Well-known member
Since I'm too much of a dope to have any photos of my bike yet, that'll do for a placeholder.
First bike - seemed a fitting thread title. I love flying, but I don't have that kind of money. A bike should meet that need.

Safety & Comfort
Doubletake Adventure Mirrors
Flatland Racing rear fender rack
Flatland Racing license plate holder
Attack Graphics frame grip tape

Enduro Engineering handguards
Flatland Racing skid plate
Flatland Racing front disc guard
Flatland Racing radiator guards
Works Connection rear master cylinder guard
Works Connection rear caliper guard

Twin Air engine air filter: #150226

Exhaust Options
Honda CRF450X header: 18320-MKE-A40 plus associated parts

Tires & Tubes
IRC GP21 80/100-21 (OEM)
IRC GP22 120/80-18 (OEM)

Bridgestone Heavy Duty Tube: 80/100x21
Tusk Standard Tube 110-120/100x18
(COVID-19 seems to have impacted tube selection.)

Motion Pro 1/4" T-handle: #08-0359
Motion Pro T6 tire lever combo (10/12/22/27/32mm): 08-0589
Tusk axle wrench (steel): 22mm/32mm

Fluids & Consumables
Twin Air Liquid Power air filter oil
Honda OEM oil filter: #1275600005
Honda OEM oil filter O-ring: #1620020001
Bolt brand crush washer kit
NGK spark plug: #SILMAR9A9S
Specbolt Honda CRF bolt kit (250 pc)
Amsoil 10W-40 Synthetic Dirt Bike Oil

Service Tools
Factory Service Manuals
Polisport Folding Bike Stand
Motion Pro curved 15" tire iron (2): #08-0007
Motion Pro Bead Buddy II: #08-0471
Works Connection CRF EZ Oil Drain System
Tirox 360 chain brush
Motion Pro Cable Luber v3
D.I.D KM500R chain tool

Replacement Parts
Moose Racing Seal Kit: 0935-1052
Counter Shaft seal: ProX CS Seal Kit PN#26.640008
Chain: D.I.D 520ERVT-120FB for stock sprockets (13F-51R)
D.I.D 520ERVT master link (rivet): #520ERVT ZJ CL
D.I.D 520ERVT master link (clip): #520ERVT FJ CL
OEM chain master link: Honda #40531-MKE-A12

RollerCam Expedition loop-end straps
Rack N Ride (Rack N Roll) MX Carrier

I'll use this post to keep track of updates & service history of the bike, with the next devoted to other gear. There's a wealth of information in an ADVrider thread, but it can be difficult to sift through all 470 pages of it, so I'll be extracting some of that wisdom for posts here.
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Well-known member
Camping Gear

I already have a good array of backpacking gear that should work well while putting together a lightweight touring kit. These are the items I'd likely take, since I doubt I'd be going on a motorcycle trip in winter. I prefer light gear with reasonable durability, and I'm willing to spend a little more to get those qualities, though I value a good deal.

Dan Durston X-Mid 1P tent: New tent for me. It's very well made, so much so that I already bought the 2P version, since I lacked a 2P backpacking tent. My BD Carbon Cork trekking poles should be short enough to be carried on the bike. There aren't many shelters that compete with the X-Mid 1P on weight, size, features, and durability. It's cheaper than most of the competition, too.

4'x8' silnylon tarp: Packs small & light. It could provide shelter for bike repairs, or just relaxing in camp.

REI Igneo down sleeping bag: This bag has been replaced by newer models. I bought it when REI first introduced the line. For me, its 20°F rating feels accurate, and it was a good value.

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite sleeping pad: It's comfortable, light, warm, and durable. Other than a little crinkling and the price, it's hard not to like the XLite.

Sea to Summit Aeros down pillow: I'm glad I didn't pay full price for this. It's ok, but the down layer is a bit of a gimmick, and I don't believe the pillow is worth the retail price.

Helinox Chair One: I bought this for kayak camping, but it's small enough it might find a home in a bike bag. It's comfortable, and more stable than their lighter model.

Jetboil Sol Ti pot / BRS-3000T Titanium Stove / carbon fiber lid: I need to weigh that setup, but I know it's very light. It's a shame people destroyed their titanium Jetboil pots, which led to them being discontinued. I use mine for boiling water and never let it overheat, so the base has never overheated.

MSR Hyperflow filter & Guardian purifier: The Hyperflow works, but is a little finicky. I haven't used the Guardian yet, but I expect it will become my primary filter. It's relatively big & heavy, but if you want clean water, it's hard to beat.

