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Old 02-07-2009, 05:53 PM   #16
ramz
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Quote:
Many owners have gone to Stainless valves and Kibblewhite heads, along with a few other outfits who provide different head and parts.
Kibblewhite makes Honda valves, not heads. No other 'outfit' makes CRF250X heads. Many shops/tuners modify stock Honda heads and will sell you performance or reliability, sometimes both. Stainless intake valves are a common choice for reliability.

Quote:
By 2006, Honda had done several re-designs of the head to make the motor reliable.
In '06, Honda changed the intake valve seat material in the heads on both the X and R models. In addition, the R model got reshaped intake and exhaust ports. In '07 and '08, Honda did more port reshaping on the X and R heads; no changes for '09 to either model.

Changing the valve seat material did improve the titanium intake valves reliability.

Changing the ports improved performance.

There have been no other changes to the heads to improve reliability.


Other problems elsewhere in the 250 engine have been reported but nothing I would call chronic or systemic. Did I just use those words

If you service the bike as Honda recommends, keep the air filter clean, and put filters on the carb vent hoses you'll probably not have any problems beyond normal wear-and-tear. But hey, I know a guy who blew one up on the first ride - he changed the oil because he didn't trust the dealer and then only filled the tranny and not the engine also.
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Old 02-07-2009, 07:22 PM   #17
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Good information and banter . I find it funny when something like this can bring out such polarizing opinions.... from best bike to time bomb.

A piece of the story that has me thinking so seriously about this bike is the price. I can get it for less than half of some of the bikes suggested... much less than half for the others. I think "value" makes things swing in favor of the 250X for me. It has very low hours/miles and has some upgrades already. Maybe not the best hammer for the nail, but I've been known to hit nails with the back of a stapler

As for valves and heads, I wonder if so many of the reported problems and issues come from guys thinking they are smarter than Honda by putting in SS valves replacing the Ti. Putting in something of harder material and less prone to wear only transfers stress to other parts. Just my thoughts. In my experience with tinkering with internals of engines, replacing/upgrading one part quickly cascades into many problems and parts.
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Old 02-08-2009, 10:42 AM   #18
Kawidad
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KV-KLR
As for valves and heads, I wonder if so many of the reported problems and issues come from guys thinking they are smarter than Honda by putting in SS valves replacing the Ti. Putting in something of harder material and less prone to wear only transfers stress to other parts. Just my thoughts. In my experience with tinkering with internals of engines, replacing/upgrading one part quickly cascades into many problems and parts.
No. Ti is harder than steel. That's part of the "problem". Ti is MUCH harder than the aluminum used in the heads. Plus, the spring tension has to be exact because of the difference in material hardness. Combine this with the extreme light weight of the Ti vs steel, it leads to issues.
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Old 02-08-2009, 12:23 PM   #19
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You're right. That's what I get for posting while also working late on a Saturday night. My point remains the same though. Start re-engineering internals and you are on the path of finding next weakest link.

I will post back if it happens this week.
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Old 02-08-2009, 02:29 PM   #20
kenaroo
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It always seems the rumors are started from non honda owners from hearsay from a buddy that rode one or a friend of a friend.

Look.. I raced the 250 for 3 years. these are good bikes..

most of these problems are from riders treating these bikes like they are XR hondas. they are not..

after my stock valves went.. I replaced them with the kibblewhites. as well as having my valve seats and guides set up for the new valves. those valves went two years with no issues.. I had to reshim the intakes twice.

I changed my air filter after every ride.. change the oil after every 10 hours or so.. used a carb vent filter which prevented dust and dirt getting sucked up the carb.

This bike would be great to putt around with your daughter.. it can be ridden on the street for miles.. though the small bore is better off road than Highway.


I have seen no difference in maintance with the honda 250 than with my Beta 525 with RFS ktm motor.. in fact.. the valves on the beta are looking to be adjusted more than the CRF...
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Old 02-08-2009, 03:04 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenaroo
It always seems the rumors are started from non honda owners from hearsay from a buddy that rode one or a friend of a friend.

Look.. I raced the 250 for 3 years. these are good bikes..

most of these problems are from riders treating these bikes like they are XR hondas. they are not..

after my stock valves went.. I replaced them with the kibblewhites. as well as having my valve seats and guides set up for the new valves. those valves went two years with no issues.. I had to reshim the intakes twice.

I changed my air filter after every ride.. change the oil after every 10 hours or so.. used a carb vent filter which prevented dust and dirt getting sucked up the carb.

This bike would be great to putt around with your daughter.. it can be ridden on the street for miles.. though the small bore is better off road than Highway.


I have seen no difference in maintance with the honda 250 than with my Beta 525 with RFS ktm motor.. in fact.. the valves on the beta are looking to be adjusted more than the CRF...
Well put Kenaroo. I have a 2005 model and though it isn't raced, it's on the original valves without a hint of trouble since new.

