2020 CRF450RWE Problems from day 1

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10/14/2020 9:12 AM

So I bought a brand new 2020 CRF450RWE April 28th 2020 from a dealer in Metuchen, NJ.

After 30min of riding for the 1st time, I noticed when checking the oil level that the oil had a strong smell of pump gas. Which by the way is what they used upon delivering the bike. Thinking that maybe it was ethanol possibly ruining the seals I drained the tank and started using VP T4.

I then went to the track and rode about 2hrs that day. After checking the oil I noticed an even stronger smell of fuel, being VP and the oil looked diluted. Also small amounts of coolant would drain out the waste hose. So when getting home I replaced the coolant with Twin Airs Ice Flow along with an oil and filter change. I then saved the oil and filter and brought the bike back to the dealership to complain about the problem. They ran the bike for only 1/10 as indicated by the hour reader I installed the day of purchase. The dealer said there is no problem and it’s the VP I’m smelling. Wanted me to pay diagnostics despite being brand new and only having little over 2hrs on her.

Being unsatisfied by the dealerships lack of concern I started saving my oil after every change. Also started changing the oil after every ride. The oil started looking better during these changes however the smell was still present. Around 7.8hrs though I noticed coolant spewing from the waste hose again. So to fix this I installed a Tusk 1.8 cap with thermometer, which worked great until the 8.7 mark. Then it just kept spewing coolant. I noticed that when filling the coolant, there is a cloudy look almost like oil mixing with the coolant or gases mixing in the coolant. But the bike never got hot. Would operate in the yellow area on the cap. The only time it went to 210 and up was when the radiators were almost empty. After filling them, the operation temp would be normal and in the yellow.

From my years of working as a car tech, it seems upon manufacturing the head gasket is bad. As if the cylinder pressure is causing the coolant to spew out the waste hose. Am I wrong? My thinking is it 1st started with the oil and now it’s bad to where the cooling system is affected.

The bike has 10hrs on her and has been babied. I’m a “C” class rider if that. So my reason for posting is 1) to see if others have the same issue
2) what could cause this on a brand new bike
3) if the dealership gives me a hard time about fixing this under warranty, what should I do next
4) what should be all replaced to fix this problem. I’m thinking new top end but how do I know it’s not something more? Like should I fight Honda for a new engine?

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10/14/2020 10:12 AM
Edited Date/Time: 10/14/2020 10:19 AM

I don't think a blown head gasket would cause fuel delusion in the crankcase. Most of the time it's caused by a leaky injector and that can cause overheating. There where a lot of reports of the honda 250 and 450 overheating but I never noticed a rash of them at the track. I suppose the head gasket could have been buggered from the factory.

Good luck getting honda to fix it if they can't see blood. I guess you need to go to another dealer and tell them it won't stop pushing coolant, should be pretty easy to prove. If they can't get it to puke in the shop have one of their guys take it riding.

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10/14/2020 11:25 AM

Maybe do a leakdown test? That would help point you in the right direction. It would give you actual numbers/proof to make the dealer do something about it.
Also those tusk rad caps are junk. I was losing coolant on my 19 250 on cool 65°F days. Switched back to the stock 1.1 cap and my problems on losing coolant went away. Tusk caps have a poor seal and will lose coolant without getting hot.

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Gone:
2006 CRF230F
2008 KTM 200 XC
2017 KTM 250 SX
2019 CRF250R
Current: 2021 YZ250F

10/14/2020 12:22 PM

Sounds like a blown head gasket and a leaking injector. Thats the only way gas or coolant gets into your oil.

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10/14/2020 4:39 PM

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10/14/2020 6:03 PM

I had a similar problem with my 19 getting coolant into the engine oil. Ended up being the head gasket. I also bought a brand new 20 CRF450R and it blew up at 1.8hrs, was trying to figure out how I lost coolant in 15 min because it was full when my moto started and after ripping apart the engine found the one head bolt had not been torqued maybe had 5-10ft/lbs? Not saying that is your issue because of the fuel smell but if your losing some coolant and it’s causing a milky oil it could be the head gasket like it was mine.

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10/14/2020 6:35 PM

Hamm_racing136 wrote:

I had a similar problem with my 19 getting coolant into the engine oil. Ended up being the head gasket. I also bought a brand ...more

Wow... that sucks on both a 19 and 20. More worried about the 20 since that’s what mine is.
My oil concern may be more of just smell of fuel over full on dilution. However now with the coolant concern, I wonder if it’s coolant that’s mixing in the oil? I have saved my oil from every oil change as I had been having worries since purchase. The problem with my coolant is that it’s being blown out the hose by the cap. From the cap I have, it doesn’t seem to be over heating, just pushes out coolant. The only time it reads hot (200+) is after the coolant is blown out.

