Here's the first project bike, Nathan Hollander's CRF450. Click any image in the article for a larger version.

Over the last dozen years or so Dave Dye has worked as a privateer and factory mechanic, as the watchful eye of the AMA Motocross Tech guru, and these days you’ll find him busy at Hinson Clutch Components, and helping dispense technical advice to amateurs and pros.

Dave Dye. We'd say he speaks softly and carries a big wrench, but we'd could be wrong about the softly part.

When Dave hit us up with the idea to build up some real world bikes, with parts that would help strengthen weak areas, boost performance and durability, and give riders a substantial performance boost. Basically, they wanted to go to the line knowing that they weren’t leaving anything on the table when it came to performance. Parts were selected with an emphasis on function, and less on looks and pretty-but-useless foof.

The first bike was built up for Nathan Hollander, an upcoming B rider from Arizona who was looking for some help with his 2010 Honda CRF450R. In the past, he’s raced a stock bike in the mod class, or ridden a mod bike that he said he actually went slower on than his stocker. Obviously neither of those plans are conducive to good results.

Dave started off with a fresh CRF450 from John Burr Cycles, and a shopping list...and here’s what you’ll find on the bike.

Yoshimura got the call for the bulk of the engine hop-ups on this project, though there's some assistance from Faction MX, CP Pistons, and Twin Air.

Yoshimura got the nod for quite a bit of the engine hop-up goodies, which matches up with the Honda Red Bull Racing team’s choice. The exhaust was Yosh’s RS4 Ti/Ti setup (2257167 $845.00), and it was mated with Yoshimura’s CRF450 Camshaft Kit (2257-CS-KIT $499.95).

The Yoshimura exhaust is a ti/ti system, with a slick carbon fiber end cap.

On the electronic side of the engine tuning, Dave opted for Yosh’s Peripheral Interface Module (PIM2 $339.95). That includes the module itself, as well as the software necessary to change the mapping (and it works on both Windows and Intel-based Macs). As an additional bonus to the PIM2 unit, a Yoshimura D.A.T.A. Box ($429.95) was also added. This helps with self-mapping for the PIM2 system, as a sensor in the exhaust calculates the air/fuel mix, and the DATA Box automatically calculates the required fuel adjustment at each RPM and Throttle Position to reach the user selectable target air fuel ratio.

Yosh's PIM2 setup plugs into the stock wiring harness, and has a USB interface to hook into your laptop to make tuning the EFI easy.

Here's a look at the software interface for the EFI tuning via the Yoshimura PIM and D.A.T.A Box.

Here's a look at the mounting setup for the D.A.T.A. Box.

To smooth the performance of the transmission and add to the gear life, they also dropped in Yoshimura’s REM Super Finishing Service ($230).

To boost the compression to 13.5:1, a CP High-Compression piston ($229.75) replaced the stocker. That’s a part you’ll find in quite a few bikes at the pro level.

Along with the Yosh cam, Dave added a Faction MX Faction MX Intake Kit ($275.00), which includes Faction’s Stainless valves, high-rev valve springs, and titanium retainers in one package. To eliminate the plastic fittings in the stock hose package, a Faction MX Silicone Radiator Hose Kit ($125.00) was also installed.

Yep, Dave kept his employer happy by installing a Hinson Clutch Components Single Spring clutch setup. Of course, It’s not like this is some second-rate componentry, and you’ll find it being used (and abused) by plenty of top factory riders. That setup included the billet Clutch Basket (H389 $274.99), billet Single Spring Inner Hub and Pressure plate ($599.99), fiber plates ($99.99) and steel plates ($69.99). For a little extra protection, he also added a Hinson clutch cover (C389 $159.99).

With the exhaust side opened up, the intake needed some breathing room as well, and that was handled by a Twin Air Powerflow kit ($159.95), which eliminates the backfire screen.

Fuel and lubricants? Dave opted for Ti Lube’s TF-4U fuel ($75 for a five-gallon can), and Maxima MTL 80 in the transmission, and Maxima Premium 4 10W40 for the engine.

From the ground up, the chassis changes go like this. The tires are Dunlops, and the stock rims were replaced by Excel A60s (front $199.68/rear $229.14).

With the expectation that Nathan would be getting from corner to corner faster than before, Dave bolted on a QTM oversized front brake kit ($299.00).

If you're hopping up the engine, don't forget to hop up the brakes. Here's the QTM oversized rotor kit.

In the suspension department, Dave opted for a front and rear revalve ($180 each), and front and rear springs ($115 each) from Luc “Frenchie” Caoette at C4MX to match Nathan’s six-foot-plus frame.

Front and rear, the suspension tuning was handled by Frenchie over at C4MX.

Miscellaneous goodies? Well, there was an RK chain ($97.97); Renthal Sprockets, Twinwall 999 bars, and Kevlar grips, and Flu Designs custom graphics ($150) and seat cover ($26.95).

Let's see, RK chain? Renthal sprockets? Excel rims? Dunlop tires? Check, check, check, and check.

Up front, you'll find Renthal Twinwall bars, and a set of Applied triple clamps.

So how did it all work together? Nathan was impressed with the extra power on tap, and was having to adjust his riding style to accommodate it. “They’re totally different bikes,” was among the first comments after his first ride on it. “There’s not only a lot of bottom end, but the top end just keeps pulling. We also tried some different mapping, fattening it up, and it was a lot more controllable on the dry slick surface here at Glen Helen.”

Nathan getting acquainted with his new bike...and a whole lot of additional power.

More pulling power on the hills? Oh yeah.

After a first round on the bike, Yoshimura's Sean Gutierrez demonstrated how to use the PIM2 software while uploading a new map to mellow the power a bit for the dry slick conditions.

For a second opinion, we also had Joe Oehlhof give it a shot, and he told us, “It definitely has the power I was looking for. I’ve got a stock Honda with just a pipe, and I’ve ridden other Hondas with a little bit of motor work, and they’re all pretty rideable, but pretty mellow for my liking. On this one it has enough power that you can spread it out and move it around however you want. It makes the bike easy to ride, but gives you the power you need to get through a deep corner or up a big hill.” He also added, “It’s smooth but deceivingly fast. It’s not one of those motors that’s going to rip your arms off, it’s just going to get you where you want to go a lot quicker than you’re used to.” Joe also mentioned that there were a couple times that he was happy that they’d added an oversized front rotor, since things came up faster than he’d expected.

Joe Oehlhof rearranging a little Glen Helen terrain.

Joe stretching out over a big double...

...and taking advantage of the extra front brake power.

All right, that’s it for this time around. Thanks to Dave, the companies involved, and Nathan Hollander and Joe Oehlhof. Keep an eye open for our next victim soon…a 2010 Yamaha YZ250F.


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