I just took it out for a post-ice storm spin on the neighborhood streets here in Louisville today. For doddling around town, it actually makes a nice ride. She's a little high-strung considering the offroad gearing, but it almost makes we want to make her "official" and get her plated. Actually feels as punchy as my old WR400 supermoto (again, probably the gearing).
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Old 02-08-2009, 04:26 PM   #22
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I too can vouch for the little 250. I had a 2005 "R" model that I raced competitively in the Vet class for several years. I'm not a "revver", that is I don't bang it off the rev limiter. I changed the oil after every other ride, cleaned the air filter after every ride, and installed carb filters on the bike before it was every ridden. The chassis was completely dissassembled at the end of each season, cleaned and lubricated. I experienced no problems with the bike at all. As a matter of fact, my valves clearances never moved. I had more fun racing that bike than any other in recent years.

I sold it this past December and purchased a new CRF450X for dual sport use. My opinion, the little 250 might not have the balls for limited road use, at least for a guy my size.

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Old 02-08-2009, 05:00 PM   #23
murgatroid42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KV-KLR
... I have found a really good deal on 2004 CRF250X that will hopefully allow me to get out and ride some with her, take off on my own when I want and also use to commute occasionally on the nice days (after making street legal of course; not difficult in TX I'm told). Then maybe I can dream of setting up for partial TAT or Big Bend or Mexico... I'm not racer type so not too worried about power, more worried about reliability on longer, constant speed trips. If none of this works out I at least get to ride with her some and can sell it without losing much. ...
It sounds like you want to a bike for the trail and for long adventure riding. Ah, the mythical, perfect dualsport. Don't we all want one. The CRF250X is perfect for trails, but is risky for long rides. How long will you go on your longest ride? 2000 miles or more? Do you want to change the oil and do valve adjustments on the road? Yuk.

I rode my KLX400SR (green DRZS) from Colorado to Canada on the Great Divide Trail (mostly dirt), and on pavement the way back. I did 2700 miles in 10 days, no oil changes, or any engine checks. The oil looked clean afterward, it didn't use any (I force fed it 6 oz. on the way back), and after 4000 miles, the valves didn't even change half a thousandth of an inch. One of my riding partners said he would not take his KTM450 on this ride, for maintenance and reliablity reasons (he took his 650 Dakar). The CRF250X is a higher maintenance bike than the KTM.

I have a plated KTM 200EXC, which is perfect for trails, but I would never go on a long, unsupported ride with it. I would not hesistate to go on a 3000 mile ride with my green DRZ, though. Different tools for different jobs.

The reason these $7k new, high performance CRF250X's are a "good deal" used (i.e., cheap) is because they often require extensive rebuilds. They have the resale value of a used popsicle kept in the sun. A DRZ400 is a pig compared to the CRF250X, but it is a reliable pig. That is why I passed on a CRF450, even though it was newer and cost less than my green DRZ.

My $0.02. Let us know what you do. You could prove us all wrong.
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Old 02-08-2009, 08:19 PM   #24
Django Loco
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ramz
Kibblewhite makes Honda valves, not heads. No other 'outfit' makes CRF250X heads. Many shops/tuners modify stock Honda heads and will sell you performance or reliability, sometimes both. Stainless intake valves are a common choice for reliability.
Sorry for my inaccuracies. I knew there were several companies involved doing various parts and mods to make the bikes more reliable, just did not know specifics .... which you've pointed out!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ramz
In '06, Honda changed the intake valve seat material in the heads on both the X and R models. In addition, the R model got reshaped intake and exhaust ports. In '07 and '08, Honda did more port reshaping on the X and R heads; no changes for '09 to either model.
I may wrong ... as it's been a while ... but I do remember reading something about re-designs earlier than '06. Jimmy Lewis said at one point that Honda was on "... the 5th redesign on the head" (valves, seats, ports et al).

Thanks again for clarifying ....
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Old 02-09-2009, 08:07 AM   #25
rideLD
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I love my 2004 and have never had any trouble with it. It is the perfect bike for tight woods riding and it handles better than any off road bike I have ever ridden. I've had mine for 5 years now and it has about 200 hours on it. I take good care of it and change the oil every couple of rides and keep the air filter clean.

I have never had to adjust my ti valves once. They are all still in spec. The key is to ride it like a four stroke and not ride it like a 2 stroke. I am a former motocross, enduro, desert, and hare-scramble racer so I am no slouch. These kids that come off of 125 2-strokes bang them off the rev limiter all the time and valve train just can't take it. If you ride it right it will give you that famous Honda reliability.

