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Honda CRF450L/RL low rpm performance

ZoomerP

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Low rpm performance is a common topic for this bike, especially the L models. I think the L has gotten a bad rap for flame-outs and low rpm surging, even though some of that appears to have been addressed by the RL, and many have reported an improvement after a 1500 mile break-in period.

I'd like to compile a list of some solutions, from adding a throttle tamer to a flywheel weight or a Vortex ECU. If you want to include information about any changes to the exhaust or intake, go ahead. Some have been happy with the stock configuration, too. Please post what works for you, and be as detailed as possible. In particular, settings for any fuel or engine management devices, and include the software version where applicable (such as with a Vortex). I'll update the opening post with information as its provided.

Anything that has some impact on the low rpm performance belongs here, and if you'd like to give your opinion on what does and doesn't work for you, please include that as well. I'll also add information I've found in other threads, such as the CRF450L Mega Thread.
 

ZoomerP

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Vortex Ignitions X10 ECU Documentation (printed 8-17-2020) - The attached pdf file is a copy of these scans. Click on the images to enlarge them.

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ZoomerP

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Low Rpms ????
What are they ???
1600 to 3500 ?
1800 or so. The off-idle response that garnered so much attention in the early days. I think that's still scaring people off of the L/RL, but I have no idea if that's true.

After eating something that I wish was a cheeseburger, I'm going to post scans of my Vortex sheets. That's another piece of the puzzle I'd like more information about, since I'm still not sure that programming updates haven't changed a switch position assignment. Probably not, but when people say they set a switch to X and got this result, it'd be good to know if we're all talking about the same thing.
 

ZoomerP

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Doesn’t really matter how it runs at really low RPM. Just because the bike is going slow doesn’t mean the engine should. Stretch the throttle cable and use the clutch. It’s almost a dirt bike !




True, and I'm getting better at that. Being my first bike, I had to get over the idea that slipping the clutch was abusive, like it is with automotive dry clutches. Plenty of more experienced riders have complained about flame-outs, stalling, etc., though.

From what I've read, this has more to do with trying to get bikes to meet ever more restrictive emission standards than anything else. It irritates me that the engineers are boxed into that tight corner, with the result being bikes that can be more difficult to control than they would be if they were allowed to design for rideability first, emissions second.

I can't see the FB post.
 

North ride

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Hard to say, I beat the fook out of a Yamaha YZ clutch and get over a season on it. It should be thought of as a consumable like brake pads, tires and gas. If you try to ride off road with just the throttle it will suck for you. I was taught from a young age throttle is Course power control and clutch is fine.

The other way to think of it is throttle position is available power. Clutch controls power to the rear wheel.
 

Nepa Cheeseburgers

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True, and I'm getting better at that. Being my first bike, I had to get over the idea that slipping the clutch was abusive, like it is with automotive dry clutches. Plenty of more experienced riders have complained about flame-outs, stalling, etc., though.

From what I've read, this has more to do with trying to get bikes to meet ever more restrictive emission standards than anything else. It irritates me that the engineers are boxed into that tight corner, with the result being bikes that can be more difficult to control than they would be if they were allowed to design for rideability first, emissions second.

I can't see the FB post.
mine i feel does it all, low mid high,i dont use the clutch much, i tend to carry momemtem and not alot of rpm,
My L is really Electric im throttle, power,

When i had vortex on it was like a 125 2 stroke compared to now,
The hit and throttle was not smooth,
But really made no more power until 8500,
and it was not useable to me,

sometime you need to carry more rpm /speed and transhion to that is easy on mine,
Now mine is just right
it would do trials if i put a 13/53 on it,:hmmmmm
 

Nener

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How's Tubliss working for you at highway speeds?
really depends on the tires.
Motoz hybrids (moutain&extrem) are surprisingly "fine" at highway speeds with low pressures (said 8-10 psi.. or even less). Something with softer sidewalls I need to air up, then it's also fine.
I balance my wheels because the rimlock in the tubliss adds a lot of weight.
 

ZoomerP

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really depends on the tires.
Motoz hybrids (moutain&extrem) are surprisingly "fine" at highway speeds with low pressures (said 8-10 psi.. or even less). Something with softer sidewalls I need to air up, then it's also fine.
I balance my wheels because the rimlock in the tubliss adds a lot of weight.
I've ridden on those (with tubes) on the highway and was surprised at how smooth they were with such aggressive knobs. Balanced, of course.
 

300man

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I really don't have a lot to contribute here or complain about...My 21RL does everything I ask of it. Yes the glitchy throttle is there at low RPM but not a big issue for me. My bike is stock except for some exhaust mods and a 14T CS sprocket.

If this was my first bike I'm sure there would be a big learning curve on many fronts. The off idle throttle response might be at the top of the list and a much larger concern out on the trail. To those that are struggling with this:

From a riding technique stand point, like others have said use momentum and clutch control to help in the slower trail sections. Avoid 1st gear and use 2nd gear whenever possible even in slower sections. Cover the clutch with at least one finger, preferably two and practice slowly pulling the clutch just to the point where the engine speed increases 1000 RPM or so. Then letting it back out while riding in 2nd gear under steady throttle in the 1/8 to 1/4 throttle range. Of course you don't want to do this for hours at a time...just try it for a few minutes. I would also recommend practicing a couple of 2nd gear starts from a stop. Do this without revving the bike up much...try to lower the RPMs without stalling the bike.

Putting this technique to use out on the trail is an important part of learning to ride off road. It will help when faced with slower tighter corners and up hills with roots and rocks.
 

ZoomerP

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I really don't have a lot to contribute here or complain about...My 21RL does everything I ask of it. Yes the glitchy throttle is there at low RPM but not a big issue for me. My bike is stock except for some exhaust mods and a 14T CS sprocket.

If this was my first bike I'm sure there would be a big learning curve on many fronts. The off idle throttle response might be at the top of the list and a much larger concern out on the trail. To those that are struggling with this:

From a riding technique stand point, like others have said use momentum and clutch control to help in the slower trail sections. Avoid 1st gear and use 2nd gear whenever possible even in slower sections. Cover the clutch with at least one finger, preferably two and practice slowly pulling the clutch just to the point where the engine speed increases 1000 RPM or so. Then letting it back out while riding in 2nd gear under steady throttle in the 1/8 to 1/4 throttle range. Of course you don't want to do this for hours at a time...just try it for a few minutes. I would also recommend practicing a couple of 2nd gear starts from a stop. Do this without revving the bike up much...try to lower the RPMs without stalling the bike.

Putting this technique to use out on the trail is an important part of learning to ride off road. It will help when faced with slower tighter corners and up hills with roots and rocks.
Funny, I keep all of that turning over in my mind every time I ride. Thanks for the good advice.
 

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