When we last left our Long Haul CR144R, the likable little two-stroke had just undergone some major internal changes: a new top end with a domed piston, quite a bit of head work and an FMF PowerCore 2 silencer. We did all these things in an attempt to broaden the power on the 144 and were pleased to find that the mods did exactly what we wanted them to. The final result was much more midrange power, fatter peak power-broader all together. Happily, we have the performance of the motor to a point where we can stop messing with it. The meat is a bit easier to find and use; now this bike is even more of a hoot to ride when chasing thumpers around the track!Buttoned up and broken in, the CR was passed around among the Dirt Rider staff like an Apache peace pipe-and though everyone got a turn, not one of us inhaled (I swear!). During this time, the bike was ridden, ridden and then ridden some more, and as a result I let the maintenance slip past what we consider satisfactory here at DR. At that point, Jimmy kindly informed me that I officially had a clapped-out bike on my hands (bringing a feeling of distress that can only be compared to learning that you have sprouted your first gray hair, though I wouldn’t know for sure). Further inspection revealed the poor little 144 in dire need of clutch plates, a lot of grease, some cable lubrication and a new O-ring on the pipe flange, along with a tightening up of everything.With this Long Haul test coming to a close, the 144 will get one final revamping before we again ride the beans out of it and pull the top end off for the wrap-up analysis. It would be great to get 50 hours out of the little champ, but only time will tell if the two-stroke has it in her. One thing is for sure: No matter what this bike looks like come wrap-up time, the 144 has proven to be a fairly reliable, impressively powerful and totally amusing race bike-and I swear on the grave of my last seized two-stroke that I will now be doing everything in my power to keep this Honda ticking.Running Tally #3
Hours on Bike: 40
Modification Total: $1850.80
Maintenance and Repairs: $928.40 (not including tires)
1 Piston kit: $120
2 5-gal. containers VP c-12 Race fuel: $49.99 ea.
4 Bottles HP2 Premix oil: $6.99 EA.
2 oil changes
Bel-Ray gear Saver: $6.95