2019 CRF450L Mod and Farkle Fest

Discussion in 'Mechanics Garage' started by NorcalBoy, May 29, 2020.

  1. NorcalBoy

    NorcalBoy Member

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    I had been wanting a new dual sport moto for awhile and I eventually decided on the CRF450L. The CRF tilts more to the dirt side of things and is basically an amalgamation of the CRF450RX and the CRF450X. I waited until the 2020's came out and began sniffing around for a deal on a leftover 2019. I was fortunate enough to find one at Western Honda in Phoenix, AZ for the crazy ass price of $7871 + the bloat fees, taxes and registration. OTD was right around $9,000...which is a decent savings, considering these bikes list for $10,399 + the bloat fees, taxes, and registration.

    I drove to Phoenix, paid the man and threw it in the back of my Taco, drove it to mi casa and put it in the garage. I had already determined what my budget was going to be to get it exactly how I envisioned it. So here we go off on another mission. The plan was simple...throw a little money at some parts and see what happens.

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    I had read a little bit about the moto, what people were bitching about, what they liked, and what folks were doing to theirs. I developed a half assed battle plan.

    First thing was to set the sag, which had to be done because I didn't even compress the suspension when I sat on it....hmmm, supposed to have 4" of sag...and I had about a 1/2". The stock spring settings were for a rider weighing 165-175 pounds. Doubted I was going to get it right, but tried anyway...nope, not even close. When I was finally able to get the 4" of race sag, the static sag was way off. Just as I suspected, gonna need lighter springs...bummer.

    I'm a fucking midget, so the 38" of seat height needed to be attacked and adjusted to something a bit more reasonable. First thing was to order up a Seat Concepts seat, which they gave the catchy name of Low, Comfort, Race Seat. This seat is an inch lower in height and not shaped and feeling like sitting on a friggin' 2x4.

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    I decided on buying the complete seat and not dicking around with a kit. The seat took 3 weeks to arrive, but I have to say it's pretty decent. That should fix that problem. The next thing to do was to rip out the suspension and send it off to my good friends at Fast Bike Industries to get lowered 30mm and to get the right springs and valving in place. Dave Behrends and Burch are awesome cats and they did a pretty amazing job with the forks they built for my RVF400 and the Nitron race shock they set up for the ass end of that moto.

    Due to my schedule, I had exactly one day to rip the moto apart and extract the suspension and get it sent out.

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    Took a bit of doing, the machine has a lot of stuff packed into a very tight package. With the guidance of Senor FSM, I got it extracted with minimal fuss.

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    Got it all packaged up and sent it on it's way. Mission accomplished.

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    Due to a little jinky action on the part of UPS, the shock tracking number popped up the next day...good, on it's way...punched in the tracking number for the forks...and WTF? tracking number doesn't exist. JFC, here we go, it was Memorial Day weekend, so I waited until Tuesday and called my UPS Store folks to find out the dealio...received a non answer as to their location and was told to check it again after 6 PM. Lo and behold, a label was printed at exactly 6pm...... three days after the shock label got printed. OK, at least they weren't lost already. The shock arrived at Fast Bike Industries today, but the forks have only made it to Jackson, MS and won't be delivered until next Tuesday. Shit happens.

    I had planned on stripping the bike down, greasing everything, and torquing everything to the factory specs. I always do this. After seeing the front wheel bearings and axle with exactly zero grease, I just had to laugh.

    In the meantime I have been ordering a whole laundry list of parts. First thing was to get a set of Pro Taper 1 1/8" bars, in my preferred Carmichael bend (fellow midget), magnesium color, and billet 1 1/8" bar mounts...the OEM Honda mounts are only 7/8". These arrived the same time as the seat.

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    I have since ordered a whole stack of parts that have arrived at my PO Box, or will arrive next week. I plan on doing as much as I can next Saturday with what I have in hand. The FMF Megabomb header is backordered, but I should have the FMF Q4 muffler and Vortex ECU in hand. There are too many new bits going into this to list them here now.

    I will start by pulling the headstock, rear wheel, suspension linkage, and swingarm and greasing it all up good and getting that back together, while also installing the new bits I have in hand as I go. I doubt I will have the suspension back, but I should be able to make some decent progress. I have a lot of decent tricks planned for this thing and I will post vanity pics of the mods and document my trials and tribulations as I go. Need to have this thing done by the tail end of June, as my RVF engine should be done about that time and I don't need two motos in pieces at the same time.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2020
  2. raYzerman

    raYzerman Insider

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    Now where's the fun in keeping parts separated? :Rockon:
     
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  3. NorcalBoy

    NorcalBoy Member

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    Received a message from FMF...the Megabomb header is now back in stock and will get shipped next week, so I have that going for me. I have already ordered a couple new exhaust gaskets from my parts guy at Musselman's Honda (shameless plug).

