Honda Dumb Idea Hall of Fame?

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10/10/2019 1:47 PM



So I'm rehabbing an 04 CR 125 for my brother, and I am learning about the engineering marvel (sarcasm) that is the RC powervalve controller. I bought this one as a project and as soon as the previous owner said it didn't have any top end before he took it apart, I had a feeling the powervalve was the problem. Despite the picture, the rest of the bike actually looks good. For those not familiar, it's an electronic motor that is commonly used in model boats and cars, it opens based on a sensor in the carb. I ended up sourcing a replacement motor (MTronics M400) no problem, but it got me thinking about what an overly complicated and unreliable way to do something that had worked perfectly well with a centrifugal setup for nearly 20 years before that.

That got me thinking... what are Honda's dumbest ideas for MX bikes over the years? My top five looks like this:

1) Lefthand kickstart
2) RC Valve
3) Air Forks
4) Magnesium side cases (mid 80s)
5) 1989 CR 250 forks

Oddly enough, the aluminum frame didn't make my cut. The first generation wasn't great, but it appears the aluminum frame has stood the test of time.

All in all, Honda doesn't make many huge blunders in my opinion, but they have definitely made a few!
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10/10/2019 1:52 PM

23 inch front wheel
20 inch front wheel
Crf150r
Stopping production of its 2 strokes

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10/10/2019 2:01 PM

Air forks weren’t necessarily their idea....

Twin pipes for sure make the list

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Alright Lunger, Let's Do It

10/10/2019 2:07 PM

mark_swart wrote:

So I'm rehabbing an 04 CR 125 for my brother, and I am learning about the engineering marvel (sarcasm) that is the RC powervalve controller. I bought this one as a project and as soon as the previous owner said it didn't have any top end before he took it apart, I had a feeling the powervalve was the problem. Despite the picture, the rest of the bike actually looks good. For those not familiar, it's an electronic motor that is commonly used in model boats and cars, it opens based on a sensor in the carb. I ended up sourcing a replacement motor (MTronics M400) no problem, but it got me thinking about what an overly complicated and unreliable way to do something that had worked perfectly well with a centrifugal setup for nearly 20 years before that.

That got me thinking... what are Honda's dumbest ideas for MX bikes over the years? My top five looks like this:

1) Lefthand kickstart
2) RC Valve
3) Air Forks
4) Magnesium side cases (mid 80s)
5) 1989 CR 250 forks

Oddly enough, the aluminum frame didn't make my cut. The first generation wasn't great, but it appears the aluminum frame has stood the test of time.

All in all, Honda doesn't make many huge blunders in my opinion, but they have definitely made a few!

Holy crap!
Agree with all, but I really feel the 1989 Honda forks. 1st Gen USD forks. Had sheet metal spacer and springs that rubbed the internals - the oil was always dirty and clogging the base valve. You couldn't change fork oil often enough. Saw a pair of Suzuki internals and was thinking why the F didn't Showa/Honda so something simple like that.

RC valve had nothing but hate for it even when it was new.

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10/10/2019 2:34 PM

Are you sure that RC valve opens based on a sensor in the carb?

I don’t know how it works if truth be told, but a sensor in the carb doesn’t make as much sense to me as a sensor on the crank speed.

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10/10/2019 2:37 PM

It's in the ignition I think as it was designed to open at a certain controlled speed based on engine RPM

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10/10/2019 2:40 PM

Lightning78 wrote:

It's in the ignition I think as it was designed to open at a certain controlled speed based on engine RPM

Makes a lot more sense.

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10/10/2019 2:43 PM
Edited Date/Time: 10/10/2019 2:46 PM

Air forks? Man o man, should dig up some of the old threads where all the Vitards were praising them.

Honda's worst blunders? Thinking they could dominate the market by basically selling the 74 CR250 through 1977 and the 74 CR125 all the way through 1978. The 76 CR250 sucked so bad against the competition that they didn't even make a 77 model.

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10/10/2019 3:04 PM

mark_swart wrote:

So I'm rehabbing an 04 CR 125 for my brother, and I am learning about the engineering marvel (sarcasm) that is the RC powervalve controller. I bought this one as a project and as soon as the previous owner said it didn't have any top end before he took it apart, I had a feeling the powervalve was the problem. Despite the picture, the rest of the bike actually looks good. For those not familiar, it's an electronic motor that is commonly used in model boats and cars, it opens based on a sensor in the carb. I ended up sourcing a replacement motor (MTronics M400) no problem, but it got me thinking about what an overly complicated and unreliable way to do something that had worked perfectly well with a centrifugal setup for nearly 20 years before that.

That got me thinking... what are Honda's dumbest ideas for MX bikes over the years? My top five looks like this:

1) Lefthand kickstart
2) RC Valve
3) Air Forks
4) Magnesium side cases (mid 80s)
5) 1989 CR 250 forks

Oddly enough, the aluminum frame didn't make my cut. The first generation wasn't great, but it appears the aluminum frame has stood the test of time.

All in all, Honda doesn't make many huge blunders in my opinion, but they have definitely made a few!

I think every brand has made some blunders

Wasnt the lefthand kickstart on a lot of other bikes before the CR's? Plus the airforks, pretty sure they were not the first to do so.

