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Best CRF150R Mods & Upgrades For Performance AND Comfort

Looking for a list of the best CRF150R mods to make your Honda 150R or 150RB faster, more comfortable, or just easier and safer to ride?

Whether you’re trying to make the fastest mini race bike, you’re an adult that wants to use it as a trail bike, or somewhere in between, these are the best no-nonsense mods that are actually worth your money

This guide covers the top performance upgrades to make it faster and more comfortable, how each mod affects your bike, and how to keep it reliable so that it doesn’t break down on you.

Why Modify Your CRF150R?

There are a number of reasons why you would want to modify parts on your Honda 150R MX bike. You might be an adult that’s looking for the best lightweight trail bike, or you simply want a faster supermini race bike.

2009 CRF150RB 6 Best CRF150R Mods & Upgrades For Performance AND Comfort
My ’09 CRF150RB for trail riding in the woods. These little bikes rip!

Either way, there are plenty of mods and upgrades to make your CRF150 faster and more comfortable to ride without compromising reliability. 

Jetting – the forgotten upgrade

Jetting is extremely important when it comes to how your dirt bike runs. The CRF150R comes a little lean depending on the climate you ride, making it hard to start.

If your 150R is hard to start when cold or has a bog at low RPM then the pilot jet is probably too lean. Going from the 38 stock pilot jet to a 40 or 42 is a common fix, or even a 45 if it’s really lean. You’ll have easier starts and better throttle response. 

JD Jetting jet kit vs DIY

Why not just get a “6 Sigma” or JD Jet kit (check price on Amazon) and take the guesswork out of jetting your CRF150R? The main difference is that the JD Jet kit comes with a pre-selected pilot and main jets and two custom needles for low and high-elevation riding.

So, if you prefer the cheaper route, it’s best to just buy the right size pilot jet and tune the fuel screw. That alone will get you a much better result.
But if you don’t mind spending a little more, the JD kit also comes with special needles if you ride a different elevation (sea level compared to mountain riding).

R&D Flex fuel screw

The fuel screw is a great jetting tuner to get that perfectly crisp throttle response and easy starting. However, the stock fuel screw is a pain to reach without a special tool. 

As the temperature or humidity changes, the air-fuel ratio will change. This means the fuel screw needs adjusting to compensate. 

Instead, you can install an R&D flex fuel screw (check price on Amazon) that makes fuel screw adjustments quick and easy without any tools required! It’s a flexible screw that you can turn with your fingers to adjust the fuel screw once installed. 

CRF150R Suspension upgrade

Is your suspension too soft or too stiff? Not only is it uncomfortable, but it’s exhausting and can make riding your CRF150R harder and more dangerous.

Whether you’re racing motocross or trail riding in the woods, getting the suspension set up for you is extremely important if you want a comfortable ride that builds confidence. 

First, you need the correct spring rate for your weight and type of riding. If you’re an adult, you’ll most likely need some stiffer shock & fork springs (check price on Amazon).

Step two of suspension tuning

After that, adjusting the sag to get the proper ride height is key. This will balance the front and rear suspension to get the best handling, comfort, and traction so you can ride with more confidence.

Then you just adjust the clickers and tune the oil weight and height to get the right feel. Those are the cheapest suspension mods for your CRF150R or 150RB.

Head pipe

Upgrading to an aftermarket head pipe can get you a little more power. The FMF Megabomb or Powerbomb (check price on Motosport) does that while slightly reducing the decibels from the exhaust. 

2007 CRF150RB 1 Best CRF150R Mods & Upgrades For Performance AND Comfort
My old ’07 with an FMF Megabomb head pipe

That’s good because the 150R is pretty blasted loud even with a stock exhaust. 

Quiet Muffler?

If you need to really quiet it down, the FMF Q4 is the best choice. It’s quality made, and it comes with a spark arrestor to make it legal for trail riding on state trails. 

Even a Yoshimura RS2 slip-on (check price on Amazon) will be just as quiet or quieter than the stock exhaust, especially with a quiet insert installed.

CRF250F Yoshimura RS2 Exhaust System Best CRF150R Mods & Upgrades For Performance AND Comfort
Yoshimura RS2 Slip-on (from MotoSport)

DB Dawg?

A decibel dawg is an insert that can quiet down the stock muffler. However, I had a hard time tracking down their availability.

Cheap spark arrestor option

If you’re riding on state trails, then you need a spark arrestor to be legal. You can get an FMF Q4 slip-on (check price on Amazon), which will make it quieter as well, but there is a cheaper option.

A Lexx XC Spark arrestor (check price on Amazon) is much more affordable option. It’s simply an end cap with a spark arrestor that bolts (or rivets) onto your stock CRF150R muffler.

CRF250X Muffler Failure

Wanting to make my CRF150RB as quiet as possible for riding at home on my trails, I did a lot of research. 

One or two people online had installed a stock Honda CRF250F muffler on their 150R. I found a cheap used muffler and wanted to give it a try. 

CRF250X Muffler Mount Best CRF150R Mods & Upgrades For Performance AND Comfort
The CRF250X muffler bolted on with a custom extended mount on the subframe

Wells after many hours of testing, jetting, and trying to make it run well, I finally gave up. 