    This morning I ordered the Vortex ECU-8G with the map switch and the FMF Q4 muffler from Tokyo Mods. I'm hoping that these parts are in stock and that I won't be waiting...but the Vortex website is showing them with a 1-2 week lead time. With any luck Tokyo Mods will have one in stock, other wise it will be waiting for one to ship from Australia. The Vortex ECU's are pricey but they are completely programmable and can be custom mapped on a dyno. They come pre mapped with 10 different maps and the switch allows you to switch between two of those 10 installed maps on the fly. I put one of these on my supermoto when I did the full build on that.

    The Q4 muffler is USFS approved and has a spark arrestor, which I will need in some of the areas around my casa where I will be riding offroad. It drops the weight of the stock can, while still being quiet. Have one of these on my sumo and they really let the moto breathe, shave a bunch of excess weight, and still remain stealthy. The Twin Air filter, full FMF system, and the ECU will definitely be a big improvement, eliminating flame outs and jerky low speed throttle, cleaning up the stock lean condition, and letting the engine rip like it should. Vortex claims an 8 hp increase, with the exhaust and full system.

    Vortex : https://www.vortexcdi.com/model_product.php?product=56&model=271&mp_id=4273&flag=1

    I have also been working with Colton Udall at Champion Adventures to source one of his thermostat and smog delete kits. This mod requires me to send the funky 4 way water pump outlet to him, so he can modify it and then he sends it back with the rest of the kit. It's a really nice kit that comes with a new billet fitting to replace the thermostat housing and all the bits to remove the charcoal canister and the EGR solenoid. This also lowers the operating temperatures of the engine. I ordered all new o-rings to do this when I ordered the exhaust gaskets. I sourced a new silicone radiator hose kit from Moto Hose and I'll do it all at the same time.

    Champion Adventures: https://www.championadventures.com/product-page/ca-coolant-outlet-kit
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2020
  4. Captain 80s

    Captain 80s Member

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    Yay! That's some tasty shit right there. So fucking jealous.

    Every new bike should be disassembled, inspected and properly greased up.
     
  5. NorcalBoy

    NorcalBoy Member

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    OK, so I started off just wanting to do a couple small ergo type things to this moto....but that idea has been summarily trashed and I have spent the better part of two weeks ordering up a bunch of bits and pieces. Everything has been delivered, but unfortunately, I don't have the ability to start working on it this week. I figured I would post a list of the parts that I have to install.

    Controls:

    Ricky Carmichael Bend ProTaper Bars in magnesium color
    ProTaper 1 1/8" Bar Mounts
    ProTaper Black Raceline 2.0 Square bar pad
    G2 Ergonomics Throttle Tamer
    Domino Grips
    Zeta Racing Revolver Shift Lever
    Hammerhead Forged Brake Pedal Kit
    Ti Brake Tip Hammerhead Brake Pedal
    Faast Company Rear Brake Clevis
    Faast Company Rear Brake Return Spring Kit
    Seat Concepts Low Race Comfort Seat
    Nihilo Frame Grip Tape
    Works Connection Billet Steering Stem Nut
    Cycra Ultra Probend Handguards

    Engine

    Vortex 8G ECU
    Vortex Dual Map Bar Switch
    FMF CRF450X Q4 Muffler
    FMF CRF450X Megabomb Header
    Warp 9 Muffler Protector
    TwinAir Dual Stage Filter
    Moto Hose Silicone Radiator Hoses
    Champion Adventures Thermostat and Smog Delete Kit
    Works Connection Billet Radiator Plug
    Works Connection Billet Engine Plug
    Works Connection Billet Oil Filter Cover
    Zeta Racing Sprocket Cover
    Zeta Racing Clutch Cable Bracket
    ProBolt Etched Aluminum Clutch Cover Bolts - Eliminates Sound deadening OEM Plastic Covers and Rubbers
    Pro Bolt Etched Aluminum Left Sidecase Bolts - Eliminates Sound deadening OEM Plastic Covers and Rubbers
    ProBolt Etched Aluminum Right Sidecase Bolts - Eliminates Sound deadening OEM Plastic Covers and Rubbers
    ProBolt Aluminum and Ti Airbox Hardware

    Chassis & Driveline

    Flatland Racing License Plate Holder
    TM Designworks Power Lip Chain Rollers
    Zeta Racing Heel Guard
    Zeta Racing Chain Guide
    Works Connection Rear Caliper Guard
    Works Connection Rear Master Cylinder Guard
    Works Connection Rear Master Cover
    Works Connection Billet Axle Blocks
    CRF's Only Billet Wheel Spacers
    Seal Savers
    Fast Bike Industries 30mm Lowered Supension with New Springs and Valving