Zpacks Arc Haul Zip: I didn't consider it at the time, but this may be a great touring pack since the carbon fiber frame can be removed so the whole pack can be stored. I find this pack to be very comfortable, even when carrying considerable weight.

Zpacks Ventum shell: This is a wind jacket that only weighs 1.7 oz and packs down smaller than a baseball. Like the Montbell below, I take it along on most trips, and often combine the two for a respectably warm jacket. In my opinion, every legitimate ExPo guy should have one of these.

Montbell Thermawrap syn-fill jacket: I've had this for many years (it wasn't a "Classic" when I bought it), and it's still warm. Packs smaller than a fleece of comparable warmth, synthetic fill can handle perspiration better than down, and thin enough it could be worn while riding.

Western Mountaineering Flight jacket: I found this considerably marked down due to a small tear at a pocket corner. It was an easy fix, and I ended up with a high quality down jacket for a Walmart price. I'm not sure I could stuff it under a riding jack, but it might feel good to wear something so warm & light after a day of riding.

Sea to Summit eVent compression dry sacks: I've used several of these for years, and have never had an issue with them holding up to use, or keeping my gear dry. I like them so much I use them often when traveling so I can pack everything in a carry-on bag. I haven't tried the lighter, silnylon version, but I'll bet they're great, too.
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Well-known member
I decided I wanted to start riding, and was shopping 250cc options, when a lightly used CRF 450L came up for sale at a great price. It's a far better bike than I deserve, but it hit every parameter I was considering in a bike, with the exception of long service intervals, and good fuel endurance. It's still a young model, but anecdotal reports indicate service intervals may be possible out to 1000-1500 mile OCIs, and valve checks have revealed that good clearances are generally being maintained. Three gallon tanks are available, as are fuel cans & bladders, so that's not a problem.

I've followed @Tex68w efforts on his excellent 450L thread, and I recommend anyone interested in this bike have a read over there, especially if they're looking for ways to improve performance & lighten the bike. My goals will be somewhat different from his, as I'm a first time rider, and I'm pretty sure I'll be taking a more relaxed approach to what I do with the bike. Still, I'm sure there'll be some overlap in what we're doing.


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Congratulations! Look forward to your buildout and trip reports!
So do I! Early days will be asphalt & gravel road riding, so nothing too exciting. I bought the bike for more interesting places, like the San Juans and Mohave, once my riding progresses to that level.

Since I'm starting from scratch, I've already made a few orders for riding gear, toolkit items, and some service parts. The bike came with enough add-ons that I doubt I'll be bolting much on to it, aside from possibly a seat & larger tank. The only major expense I forsee is a new ECU & exhaust if the low rpm throttle response bothers me as much as it has some others. I hope not, because I value how quiet Honda made the bike, and I'd rather spend money on gas & tires.


Well-known member
You haven't bought one yet? The new prices have dropped, and I've seen a few used ones sell quickly. I hadn't considered a used 450L to be an option until I added up what I'd spend on a 250cc and still not have what the L offered.

Seems a perfect bike for an OJ/ExPo review.
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I may have to borrow a helmet.

As I sit here enjoying On Any Sunday to the annoyance of the beneficiary of my life insurance, I see that everything on my Rocky Mountain ATV/MC order is backordered, which is odd considering that everything on the order was in stock when I placed it. I got a good deal on the helmet, but I would've paid Revzilla a few dollars more to have it this week.


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I'm considering a few eventual additions.


12oClockLabs has a very nice Advanced Mini Gauge. The 450L lacks much instrumentation, and this gauge fills in a lot of blanks, including tachometer, gear position, and voltage. I think those would be handy, as well as some others that could help diagnose a problem, and an hour meter. The gauge is physically small, yet has a large, bright display that should always be visible. It offers some flexibility in what's displayed & how, and I like that they used internal switches to keep it as sealed as possible. I'd skip the speedometer add-on, since the OEM display does that well enough.

I'd order now, but I don't want to until I decide if I want a Vortex ECU, since it's not possible to use the same version of the gauge on the OEM & Vortex ECUs. For anyone coming across this in their research, early reviews stated that the gauge didn't work with the Vortex, but they've added a Vortex model to meet that demand.


Lighting (ordered)

The 450L actually has decent LED headlight & signaling lighting, but the Baja Designs Squadron Pro/S2 Headlight Kit looks significantly brighter, without drawing much more power. I may be commuting in the dark, and better visibility to others on the road is another advantage.



I already have a rear fender rack, and I'm considering adding a small top bag/case to it for my toolkit, and a place to store items I don't want to carry on me. There are several soft bags that'd work (I like the Wolfman options), but I may modify a small Pelican style case that I can leave locked on the bike so I don't have to remove it when parking out of sight.

