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CR500Rs never cease to amaze me!

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I recently bought a titled KTM EXC 300 to use as a woods bike that I can legally connect trails with. I wanted something more nimble and lighter feeling than my CR500s that wouldn't wear me out as quickly. I have been riding the 300 exclusively for the last month.

Tonight I decided to take my '90 CR500 for a rip around the yard. I own 3 CR500s and have quite a bit of experience riding them. That said, they never cease to amaze me every time I throw a leg over them! Compared to my 300, the 500 has SO much more low end torque and midrange. One may even call the low end grunt brutal. The 500s pull with so much authority it's amazing. Lofting the front wheel in 5th gear is as easy as rolling on the throttle, even when you're chugging around at a walking pace. Yes, it's that easy...and most of the time, unintentional! You can easily ride this bike coming out of a turn SEVERAL gears too high and loop the thing in an instant on the exit. Throttle control is a must on a 500 if you don't want to be on a first name basis with every nurse and doctor at your local ER. Full throttle is virtually never needed. I have climbed some of the nastiest and steepest hills the mountains here in the northeast have to offer and never needed more than 1/4 throttle...and that is running a gear (or 2) high to help maintain traction.

Here's the kicker. My '86 CR500R makes my '90 (and '97) feel like turds! :ride:

LONG LIVE THE CR500R!!!:thumbsup:

Edited by EddiePA

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I recently bought a titled KTM EXC 300 to use as a woods bike that I can legally connect trails with. I wanted something more nimble and lighter feeling than my CR500s that wouldn't wear me out as quickly. I have been riding the 300 exclusively for the last month.

Tonight I decided to take my '90 CR500 for a rip around the yard. I own 3 CR500s and have quite a bit of experience riding them. That said, they never cease to amaze me every time I throw a leg over them! Compared to my 300, the 500 has SO much more low end torque and midrange. One may even call the low end grunt brutal. The 500s pull with so much authority it's amazing. Lofting the front wheel in 5th gear is as easy as rolling on the throttle, even when your chugging around at a walking pace. Yes, it's that easy...and most of the time, unintentional! You can easily ride this bike coming out of a turn SEVERAL gears too high and loop the thing in an instant on the exit. Throttle control is a must on a 500 if you don't want to be on a first name basis with every nurse and doctor at your local ER. Full throttle is virtually never needed. I have climbed some of the nastiest and steepest hills the mountains here in the northeast have to offer and never needed more than 1/4 throttle...and that is running a gear (or 2) high to help maintain traction.

Here's the kicker. My '86 CR500R makes my '90 (and '97) feel like turds! :ride:

LONG LIVE THE CR500R!!!:thumbsup:

I raced against allot of CR500s in harescrambles 25 years ago up here in canada & they definately were not slugs in the woods! if honda just built the engine alone they would sell every one of them....... just buy up all the blown up crfs & do a transplant:busted:

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I raced allot of CR500s in harescrambles 25 years ago up here in canada & they definately were not slugs in the woods! if honda just built the engine alone they would sell every one of them....... just buy up all the blown up crfs & do a transplant:busted:

You're right, my '90 is no slouch in the woods. My biggest issue was the brutal low end torque wanting to remove my arms from my torso every time I even thought about looking at the throttle.:thumbsup: That and the top heavy feel of the bike compared to a purpose built woods bike (like the 300). The big reciprocating mass of the bike's engine doesn't like to change direction very easily either. You can do it, but fighting that big bore 2 stroke has a tendency to wear you out quickly, especially in the tight stuff. Like I said, it can be done, but if you push yourself to be quick in the tight stuff, you will get worn out much quicker than on a purpose built woods machine.

No bike I have ever been on comes close to the WOW factor like a CR500 though! Especially an '86!:ride:

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my neighbor had a ktm 360 which i absolutely LOVED ! was like riding a 4T with the torque it made from bottom to top of the rev range... he traded it for a "FASTER" 300... the 300 was a slug and one of the worst 2T's ive ever rode.. i guess im kinda biased since ive rode nothing but big bores for so long (yz465, yz450f, cr500 tards, yz490)

but yes i agree the 500 is a fun fun monster to ride. my AFC500 i have now is geared for street so its actually pretty tame but i did ride it with stock gearing for a day or so and it was just way to crazy on the street. would have cost me my license and eventuall the motor....

where in rainsylvania are ya ? im from the philipsburg area (north of pennstate). i now live where i can ride 350 days a year ..... NICE DRY ARIZONA...

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I've always wanted to try a cr 500 but Ive never even seen one let alone know someone with one... one day.:thumbsup:

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Same here, I've never ridden one (course I'm only 16) but it will be a life priority to ride one or even own one!

I thought my 300 smoker was fast... the way you describe the 500 makes me scared, but at the same time I'm dying to know what it's like!

How bout those Maico 700's? That's another thing I want to try...

