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Old    Ryan Cowan (aces6692)      Join Date: Nov 2006       06-03-2014, 8:33 AM Reply   
A friend of mine has offered to sell me his old bike at a killer price. The only the it needs is a carb rebuild, bike starts within two kicks every time.. Any of guys familiar with these bikes? Ie: things to look for or specifically check out, things known to go wrong, any info helps!

Would be my first dirt bike. Ridden before, had a harley. I'm comfortable on bikes, just would be my first dirt bike so I wanted to make sure if there are certain things to check for.
Old    Paul (psudy)      Join Date: Dec 2003       06-03-2014, 9:25 AM Reply   
compression.
Old    C.I.E. J-Rod (jarrod)      Join Date: May 2003       06-03-2014, 10:59 AM Reply   
2004 CRF 450 and 250s had a poorly sealed airbox. They have a tendency to suck dirt in post filter and deposit into the valves. I had a 2004 450 and it was awful. It was in the shop once a month getting valve adjustments and eventually, it needed new valves ($1000). I sold the bike and lost my ass. That bike gave 4 strokes a bad name. Years later mechanics blamed the issue on the design of the airbox. I know that valves on the newer bikes last a lot longer. My friend has a 2004 CRF250 and his bike frequently visits the shop for valve work as well.

Compression is important but it may not tell you the real problem. Lack of compression in a 4 stroke could be the piston ring which is easy and cheap, or it could be a valve hanging open because it needs valves. That is an expensive repair that requires machining of the head.

If you're set on this bike, I would have it inspected to see which shims are in the valves. Once you're on the last set of shims, that's it, it will need valves.

Personally I'd buy a newer bike. Or get a 2 stroke which will be far cheaper to maintain, and in my opinion, more fun anyway. I've ridden many bikes, and the oranges ones rule.
Old    Ryan Cowan (aces6692)      Join Date: Nov 2006       06-03-2014, 11:05 AM Reply   
He's been one of my best friends for well over 10 years. I believe him as far as saying it doesn't have problems (as of now). Good to know about the valve problems. I'd for sure have it all check out before buying, I've learned the hard way on that too many times now. Once replaced are they normally good to go? Or is it a constant recurring problem. I'm just having a hard time passing up a bike for $1k that only needs a carb rebuild. But if it's going to throw nothing but shop trips and problems at me id rather pass.
Old    andy zarlengo (colorider)      Join Date: Jun 2001       06-03-2014, 7:26 PM Reply   
New valves with the same airbox leak will cause the new valves to go bad as well. May look into Kibblewhite stainless steel valves. They last a LOT longer then stock. I would look into an airbox fix in order to keep the valves from wearing. Maybe a newer version of the box? Not very versed on the Honda. I own KTMs, so I know a lot about valves. They seem to need adjustment more frequently on the orange bikes.
Old    Ryan Cowan (aces6692)      Join Date: Nov 2006       06-03-2014, 7:49 PM Reply   
Makes sense lol. Changing the valves wouldn't fix the airbox problem. Making me wonder if it's still worth it for the price. Tried to do a quick airbox replacement search on google but didn't find much. I'll have to dig a little deeper.
Old    C.I.E. J-Rod (jarrod)      Join Date: May 2003       06-09-2014, 10:26 AM Reply   
I'd probably also consider the kind of riding. If you're going to stay on the track, you'll probably be fine. But if you're riding offroad, water, dust, mud, sand, I'd probably go a different route. Motocross tracks are the best place that you can ride a bike.
Old    Ryan Cowan (aces6692)      Join Date: Nov 2006       06-09-2014, 10:32 AM Reply   
It will probably be about 50/50. Track/desert. I'm in SoCal so I have both nearby. I talked to him a but more about it. Right when he got it he replaced the valves to the stainless steel. Hasn't had an issue since then, messes with the adjustment every 5 rides or so. I'm going to take it out this weekend and see how it rides as a whole. The nice thing is my neighbor has rebuilt close to 10 top ends so at least I wouldn't have to pay the shop. If all goes well on the test this weekend I'll probably pull the trigger, but if anything seems funny ill back off. Any other things I should keep an eye/feel for this weekend? I appreciate the help with everything so far!

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