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Discussion Starter #1
So I know there is a billion threads on this but what is the best year, I know the 04 and 05 have crank problems and I know the 06+ had weak transmissions, but if I want to spend 4000 or 4500 on a mint 450 then I dont want to be spending more money on it a month later, so which problem was worse, the transmission or the crank? and which is a cheaper fix? I plan on keeping it bone stock. Thanks
 

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Based only on the info you've have given us, IMO a crank bearing replacement on the 04-05's will be MUCH MUCH MUCH cheaper than transmission parts in an 06 and up R. OEM crank bearings are under 50 bucks I believe, so if you plan to do the replacement of (OEM bearings), or even catch it early (in my case) then cost wise it is very inexpensive. On the other hand, just the shafts for the transmission on a 06 and up are 100 bucks each...Cases have to be split to do either job and the rest of the motor should be gone through good in either case, while its apart. Doing that should give you pretty good piece of mind for longer than a month hopefully.
 

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So you think I should go with an 04 or 05, and what do you mean by "a Month hopefully" I thought once the crank went out then you could put in updated bearings and crank and they are good for a long time.
 

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IMO, if caught early or if you plan to do the bearings before something goes, like the case half and nothing else needs replacing, then yeah the 04-05 will be a lot less expensive. I say a month because if you were to over look something while your in there(oil pump, cam chain, etc.), or ignore inspecting the rest of the motor, karma would bite me in the ass, but yes after updating the bearings you shouldn't have that particular problem again. In my case, I bought a used 04 R a few years ago, very clean and well maintained, with no title for $1200. Did my homework on the bearing problems with R's of those years, prepared for it, and kept a close eye on my oil. Every ride I'd change oil, from a 2 minute ride to 2 hour ride and I would drain through a coffee filter. It lasted about 4 months and noticed the oil filter was packed with non metallic metal(aluminum case half), and brass from the big eye rod end washers from the crank walking. By the time I caught it, the crank bearings and case half was toast due to bearing failure(I probably could've re-used the old case half). Nothing else was damaged. I could have thrown in new bearings($60), maybe, maybe not replaced the case half($300), rebuilt the crank($50), and called it good. However, not knowing the history of the bike, and wanting peace of mind, I put in new APE head complete, HC stage II, 11.5 Weisco piston w/new rings, HR +3 crank, OEM bearings, honed the cylinder, even through the cross hatching was unblemished, new head gasket, cam chain, oil pump, etc. all that ran around $1400. That was 3 years ago I'm upwards of 350 lbs. and drive the piss out of it and haven't had a hiccup since the rebuild. I've only had to shim the valve lash 1 time since then. 1st pic was what the oil filter looked like. The 2nd picture shows the meat that was shaved away from the case half(shiny arcs around bottom of crank journal). Anyway, either way, good luck!
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151856
 

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I actually have one more question, is the crank problem way more common then the transmission problems if I'm just doing general dune riding and no racing? I dont want to have an older one that there is a great chance the crank is going to go out when I could of got a newer one and its extremely unlikely that I'm gonna grenade the transmission, but I also dont want to dump the clutch in second to fly up banshee hill and blow the transmission out. Which would you rather have?
 

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IMO, if caught early or if you plan to do the bearings before something goes, like the case half and nothing else needs replacing, then yeah the 04-05 will be a lot less expensive. I say a month because if you were to over look something while your in there(oil pump, cam chain, etc.), or ignore inspecting the rest of the motor, karma would bite me in the ass, but yes after updating the bearings you shouldn't have that particular problem again. In my case, I bought a used 04 R a few years ago, very clean and well maintained, with no title for $1200. Did my homework on the bearing problems with R's of those years, prepared for it, and kept a close eye on my oil. Every ride I'd change oil, from a 2 minute ride to 2 hour ride and I would drain through a coffee filter. It lasted about 4 months and noticed the oil filter was packed with non metallic metal(aluminum case half), and brass from the big eye rod end washers from the crank walking. By the time I caught it, the crank bearings and case half was toast due to bearing failure(I probably could've re-used the old case half). Nothing else was damaged. I could have thrown in new bearings($60), maybe, maybe not replaced the case half($300), rebuilt the crank($50), and called it good. However, not knowing the history of the bike, and wanting peace of mind, I put in new APE head complete, HC stage II, 11.5 Weisco piston w/new rings, HR +3 crank, OEM bearings, honed the cylinder, even through the cross hatching was unblemished, new head gasket, cam chain, oil pump, etc. all that ran around $1400. That was 3 years ago I'm upwards of 350 lbs. and drive the piss out of it and haven't had a hiccup since the rebuild. I've only had to shim the valve lash 1 time since then. 1st pic was what the oil filter looked like. The 2nd picture shows the meat that was shaved away from the case half(shiny arcs around bottom of crank journal). Anyway, either way, good luck!
View attachment 151857 View attachment 151856
IMO, if caught early or if you plan to do the bearings before something goes, like the case half and nothing else needs replacing, then yeah the 04-05 will be a lot less expensive. I say a month because if you were to over look something while your in there(oil pump, cam chain, etc.), or ignore inspecting the rest of the motor, karma would bite me in the ass, but yes after updating the bearings you shouldn't have that particular problem again. In my case, I bought a used 04 R a few years ago, very clean and well maintained, with no title for $1200. Did my homework on the bearing problems with R's of those years, prepared for it, and kept a close eye on my oil. Every ride I'd change oil, from a 2 minute ride to 2 hour ride and I would drain through a coffee filter. It lasted about 4 months and noticed the oil filter was packed with non metallic metal(aluminum case half), and brass from the big eye rod end washers from the crank walking. By the time I caught it, the crank bearings and case half was toast due to bearing failure(I probably could've re-used the old case half). Nothing else was damaged. I could have thrown in new bearings($60), maybe, maybe not replaced the case half($300), rebuilt the crank($50), and called it good. However, not knowing the history of the bike, and wanting peace of mind, I put in new APE head complete, HC stage II, 11.5 Weisco piston w/new rings, HR +3 crank, OEM bearings, honed the cylinder, even through the cross hatching was unblemished, new head gasket, cam chain, oil pump, etc. all that ran around $1400. That was 3 years ago I'm upwards of 350 lbs. and drive the piss out of it and haven't had a hiccup since the rebuild. I've only had to shim the valve lash 1 time since then. 1st pic was what the oil filter looked like. The 2nd picture shows the meat that was shaved away from the case half(shiny arcs around bottom of crank journal). Anyway, either way, good luck!
View attachment 151857 View attachment 151856
I actually have one more question, is the crank problem way more common then the transmission problems if I'm just doing general dune riding and no racing? I dont want to have an older one that there is a great chance the crank is going to go out when I could of got a newer one and its extremely unlikely that I'm gonna grenade the transmission, but I also dont want to dump the clutch in second to fly up banshee hill and blow the transmission out. Which would you rather have?
 

