Thinking of a CR480R resto project

After thinking about the one bike that totally intimidated me as a kid when my buddy's drunk dad fired up his 82 480 and let me ride it at the age of 12 I'm thinking about trying to find one (preferably an 83 5spd model) to do a full restoration on. I went to Service Honda's OEM parts and scanned through what is still available for the 480's and it's kind of slim pickings for factory Honda replacement parts and after doing goggle searches for parts and even bikes there is not much out there that I can find.

I would just like to hear from guys that have/or had a 480 in the last couple of years about how hard it is to find parts, if there are many aftermarket suppliers out there that still offer parts for the old air-headed beast and is there any dedicated websites for the 480? I know I'm going to get myself into trouble with the Mrs. if I find a bike and jump head first in a full rebuild but I would really like to save one of the last of the air cooled open class bikes.

Any help or guidance would really be appreciated to get me started in a search for a decent bike and parts. Cheers

I have restored a 1983 CR480. Plenty of part are available either through ebay or NOS or reproduction.

The biggest thing when buying is to MAKE SURE the left side case is not cracked or crash damaged. The left side case is made of magnesium and very difficult to find.

Everything else is pretty much available. Plan on spending about $3,000 for a full off restoration.

I did it all, split cases bore top end, new carb, tires, sprockets, plastic and seat, suspension set up with Race Tech Gold Valves etc.

Can't really help you specifically with the CR480, but speaking as a guy with an 80's air cooled open class bike, I'd say go for it! :smirk:

Don't know if it will help, but check out DC Plastics, AMS Racing and Siegecraft. (I've never bought anything from them myself, but I keep running into the links...)

[troll]It would be great if there's a Honda version of the Back in the Day MX site too...[/troll] :smirk:

Sounds like a great project. I wish i could find parts for my 1981 CR450 but there is very little out there for that bike. i can find some stuff on ebay but pistons are all but impossible to find.

Don't know if it will help with the CR450 piston, but I just ran into this link on the vintagemx forum: JP Pistons

Thinking of a similar deal on the 1984 model CR500, i think go for it and keep us posted on the progress

My buddy's selling his 83' CR480! It's in MA, so not sure how helpful that will be for you. Sorry, I didn't answer your question about part availablity since I don't know!

His bike has had a rebuilt motor by the PO (supposedly) and my buddy has barely put ANY hours on it in the last few years (like 1-2 hours). It starts on maybe 5 kicks (at least when I went with him). I know the fork seals have been done, in addition to other small maintenance things like brakes (front & rear drums on these!), etc. Let me know if you're interested.

BTW, I rode it a couple weeks ago (1st time ever on this bike) and it was a beast! Lot's of low end torque, but it's a heavy bike and the way it's geared you have to shift quickly. I think it's geared stock, but the motor doesn't rev high so it's very different than my 125!

Anyway, if you take on this project, create a thread on it here. I haven't seen too much on these bikes on TT...

My buddy's selling his 83' CR480! It's in MA, so not sure how helpful that will be for you. Sorry, I didn't answer your question about part availablity since I don't know!

His bike has had a rebuilt motor by the PO (supposedly) and my buddy has barely put ANY hours on it in the last few years (like 1-2 hours). It starts on maybe 5 kicks (at least when I went with him). I know the fork seals have been done, in addition to other small maintenance things like brakes (front & rear drums on these!), etc. Let me know if you're interested.

BTW, I rode it a couple weeks ago (1st time ever on this bike) and it was a beast! Lot's of low end torque, but it's a heavy bike and the way it's geared you have to shift quickly. I think it's geared stock, but the motor doesn't rev high so it's very different than my 125!

Anyway, if you take on this project, create a thread on it here. I haven't seen too much on these bikes on TT...

I pm'd you my email address. I would like to see some pics of the 480 if anyway possible? Im in NC right now so at least I'm on the East coast and not that far away so I may be interested if the price is right.

I have it listed in craigslist MA in the boston section. Thanks Bry. Its an 1982 not a 1983 sorry. I like the 4 speed and to have the first year of the 480 is awesome. I have had alot of calls and inquires, but no one has came and took it off my hands. I am looking for a more manageable bike to ride with my son. It is sprocketed 12t front and 54t rear for woods riding. I also have a 15t front and a 51t rear which will make that bike scream. With 51hp it rips. lots of compression. Its not totally restored, but mechanically sound. Pm if interested. I never thought of listing it on this forum. I am a cnc machinist and i am very meticulious when it comes to being mechanically sound. get on, hold on for dear life. Cheers

If you find a 480 and restore it hold on to it. There awesome bikes man. Theres plenty of 500's out there not alot of 480's. Wait 5-10 more years and they will be more sought after. I bought my first 1983 cr480r when i was 12 for 600$ and then sold it for 900$ after beating on it for 3 years. It was my first bike i learned how to drive a clutch on it. What was my dad thinking.:smirk: Good luck man. i want to see the build if you end up getting one.

