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Toneconsultant's CRF150


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June 2014 - I do have something else to share about pipes.  I got in touch with Bill’s Pipes and they made a pipe for me.  I wanted to change things up so I was off to a new pipe.  How is it?  How does it compare to the EO pipe or the BBR pipe?  I don’t know!  J  

Well, the problem is since this original shootout (below), my engine has changed a lot.  For one, it’s 53cc larger (It was a 170cc) and the carb has since had some more changes!  It’s a beast now!  With that said, however, I just have to say, my bike is crazy now.  The gearing is 14/50, which is set for speed and not torque, yet I can still lift the front end easily in 3rd gear and fairly easy in 4th gear.  Folks, life is good and I am enjoying my Bill's Pipe.



Well as some of you may have heard, the CR85 shock is a route you can take for your CRF150F. The stock CR85 shock, however, is a bit longer. The common fix is to drill a hole in the shock’s clevis. I actually had Mike Alessi’s CR85 RACE TECH shock, but I didn’t want to jack the shock up by drilling into it. I sold that and moved on.


Recently, however, I picked up a CR85 shock for cheap. I knew the CRF230 linkage was different then the CRF150F linkage. The CRF230 linkage lower the CRF150F by an inch. I wondered if they would work together and avoid the drilling. I put them on (I’ll get to that later) and took them for a spin through PiPi Valley, CA.


How’d it do? A bit soft; sort of a choosy Cadillac type ride, but for that type of riding (trail riding), it was perfect. What a smooth ride. I wanted to push it really hard to see if I could bottom out, but since I’d never been there, I didn’t think it would be too bright to pin it on trails I’ve never ridden. I still, however, hit some pretty big whooped out sections and I didn’t have any issues.


To install the parts, I did have to file the top of the frame brackets, but I knew about that from other post. Not a lot of filing though; only about 1/16th of an inch.


Surprisingly, however, I had to file the corner of the reservoir. I was surprised because I haven’t heard anyone mention this. I have to admit, I was running the CRF230 linkage, so that could have been the difference, but I have to question if this is something all the CR85 shock owners haven’t noticed.


My reservoir just touched my frame. Probably not an issue, but I didn’t like it touching so I filed it very lightly. Other than that, however, it bolted right up. No drilling.






DUNLOP 739's 




All the tires were tested on hard terrain in California. 


BRIDGESTONE 402'S The Bridgestone 402's got great ratings from Dirt Rider Magazine. 9 out of 10. They said they ran their tires on a hard terrain track. Nine out of ten. Wow. These must be good. I picked one up and ran it on a hard terrain Calif track. 


TRACTION: Ladies and Gentlemen, this tire sucks!!! Maybe it's better on a semi soft track, but on hard terrain, it sucked. No hook up at all. Cornering on flat turns were easy to control, but when it came to getting traction on a straight line, forget it. I'd sit there and spin all day. No traction at all. 


The one thing I did like about the tire was the tall profile. I always worry about bending a rim so the tall profile was nice to see. That tall profile, however, created a back-end wobble like I was on a blow up play house. It just never felt planted. 


WEAR: The wear didn't look so bad. It didn't really matter though because since it didn't hook up, I'd never put this tire on my bike again. 




Now I know these were the MS2's and not the MH3's. The MS2's are soft to intermediate tires and the MH3's are for hard terrain. Oddly, nobody sells the MH3's in my area. I thought that was odd since all the California tracks are really hart pack tracks. Whatever the case, that's what I had. 


TRACTION: The first couple rides were pretty good. I'd say a 7 out of 10. The front and rear were decent. The tires were really cheap at $25ea. How could I go wrong? The knobbies were really tall too. I love big, tall knobbies.


WEAR: They wore fairly well. I was very pleased with the wear. Especially since they weren't hard terrain tires. After a while, however, the knobbies start to chunk off. Not all of them, but they do chunk off. 




TRACTION: Night and day better than the Starcross and the Bridgestone. No comparison. Here's an example that will sum it up. I tried to do a brake slide into a turn, then dump the clutch to exit. With the Starcross, the back end would slide in perfectly; I'd dump the clutch and my exit was perfect. Great right? 


With the Maxxis, it was quite different. I pulled in the clutch, hit the rear brakes and sure enough, I just stopped. The back end wouldn't kick out to the side. The result? I had to enter the turn at a much higher speed to get the rear end to slide like the Starcross. Our sport is about going faster, isn't it? With the Maxxis, I could enter the turns faster and when exiting, they hooked up just well. If you want traction, this is the tire. 


WEAR: The knobbies weren't as tall as the Starcross, but this tires wears well. The only thing I would have like was that the Bridgestone has a taller profile. I'd like that higher profile on the Maxxis. The Starcross has a low profile. The Maxxis wasn't low, but it wasn't as high as the Starcross. Whatever the case, this was petty. The Maxxis is on such a higher level than the others.




I still have to put some time into this one. I only have a 739 front. Since it's a hard terrain tire, I'm hoping it will hook up. I have to put a few more laps in on this tire to grade it. I called Dunlop and asked for the best traction tire with no care about wear. It's a front tire so wear really wasn't a factor. They said the 739. The jury is still out on this one. 


BOTTOM LINE: The Maxxis is a clear winner. I really had big hope for the Bridgestone 402, but that was a mistake. I also heard Michelin came out with a new hard terrain tire and there's still the MH3 if I can find it. So far, I haven't found many places that sell either tire though. We'll see. If I find those, I might give them a try. If you haven't figured it out. I just like to try new things on the bike. I'll try almost anything. It's all sort of a knowledge adventure. 