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10/14/2020 6:37 PM

Hamm_racing136 did you fix the problem with the 20 450 and has there been any issues after fixing?

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10/14/2020 6:51 PM

After starting to dig into the engine the dealership told me to bring it back to them for a possible warranty claim. They ended up finding out the stator melted as well. If the engine got hot enough to do that who knows how deep the heat went and issues it could cause later so they went to Honda for at least a new engine and Honda ended up giving me a new bike, took a few weeks for it to all go through but the new bike has been all good so I’m hoping my other one was just a lemon and this one will be solid.

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10/14/2020 8:14 PM

Definitely sounds like a blown head gasket with the coolant over-pressurization.

Also, people seem to think a blown head gasket would not cause fuel smell in the oil. Hell yes it can. All the oil passages between the bottom end and the head are sealed between the cylinder and head by the head gasket, including the cam chain tunnel If the gasket is blown combustion (gas) can easily get into the oil. What does your crankcase breather tube look like? It's probably full of oil that smells like gas fumes because you crankcase is likely receiving combustion pressure.

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Powerband in every gear !

10/14/2020 8:46 PM

Hamm_racing136 wrote:

After starting to dig into the engine the dealership told me to bring it back to them for a possible warranty claim. They ...more

Damn... Sorry to hear! That whole journey sucks donkey dickangry

Glad you persevered and ended up with a new bike, enjoy!!!

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10/22/2020 8:40 AM

kb228 wrote:

Sounds like a blown head gasket and a leaking injector. Thats the only way gas or coolant gets into your oil.

A leaking water pump seal will push enough coolant into the crank case to make the oil chocolate milk looking.

Compression is a drastically higher PSI Than the cooling system PSI so it will push CO2 into the cooling system not the other way.

From my old honda car tech days we used this sniffer tester to check the coolant for CO2 to diagnose a head gasket leak.

Other than a leaking injector leaking raw gas into the system a blown head gasket would not push that much fuel mist into the crank case to smell it. Hondas also have a crankcase breather that would suck out most of the fumes too.

IMO it is a leaking fuel injector.
Photo

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10/22/2020 9:17 AM

kb228 wrote:

Sounds like a blown head gasket and a leaking injector. Thats the only way gas or coolant gets into your oil.

lumpy790 wrote:

A leaking water pump seal will push enough coolant into the crank case to make the oil chocolate milk looking.

Compression ...more

People keep holding onto this "milky oil from a blown water pump seal" idea from back in the 80's when bikes only had a single seal. The truth is basically all bikes now have two seals. One that holds the water in the pump and one that holds the oil in the engine. It is practically impossible for both seals to fail at the same time and for coolant to get to the oil. And, in the event hat this did happen, there is a weep hole between the 2 seals so you would see coolant dripping from the bike immediately.

As for the head gasket, there is both compression, and suction in the cylinder. So CO2 can get to the coolant and coolant can get in the combustion chamber. I'm sure we've all seen droplets of coolant on the piston, head, etc after a blown head gasket and the white smoke and sweet smell of burning coolant coming out the back.

The crankcase breather on Honda MX bikes is sealed with a plug on the end. I bet if the OP takes this plug out he will see a mix of condensed oil vapor and gas that has collected in there.

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Powerband in every gear !

10/22/2020 1:45 PM

So basically despite a video of my bike leaking coolant out the over heating hose, the dealership Cross Country Powersports said they can not duplicate the problem. They claim to have done a pressure test and found zero leaks. I’m calling bullshit and will bringing my bike into work for my techs to do our own diag. I work for a Honda car dealership. If we find a leak present, I’m then getting a lawyer as I have oil samples, videos and then a video of our diag of the problem. Honda is fucking with the wrong person.

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11/14/2020 12:39 PM

Call around to auto repair shops around you and ask if they have a gas analyzer. Have them use it to sniff the cooling system with it looking for any HC (Hydrocarbons). Also have them sniff the oil fill plug. HC will be present in the crankcase but it shouldn't be excessively high. The cooling system should be 0. The bulb tester that Lumpy posted works but a gas analyzer is a lot more precise and can help indicate a small leak more accurately.

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