CRF450R: baja 500 or not?

Giovanni289x

Active Member
Hello everyone, im planning to compete in the Baja 500 with my friends, its our first time and i want to know if you recommend me to use the Crf450r in Baja 500, I ask for your advice and recommendations.
Thank you all
 

DG_BTI

Well-Known Member
I have a ton of experience trying to make an R legit off road. Going to say NO. Chassis is too stiff and you cant change that. Can you? yes, but would I?, no way. If that's your only choice, then have a legit suspension shop set up your suspension. Precision Concepts, AHM. Drill holes in engine mounts, ask someone where. You need an 18" rear, tank, stabilizer and 14/47 gearing most likely. PM me if you need any advice.
 

AngryShawn

Well-Known Member
At least here in Ca, there are plenty of used crf450x out there, and with a few mods you'd be good to go.
 

BigBlue&Goldie

Well-Known Member
I have a ton of experience trying to make an R legit off road. Going to say NO. Chassis is too stiff and you cant change that. Can you? yes, but would I?, no way. If that's your only choice, then have a legit suspension shop set up your suspension. Precision Concepts, AHM. Drill holes in engine mounts, ask someone where. You need an 18" rear, tank, stabilizer and 14/47 gearing most likely. PM me if you need any advice.
For us non-bike guys, can you explain why a stiff chassis is a bad thing? Also, are you saying you'd want to soften up the engine mounts as well?
 

jeff

Moderator
Single word response. NO

I've got a 450R that's plated. Stator upgrade. Scotts damper. Baja Designs Squadron Pro. Big fuel tank. 18" rear. Changed the drive ratio... had the suspension setup for my 200 lbs + gear. It's still a terrible wide open desert bike. And it's even worse on the pavement when you want / need to run fast. You have to rev the crap out of it to keep up with the X's and even if you keep up you burn through fuel like crazy. And it doesn't even have the magic button!

Aloha
 

Giovanni289x

Active Member
I have a ton of experience trying to make an R legit off road. Going to say NO. Chassis is too stiff and you cant change that. Can you? yes, but would I?, no way. If that's your only choice, then have a legit suspension shop set up your suspension. Precision Concepts, AHM. Drill holes in engine mounts, ask someone where. You need an 18" rear, tank, stabilizer and 14/47 gearing most likely. PM me if you need any advice.
At this point my only option is the 450R, considering that its our first BAJA the main goal is to finish the race, do you think the bike could finish the race without problems?
 

Giovanni289x

Active Member
Single word response. NO

I've got a 450R that's plated. Stator upgrade. Scotts damper. Baja Designs Squadron Pro. Big fuel tank. 18" rear. Changed the drive ratio... had the suspension setup for my 200 lbs + gear. It's still a terrible wide open desert bike. And it's even worse on the pavement when you want / need to run fast. You have to rev the crap out of it to keep up with the X's and even if you keep up you burn through fuel like crazy. And it doesn't even have the magic button!

Aloha
Thanks bro
 

cjohnson

Well-Known Member
The X is better suited to desert racing but the 450R is a great bike. As reliable as they come and is a good desert racer. Get the Scotts damper, suspension tune, desert tank, bib mousse and have some fun. Of course there is no guarantee anybody will finish the Baja 500. If you got a fuel injected R make sure it has the new Honda fuel filter. The 2009 and maybe the 2010 had too restrictive of a filter that clogged easily. I have desert raced both the X and the R. They each have their pros and cons. The electric start on the X is definitely a plus when you're tired but the extra weight wears on you during a long race. The new hot ticket is the 450RX. Best of both worlds.
 

DG_BTI

Well-Known Member
For us non-bike guys, can you explain why a stiff chassis is a bad thing? Also, are you saying you'd want to soften up the engine mounts as well?
a crf450R is a moto bike. It is built to turn quick and go corner to corner. The rigidity keeps the bike straight and less wallow in the chassis, precise steering. It is not forgiving off road. A crf450X has more flex built into the chassis. This is what you want off road to have a relaxed feel while hauling over trail hack. Less deflection hitting rocks, more planted feel. As far as frame mounts you can change the "stiffness" of the chassis by simply drilling a 1/4" hole in the engine hangers. Allows more flex. Also, the R has a close ratio gearbox as the X is wide ratio. I can go on and on...I have a lot of tricks thanks to friends who have won just a few Baja races, haha
 

cjohnson

Well-Known Member
One more thing to add. Lights. For the Baja 500 you might not finish before dark. The X has the advantage here because it already has lights but you have to add more anyway.
 

