KEEFER KUESTIONS
By:
Kris Keefer
Keefer gets hit up with questions on guidance, constantly. Here's another crop.

 
I always try to get advice from you through your Instagram, but I am sure that you're hands are always full over there. I have a quick question regarding the '17 CRF450R. Do you think it would be possible to take my steering damper off of my '08 450 and mount it on the '17 or will i need a newer model dampener?
I appreciate your time and consideration,
Colton Frost
 
Hey Colton, 
I think its close to the same mounting point on the newer frame so you might have to double check on that just in case. However, if it mounts up and clears fine I would say it is safe to just run it. Ever since Honda’s inception with their damper I have never really noticed a huge difference with or without it honestly. The only time I could ever feel a difference with one was when I used a re-valved version and that helped settle the front end down coming into corners. Most suspension shops have valving specs for Honda’s damper’s and this can help settle the front end down when the track gets hammered.  
Thanks,
KK 
 
 
 
Question for you from New Zealand. I run a 2017 KX450f in our national class down here in NZ. Its pretty stock apart from it has a Vortex ECU and a PC full system. We have very limited information down here when it comes to motocross. I have just started running VP C12 fuel in my bike. One engine tuner says its fine but then i read it shouldn't used in four strokes. Do you have any advice on this one?
Simon 
 
Try VP T4E or T4. This is a good pump gas replacement and will run very good in your bike. VP C12 is fine, but more formulated for two strokes. Make sure your ECU is mapped for T4E and or pump gas and not some high level race fuel like MRPRO6 or something. You will be able to have more than one preset map on the Vortex ECU so that could be beneficial to have one mapped for pump gas and one map for VPT4E. The T4E mapping shouldn't be that far off from pump fuel however and if you're in a pinch pouring T4E in the bike without re-mapping is fine. Have fun on that sucker and get a spring conversion kit on that green machine ASAP. 
KK 
 
 
 
Hi Kris,
I'm a 57 year old who has been a career Engineer but raced MX back in the 70s and 80s and live for motocross now. I go to as many Supercross races as my wife and I can afford and I watch every MX race on tv I can get my hands on.
I'm also a dedicated PulpMX fan and have enjoyed every podcast Steve has made. I've also really enjoyed all your contributions to the show. I don't yet have my retirement motocross bike but I will be in your web site to be sure I get all of your inputs on the bikes available.
I hope your adventure takes off and is as successful and enjoyable as possible. I am interested in knowing what your business model is moving forward. I'm curious where your main revenue will come from. Most of all I wish the best for your new adventures!
Regards,
Dan O’Hare
 
Thanks Dan, 
I bet you can't wait to retire and ride full time! Haha. Well to answer your question my main revenue stream is Pulpmx.com and my personal testing with Keefer Inc. Testing. I contract myself out to companies to help them build the best bike and or parts they can. Until my website grows I can't ask for advertisers to pay me, but they have already been asking, so hopefully I will have a couple advertisers soon. I am however not taking money from any manufacturer, so when I do these bike reviews the reader knows my tests are all straight up and not corrupted.
I am very transparent person and hopefully advertisers that do advertise with keeferinctesting.com and pulpmx.com know this (they usually do cause I'm up front with them). If it's good I'll say it. If it's not good I'll respectively say it's not that great. It's a pretty simple business plan that most magazines lose over time. Thanks for the email and hope you get the best bike for you very soon! You're never too old to swing a leg over a dirt bike. 
KK
 
 
 
I wear prescription, orthopedic knee braces from Don Joy and have a very hard time finding durable mx pants that do not get shredded in the knees. Most pants either 1) have too small of leather to protect against the lower d-ring of the brace or 2) have too flimsy, mesh material in the calf or 3) both.

I wear through pants where the lower portion of my brace meets the upper part of my boot, which is typically below the leather panel. Almost always in the right leg (more leg movement due to breaking control). 

Can you recommend a pair of durable mx pants? I've tried Fly Kinetic, Fly Lite Hydrogen, MSR Explorer, with no luck. I have a pair of Thor Prime Tach that have a much larger leather panel, but they are so ugly. Most pants wear a hole below the inner knee in 5-10 rides. I can't keep buying pants at this rate!


