the one to have but I don't think you could do over 20,000 mile's on a crf with out doing a rebuild.

I have also noticed that second hand 2003 XR's seem to sell for more than a same year CRF
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 12 Oct 2008
mollydog's Avatar
Banned
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: california
Posts: 2,134
20,000 miles? Are you kidding?

Last edited by mollydog; 24 Mar 2009 at 18:55.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 12 Oct 2008
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Somewhere west of Laramie...
Posts: 479
Quote:
Originally Posted by mollydog View Post
20,000 miles? Are you kidding? Remember, Honda recommend a new top end on the CRF250R/CRF450R after 30 hours of racing. NO, not 30K miles, just 30 hours. So on tour, that's about 3 days of riding Not good.

Granted, if trail ridden or toured you could go further I'm sure, probably easily to 200 hours. But that still is nothing. The XR400 motor will last for years and thousands of hours if maintained. The CRF will need to be looked at on a regular basis.
I have to agree - my XR400 has done over 22,000 miles these past four years (it would be over 30,000 had I not bought my XR650R last year), and apart from a new cam chain at around 18,000 miles (only as a precaution I might add) and a valve check every year, it has been bulletproof and needed no attention whatsoever. I have noticed it is starting to use a little more oil now, but it has had a pretty hard life with only routine maintenance required.

I know a guy who used a CRF250X as a trail bike (the odd weekend, nothing regular) for over 18 months before he checked the valves, and it was perfectly fine.

I also have another friend who owned a CRF250X and did around 8000 miles on it over a similar time period, and was fastidiously checking the valves every couple of months, again he had no problems, but they did need shimming a couple of times. He eventually got fed up of the maintenance schedule and bought a DRZ400...

I think if you're gentle with a CRF, then you should be fine if it's a weekend plaything - but who wants to be gentle on a bike like that?!

Of course for distance work, what would be really nice is mid-capacity, say 650cc engine - plenty of power and torque for on and off-road use, but not over stressed so it will remain reliable. Screw and locknut valves for easy maintenance (no messing with shims), alloy frame for lightness and strength. Relaxed geometry for stability, Good ergonomics for comfort, simple electrics too... oh yes of course, Honda had one of those, but they stopped making it...

Good job I bought one last year!

xxx
__________________
JennyDakar.com
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 23 Oct 2008
butchdiamond's Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: NFA
Posts: 138
OK, so I rode a French guy's CRF230 this morning and I admit, I liked it even though I fell off... twice!

Not the best wheelie bike though.
__________________
BD.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
What is really happening in the Sahara? Alberto Sahara Travel Forum 6 2 Oct 2007 09:45
unreal happening longhaul Travellers' questions that don't fit anywhere else 1 14 Apr 2007 06:14
2 hondas nxr125 bross, 2 mnths old for sale konrad1974 South America 3 13 Mar 2007 19:29
buying 2 hondas to take them out there pls advise on parts konrad1974 Honda Tech 0 4 Dec 2006 00:30
Two nearly new Hondas for sale in Peru cwild TRAVEL Bikes for Sale / Wanted 0 9 Jun 2005 23:54

 
 



Renedian Adventures

HU DVD Summer Special!

Now that summer is here, get On the Road! Take 30% off the Achievable Dream - On the Road! 2-DVD set until August 31 only. Get On the Road! Learn the tips to staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure!

Our veteran travellers share their tips (and great stories) for staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure.

"A fantastic, informative and inspirational DVD."

"It's brilliant - thank you very much!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'ONTHEROAD' on your order when you checkout.

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!


New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.


Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!




All times are GMT +1. The time now is 04:54.