I want to get a new BMW G450x this year but I am really apprehensive about selling my beloved 250x.
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Old 02-09-2009, 10:48 AM   #26
Collarbone
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my experience

I love the power of my x and its super easy and fun to ride.streetable?But then I question any of the new high end 250's including the street legal out of the box ones.I know that once your valves start to go its time to get them replaced.you can shim them but it doesn't last long I shimmed mine after it needed it and after five hours of riding they were tight again.I am currently getting the stainless valves put in and I will see how long they last.I do race mine in harescrambles but trust me I am not one of the fast guys that are ringing it out.I don't know how many hours the previous owner had on the valves when I got it but it was claimed 20 but they all claim that plus not sure if he rode the piss out of it or not.Like I said love the bike hope the new valves last awhile I am building it up for reliability so we'll see I know when they go its pretty fast one race it started and ran fine the next weekend it wouldn't start.If you want real realiability buy a newer xr 250 then you would have the perfect bike for both imo.
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Old 02-11-2009, 01:37 AM   #27
KevinMTB
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Honda CRF 250X experience

Just thoought I'd add my experience with my 2006 crf 250x. I bought it new and had it plated so I know exactly how many miles and hours it has. It was my first bike in 23 years, I loved everything about it (light weight, electric plus kick, good power, etc). However, I must say it didn't make a good dual sport. It's great off-road but lacks the gearing for the street. I was always looking for the next gear when I hit 50 mph but was already in 5th.
The real problem with road riding is with the high maintenance motor. I was very naive when I bought this bike when it came to the maintence schedule. I did the usual oil change after every other ride (about 8 to 10 hrs) of which must was easy trail riding. I had heard about the valve troubles and checked them without them ever changing. I rearly hit the limiter and trucked the bike to my riding area. I did take it on a couple of dual sport rides that totaled about 300-400 miles each. What finally got me was the piston oil ring went bad and I was left stranded on one off my dual sport rides. The motor didn't freeze up, but by the sounds it was making I knew something bad had happened.
I had a total of 103 hrs. and 1305 miles on the bike when the ring failed. Due to the small amount of oil capacity, it didn't take long to burn 98% of all my engine oil. I am not bashing this bike, I still love it but I did turn in my plates and only use it for dirt riding now (I actually upgraded to a newer head and steel valves after this just to be safe). I admit it was all my fault for not checking the oil level on my 3 day trip, although I had changed the oil right before.
I just had no idea that the maintenance schedule calls for changing the rings & piston something like every 40 hrs. (I know they say that is for racing). I received some harsh words on another forum for not knowing this SHORT interval for the piston and rings (100 hrs between piston and rings for my bike seems pretty extreme to me for mostly easy trail riding). So, I would not recommend this bike as a dual sport on long rides unless you want to do more maintenace than just oil changes (especially on the road for a long dual sport ride). As for strictly dirt riding, I love it. When it comes time to change out the rings, I'll do it my self at home and avoid having a break down on the road or trail.
I'm not trying to flame the bike, just trying to educate about the piston and rings. I had heard so much about the valves, of which I had no problems, that I had no idea to keep an eye elsewhere.
Just my 2 cents, take it or leave it.
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Old 02-11-2009, 02:44 AM   #28
warewolf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kawidad
Doesn't Honda recommend an oil basically after each ride and a top end every 15 hours of riding?
That's for the original motocross -R, not the enduro -X. Significant differences in piston (the X has another ring and longer skirt which stops a lot of rocking and wear??), valves, cam and carb. There's a chap here who likes the extra hit of the R and retro-fits all these parts to the Xs he gets hold of.

Some of the local racers here have well over 100 hours of hard race use on these bikes, and say the maintenance schedule is over-rated. Still on original pistons and valves at that time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kawidad
Don't get me wrong, they are really nice machines, but I don't think it the right tool for what you're looking at. You should look more in the direction of the KLX250S or WR250S. Not nearly as hyper and is designed for your intended mission.
Wot he said. Whilst I believe the CRF-X to reliable enough, it's a race bike not a trail bike. Race: good; trail: okay; dual-sport: ummm.
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Old 02-16-2009, 12:57 PM   #29
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I will let you know how it goes as the deal is done. Got a good deal and I think it will do what I want -- follow my daughter, ride in the woods and general exploring and let me dream about distant places. For clarification, most likely it will be trucked/trailered to any distant location and then used for riding and exploring, not really dual sporting by many standards. I will aspire to this type of riding for the future

I will provide updates and insight as it is personally gained.
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Old 02-16-2009, 02:57 PM   #30
kenaroo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KV-KLR
I will let you know how it goes as the deal is done. Got a good deal and I think it will do what I want -- follow my daughter, ride in the woods and general exploring and let me dream about distant places. For clarification, most likely it will be trucked/trailered to any distant location and then used for riding and exploring, not really dual sporting by many standards. I will aspire to this type of riding for the future

I will provide updates and insight as it is personally gained.
Great to hear..

plenty of good riding around houston.. Sam houston national forest. is fun

Trail riders of houston has a fun lease. etc..

maybe we'll see you on the trail
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