I tried going leaner and richer on the pilot jet, main jet, as well as swapping out the needle. There was still a midrange stumble under heavier loads that I couldn’t love with. Removing the end cap on the muffler fixed the stumble, but then it was almost as loud as the 150R muffler again…

Maybe if I got more creative with the jetting I could make it work, but I didn’t have the motivation. It was a failed mod for me, but I didn’t know until I tried. 

Flywheel To Help Prevent Stalling

Tired of constantly stalling your 150R? It’s easy to stall because there’s very little inertia from the engine and flywheel.

It’s good for acceleration because less weight allows the engine to spin up to a high RPM faster, but it also means that it will just as quickly slow the engine down.

An easy way to deal with this is by adding a flywheel weight (check price on Amazon). It’s a simple bolt-on part that will add weight, which will slow down the inertia of the engine, both accelerating and decelerating.

This will help you to stall less often, and it will also smooth out the power at lower RPM, which will increase traction.

Auto Clutch

If you got tired of jerky throttle response at low RPM or having to constantly slip the clutch to prevent the engine from stalling, this CRF150R mod is for you.

Really want to turn your CRF150R into a woods weapon? Installing a Rekluse auto clutch (check price on Motosport) will seriously up your trail riding game with this bike.

Rekluse Core EXP 3.0 Clutch Kit Best CRF150R Mods & Upgrades For Performance AND Comfort
Rekluse Core EXP 3.0 (From MotoSport)

It’s not cheap compared to the other mods on this list, but it will turn your Honda CRF 150R into a new bike. The Rekluse Core EXP 3.0 (Motosport) is adjustable to make the clutch engage when you want it to.

Auto clutches aren’t just for old people that can’t ride. They just make it so there’s one less thing for you to worry about.

Hi-Compression top end

Rebuilding the top-end on your CRF150R? Before you order a new piston kit, consider upgrading to one with more compression.

Cylinder Works has an affordable hi-comp cylinder kit (check price on Amazon) that simply replaces the stock piston and cylinder and bumps up the compression. 

More compression = more torque. Torque is good, especially if you’re an adult or trail rider. You’ll be able to lug the engine getting up hills and over obstacles more easily, while not having to shift as often.

Big bore kit

The easiest way to get more power instantly is by increasing the engine size with a big bore kit, but is it actually worth your time? Well, if you’re rebuilding the top end, then it doesn’t take any extra time to install an Athena 164cc kit (check price on Amazon) – if you need a new cylinder then it’s a no-brainer deal.

A big bore kit can be just as reliable as stock because you don’t need to rev the engine as high of an RPM to get the same acceleration. As long as you install it properly and adjust the jetting, it will last just as long as a stock 149cc engine.

Camshaft (torque or race?)

The camshaft is another serious power upgrade if you know what you want. Besides a piston, it’s one of the first engine mods you should consider for your CRF150R. 

The HotCams stage 1 camshaft (check price on Amazon) is specifically made to boost low-end to midrange torque. If you like to lug your bike and ride a gear lower and make use of the broad powerband. 

The stage 2 camshaft from HotCams is designed to increase top-end horsepower. This is great if you are a racer or just like to rev it out all the time. 

Tall Seat (for adults)

While the CRF150RB has bigger wheels, it’s still pretty small compared to a full size dirt bike. If you’re taller than 5’6″, a tall seat might be a good mod to increase your comfort. 

A taller seat means your legs will be less cramped when you’re sitting while riding because it’s a further reach to the footpegs. 


Now that you have a taller seat, you’ll want some taller handlebars to open up the cockpit. 
Renthal has some Mini High CRF150R handlebars (check price on Amazon) that are higher than stock.

Wider footpegs

The stock pegs aren’t terrible, but if you’re an adult then your boots are bigger than the intended size. 

Upgrading to some wider foot pegs (check price on Amazon) will give you more stability and confidence. It can also give the cockpit a slightly bigger feeling if they’re lower than the stock pegs. 

Kickstand For Trail Riding

Going to be trail riding with your CRF150R? A Fastway billet kickstand (check price on Amazon) should be on your list of mods. It’s sturdy, and much easier to hold your bike up with than finding a tree in most cases.

Hour meter

Keeping your 150R race bike reliable is the most important thing. A cheap and simple hour meter like this one from Amazon will keep track of the engine run time. That way you can just look at the clock and know for sure how many hours it’s been since the last oil change or maintenance servicing.

Review of the Best Mods

The best mods for your CRF150R/B are:

  • Jetting
  • Flex fuel screw
  • Suspension (springs/valving)
  • Head pipe upgrade
  • Quieter muffler
  • Auto clutch
  • Piston upgrade
  • Big bore kit
  • Torque cam
  • Tall Seat (for adults)
  • Wider footpegs
  • Hour meter

The best mod for speed and comfort on the trails?

How would you like to ride faster with more control and confidence? Would you believe me if I told you it can be done without any aftermarket parts?

That’s right, all it takes is an upgraded rider. Don’t worry, it’s easier than it sounds. It just takes the right coaching with the right riding techniques.

Want to learn more? Click here to get started with trail riding techniques to quickly boost your confidence and control.

Eric Grand-Maison

Wednesday 30th of December 2020

Very good write up sir.

Thank you very much

Kelley Fager

Friday 29th of January 2021

Thanks, Eric!