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Ridden both. I find the 06+ a better overall quad. I will say the oil cooler and trans are better on the 04-05 however. But the 06 makes more power and responds better to simple mods than the 05 does
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ridden both. I find the 06+ a better overall quad. I will say the oil cooler and trans are better on the 04-05 however. But the 06 makes more power and responds better to simple mods than the 05 does
So in your honest opinion, what year do you think is the best and why, and how common is a crank failure on an 05 compared to the transmission failure of the 06
 

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So in your honest opinion, what year do you think is the best and why, and how common is a crank failure on an 05 compared to the transmission failure of the 06
All of the cranks no matter the year will fail. Just a matter of time. I like the 06 better. Yes the starter clutch can fail and that’s about it. I rode mine hard and the crank finally failed and then I replaced the trans gears. I had well over 250 hours on it and I don’t ride easy. The power is just better in the newer ones
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Ok, I've heard a lot about the transmissions being weak in the 06 but then I only ever see the newer 06 and up 450s at the dunes, so that made me wonder
 

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The gears themselves were just worn, not damaged otherwise.
 

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Buy whatever you want. There is absolutely no way you can be certain that whatever quad you buy the crank, transmission, clutch, or headlight bulb will or will not go out at any time. I’ve seen many Failures over the years, and both are pretty ugly, but you deal with it and rebuild it. When my ‘05 was fairly new the crank went, but my buddy who bought his at about the same time never had an issue with his and rode it many years until he sold it. You just never know.
 

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Another option is to replace the crank bearings before failure, see what else if anything needs replacing, and send the trans parts in for a cryo-treating. And yes the 06 and up have better response and respond better to upgrades as CJM stated above, their transmission parts are softer though. However, in your original post you said you wanted to keep it stock, so easier to upgrade wasn't part of the original topic.
 

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Another option is to replace the crank bearings before failure, see what else if anything needs replacing, and send the trans parts in for a cryo-treating. And yes the 06 and up have better response and respond better to upgrades as CJM stated above, their transmission parts are softer though. However, in your original post you said you wanted to keep it stock, so easier to upgrade wasn't part of the original topic.
The above goes for any year bought used.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Another option is to replace the crank bearings before failure, see what else if anything needs replacing, and send the trans parts in for a cryo-treating. And yes the 06 and up have better response and respond better to upgrades as CJM stated above, their transmission parts are softer though. However, in your original post you said you wanted to keep it stock, so easier to upgrade wasn't part of the original topic.
Which year would be the best for me, I'm 16 and I plan to spend no more than 4000 and if something does fail i dont want to have to spend a million dollars fixing it, I'm still thinking 04 or 05 but what do you think
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Also my dad's friend has an 07 er with low hours that he would let go for cheap, 1500 to 2000 range. He is the second owner and the first owner is his friend, I dont know much about it but it's not too clean and it needs some work, but it's been taken care of
 

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Which year would be the best for me, I'm 16 and I plan to spend no more than 4000 and if something does fail i dont want to have to spend a million dollars fixing it, I'm still thinking 04 or 05 but what do you think
I feel you think that the 4k you spend on a bike will be the only money you'll have to spend throughout owning one of these machines. If so, let me stop you here. I've answered your question, you want a mint 450R, its going to run you all of that 4k, now you have a bike that could easily blow up tomorrow, or just as likely make it another 250 hours. I bought clean and cheap, looked like it had VERY few hours, crank started to go soon after. I spent my money, replacing everything that could go internally, all at once. All that for around 3k and she's still running strong. That doesn't include the price of replacing wear items. You got tires, brake pads, rims, clutch plates, water pump, etc. Lack of attention to, or poor maintenance practices will lead to costly repairs that could be avoided with diligence. So, I would make that decision first, do you have the time, resources, capital to take care of it, because these bikes require all 3 of those. I had/have the tools, the shop, the time, etc. , the direction and knowledge came from this site. So, if you have all those things, find you a used bike that's got a toasted motor for cheap cheap, take your time, go through it and rebuild from bottom up the way you want it, or just overhaul it with stock components. This way you know how much abuse the parts have and if something breaks theirs no need to point fingers, take it apart, go through it, find your mistake or failure, and continue. You will gain a decade or 2 in maturity, and this practice can be implemented in any instances on or off life's road!
 

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Also my dad's friend has an 07 er with low hours that he would let go for cheap, 1500 to 2000 range. He is the second owner and the first owner is his friend, I dont know much about it but it's not too clean and it needs some work, but it's been taken care of
Well if their still friends that tells you something, the 400 ER's or EX's require much less maintenance and upkeep than the 450 R's.
 
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