450F 2005 CRF450R Shifting Issues

was on the track yesterday, all was fine for about the first hour or so and then I noticed that my bike was really hard to shift into 3rd gear. It would go from first to second easy as usual and then when I tried going into third, it just wouldn’t shift until about my 5th or 6th attempt but I was slowing right down. I kept trying and trying and I ended up going off of a jump and when I came back down I felt something In the bottom up kinda make a clunk feel and then it would shift normally. Shortly after it had issues shifting into third again. Not sure what would cause this but maybe somebody has got some ideas??


Staff member
That's terrible news. Unfortunately issues like that are mostly transmission related, and can only be diagnosed by disassembly of the cases and inspecting.
Perhaps the shifter is loose and hitting the cases or frame under heavy shifting. Occasionally one gear will need more lever movement due to shift drum geometry, and the frame/case can be impeding sufficient lever travel to shift successfully to that gear.
-BIG DAN:thumb:
What trans. Oil are you running ? Maybe change it out , try ATF ... check shift linkage , lever , check , adjust , lube clutch cable , lever ...
I had an ‘05 450X. I remember they had bad oil circulation in the gearbox. The tip was to run a whole quart in the trans. 3rd and 5th would go out, especially on longer smoother trails, due to lack of oil. In later years, grooves were added to the sides of the gears to help get the oil where it’s needed.
Do you have maybe a link to what specifically you’re talking about?
Just google “2005 Honda CRF450 transmission problems”.
This is just a sample:
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Honda CRF Transmission Durability - Feature Review - Dirt Rider Magazine

By editorial staff
February 24, 2009
Dear Dirt Rider,Have you heard of any problems with the CRF450X and the transmission seizing up the 3rd gear on the countershaft with the 2005 model? I know of six cases were this has happened in the last two months. All of them while in 5th gear, the rear tire locks up and all that is left is 3rd gear.I have heard that the 2006 model has a different part number that addresses this but Honda will not say anything about it. And since there is no warranty on the race bikes, the consumer is getting hit with a $1000 bill to fix it.Roger

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Were you there to see it, or is it the internet going off again?The real problem is the transmission oil level is too low. The reason the repair cost is so high is 5th gear is seized to the countershaft, trapping other gears that have no damage.Regarding part number changes in the transmission: When checking the parts list for both 2005 & 2006, 3rd gear countershafts show a superseded part number. I did a little research and found that the part number changed in January 2005; this was before the release of the CRF450X. In effect, this means there is no production change to the gearbox for 2005 or 2006.There were some similar issues with the 2002 CRF450R. If you knock around a site like Thumpertalk you will find reports of this happening to some CRF250s—both R & X's—as well. When you think about it, the basic design of five gears and a wet clutch has been around for a long time and the separate tranny and engine isn't really playing into this case.Also when you visit web site chat rooms you see tons of bad information—just now to answer this letter I checked Thumpertalk and some guy reports that he's having no trouble and always runs 600cc of transmission oil. That's 50cc too little.We have over 190 hours on our Long Haul CRF450X and a good portion of that time has been pre-running in Baja, and rides like the Colorado 500 in top gear for a long time. Want to know our secret? Add a little extra oil to the tranny! Then you have some insurance.So to answer your question: Yes, I've heard of the problem. It is the rider running too little oil in the transmission, not the bike's design or durability.Jimmy Lewis
I’ve been using motul for a while now with good results. I know a lot of people swear by rotella. I don’t think the brand is so important as long as it’s ok to use with a clutch and you put the enough in.
THat year Honda is known to have the oil level bolt placed too low in the side case. If you only fill it to that point you are about 200 cc's low on oil. When you change the oil, be sure to measure what you put in and ignore that level bolt.

Paw Paw