Thanks,

Chase
 
Chase,
This is tough, but I understand your frustration. There are a couple pairs of pants that I have used and abused and had good luck with. If the hinges are snagging on the pant this would rub a hole in most anything. Try an Asterisk ZeroG pant! This pant pulls over the brace and Velcro's to the top of your leg. IT WORKS! You will wear through those ZeroG's before the pant itself. The ZeroG’s have a knee protection piece that is built into their pant, so there is some reinforcement there as well. Not to mention it keeps the brace from slipping down on a long track day. Nothing is more annoying than having a pair of knee braces slip. Look into them at www.asterisk.com. Here are a few pants that I have had good luck with over the years.
Fox 360 Pants 
Fly EVO 2.0
FXR Mission Pants
THOR FUSE (Be careful with these though as they run a six small. If you're a 32 get a 34)
KK
 
 
I'm after your opinion on something…I am nearly 35 years old, married with 3 kids and only ride a few times a year nowadays. I own a 05 CR 250 that i've had from new but it’s pretty beat, a 12 CRF450 which is the bike I ride and also a brand new 07 CR250 that iI have never even started. I bought the 07 CR to keep as a show piece forever. It sat in our front room for years, but now with 3 kids it's been relegated to the garage and the reality is that it won’t see the living room again for a good 15+ years!! Anyways, I’ve always been a 2 stroke guy and for a while I've been wishing that I had a new 2 stroke. I was looking at the Yamaha's, KTM’s, TM’s and Husky’s, but I'm a Honda guy which got me thinking 'should i just ride the 07? I could sell the other 2 bikes then use £1000 to buy a new pipe, seat, plastics, casing covers, wheels, so that eventually I could put it all back to standard and it would still look mint. I don’t race any more and only hit the practice tracks so it’s not like it would get too battered. Hope this all makes sense. Looking forward to seeing what you think. cheers,
Gary
 
Gary,
Having a family sometimes puts some of our "man toys" on the back burner doesn't it? If you're only riding a few times a year I say DO NOT waste your money on a new bike right now. Sell the on beat up smoker and ride the crap out of that fresh 2007! It’s a little rigid, but if you're only riding a few times a year, what the hell! The 2012 CRF450R you have is a great bike, it was one of my favorites from that year. Maybe re-furb up that baby and go rip on that sucker. There is nothing wrong with that bike and I would rather see you spend your money wisely and re-building your four-stroke and riding that cherry smoker than dump 8-10K on a new ride. Have fun and keep er on two wheels! Cheers! 
KK
 
 
 
Hey Kris, congrats on the new journey. I had a question I wanted to ask you and now that you’re on Pulp’s site I figured I might as well try and go straight to you. I recently bought a new 2017 Honda CRF450R and love it, but noticed that it runs lean on its own with the stock mappings. Any suggestions on what I can do to fix this or do I just need to have the ECU remapped?
Thanks,
Cody.
 
 
Cody, 
You got a great bike. Although I don't think it's lean (unless you’re running race fuel), I do know it is maybe too touchy through corners. This bike was developed/mapped on pump fuel and using any other high grade fuels with each map setting can make it pop on de-cel. I would re-map by sending it to Tokyo Mods and let them know you want more mid-top pull, but a smoother low end delivery on map 1. They can richen it up on low end and that might help your lean feel. Wanting a smoother roll on power delivery is a very common comment with this bike. Also, as a bonus tip, if you are looking for more chassis comfort try going to RX engine hangers to let the chassis flex more on square edge, choppy tracks. Have fun on that sucker! 
KK 
 
 
 
I picked up a '17 FC350 and I've got the AER fork working pretty well. The bike corners like a dream! I'm struggling a little bit with the shock though. I live in AZ so all the tracks are super hard packed. When they get choppy, the bumps are really abrupt so I've fiddled around with the shock a bit and I can't seem to find a sweet spot. It's either really harsh and unpredictable or the slightest adjustment makes it too soft and wallow-y.

I weigh 180 and I'd say I'm an slow-intermediate in AZ or a decent novice in CA. 

Wondering if you have spent enough time on this setup to have a recommendation for settings. 

Cheers,
Tyler
 
Tyler, 
The 2017 Husqvarna FC350 is a fun bike and with the new AER fork is much better than in year’s past! That is right, an air fork that is pretty good. Not spring good, but good for an air fork. We have similar terrain like that here in the desert of California so this is what I have done to get a happy medium setting. The trick is to get the shock to work you must have a good setting on the fork for the bike to be balanced on square edge and braking bumps. I start with 10.3-10.6 bars in the fork, compression 18 clicks, rebound 14 clicks, shock sag at 105mm, high speed compression 1.5-1.75 turns out, low speed compression 14 clicks and rebound 10 clicks. Try this set up at your local track and let me know how this works. This setting is usually fairly good for 90% of what I ride. Have fun! 
KK 
 
 


I was changing my filter last night and there were some dust grains in the air boot. The filter was perfect inside, probably a couple tiny grains fell in there taking it off or cleaning the rim. Very small and only a few 'specs'. Back in the old days you just wipe that out with damp cloth. Today I have to tear my 2015 YZ450 half apart to get the filter screen off to clean the air boot. How anal should I be on this? Am I wasting my time with this? I have a kid and two jobs I don't want to be wasting time that could be used riding!


