XR 500 R rear rim swap

Okay new to this forum, so forgive if this was already posted but....

I just picked up an 83 xr 500 r. I thru 700$ worth of pistons valves timing chains and such into it, just to see if I could.

So now I have this machine that is sick! I got it around 100 mph and it seemed to have more (of course after many hours of putting around my yard so the rings would be nice).

So it seems that I cant find a real good 17 inch x 5.30 knobby.... let alone any real good knobby for that bike. I run a chen shing but they last about 100 miles before I have to flip it...

I want to get an 18 inch rim as there are sooo many diffrent tires for this size. I am having difficulties matching anything up. I saw that xr 600 should fit?

Can anybody help me out? I love ripping the earth a new one with this thing but hate changing tires.

Thanks your comments and ideas will be greatly apreciated.



I had a XR500 with that 17 inch rear, and I agree it sucked! Try an IRC VE-33 in a 5.10x17. It was about the best tire that I found. There is also a Bridgestone M22 in 5.10x17.

I believe that 1988 was the first year for an 18" rear wheel on the big xr. Then in 1991 they went to the rear disc brake. If you could find a 88/89 or 90 rear wheel, it might bolt up.

1991 and later will be a disc brake. On my 600 I switched to a rear disc 18" wheel from a 1991. My 1988 XR250 has a 18" rear it would probably bolt up to a bigger XR.

Check out salvage yards or eBay for a 88/89/90 rear wheel from a XR250 or XR600. I'm not positive they would fit your 500, but maybe.


Thanks for the info so far. I am going to try the irc and check my local bone yard for the xr 600 parts...

The idea would be the 18 rim but until I can find the part... I guess I'll be killing some rubber trees, not to say that I wont kill them with an 18 either


Just have an 18" rim laced onto the 83 hub.

What spokes and rim did you use? I was told that those would be specialty spokes.

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