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Old 08-16-2009, 03:03 PM   #31
Utard Wankster
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Joined: May 2009
Location: Transient
Oddometer: 2,754
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.
Kibble White stainless valves need to be installed with Kibble White springs to accomodate for the change in mass from titanium to steel. The springs are made to spec to accomodate for this.

KW valves drastically change the maintenance interval with the "valve issue" with this bike.
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Old 06-23-2012, 02:32 PM   #32
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Sorry for resurrecting an old thread but I thought I would share my experience with the CRF250X (2008) and hopefully bumping this thread back up might trigger some responses from others who have been dual sporting the CRF and can lend some insight as to how their bikes have held up.

***Intro, feel free to skip***
I purchased my bike in the spring of 2010 and already had a KLR650 so I intended to use the CRF strictly as my single-track/woods bike. I quickly realized that loading up the trailer to tow 15 miles to the trail-head was irritating and wasted a ton of time better spent riding. Luckily it's very easy to plate a dirtbike in CO and a couple weeks and do-dads later the CRF was street legal. It didn't take long for me to determine that tolerating a dirt bike on the pavement is a whole lot easier than wrestling the 450lb KLR through the rough stuff. I started riding the CRF more and more and the KLR less. About 3 months into ownership of the CRF I was considering the possibility of dual sporting it and did a 200 mile dual sport weekend trip I had done 4 times before on the KLR. The CRF is effortless in the dirt and an absolute hoot on the winding mountain roads, after that trip I was sold on the superlight DualSport and set about addressing the CRF's shortcomings.

The first thing I did was replace the front sprocket with a 14T. With the stock 13T/49T gearing anything above 50MPH and the bike is screaming. Max Speed is about 68MPH.

14T/49T - Still low enough for technical single track and lets you cruise at 55MPH quite comfortably. 65MPH isn't too bad but I definitely wouldn't want to maintain anything over 60 for hours. I have seen up to 77MPH passing.

14T/45T - Great "Dual Sport" gearing. Too high for tight, technical single track and steep rocky climbs. Open single track and two track where you can keep your speed up it is fine but you no longer have enough power to loft the front end without lots of clutch work. Cruising at 65MPH is fine and I have done it for hours at a stretch. 75MPH is OK for shorter stretches, but again I wouldn't want to try it for hours on end.

I primarily run the 14T/45T gearing on the bike but if I am going to be riding single track I switch back to the 49T rear sprocket. I have been doing less and less trail riding and more and more multi-day dual sport riding so the 49T sprocket doesn't see a lot of use these days. I think I may try out 13T/45T next go around as swapping the front sprocket is much easier than the rear.

Well not much to say here, I am at 7500 miles on the bike and for the first 7k only did oil changes every 500 miles and cleaned the air filter whenever it looked dirty. Around 7k my front wheel bearings began squealing and I have replaced them and one of my fork seals is now leaking so I need to address that. I had neglected using a battery tender since I ride year round my battery is usually fairly fresh but it looks like it has bit the dust. The funny part was I used the kickstart exactly once when I first got the bike to make sure it it worked and haven't used it since. When my battery died it actually took me a couple minutes to remember I had the kickstart. Happily I have been riding all week while waiting for my new battery and it fires up in 1-2 kicks every time. I checked my valve clearances at 100 miles and adjusted them all to the loose end of the range. I checked them again at 6000 miles and they had all moved a little but were still on the loose end of spec.

I have a Wolfman Expedition tank bag and the Wolfman Enduro Fender Bag. I absolutely love the Tankbag, it isn't in the way, it is secured to the bike and has survived many crashes and though it is not water proof it has kept its contents dry through many deep water crossings and even a couple dunks in the river. The fender bag stays in place and carries my irons, beadlock and extra tube and patch kit. Not much to say about it other than I strongly recommend a fender brace if you are going to load yours up with that much weight. I have been wanting to try Wolfman's Saddle Bag Mount/Rollie Bag system or a Giant Loop but in the mean time I have just been packing my gear into my backpacking pack and wearing that. I kind of like having the weight on me and keeping the bike light and nimble.

Currently using the Trailtech X2... not impressed. My buddy has the dual sport version with the projector low beam vs. the reflector on mine. They both stink. They get the job done but anything over 35MPH and you are out riding your light. I am considering the BajaDesigns Squadron 4 LED light that fits into the stock CRF light housing. Anyone tried this one out?