I want to try the KENDA Carlsbad tire, but it's pricey at around $50 bucks. If I had a big bike, maybe $50 wouldn't be so bad, but for a 16" rim, and knowing how good the Maxxis I.T. is, there really is not point in that. 


Oh, I almost forgot. If you have the stock Pirelli's on, those are terrible tires. If I had to be positive about them, I'd say, "Well, they are perfectly round and they are made of rubber." That's about it. They wear terribly and they don't hook up well either. 



Nov. 7, 2006






That’s the question everyone’s always asking.  BBR? FMF?  Pro Circuit?  Bill’s Pipes?  Which pipe is best?  Well, I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to give the Engine’s Only pipe a run.  I’ve been running the BBR pipe for years.  Frank at EO kept telling me his pipe was better.  How cool is this?  I get to find out. 


Now keep in mind that my findings are MY findings I’m not giving you an expert test with dyno testing.  I’ve been riding over 30 years (I started really young).  That’s all the qualifications I have.  I’m giving you MY opinion on the pipe.  I gain nothing unlike Motocross Action Magazine who are total sell outs (I’m still pissed about the 428 conversion crap they said about 3 or 4 HP out of changing sprockets.  I knew it wasn’t possible, but I’m pissed that they tried to con everyone on that.  You didn’t know they practically own the company that pushed that 428 conversion kit, did you?  Well they do!). 


Anyway, with that said, if the pipe doesn’t perform, I get to tell you, and it’s no sweat off my back.  Let’s find out.


The ENGINE’S ONLY pipe is a SuperTrapp style pipe. As I’m told, its megaphone design enables it to give more power up top.  If you want specifications on the pipe, go to yourself to find out that info.  I really just want to talk about performance.  The only thing I will add here, however, is that it’s light.  It’s about the same as my BBR pipe.  Enough of that though, let’s do a test.


I took the bike out to Metcalf, CA.  Temp. was in the mid 70’s.  I’m running the following engine:


-EO 170cc kit, stage

-EO Stage two cam

-BBR 26mm Carb


I will admit, I’m not a fan of the Supertrapp looks.  Then again, I don’t even like my Gold BBR pipe’s looks.  I have a couple of the first CRF150’s released so it was all that was offered, at the time. 


First, let me tell you a little about my BBR pipe.  It’s alright.  It was better than the stocker up on top.  I didn’t notice much gains down low or in the mids.  It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t anything to call Grandma about.  It does have a good throaty tone. 


After I got all the engine mods, the BBR pipe did work well.  I think the combination of everything really worked well.  I’m pleased with the bike.  I performs well.  Now let’s run the EO pipe.


Installing the EO pipe was really easy.  The connections (compared to the BBR) are in different areas.  This changes the ease or difficulty of install.  I installed the BBR pipe on fairly easy, but I know a lot of people have had issues with them.  The EO pipe was on in about 10 minutes.


I sealed everything with high temp. silicone and let it sit overnight. I’m telling you this because my friends tried to test this pipe on a stocker, but they didn’t seal anything, or jet it correctly.  Oh boy, what a mess that was.  Obviously, it didn’t perform for them.  Don’t get me started on this.  I’m sure my buddies are reading this.  Well, here’s a note for my friends.   “Yes, I’m telling everyone you guys are a bunch of goofs.” Ha.



O.K., where was I.  Oh yeah.  Performance.  There really isn’t much to say here.  The ENGINE’S ONLY beat out my BBR pipe.  I feel like I’m making an info commercial like it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread. I’m not trying to folks   It’s just the bottom line truth. Maybe it’s because I was skeptical about its performance.  Whatever the case, it ran really well and with a little fine tuning, I think I can get it to run even better.


The top end is very close between the pipes.  The EO pipe, by design, is supposed to be better.  I could tell the powerband was more ready available on the EO pipe.  Both were good, but the EO pipe got the edge here. 


The mids were strong and hearty.   If you’ve been to Metcalf, the hills are really just inclines.  They aren’t steep.  My front end was coming up a lot more than normal.  That was sorta cool.  It’s not a crazy difference, but there was a difference.  I good difference.


The low end?  Forget about it.  That’s where the EO pipe shined.  I think the BBR flows too much.  No back pressure.  I didn’t think that was the case, but after running the EO pipe, it must be. 


By design, I thought the EO pipe might be better on top, but I wasn’t expecting anything anywhere else.  I was way off. 


I said I didn’t like the looks of the megaphone pipe (My brother totally digs it.).  Aside from that, the EO pipe out performed the BBR pipe.  Keep in mind that I’ve been running the BBR pipe for over 3 years.  I know that pipe. 


Did I mention that it’s wasn’t a loud pipe?  Yeah, it’s not even an ear sore.  I’ve had to repack my BBR a few times.  That’s no biggy because I think you have to repack all canister pipes.  Since this is a Megaphone design, I don’t think you repack it.  Anyhoo, I only have one more thing to add:  Anyone looking to buy a BBR pipe? 


Check this out.  Before I did the test, I repacked my BBR pipe.  I thought it wouldn't be a true test if I didn't repack it to a new state.
Someone was asking about "repacking" their pipe.  I pulled the old packing out of the garbage and cut it open so you could see what it looks like.  As you can see, the ends look good, but the whole middle was blow out. 
It's nice that the EO pipe never needs repacking, but my point is that if you have a traditional pipe like the BBR,you need to repack it often.  It's not hard and it's not expensive.  It's just something you need to know. 
I think this packing had about 10 rides or so.