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17 500 RR-S vs 380 EXC, and the winner is? . . .

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 . . . come on, did you think that I was going to let the RR-S get beaten by a 2-stroke 380?, KTM nonetheless?  I knew that the 500 would win and I even think that against the 96 CR500R I had, and even my buddies KX500, the RR-S would make it close but I think it would have beaten them.  The best part is that he even had a new-ish rear tire as compared to the, what already comes 1/2-way worn stock Michelin DOT rear tire on the RR-S as the lugs were just not all that tall out of the box and there are so few of them compared to the full knobby he had on his bike.  It is always the best feeling in a drag race, anytime I shift gears and can feel and see myself pull away from anyone.  

My buddy was confident that his 380 was not going to be beat but right from the get go, the RR-S just hooked up, got the holeshot, and then in every gear, 2nd, 3rd, then the start of 4th, I pulled on the KTM and was so happy until I had hit 67 mph and the fire road was ending.  It was fun as he thought that there was no way, no matter how big a 4 stroke motor it was that I had, that it would have the power of a 380cc two stroke although he did ride it on the twisty section of fire road earlier in the day but at the same time, other than the long, 1/4 mile straightaway where we dragged, there was nowhere else in the entire riding area where the 500 could stretch its legs.  

The 500 has so much power that I had realized that it is very quiet on the trail as the amount of throttle that needs to be given to maintain the speed or accelerate on the faster parts of the fire road, is so small that both the intake honk and the exhaust are sort of hushed but, and here comes the butt, when he was able to get on it on the more open, straightaway parts of the trail, I could hear it and he had commented on now much sound that the bike makes at full-chat.  I think it is mostly intake but the exhaust does "THUMP" on the big Beta for sure.  

As I was giving the bike some extra clutch on the difficult parts of the trail, rocky, and very hilly, as I have about 26 hours on the motor now, I will probably give both oils a change and if I have the time to do it today, I'll do it sooner than the 30 hours.  

 

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Just curious, what is your experience with other big bore thumpers?

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OK interesting.  All I have to add is a small story about the 380.  My buddy refused to sell his to his nephew for fear that it would injure him.  Well, the young and impetuous nephew worked on him all summer until he relented.  The injury happened when the kick starter broke.  I'm not sure if he ever got the bike on the trail.  That was years ago.

Glad you're liking the 500.  I'm enjoying my 250.

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8 hours ago, basalt said:

Just curious, what is your experience with other big bore thumpers?

If "thumpers" are single piston, four stroke motors, I have no other experience other than this 17 500 RR-S, save for an 85 XL250 that I had ridden almost exclusively on the trails until I rode it so hard for so long that the motor started burning oil and then I had cracked the frame in two places.  I loved the hookup of the 250cc motor though.

Now, I had a 1985 CR500R and once I realized I loved the power, I needed more in the suspension and braking department as RWayUp forks along with a drum brake in the rear, just were not confidence inspiring in the forests. It makes me laugh every time I read about someone who says that the 85-88 or so, CR500R's were the fastest, most arm ripping machines ever made but even when I played with the sprockets every which way I could, the 85 could never touch the 96 CR in a drag race.  There was no other way to ride the 85 other than to short shift it and no matter what gearing change I would make, the gearbox/transmission was the limit on that motor.  The 96+ gearbox allowed the power to be put down and not get signed off early or once in top gear.  

 

 

 I stepped up to a CR500R and it was as good as it got on the trails.  At least in my neck of the woods, simply with a stock bike, well, it had a set of Boyesen reeds and a ProCircuit pipe and stinger so it was almost stock, but I had never lost a drag race either on the street or on the dirt.  The only bike that I would lose to was a 2001 KX500.  I would have the KX up to top gear after which the gearing of the big KX allowed it to walk away from me once I was WOT in top gear.  

Thankfully the 500 RR-S is making me NOT miss the power of either of the CR500R's I had as I think that the RR-S could have taken the CR500R.  The overall package of the RR-S is also so much better, then again, it is a bike with only about 500 miles and 25 hours on it and not a ridden hard and put away wet dirtbike that had never even had the rear shock serviced.  

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Wow, quite a comparison that you feel the Beta could take the CR500. 30 years ago I rode a CR once and the "hit" scared the crap outa me, but strange my Beta seems very manageable. My buddy would take his CR straight up impossible hills with ease, guess when you have gobs of power and no fear, just about anything is possible. Guess I'm remembering the CR power as more than it actually was or I'm now a power fiend and the Beta satisfies the need for speed with less drama than that fire breathing 2 smoke. Thanks for the reminder that the Beta really is a refined work of form and function. 

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7 hours ago, desertrat28 said:

Wow, quite a comparison that you feel the Beta could take the CR500. 30 years ago I rode a CR once and the "hit" scared the crap outa me, but strange my Beta seems very manageable. My buddy would take his CR straight up impossible hills with ease, guess when you have gobs of power and no fear, just about anything is possible. Guess I'm remembering the CR power as more than it actually was or I'm now a power fiend and the Beta satisfies the need for speed with less drama than that fire breathing 2 smoke. Thanks for the reminder that the Beta really is a refined work of form and function. 