I am using the Trailtech Vector. I have nothing bad to say about it, it works well and installation was fairly straight forward. I really like not having that stupid speed pickup that drives the stock Odometer. Just a spacer off a CRF250R and matching seal is all you need to remove it. The Trailtech dash uses a little magnetic pickup so the whole stock assembly can be removed. I do at times wish I would have opted for the Vapor dash for the tachometer but I like some of the functions of the Vector like the Max and Average speed records.

So far I am having a blast with the bike and I am already a little surprised at the mileage I have got out of it. With all the doomsday talk about valves on the internet I was expecting to be doing the top every single year but that has not been the case. I don't see myself ever going back to a big dual sport like the KLR, I think something along the lines of the new KTM 500 EXC will be the next bike I look at. I want to retain the lightness of the CRF but more torque and a wide 6 speed transmission would be nirvana.

So how about it, any other loonies out there dual sporting their CRF250X's?
2008 - KLR685 - Currently For Sale
2008 CRF250x - Street Legal Hooligan Machine
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Old 06-25-2012, 09:59 AM   #33
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Has anyone tried the Indian Creek Design oil cooler on their CRF250/450? I was looking at the IRP cooler but this one appears to be more tucked in (Potentially less cooling, but also seems more protected in a crash) and claims 15% increase in capacity vs. 10% for the IRP cooler.

Here's the link:

And here's the IRP cooler for Comparison:
2008 - KLR685 - Currently For Sale
2008 CRF250x - Street Legal Hooligan Machine
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Old 06-25-2012, 11:36 AM   #34
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Joined: Jul 2004
Location: Triangle
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I have had in descending order(DS bikes only)
KLX250S 2007
CRF250X 2007
DR650 2009
DRZ400 2004

Now on a KTM250 XCF-W 2008

I would NOT want to try to run the TAT on any of these bikes except the KLX250S and maybe the DR650. Yamaha makes a nice 250 as well.

My CRF was a great bike and a blast to ride in the woods. NO issues at all. Not a DS or street bike, IMO Too high strung.

The KTM is the same way. Awesome in the woods and trails. PITA on the road.

Just my 2 cents.

2008 KTM250-XCFW
2013 Beta 300 Trials
1966 Honda 305 Scrambler
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Old 06-25-2012, 12:05 PM   #35
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Was your DRZ400 an E or an S? I rode an S this past weekend and it struck me as a solid all-around DS bike. Light enough for most trails and felt totally comfortable humming along at 55-70 for a couple hours on the slab.
2008 - KLR685 - Currently For Sale
2008 CRF250x - Street Legal Hooligan Machine
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Old 02-07-2013, 07:53 PM   #36
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Joined: Jun 2010
Location: Goobertown, Arkansas
Oddometer: 547
CRF250X valve woes

I found lots of interesting opinions on here about the 250X and the reliability of the valves or lack there of. I've got a 2006 model that I bought new. I raced hare scrambles on it just a very few times before I sat it up. I had a 2004 XR250R that I prefered in the tight, technical trails in the Ozarks close to where I live (I also plated it but it wasn't up to much highway stuff). I've also had a couple of dual sports since then... a KLR650 and an XR650L that I still have. My riding over the past four years has been sporadic having had some medical issues (both hips replaced) and never ending business travel.

I say all that to say that my CRF has been collecting dust pretty much since my last hare scramble in February of 2009. It has very few hours on it and still has the original chain and sprockets all of which are in good condition. So now I'm healthy and changed positions at my job (less travel), so have spent the last few months un-moth balling it. New Q4, JD jetting kit, etc. have been installed and it runs like a dream. I adjusted the valves when it began to get reluctant to start somewhere around a year after I bought it. Last July, I decided to check the valves and the right hand intake was tight (.002")... the only one. I've ridden it probably four or five hours since then and found it hard to start this past weekend when I was about to change the oil before an upcoming race (my first since 2009). Checked my pilot thinking it had to be clogged, but it was clean. Decided to check the valves and found that same right hand intake was excessively tight again... couldn't get any gages under it. All others were in spec. Now I'm facing a dilemma... where can I go to get a turn key fix (parts and labor at a reasonable price)?