Speaking of Wolfman luggage, I like their roll-top Rolie bags. I've used roll-top bags for years, and while they aren't always as convenient as a zipper, they seal well and don't break. One of their 6L bags seems ideal for a tail bag, and would integrate with any other luggage or water/fuel storage. Iirc, I have a 6L roll-top bag with a few strap loops, so I can give that a try to see if I like the size. I considered a front fender bag for a toolkit, but I'm not sure if the L's fender will take the weight, and it's another thing to be stolen while parked.

I like Wolfman's E-Base saddle bag system since it's rackless, keeps the weight low, and has all the capacity I'd need.




The 3.0 gallon IMS tank is the way to go, unless a slightly larger option becomes available. I like that the tank conforms to the bike so well. The giant 20L Nomad tank is just too big for anything I'll be doing.

For fuel storage, a Giant Loop Gas Bag would work. Unlike a Rotopax or other rigid can, a Gas Bag stores small when empty, and is nearly indestructible.

I'd be tempted to buy a 5 gallon model, since that would also be useful for carrying fuel for my truck. For bike use, I need to see if anyone has used a partially filled bag, with the excess capacity rolled up to prevent sloshing. I can also imagine riding into a remote area with the bag filled, and leaving it behind for the day at a base camp. Another purchase I have plenty of time to consider.



In stock form, the L is known for low rpm stalls and a lack of fine throttle response. The standard fix is an aftermarket exhaust and Vortex ECU, but I've been wondering if a Rekluse auto-clutch would clean that up sufficiently without the other parts. Jimmy Lewis' long term update on their 450X indicates it may be a useful modification. I realize there are differences in the engine, and he's changed the exhaust & fueling, too. It's another distant project that I'm going to look into more.


Transport (purchased)

I borrowed a trailer to pick up the bike. Eventually, I'd like to use my truck to take the bike to more distant areas, and ride from a base camp. I have a small tilt-bed trailer that could handle three or four bikes with the addition of some boots, but I'd also like a hitch hauler for solo transport so I don't have to drag a trailer. I like the looks of the Rack N Ride (Rack N Roll) that Tex68w uses:


I like that the bike is anchored without straps, and the reviews I've read indicate its a solid option. Having the front wheel captured is an important feature, and the entire system seems well designed. The Ultimate MX Hauler that supports the bike directly under the engine is also interesting, but I also occasionally haul a scooter, and I'm not sure how that'd work with different kinds of two-wheelers.


Seat (ordered)

This is one of the most common upgrades, and I ended up with a Seat Concepts Comfort Element XL in all black. There are some red & white color options, but I wasn't sure where the non-black would end up (no photos), and all black is fine by me anyway. It cost a little more to order direct from Seat Concepts if you don't want to more standard configurations sold through retailers, but adding the seam sealing & four traction ribs are worth it.

The odd thing is the standard height Comfort Element XL seat doesn't show up on their main 450L page.


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Beach Bum
Wolfman makes great stuff and his newest gen stuff is the best yet. I have the 1 gal GL Gas Bag fuel bladder and I wouldn't want to go much bigger, it's pretty sizable itself when full, the two gallon might be a good compromise.


Well-known member
Wolfman makes great stuff and his newest gen stuff is the best yet. I have the 1 gal GL Gas Bag fuel bladder and I wouldn't want to go much bigger, it's pretty sizable itself when full, the two gallon might be a good compromise.
What do you think about trying to roll up a larger bag and partially filling it?

I don't think I'd ever carry it far on the bike full, if ever, but I wouldn't mind having the largest size to add that capacity to what I could carry with my truck. On the bike, the only time I'd consider riding with it full I might put it on my back and shuttle it to a base camp. I wouldn't want to drag 30 lbs of gas down a rough trail very far on the bike.


Well-known member
Looking harder at the MX Hauler. I didn't realize they offered some accessories, like a gas can hauler, which got me thinking about other uses.

I may not want their gas can carrier, but I would like a way to carry 20L Scepter cans outside the bed of my truck, without adding a big ol' heavy, expensive rear bumper with a swing-out carrier. For that, I think an MX Hauler may work well, and I could still open my tailgate with the rack loaded. If I can't open the tailgate, it wouldn't be worth the trouble, though.

Lots of chatter on ThumperTalk to wade through for an answer. From other reviews, it looks like a drop may be required for an open tailgate to clear the top of the hauler. Drat. I really wouldn't want to introduce another failure point into the system.

I wouldn't need to use an extension, so this failure mode isn't a concern. He was lucky.

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