2003 KX500

the 380 is discontinued

Originally posted by z4me:

It already exists - it's the DRZ.

Man, I just can't imagine that, It'll be a cold day in h.....but you might be right.... I mean, Kiedrowski does pretty well on it. I would love to see Dusty Rabbit riding one of those things..

To answer your question about the KTM380, It's gone for good!!!


Dan :)

[ July 18, 2002: Message edited by: Dan Lorenze ]

does the pipe really have to look THAT dumb?

I would rather have my KX500 than the DRZ.

Regarding the pipe - When my KX500 was new it had some much power/compression that it blew the front of the pipe off. I couldn't believe it. There was no dents it either. It just riped it wide open from the compression.

Oh, and it still wins AMA races. Go Destry Abbott.

I bought a DRZ400 and a YZ426 at the same time. I figured neato, no truck just jump on the bike and go. My 426 is bone stock, the DRZ has 2500 into it. The DRZ is still a turd. I always tried to make it run like a YZ but never came close.

Suzuki must get all the Bud cans I empty and turn them into motorcycles.

Any time I would attempt to work on the Suzook my 4 year old would open the garage door and say "Daddy thats a bad word".

In my not so humble opinion the DRZ is not the answer.

Soon you can get one in puke lime green.

All I need is Junior to use that language at kindergarten.

I'm going to buy a WR450 and try and get that past the DMV Nazis.

i have a 89 kx500 in my garage right now.ive been helping a buddy restore it and the only difference between the 89 AND 2002 MODEL is 89 doesnt have upside down forks.1990 was first year kx500 got upside down forks.from what ive encountered ordering parts that was the last change made to kx500

A good friend of mine I go riding with let me try out his 99 KX500 a few weeks ago. He is a huge guy, so he needs a big bike...and he had it ported, jetted, and piped...holy SH!T that bike makes CRAZY power...the hit shift to shift was incredible. We hit a closed off industrial park, led to by a trail, for some kicks...every shift he make a nice little 10 foot or so black line was left on the pavement!!!

Granted it was just a knobby, but still!!! I was throwing a huge roost in a nice mulch pit, any gear would throw a 5 foot tall rooster tail.

I would buy one, who cares about "old ergonomics". :)

I think the new black tank stickers make a huge difference in the KX 500. I have ridden one of these. Scary fast. This engine would be unreal in the newer style KX frame. Too bad the factory does not believe any of us would buy it.

The advantage? You can find a decent 1995 KX 500 for 2000.00 and it is darn near as good as a new one.

There is an added bonus too. You have to change the piston every time there is a new president :)

There is a company that put's the KX500 motor in a new KX frame. They were very similiar to Service Honda. DirtRider did an article on both bikes several years ago. I'm not sure what their name was or even if they still exsist.

There is a company.

I dont know the name but i have 2 friends that have them.

You buy a stock Kx500 and get the "kit" for around $3k.

You have your choice of tanks........DEZ or MX

Whatever you want to do with the frame....CHROME/etc/etc.....my friend has a Canary yellow frame and BLUE plastics on his kawi500!!


Blue kawi!


The frame is a bit stiff so it is hard to set up the suspension for the dez.

YOu would be into the bike about 7500 and that includes protapers/triple clamp and a ton of xtras that the Service Honda would put you up to nearly $10k

I would love to "TEST RIDE" both side by side!


I have to honest with you guys.. This topic really makes me sad.. The KX500 has always been the king in the desert. To see the bike go away is depressing. It's just the sign of the times. Is the world gonna be a better place to live in because a small number of two strokes are missing??? Two stroke watercraft?? I don't belive in ghosts and I surely don't belive that two stroke off-road recreational vehicles are depleating the O-zone layer.. It's all BS!!!!!! I love all bikes and the KX500 is no exception. Sucks!!!!! Sucks!!!!! Sucks!!!!!

Dan :)

A riding buddy of mine has a 2002 380 EXC.If they don't make this bike anymore, that's a very sad thing indeed! :D:):D

I loved racing my 1980 YZ465. Man...what an engine. Nothing in 1980 even came close to that!

I also had the privelage of test riding a 1991 CR500 Honda, 1990 KTM 550 2 stroke which was UNBELIEVABLE, and a 1992 Yamaha WR500 (warmed over YZ490 > warmed over YZ465).

Until you ride a REAL open class bike, you can NEVER IMAGINE! :D:):D

Originally posted by THUMPIN' ROCK HUCKER:

There is a company.

I dont know the name but i have 2 friends that have them.

You buy a stock Kx500 and get the "kit" for around $3k.

You have your choice of tanks........DEZ or MX



Here is a link to John King’s website. He is a frame builder, in Utah I think (also heard he used to work for ATK) that is selling the “kit” to modernize the 500:

Rocket Science Racing

I called and sent him an email about a year ago (I have a ’92 languishing in my garage and owned a ’99 before I bought a ’00 426) but haven’t checked recently to see about pricing/availability. At the time he said the kit was $2,995.

Here is some questions I emailed him along w/ his responses:

Q) Will the different properties of chrome moly, when compared to the stock 250 frame material, result in a chassis with different handling characteristics? Can you convince me that this bike will handle, say, 75% the same as a KX 250?