I have checked online and figure I can get a new set of Black Diamond Kibblewhites for around $160 from Rocky Mountain, a head gasket for about $17 but the spring kit was a little over $200. CaChing! Are there other reliable options? Pro-X? Others?

Acquiring the parts is easy, but we're lacking in reliable people who can do the valve seats around where I live. I'm leary to trust a shade tree mechanic with my head having been burned on that before. Does anyone have any recommendations on this? Does CRF's Only do machine work? Anyone closer to mid-America? The last place I had valves done was Thumper Racing down in Longview, Texas (not too far from where I live), but they're out of business. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Single-track fanatic
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Old 02-07-2013, 08:57 PM   #37
on the gas or brakes
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ship the head to Agent Smith Racing .. experts with the X
Thanks for the 2015 support: BELL HELMETS, SCOTT USA, Kriega USA, SEATCONCEPTS.COM , Galfer USA,, GPR stabilzers, Sidi/Motonation, Masters paint and body, Magura , Motolab , Loctite and Dunlop tires .
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Old 02-07-2013, 09:15 PM   #38
The CRF guy...
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Joined: Jan 2011
Location: SoCal
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What you have is the typical CRF valve issue. The coating on the Titanium valve wears off and the valve rapidly recedes into the seat. Usually you only get a couple hours on each shimming.

Kibblewhite's are a great solution. Their Black Diamond valves will hold up well on the 2006 head.

The stock exhaust valves are stainless steel from the factory and they almost never wear.
"Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day, light him on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life..."

AgentSmith screwed with this post 02-08-2013 at 12:29 PM
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Old 08-14-2014, 09:34 PM   #39
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Joined: Jan 2010
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Thumb Long Term Update

Well I dropped my trusty 08 CRF250x off today for a complete top end rebuild. Going with KibbleWhite SS Valves/Springs/Seals, Honda cotters for the head and Wiseco 13.5:1 Piston (Stock is 12.9:1).

She made it just a tick over 14k but the past 1.5-2k the engine has definitely felt beat and near the end I just gave up on valve adjustment, they were moving constantly. The past 500 miles the bike has been hard to start and will not idle. It is past due.

I am looking forward to a fresh motor and very curious to see how much low end stonk I gain with the high compression piston. I wanted to do a full suspension rebuild at this time with new springs and valving but unfortunately didn't give myself enough time between rides to get that done before the next one so that will become a winter project.

Since my last post here I have gone through another set of wheel bearings and a few rear tires, my front Kenda Trakmaster II tire seems to be impervious to wear and I am replacing it because the rubber is starting to get a little dry and stiff.

Before deciding to plunk down the cash to do this rebuild I seriously considered selling the CRF and switching to an EXC. In the end I couldn't justify the expense when the CRF has been such a great bike and my only real complaint is the lack of a 6th gear... which really bothers me more when I'm sitting here on the forums than it actually does while riding.

I'll post more when I get the bike back and I'll post up a ride report shortly after...

2008 - KLR685 - Currently For Sale
2008 CRF250x - Street Legal Hooligan Machine
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Old 08-15-2014, 01:41 AM   #40
Joined: Jul 2012
Location: El Portal, Ca
Oddometer: 2,456
Originally Posted by arkangel View Post
Never ridden one, but they look really good on paper! E-start, Wide ratio gearbox, really nice suspension, reliable motors.. I think the 250X will have PLENTY of power, but it may lack in the high end. I dont know how good it would be for a TAT bike considering some of the elevation/terrain on that type of ride. I would think the KLR would make more sense for TAT if you do buy the CRF. I am sure there are plenty of people who have done it on smaller bikes though!
Reliable motor? Except for the valves made of lead maybe. My buddy's valves move like crazy and I've never seen a bike that needs a new top end so frequently.
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Old 08-15-2014, 02:20 AM   #41
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Location: Kazakhstan
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I think I should also say that suspension will never be as soft as KLR
You will probably have to relearn how to ride on this one, maybe take a few MX lessons. But even if you won't, crf250x is still very light, nimble and has some bottom end power, enough to climb hills on singletracks and has some power when you rev it, more than any 250cc dual-sport like wr250R, which will outlive crf250X engine 3 or 4 times, street legal stock, but is heavy and underpowered
XR650R, CRF450X
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