Thanks,


Dustin
 
 
Dustin,
Yes, I have been there on more than one occasion. If you still have your backfire screen in on your air filter cage then I would think you would be ok. Those particles that fell through that screen would be very, very tiny. So I wouldn't stress too much about it. I have removed my screen before to see what performance gains I could get and big chunks fell in (when changing a filter) causing me to dive in and clean it out. The performance gain you get by removing the screen on a YZ450F is small and not worth the reliability of the machine (if you drop sand in your airboot). I would say go in the house and hang out with your family instead of swearing in your garage at your bike! 
KK 
 
 
Hey Kris,
First off, huge fan! So stoked you're getting more involved with PulpMX and stuff.
I need some serious help. I used to race moto when I was younger, I'm 26, 5'10", 215  lbs. and wanting to get back into it doing the whole weekend warrior thing hitting the tracks here in North Carolina, but my knowledge of the whole 4 stroke world is minimal so Im at a loss as to what I should be looking to purchase.
I'm not too keen on just going out and paying $8k+ on a new bike, so I've been looking at used ones. I basically grew up RM's and KX's but I'm open to all the options. 
I'm thinking a 450 is the route I'm wanting to take, what would you suggest? Any particular models/years I should be on the lookout for? OR do you really suggest finding sales and getting 2015/2016/2017 models?
Help me out man!
Thanks,
Aaron
 
 
Aaron, 
Hell yes! Stoked you're bak out ripping the weekends and shredding North Carolina. I am jealous of your dirt over there! There are plenty of good used bikes out there that will not break your bank account. However don't ever get sucked in to buying a local pro’s bike. They are usually all roached out. Buy a vet owned bike that is well taken care of. Usually older men take care of their shit better than young, full of piss and vinegar local pro’s. A good year KX450 would be a 2014 KX450F. That frame was the baseline for many manufacturers R&D departments for bump absorption. A 2012 RM-Z450 is also another great bike that I loved, that turned great, had a good frame and the motor was easy to ride as well. A Yamaha YZ450F is another reliable bike, but if you have not ridden one yet, you might want to do that before you ride. Sometimes they can be an acquired taste. Have fun ripping and let me know what you get! 
KK
 
 
 
Hi Kris, I m writing from Chile (South America)
First of all, congrats and good luck with Keefer Inc.Testing, for sure you will do well in this new adventure.
I follow all of your reviews, specially if there is a Honda involved.
I am riding a CRF 450R 2017 (yosh Ti full exhaust, Tokyo mods Maps, revalved stock suspension, heavier rear spring, honda steering damper, DID LTX wheel, Talon Carbon Hubs, 13/50 gearing, mx32 tires at 13,5 lbs).
Next weekend I will try (as you commented in some video or Pulpmx) the engine hangers of the RX version.
I am a weekend warrior looking for a more forgiven and plush ride (my wheels are a bit more stiff than the oem, but I love the black rims and red hub combination), I am running sag at 106-108 mm.....My suspension settings are working pretty good, but still I wonder if the is something else to do in order to enhance the handiling of the bike, if you have another trick/secret please let me know.
Another question, six months ago I took some classes with Ryan Hughes (I met the guy in Pala and then I arranged a trip to Chile, 4 days of school), Ryan stressed the point of ride with the ball of your feet, but now I am having classes with a former GP Rider (Alex Bartolini, Italian) and he stress that I need to ride with my feet much forward, in order to have more control and better access to the rear brake and shift lever.
It was hard for to me learn to ride on the balls of my feet and now this guys is saying that I need to comeback to my old style, so I am confused. It will be very welcome your point of view in this matter.
Many thanks in advance......big hug from Chile.
Best regards, Fernando
 
 
 
Fernando,
The RX hangers will help the chassis flex a little more on your 2017 CRF450R and give you a better feel over hard pack and square edge type situations. I also remove my two top tank bolts for increased flex. The Honda factory team runs rubber band type fasteners on their tanks, but us mere mortals can just remove the bolts all together. The tank will not fly off as the seat holds it down along with the top/front bolt. By removing the two tank bolts you will let the frame flex just a tad under acceleration instead of having the bolt bind the titanium fuel tank against the aluminum frame. When the tank was plastic it was a non issue, but now that we are working with two types of metals it means less flex. I do want to note that you may not feel the difference as it is not huge, but if you're a sensitive guy like me you can feel some change. As far as riding on the balls of your feet I am going with Ryno on this one. Riding on the balls of your feet increases leverage on the bike and gives you better feel of the terrain you're riding. Yes, of course you will have to shift and brake and slide your feet forward, but as soon as your done you need to move them back to “the balls” again. Trust me it’s not easy! I constantly have to remind myself while I am riding to do this. It takes sometime, but that’s what riding is so great. It’s not easy and you na always learn, no matter how fast you are! Have fun in Chile…
KK   
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