    I have a few things I still wanna do to it, skidplate, DID ERVT chain and Dirt Trix ultralight steel sprockets, a rear rack, IMS 3 gallon tank, and a Scott's damper, but I figure I will get around to those at some point in the future. Kinda need to get this list installed and ride it first. First thing is to disassemble it and grease everything, then install all of the bits as I put it back together. Hoping to get crackin' on this in the next week, or so. Don't have an ETA on the suspension yet.....
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2020
  6. NorcalBoy

    NorcalBoy Member

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    After not being able to wrench on the CRF for about a month, I have this weekend to start in on the effort. I don't have the suspension back yet, an airbox part from Service Honda that is getting modded is back ordered until 6/21, and the 4 way water fitting got sent out to today to Colton Udall for the thermostat and smog delete. Once he gets the part, he modifies it, then sends back the entire kit for the install...plus I get $40 back for sending it in.

    In the last four weeks I have ordered and received a pile of parts, and I'll be working this weekend to get everything I can completed.

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    I'll post up some progress pics, once I get going this evening.
     
  7. Diving Pete

    Diving Pete Member

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  8. Captain 80s

    Captain 80s Member

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    That's quite the table of goodies so far. Nice
    2ee6c89af0adf8d284147474021b5bd7.gif
     
  9. NorcalBoy

    NorcalBoy Member

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    OK, actually made some progress today. Got up early slammed a few coffees and got after it. Needed to get after it, I only had two days available to work on it, today and tomorrow

    Started out by disassembling the goofy 4 way fitting on the water pump yesterday. This bike has a thermostat and a bunch of other smog shit that's going away.

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    This morning it was time to start disassembling everything in the rear suspension to get it greased correctly. First things first, cut the chain off and started ripping it apart.

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    Got the swingarm, link rods, and the dogbone pulled out...sure enough, barely a touch of grease on all of it. So I stripped them down, greased everything and put them back together.

    Ran into this little gem of engineering..in order to remove the left link rod, you have to remove the footpeg and the mounting bracket with the sidestand...not so nifty

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    Fought through that and got everything spearated and greased.

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    Time to reasemble.

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    Added some TM Designworks Power Lip chain rollers, as the stockers didn't have bearings. I ripped off the stock rear sprocket with all of it's sound deadening shit and replaced it with a Dirt Tricks sprocket. These sprockets are steel, but they have the same weight as an aluminum sprocket and they come with a 2 year unconditional warranty.

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    Got the sprocket on and torqued up

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    Greased up the wheel bearings and added some blingy billet aluminum wheel spacers from CRF's Only to make it pop

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    One thing I learned a long time ago about the chain adjusters on CR's and CRF's, first thing is to pull them out and apply anti seize and reinstall. If you don't do this, you will be trying to extract them later, when they seize up in the swingarm. Don't ask me how I know...

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    Installed works Connection billet axle blocks.

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    Got the wheel installed and started working on the brakes. Ripped out the stock plastic brake switch and bracket. Made up a new one with a Goodrich pressure banjo bolt and 90* boot, with a Sumitomo HX 040 connector to make it connect just like OEM.

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    Installed a Hammerhead Racing forged aluminum brake pedal with a ti tip and a Faast Company billet clevis

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    End of Part 1...
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2020
  10. NorcalBoy

    NorcalBoy Member

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    Part 2

    Replaced the stock plastic disc guard with a TM Designworks part.

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    Got everything reassembled and got my bleed on....

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    Once it was bled, topped off the rear master cylinder with a billet Works Connection cover. The pressure switch and removing the OEM plastic sound deadening covers off the engine cases really cleans up the swingarm pivot area of the engine

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    Added Works Connection rear master and caliper guards to put the finishing touches on it.

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    Added a DID 520 ERVT gold chain, Zeta Racing billet heal guard, and chain guide. The OEM heal guard is massive and plastic. This cleans up that whole area.

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    Also added a Zeta Racing revolver adjustable tip shifter and countershaft sprocket cover to replace the plastic piece.

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    I have to ditch the plastic sound deadening cover on this side. Waiting on bolts. I am replacing all of the case cover bolts with Pro Bolt etched aluminum bolts in black...it's a slow roll from the UK with COVID. They are saying two weeks. I'm also going to be yanking that smog can and all the other junk packed in where the carb would be, which should really clean it up.

    Tomorrow I'm gonna be fighting with the headstock to get that all greased up. This thing is packaged super tight and it can be a little bit of a pain to do some things. It's more figuring out the sequence and the shortcuts, than anything else.