Speaking of which, I remember trying to start a friends KTM 620 LC4 (left side kickstart) once, no fun at all. It was (slightly) easier bump starting it!

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Current rides: 2019 CRF450RWE and 2019 TC300
Occasional ride for VMX: 1985 CR500RF
Adventure/Road bike: CRF1000L

10/10/2019 3:37 PM

They shoulda re signed Magoo

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10/10/2019 3:48 PM

#1 on the list: Killing everything 2 stroke

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10/10/2019 3:52 PM

Oval pistons

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2015 Beta 500 RS, history: 99 KTM 300, 87 CR250, 84 KLR 600, 82 GPZ 550, 81 KX 250, 80 KX 250, 79 Montesa 414 VE, 78 250 VB, 77 360 VB, 76 360 VA, 75 YZ 125, 74 TM 125, 72 TS 125, 60's West Bend Go Boy Kart

10/10/2019 4:00 PM

KurtJ99 wrote:

Holy crap!
Agree with all, but I really feel the 1989 Honda forks. 1st Gen USD forks. Had sheet metal spacer and springs that rubbed the internals - the oil was always dirty and clogging the base valve. You couldn't change fork oil often enough. Saw a pair of Suzuki internals and was thinking why the F didn't Showa/Honda so something simple like that.

RC valve had nothing but hate for it even when it was new.

So that's why my metal cone broke, thus relegating me to race my friends KTM 360? 'Twas funny when another friends YZ broke, and he raced my 500. First trip through the whoops he thought he was dead. All with no practice mind you, and the forks worked, kinda.

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10/10/2019 4:06 PM

Thisusernameisavailable wrote:

Are you sure that RC valve opens based on a sensor in the carb?

I don’t know how it works if truth be told, but a sensor in the carb doesn’t make as much sense to me as a sensor on the crank speed.

def not attached to carb. the oem carb had a throttle position sensor, but you can unplug that when swapping to a new carb. mine for instance was unplugged and filled with epoxy, currently running a lectron. its tied to the CDI.

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10/10/2019 4:09 PM

kiwifan wrote:

I think every brand has made some blunders

Wasnt the lefthand kickstart on a lot of other bikes before the CR's? Plus the airforks, pretty sure they were not the first to do so.

Speaking of which, I remember trying to start a friends KTM 620 LC4 (left side kickstart) once, no fun at all. It was (slightly) easier bump starting it!

The left hand kick, right hand drive was Honda’s attempt at a US built Japanese version of a Swedish built Husqvarna. True story.


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10/10/2019 4:09 PM

What’s stiffer. 97 cr250 or the 2017 cr450?

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10/10/2019 4:25 PM
Edited Date/Time: 10/10/2019 4:26 PM

A minor blunder compared to some of the other stuff that’s been brought up, but the 1981 scoop number plates were weird and never caught on.

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10/10/2019 4:32 PM

Also, maybe not doing everything possible to keep Jeremy McGrath happy at the close of the 1996 season.

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10/10/2019 4:35 PM



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Ed Johnson

10/10/2019 4:37 PM

Stoneface wrote:

Also, maybe not doing everything possible to keep Jeremy McGrath happy at the close of the 1996 season.

Big difference between trying to keep him and running him off, Honda ran him off.

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Ed Johnson

10/10/2019 5:09 PM

lostboy819 wrote:

don't hate on the fat cat!

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10/10/2019 5:13 PM

Number 1 blunder was definitely not resigning RC4, they thought he was done, smh.

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10/10/2019 5:28 PM

Ronnie_Gardner wrote:

Number 1 blunder was definitely not resigning RC4, they thought he was done, smh.

X2

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10/10/2019 7:06 PM

These two were goofy too, the Honda Gyro and Reflex.

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Ed Johnson

10/10/2019 7:18 PM

I was going to say CRF150R has to be in there but I got beat to it. Now the fat cat I think is cool I'd love to have one I looked at a Yamaha BW80 about a month ago but it was way too ragged for the price.

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10/10/2019 7:55 PM

ATAC anyone???


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10/10/2019 8:36 PM

The '83:line up of crs were all awesome bikes that were competitive, reliable, and simple to maintain.

The 84 models, in particular, the 250, we're junk. Forks sucked, it ate pistons, and had the first honda power valve. The only good thing it had was a front disc brake, but it wasn't as good as other brands and was a minimal improvement over a well set up and maintained double leading shoe on the 83s.

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10/10/2019 9:43 PM

Two strokes
Two pipes
and
Ridgelines

Pretty sure all manufacturers have some big blunders though.

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10/10/2019 10:35 PM

JohnnyD13 wrote:

What’s stiffer. 97 cr250 or the 2017 cr450?

No cr or crf will ever be stiffer than a 97 cr250. My least favorite Honda I ever owned.

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10/10/2019 11:37 PM

slipdog wrote:

ATAC anyone???


Hey, at least they changed the naming of it - it was first called by the Acronym of HERPS, which I think stood for Honda Exhaust Resonance Power System. 1st on MTX models and some others. The Brit magazines, ever prepared to lampoon manufacturers, went for the obvious - HERPES...........

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