A) The different properties of chrome moly affect handling to a lesser degree than the added horsepower and mass of the 500 engine. Chrome moly is stiffer, coupled with the torsional rigidity of round tube as opposed to the stock rectangular tube, seems to make the bike track straighter in the rough and whoops and hold a line more precisely. Mark Lundgren, a expert level desert racer who has race KX's for years (both 250 and 500) did a large portion of the testing for me. He is probably one of the fastest guys in Utah. He was very skeptical that a bike with 500 suspension could be any different from a stock 500. At the end of the day he gave me a deposite for a kit and his brother did so the nest day. You can contact him at Dirt Works after noon or at ATK in the morning for a first hand report. The added weight of the 500 engine made the bike more stable than the 250 at speed. I think that you would be pleasantly surprised at the way the bike feels and turns. The input I've gotten so far is that it is superior to a 250 with 500 power.

Q) Do stock 500 triple clamps the have same dimensions/steering geometry as 250 clamps (bar position aside)? Can these parts be swapped without any modifications?

A) As exact as I could measure they are the same clamps. Same offsets. Same axle offset. I did the math and the difference in trail is equal to the one degree of rake. I didn't check part numbers to see if the steering bearings are the same, I'll do this in the a.m. and let you know.

Q) Does your kit require a 500 swingarm or supply a 250 swingarm? Are these parts interchangeable (see question # 2).

A) The RS 500 kit requires a 500 swingarm. The dimensions of the two

swingarms are the same and the shock length is the same but the linkage is different and the top shock mount location is different. The height of the swingarm pivot in the frame is also different. I used the stock 500 suspension to keep the cost down, even though a 250 shock would have made the pipe routing a dream, they just cost too much. The 500 shock and forks can be every bit as good as or better than the 250 units (just wont have the high/low speed comp.)

Q) Could a stock 250 frame be used in conjunction with the billet head (with reversed head stay attachment I assume)? Or is a lot of welding and fabrication going to be necessary for the remaining motor mounts?

A) I didn't attempt this fit (500 in stock frame). I don't know if the rear of the engine will fit between the 250 swingarm. The spark plug will touch the fuel tank. The airboot will not line up with the carb. The head will hit the fuel tank. The front motor mount will have to be cut out and re-fabbed.

Q) Other than the head, pipe, and frame, what other unique, non standard, parts are required? Who is manufacturing the pipe? My concern is obviously replacing parts that I break down the road, and I've broken/severely damaged several two-stroke exhaust pipes. Are the other pieces (tank, plastic, airboot) KX parts or custom made items?

A) The subframe has one tab added to a stock 250 subframe ( although I'm making the entire subframes a stock one will work). The front engine mount bolts are longer and require nuts. The top engine mount plates are different. A stock rear brake hose will work if the front fitting is straightened a bit. I will supply a hose with the correct fitting in the kit rather than ask customers to bend and possibly break their stock one. I also supply a bracket to hold the hose away from the stinger. I'm building the pipes. I've had stampings made, and pipes will cost $175.00. All other parts are KX.

Q) For those customers who have used 250 parts available to them (tank, plastic, etc.) would you consider a partial kit at a reduced cost?

A) I will sell the kit minus the 250 parts. I get these parts at a discount and pass this directly to the customer. I don't make any money on the Kawasaki parts, just the parts that I fab. Only 250 parts that are '99 or newer will fit, as the 250's changed quite a bit.

[ July 21, 2002: Message edited by: Hick ]

I'd sell my soul to the devil himself to have that bike. :D:):D:D

Originally posted by DR.Zaius:

I'd sell my soul to the devil himself to have that bike. :D:):D:D

No need my friend. Ya only need $4,500!

Lookie what I found:


In Cycle Trader. In Rio Rancho (suburb of Abq) NM.

Click HERE

for the add at CycleTrader.

And it's a '98 with the bigger forks!

(only change in last six years as far as I know was ~96 when they went to 46mm forks. I think.)

[ July 21, 2002: Message edited by: Hick ]

Originally posted by Hick:

No need my friend. Ya only need $4,500!

Which looks to be about what you've spent upgrading your DRZ. :D:):D:D `

[ July 21, 2002: Message edited by: Hick ]

ive drag raced my wr against both a cr500 and kx500 got smoked by both.the cr500 1st thru 3rd pulled me by about 6 bike lengths then about halfway thru 4th gear i started make up ground. we probably raced around 1\8 mile.i ended up losing by 3 bike lengths.[i would have beat him if we went another 100 yards i was catching up pretty fast when he let off and i was only halfway thru 5th.]against kx500 race seemed closer but i lost by twice the distance.kx pulled me gradually about a bike length each gear.we raced about same distance but i never made up any ground against kx500.it seemed like it was 1 or 2 mph faster than my bike in every gear.i have 98 wr400 [w/420 stroker bigbore kit, wb cams,head ported & flowed,wb promeg w\tapered headpipe,R&D p-38 and every free mod you can think of].

[ July 22, 2002: Message edited by: freestyle111 ]

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