    I hope somebody gets some use out of this, rofl.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2020
  11. raYzerman

    raYzerman Insider

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    I'll hang in until you think you're finished, then ship it to me and I'll give you an extended non-judgemental (key word 'mental', LOL) unconditional independent review. Could take a while, but I'm worth it.........
     
  12. lsc86

    lsc86 New Member

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    Was your's a Cali model or do all of them come with the EGR and emissions crap now?
     
  13. NorcalBoy

    NorcalBoy Member

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    Day two of the thrash.

    Started out by staring this rat's nest straight in the eye. This all had to be moved to check the grease in the steering stem

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    Consulted ye olde FSM and got after it.

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    Used my hand crafted special deep castle nut socket that was fabricated for me by a friend, got it all apart and....hahahahahahaha, zero grease on the top bearing and minimal on the bottom.

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    Got everything packed up good with new grease.

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    Worked on the top triple to get it set up for 1 1/8" bar clamps for the Pro Taper's I'm gonna be using

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    Got the clamps installed and torqued up and reconnected all of the wiring. I'll have to wait until the forks come back to do the final adjustment of the steering stem nut tension and to mount up the bars and controls so they aren't in the way. Finished it off with a Works Connection top clamp nut.

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    Removed the tank to get ready for the IMS 3,0 gallon tank that's on the way and started the preparation for the Thermostat delete and the smog removal.
     
  14. NorcalBoy

    NorcalBoy Member

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    Proceeded to the preparation for the thermo and smog delete. Started at the solenoid for the charcoal canister.

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    Got the thermo housing and the solenoid removed

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    Test fit the Moto Hose kit and when it was all positioned, I pulled off the thermo housing.

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    The Champion Adventures kit really cleans up the entire engine and gets rid of the clutter. It will look really decent when it's done, nice and clean.

    I attacked the rest of the smog stuff. Started out looking like this.

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    Removed the canister and the plastic oil catch can thing.

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    It is now ready to bolt the kit on and getting it buttoned up, but it really is going to clean everything up nice. I reused part of the canister mount for the brake light switch that was modified yesterday. Turned out OK.

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    Now it's just a waiting game on the suspension and the delete kit so I can button it up. Have a few tricks coming when that happens. Another couple of days of wrenching and she should be ready for a little rip in the desert.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2020
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  15. NorcalBoy

    NorcalBoy Member

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    My final acts for this weekend are keeping with the farkle fest theme.

    The left radiator comes with a plastic plug in the top of it. So I went with the theme and put in a Works Connection billet plug and a new OEM oring.

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    Went with a Zeta Racing clutch cable bracket to go with the other Zeta shit on the left side of the engine.

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    Removed the boring OEM timing plug from the engine cover and replaced it with a.....you guessed it, billet plug from Works Connection. Really want to see the engine cases with the black bolts from Pro Bolt, should be OK.

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    And that wrapped up the activities in the garage for awhile. Prolly be back to it 4th of July weekend, if all the bits show up. That will be the good stuff...performance type stuff, no more fluff. Well, maybe a little, lol.
     
  16. NorcalBoy

    NorcalBoy Member

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    They are all the same these days.
     
  17. lsc86

    lsc86 New Member

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    Gotta love EPA....they're the government, here to help.... o_O

    Sweet looking dp though, still can't believe there was virtually no grease from the factory build...I mean really, it's a bearing! Expected bit more from Honda for sure.
     
  18. NorcalBoy

    NorcalBoy Member

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    I have seen the same situation in every new moto I've ever purchased. I have gotten in the habit of completely tearing down any new, or new to me, moto and completely going through it. Comes from years racing mx and desert and the preparations required for that. I just transitioned the same practices to street motos too. I know it has to be done, it's just a part of the purchase now.

    As far as the EPA, I'm very sure there are plenty of folks that don't agree with me disabling all of the smog equipment. That's on me. Also on me, is the fact that I don't exactly care about it. Euro regs are worse than US regs, so I have that going for me.
     
  19. Captain 80s

    Captain 80s Member

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    Nice and tidy. Looks sweet.

    I have always disassembled new to me bikes. My out of the crate XR400R didn't have any real surprises but a little sparse. Man was it nice to pack everything with Bel Ray water proof grease before getting muddy. I also pop the seals off of new sealed wheel bearings and pack them. I think they use hummingbird beaks for quantity applicator on some.
     
  20. NorcalBoy

    NorcalBoy Member

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    I have some new ceramic bearings, Lightning Yellow Seals, for the front and rear, but I'm going to wait a bit before I drop them in. I already prepped the bearings and I figured I would use them for awhile. the Boca ceramic's come fully packed with special grease and are lifetime maintenance free. the next time it's time to regrease, I'll swap them.
     
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