Hi Dr Phil: I have been riding dirt bikes for many years but mainly racing Motocross – I was second in the Victorian state champs in 2000, so can still ride at A grade level these days. Now a bit older at 32 and living in Broome, WA, I’m doing a lot more trail riding and have purchased an '08 CRF450X with 1100km on it. I fitted a full Yoshi system, Hot-Cam stage 2, rejetted with standard 450R jets (165 main, R needle one clip up from middle position and standard pilot jet), plus I've also opened up the air box as much as possible, and did the pink wire mod, which I don’t think did anything. It does seem to hit the rev limiter easy. Are they limited lower than the R model? I'm still doing some local club MX these days and I still want more snap out of it, to clear obstacles. I raced an '05 CRF450R for a couple of years and still ride my mates' 450Rs – I just want that same sort of power out of the X. Can you help with any other suggestions?
-- Cameron Schultz, via www.trailzone.com.au
We couldn’t think of anybody better to answer your questions, Cameron, than legend Honda tuner and GHR Honda race team boss, Glenn Hoffmann, who promptly fired back this reply:
"The 450x is certainly capable of making equal power to the R model, Cameron, as our Safari X model race bikes are every bit as quick as our Finke 450 R models. GHR has never used a Yoshi or Hot Cams so I cannot comment on these personally. I would suggest that the ignition is still standard and that big gains could be had from calling Richard at Vortex ignitions. On a second note you have mentioned that the bike is hitting the rev limit quickly, yet is having trouble clearing obstacles on the MX track. I don’t know what gearing you have on the X, but if it is original you may find that it is to short at 13/51. Instead 13/48 may give you more drive with less gear changes and allow you to be carrying more speed at the take-off point, which should help clear those obstacles. AJ Roberts has spent a lot of time on CRF450Rs in enduro trim and he was amazed at how quick our Rallye 450X models are. The 450X is an amazing bike that continues to surprise us with its reliability and outright performance. The power is there, but it might still be hiding a bit without the ignition to match the other goodies you have purchased. Big reliable power is achieved when all components are working together. Good luck with it!"
-- Glenn Hoffmann, GHR/Dirtbike, via www.dirtbike.com.au