Honda CRF450X modifications

hey lee, we just bought some new motos and are going to head out west to ride some desert trails soon. did you do any mods to your 450X? we ride the 450R on the tracks as supermotos and plan on using the 250X for the trail.

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No bolt-on part will make this OK. Water crossings: Don’t do this

Hi Carol!

I’m glad you and Corein are out ripping it. I really enjoyed our MTB session.

Honda knows more about making motos than I do, so I try to leave my CRF250R and CRF450X alone. But the 450X gets ridden (and crashed) in some crazy situations. I’ve added parts as needed to keep it running right, and to protect it from the idiot who rides it. I’ll keep adding armor until stuff stops breaking.

In general order of appearance:

Flatland Racing radiator guards. On my very first ride, at an MX track, I got landed on. Yeah, that sucked. My knee crushed my radiator (and my thumb got dislocated — I was so annoyed I put it back myself and kept riding). I’ve dropped my bike a hundred times since then, and the radiators are still perfect.

Flatland Racing skid plate. Easy install. Mandatory!

Acerbis hand guards. I started with cheaper guards, but they sucked! Pony up for the good ones.

Nylon straps attached to my rear seat-mount bolts. I use these to shuttle my DH clients at Left Hand Canyon OHV Area. They also make great handles for dragging The Red Beast out of ditches.

ODI Lock-on grips. Easier to work with than old-school glue-ons, and identical to the ones on my bikes.

JD Jetting Kit. To ride your moto here in CO, you have to re-jet it. Forget buying individual jets, taking everything apart, guessing and repeating. Pay $80 for the kit. It comes will all the jets you’ll need, plus setup guides for all altitudes.

Handlebar risers. The bars felt too low on steep, rough climbs. But now I’m thinking that was a technique issue, and I think I’ll go back to stock.

Metal oil filter. Why buy and toss paper filters when you can clean and re-use this champ?

K&N Air Filter. My stock filter got torn up. K&Ns supposedly work better. Now I have two filters. For a quick switch, keep a spare filter clean and oiled in a baggie.

Rear brake light switch. It mounts to the rear master cylinder, to help make the bike “Rocky Mountain Street Legal.” BTW: My 450X is titled and insured, so I can ride it on street as well as dirt.

Not …

… cool.

Billet clutch cover. In the middle of the Moab desert, with darkness approaching, my brake pedal poked a hole in my stock magnesium cover. Not cool! The new cover is super burly. Read this: Epic: Moab 2006

Aluminum rotor guards, front and rear. Some guy keeps dragging my brake rotors through rocks.

Various tires. I ran a Michelin X-11 trials tire on the back for quite a while, and it worked amazingly well. Right now I’m rocking a pair of Maxxis Desert ITs. They work OK — not great — but they should last a while.

OMG — I want to ride moto, and I want to ride moto RIGHT NOW!!!

15 replies
  1. FMJeff says:

    My father-in-law says to prevent 99% of the problems with your moto make sure and check the nut thats between the seat and handle bars!

  2. leelikesbikes says:

    Hey Carol,

    No, I did not change the air box or anything else enginewise. That bike has plenty of power.

    Anyone out there fulling wringing out a 450 on dirt? … I didn’t think so … 🙂

    Supermoto — oh man that would be fun. I used to ride a Honda VFR800 … pavement is so nice — whoa, what’s this? … ahhhh … traction!

  3. carol says:

    lee, agreed plenty of power in the 450 but the 250 can use a little help especially the x model which is detuned. did u do any suspension work? alex was telling me yesterday that his ktm feels a lot better after he had his forks and shocks revalved by a local guy. supermoto rocks, we just came back from vegas riding around the track there, loads of fun. might give imi a try this weekend…

  4. carol says:

    lee, the world is really a very small place. i was just rereading your moab adventure and realized that we raced with gregor halenda up in loudon in new hampshire…

  5. leelikesbikes says:

    Right on! Gregor sure can ride, eh?

    My suspension is stock. Call me a pansy or whatever, but my CRF450X is not holding me back.

    I can feel custom suspension tuning on my MTBs, but I’m nowhere near the limit on either of my Hondas.

  6. jason says:

    I would suggest aftermarket exhaust and header system stock Honda 450x and 250x are restricted for decent track riding. Also there is a few mods to the throtle housing I believe and and also airbox mods both of which you can find doing a search on Lastly a scotts sterring stabalizer will make you A hero in loose rocky or sandy conditions.

  7. carol says:

    thanks jason, there are a bunch of throtle/airbox mods including the ominous pink wire which we plan on taking care of soon. exhausts and steering dampers are on our list too 🙂

  8. jason smith says:

    The most important mod I forgot is to install a mousse bib tube in the front tire. Hero lines will now be possible

  9. Denise says:

    You forgot the most important addition – the PowerSport Grafx custom shroud graphics! Ya gotta post a pic of those! They definitely add to the :Fast Factor:

  10. leelikesbikes says:

    Oh yeah – the coolest!

    When I loaned Denise my 450X this spring, it came back with custom Lee Likes Bikes radiator shroud stickers. So cool.

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