Friday, December 8, 2006


Hard to believe I would use the excuse of being too busy to make a journal entry in 12 days, a record. But since my neighbor Bill has been back we have been spending allot of time in the desert on the quads and dirt bikes. We even traded up for a while and Bill rode my Suzuki DRZ400 while I tried out his Honda CRF450x. The Honda is a very powerful and rides very high up only allowing your tip toes to touch the ground. Over all Although the CRF was lighter and more agile then my DRZ, the power was much harder to control as it uses the race model engine which is very abrupt. The Honda was also very harsh on the trail due again to its stiff race suspension and very small hard seat, it was also too tall for rocky and sandy trail use where putting your foot down to balance is necessary. Bill’s take on my Suzuki DRZ was that it had a very comfortable plush ride and is low enough to put his feet down flat with the power being powerful but very controllable unlike his CRF which only had two modes fast and really fast. His only negative comment was that he could feel the extra 50 pounds in the Suzy DRZ compared the ultra light feel of the CRF. Riding Bills CRF had convinced me to hold off on the purchase of a used 05 CRF450x I found locally which was in excellent condition for only $3,500, a steal and gone the day after I decided not to buy. However after riding Bills Honda CRF450x I realized the CRF outperforms my DRZ in only one area, open desert racing at 50+ MPH, but as an all day trail bike on hard to balance goat trails it left allot to be desired. Only after 30 minutes of riding the CRF, I was more then ready to trade back up with Bill and get back on my plush DRZ. Bill was a bit surprised and I think hesitant that I was ready to trade back as he knew I was riding it to make my mind up about the CRF purchase which no longer weighed on my mined. We continued our trail ride toward Golden Valley when Bill took a spill on the CRF and banged up his knee (just a bruise) the about 5 miles from our destination through some sand washes Bill fell again this time bruising some ribs (later discovered broken). At this point Bill conceded that he need to make some changes to his CRF because twice the bike had went out from under him due to the abrupt power and its high ride position forcing him to lean to place his feet which made him fall. But I was impressed that for 72 bill had crashed twice and still made it home to do some yard work before going to the hospital and discover he had broken 4 ribs and has a bruised knee. The following day to rest up Bill wanted to ride the quads instead so we spend all day rescuing plants that were being uprooted by some near by development. Bill is now planning to order the lowering kit for his CRF, a 1 pound flywheel to smooth the power, and also re-valve the suspension to a plusher mode, all with my help of course. Bill has pledged to be back on his bike in one month. Bill being a long time dirt and street bike rider like myself, has accumulated too much confidence and enjoyment in the sport to let something like this get him down, but most importantly willing to finally take some needed advice and modify (my specialty) his CRF450x to be more trail tuned.