They are nice bikes to restore and ride. With proper care, they are very reliable. All the high wear parts are available, but cases, gears and shafts are tough to find. They are super easy to work on if you do it yourself. This race bike has about $800 in it and has been a blast to ride. I disagree with the heavy comment, this one weighs 248 with 1 gallon of fuel. About the same as a modern 450.

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I disagree with the heavy comment, this one weighs 248 with 1 gallon of fuel. About the same as a modern 450.

Well, you have to realize I'm used to 125's so I guess anything seems heavy compared to them. I think my 125 weighs around 200 lbs. I only rode the 480 for like 5 minutes, though, and I'm sure I would get used to it after some seat time. Definitely a fun bike!

Nice bike, BTW!

They are nice bikes to restore and ride. With proper care, they are very reliable. All the high wear parts are available, but cases, gears and shafts are tough to find. They are super easy to work on if you do it yourself. This race bike has about $800 in it and has been a blast to ride. I disagree with the heavy comment, this one weighs 248 with 1 gallon of fuel. About the same as a modern 450.

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Nice ride gorgon:thumbsup:. Im working on the wife in letting me talk to shwinny about his 480 but she is still shaking her head at the 1980 XL80 I brought home yesterday ($75 bucks running man, you just cant pass that up). I've been on a XR75/80 kick lately and scored 4 in the last month for supercheap.

Im still exploring all of the info I can gather on the 82's vs 83's but after reading the comments here and looking at parts prices Shwinny's bike is a pretty good deal. We'll see how I can butter the Mrs. up this weekend on letting me spend money on a childhood dream bike that I really cant afford to restore lol...:smirk:

Thanks guys! I won a quite a few motos with it this season, and it holds a special place in my heart. I am going to semi-retire it next season, I think. It is a holeshot machine.

They are nice bikes to restore and ride. With proper care, they are very reliable. All the high wear parts are available, but cases, gears and shafts are tough to find. They are super easy to work on if you do it yourself. This race bike has about $800 in it and has been a blast to ride. I disagree with the heavy comment, this one weighs 248 with 1 gallon of fuel. About the same as a modern 450.

bikes003.jpg

That looks sweet!!!

go for it. i love my 82. if you twist the throttle too far you better hold on

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Hey guys, I have a riddle of sorts.

I have drained the oil (cold), When I replaced the oil it overflowed at about 700 cc's. Would draining it cold leave that much oil still in the case or might I have another problem. I have never heard this bike run, bought it at night on faith, lol. I have had fun straightening out this bike as it was a mess when I got it.

I was hoping to be able to start it but don't want to blow the seals. I need to replace them anyway so no big deal but ...

I am looking to find out how much oil to leave in so I can start it and re-drain and re-fill, hopefully with the right amount of oil

Mine is exactly the same. It really holds about 750-800cc's. Don't overfill. I did and sucked a clutch side seal.

I had an '81 CR450 for quite a few years.

It took oil rather slowly. It needed some time to flow from the clutch side into the rest of the transmission. It's full when the oil level is on the threads of the fill port with the bike standing vertical.

I picked up an engineless '85 CR500 and swapped the steering head/forks onto the 450 which gave me an upgrade to a front disc brake. Bolted right on.

The PJ carb from the 500 was also a big improvement.

I rode my bike (low oil and all) after all if it's full it's full, it was just below the threads so I guess I am good. Lost the Oil filler cap while ridiing, bummer, but will probably opt of a new anodized one for a little pimping out.

Well I think I have a new nickname or not so new nickname for the 480, how about Unicycle, Every time I came out of a corner I could just open the throttle a little more and with complete control power out and by shifting my body point the bike where I wanted it to go, NICE!

I also like that it is easy to grip with my legs. New bikes are so narrow you really have to squeeze and then you are squeezing a rather firm seat and/or the Frame. The seat on this is so cushy and squeezable arm pump is reduced significantly. I love this bike!!!!

Thank you for the feedback guys. If you are out in Cali and want to go riding look me up rob@chicomobilewebsites.com is my email

By For Now

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