cjohnson

Well-Known Member
a crf450R is a moto bike. It is built to turn quick and go corner to corner. The rigidity keeps the bike straight and less wallow in the chassis, precise steering. It is not forgiving off road. A crf450X has more flex built into the chassis. This is what you want off road to have a relaxed feel while hauling over trail hack. Less deflection hitting rocks, more planted feel. As far as frame mounts you can change the "stiffness" of the chassis by simply drilling a 1/4" hole in the engine hangers. Allows more flex. Also, the R has a close ratio gearbox as the X is wide ratio. I can go on and on...I have a lot of tricks thanks to friends who have won just a few Baja races, haha
This is true however the suspension tuning/setting will swamp out any effect of frame stiffness. Even tire pressure and handle bar/riser/bar end is a bigger effect. This is like the argument about Monster speaker wire. Maybe in some ultimate case frame stiffness might play a role but in the real world it's a very minor factor.
 

pgarfinkle

Well-Known Member
At this point my only option is the 450R, considering that its our first BAJA the main goal is to finish the race, do you think the bike could finish the race without problems?
Yes, it can.

While the X is a better bike in a lot of ways for Baja the R can and does work.

I have an R set up for BITD races and it has finished just about every race and those it hasn't, haven't been due to it being an R. Several of those finishes have been on the podium. It has a reworked stator with Baja Designs light, IMS tank, Precision Concepts Suspension, Scotts stabilizer, gearing that is changed based on the race, some engine mods, excel wheels and a handful of little things here and there. (Yes, I know BITD is far from Baja).

I have also ridden with guys on Rs in Baja while I was on my X. They didn't have any issues after several days of riding and hundreds of miles.

If you are starting from starch, go for the X. If your only option is the R, it can and will work quite well.
 

stewwalker

Well-Known Member
You can finish on any bike. We take an '06 R and '17 RX to Baja. 500+ miles each trip. Our bikes haven't left us stranded so far. Lots of parts swap over from X's to R's. As for the comfort and reving the bike constantly, you cant get around it. An X is ideal.

My '06 R only has a Scott's damper, filter skins, kickstand, big tank, and we go softer on the fork and shock springs. Push the forks down in the triple clamps and stretch the chain out so you get a bit more wheel base. It works for us...
 

Giovanni289x

Active Member
a crf450R is a moto bike. It is built to turn quick and go corner to corner. The rigidity keeps the bike straight and less wallow in the chassis, precise steering. It is not forgiving off road. A crf450X has more flex built into the chassis. This is what you want off road to have a relaxed feel while hauling over trail hack. Less deflection hitting rocks, more planted feel. As far as frame mounts you can change the "stiffness" of the chassis by simply drilling a 1/4" hole in the engine hangers. Allows more flex. Also, the R has a close ratio gearbox as the X is wide ratio. I can go on and on...I have a lot of tricks thanks to friends who have won just a few Baja races, haha
Thanks!!
 

Giovanni289x

Active Member
Yes, it can.

While the X is a better bike in a lot of ways for Baja the R can and does work.

I have an R set up for BITD races and it has finished just about every race and those it hasn't, haven't been due to it being an R. Several of those finishes have been on the podium. It has a reworked stator with Baja Designs light, IMS tank, Precision Concepts Suspension, Scotts stabilizer, gearing that is changed based on the race, some engine mods, excel wheels and a handful of little things here and there. (Yes, I know BITD is far from Baja).

I have also ridden with guys on Rs in Baja while I was on my X. They didn't have any issues after several days of riding and hundreds of miles.

If you are starting from starch, go for the X. If your only option is the R, it can and will work quite well.
Thanks!!
 

Giovanni289x

Active Member
You can finish on any bike. We take an '06 R and '17 RX to Baja. 500+ miles each trip. Our bikes haven't left us stranded so far. Lots of parts swap over from X's to R's. As for the comfort and reving the bike constantly, you cant get around it. An X is ideal.

My '06 R only has a Scott's damper, filter skins, kickstand, big tank, and we go softer on the fork and shock springs. Push the forks down in the triple clamps and stretch the chain out so you get a bit more wheel base. It works for us...
Nice!!
 

Chainguide

Well-Known Member
This is true however the suspension tuning/setting will swamp out any effect of frame stiffness. Even tire pressure and handle bar/riser/bar end is a bigger effect. This is like the argument about Monster speaker wire. Maybe in some ultimate case frame stiffness might play a role but in the real world it's a very minor factor.
I am sorry but I will have to disagree. I have had numerous 450x's as pre-runners and have raced a dozen professional prepped 450X race bikes. I also have a 2017 R that i was forced to use as a prerunner for the 2018 Baja 500. My suspension is set up for Big 6 Grand Prix racing and my engine hangars are drilled so it's softer than a moto-X setting. Anyway , it beat the crap out of me. The frame is way TOO STIFF for Baja. Yes it can be done but I would never do it again.
 
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