Here is what I realized after years of hearing people in sort of awe of a 500cc 2-stroke;

 

Most people were very young when they started riding, at least most of the guys I know/knew, started out on 80's or 125's, then stopped riding.  Their frame of reference is stuck in a 13 year old or a 17 year old body.  We grow up and get stronger and soon the power of a 500 is controllable.  I never really noticed a hard hit on any of the 500's I rode, it was all power, all the time.  Maybe my body adapted to it but I also realize that I'm just a woods/trail rider and have never seen a track in my life so I've never even ridden the bike at even 7/10 or 8/10 of what it has other than all the massive sand hills that we'd run up and down where crowds would gather like at Glamis, to see people try, and maybe fail, or for guys like me, to zip right up the sand chute like it was nothing in 3rd gear without making a lot of noise but just speed and a massive roost with only a knobby and not a sand tire on the rear.  

The Beta 500 RR-S is very manageable and now I realize that years ago I had raced my same buddy with the 380 EXC, not that the 380 is the monster of all motors out there, but on the CR500, I had beaten him by about the same amount as the RR-S just hooks up and goes with very little wheelspin, even though we were on a graded dirt road with very little traction.  

I love e-start.  Saving my leg for riding, even though it was easy keeping my bikes one-kick bikes as I was fanatical about keeping my air filters clean as it was always my key to easy starting, saving my leg for riding and not kickstarting his huge now that I'm closer to 50 than 40.  The Beta is awesome.  I look forward to dragging my buddy next time although I know he realizes that the Beta is faster but he is the faster rider on the trails.  He also NEVER cleans his bike and I mean never.  His throttle tube is shaved off and open to everything.  I twisted it and it was all gritty and it doesn't bother him at all.  It would drive me crazy but it is his bike and he doesn't mind it at all.  He kicks it, it starts, he rides and gets it done.  

It was sometime in, it must have been 2001 as that was the last year that both the KX and CR 500's were made, and Dirt Bike had published all the HP-specs for every stock 2 stroke made and IIRC, both the CR and KX 500's topped out at just under 60-HP, if I also recall, the 380 was either 5 or 10-something HP shy with its smaller displacement.  I had posted a thead to see if anyone knew what the 477.5cc/500 motor puts out, and while no one could answer or has ever seen one dyno'd or a published HP figure, I think one had mentioned 60-HP, so the new 4 stroke technology has gained by leaps and bounds.  

Edited by Ben500RR-S
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17 hours ago, Ben500RR-S said:

Here is what I realized after years of hearing people in sort of awe of a 500cc 2-stroke;

 

Most people were very young when they started riding, at least most of the guys I know/knew, started out on 80's or 125's, then stopped riding.  Their frame of reference is stuck in a 13 year old or a 17 year old body.  We grow up and get stronger and soon the power of a 500 is controllable.  I never really noticed a hard hit on any of the 500's I rode, it was all power, all the time.  Maybe my body adapted to it but I also realize that I'm just a woods/trail rider and have never seen a track in my life so I've never even ridden the bike at even 7/10 or 8/10 of what it has other than all the massive sand hills that we'd run up and down where crowds would gather like at Glamis, to see people try, and maybe fail, or for guys like me, to zip right up the sand chute like it was nothing in 3rd gear without making a lot of noise but just speed and a massive roost with only a knobby and not a sand tire on the rear.  

The Beta 500 RR-S is very manageable and now I realize that years ago I had raced my same buddy with the 380 EXC, not that the 380 is the monster of all motors out there, but on the CR500, I had beaten him by about the same amount as the RR-S just hooks up and goes with very little wheelspin, even though we were on a graded dirt road with very little traction.  

I love e-start.  Saving my leg for riding, even though it was easy keeping my bikes one-kick bikes as I was fanatical about keeping my air filters clean as it was always my key to easy starting, saving my leg for riding and not kickstarting his huge now that I'm closer to 50 than 40.  The Beta is awesome.  I look forward to dragging my buddy next time although I know he realizes that the Beta is faster but he is the faster rider on the trails.  He also NEVER cleans his bike and I mean never.  His throttle tube is shaved off and open to everything.  I twisted it and it was all gritty and it doesn't bother him at all.  It would drive me crazy but it is his bike and he doesn't mind it at all.  He kicks it, it starts, he rides and gets it done.  

I went out with my buddy again today and was able to just utterly leave him in the dust, so much so that he now thinks that his clutch is slipping as I would let him get the drop on me on our roll-on acceleration races, either on the dirt or on the pavement.  On the pavement, fuggedaboutit, it was like a 600cc streetbike vs a 1,000cc streetbike, he had no chance at all, the 500 RR-S just gets up and goes and keeps on going.  

It is how it is with 2017 4-stroke, 477.5 cc technology vs a 364cc or so, KTM 2 stroke that was designed in the 90's, no powervalve, only 360 cc two stoke, compared to 250cc or 300cc two strokes, sure, the added displacement helps, but against these new 450cc+ motors, there's a reason why the pros just don't race the 250cc two strokes anymore, the 450's took over and are quicker and faster.  

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