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my neighbor had a ktm 360 which i absolutely LOVED ! was like riding a 4T with the torque it made from bottom to top of the rev range... he traded it for a "FASTER" 300... the 300 was a slug and one of the worst 2T's ive ever rode.. i guess im kinda biased since ive rode nothing but big bores for so long (yz465, yz450f, cr500 tards, yz490)

but yes i agree the 500 is a fun fun monster to ride. my AFC500 i have now is geared for street so its actually pretty tame but i did ride it with stock gearing for a day or so and it was just way to crazy on the street. would have cost me my license and eventuall the motor....

where in rainsylvania are ya ? im from the philipsburg area (north of pennstate). i now live where i can ride 350 days a year ..... NICE DRY ARIZONA...

Not sure what was up with your neighbors 300, but mine screams! It's probably one of the more versatile engines ever put in a dirtbike, IMHO. Much more tame down low compared to a 500, but will lug very, very well. Adjustable power valve makes the bike very tuneable to conditions and can be fine tuned even further by changing power valve springs. You can mellow out the hit by delaying the point at which the valve opens or make it hit like a MXer by tuning it to open very quickly. Great engine in my opinion!

My CR500 motard is geared 15/44 and will still wheelie in 5th gear without coaxing. A healthy and properly jetted 500 doesn't much care what gearing you throw at it.

I'm in northeast PA, where winters are long and deer love to jump out in front of you.:thumbsup:

Edited by EddiePA

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Same here, I've never ridden one (course I'm only 16) but it will be a life priority to ride one or even own one!

I thought my 300 smoker was fast... the way you describe the 500 makes me scared, but at the same time I'm dying to know what it's like!

How bout those Maico 700's? That's another thing I want to try...

If you don't respect a 500, you'll get hurt. It's that simple. Hell, you can get hurt even if you DO have the utmost respect for them.

Quick story...

My cousin and I were leaving a local trail to head back to his house after riding one afternoon. I was on my plated '90 CR500 and he was on his plated '91 Kawasaki KDX250. The trail goes from dirt, to gravel for about 50 yards, to asphalt. We always have a little drag race every time we leave this part of the trail down the asphalt road which is long enough to pretty much top the bikes out. As we got off the gravel onto the asphalt I rolled on slowly, he wacked his throttle wide open. He was in 2nd gear. As I got to about 1/2 throttle the front wheel came right up with authority. I rolled off the throttle and clicked up a gear to what I thought would have been 5th to tame the bike down a bit so I could get going instead of wheelying. The thing is, I was already in 5th gear!

Like I said, these things never cease to amaze me!:thumbsup:

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my 91 500 is a boss the first day i got it me and my brother were heading to my dairy down an old country asphalt road he took off like a bat out of hell on his ltr450 and me bout 10 seconds later. I blew passed him about 100 yards up and he told me he was almost on the rev limiter while i was barely 1/2 islowly rolling on in 5th with 14/51 gearing

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I was throwing around the idea of picking up a 500, but i just dont think it would be as fun to me as a 250, because i wouldnt be able to "rip" the bike, and thats the most fun part about riding a two stroke for me. OR am i missing the point?! hahaha

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I was throwing around the idea of picking up a 500, but i just dont think it would be as fun to me as a 250, because i wouldnt be able to "rip" the bike, and thats the most fun part about riding a two stroke for me. OR am i missing the point?! hahaha

One of two things will happen after you get a 500. Either you'll love it and never want to throw a leg over a lesser bike again, or it will scare the crap outta you and you'll never want to throw a leg over IT ever again.:thumbsup:

My 300 will soundly trounce MX 250s, but my 500s will MURDER my 300!

Oh, and you can 'rip' a 500 just fine!

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I was throwing around the idea of picking up a 500, but i just dont think it would be as fun to me as a 250, because i wouldnt be able to "rip" the bike, and thats the most fun part about riding a two stroke for me. OR am i missing the point?! hahaha

spoken like someone that has not ridden a 500.

They are way more fun than 250's

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Haw, long live the ol' 550 Katoom, tho as much of a CR500 fan that I am, my old 4T KTM520SX to me was the nirvanic torque of the CR500 fitted into a slim, flickable body---with no premixing or re-jetting! The strength of Rosie Odonnell in Cindy Crawford's slim body. Ludicrously easy to go really fast on, less flywheel feel than even the CR5, and razor thin. Liked my 300 2T also, but would have preferred the CR5 engine in the KTM chassis even more...

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I had 3 CR500s back in the day. I had an 85, 88 and 89. The 85 was super fast, much more powerful than the other two. It was also much harder to ride though. I also liked the wider ratio gearbox it had compared to the 88 and 89. The 89 was the most fun to ride of the three. The power of these bikes is like nothing currently available. While I like my 07 YZ450F much better now that I'm in my 50s, for the fun factor a CR500 is unbeatable. They bring new meaning to throttle control. A 500 2 stroke really helps you to learn proper technique.

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My older brother had an 85 cr500(this was in the late 80's). I used to get to ride it any time I wanted as long as he wasn't. One year we were going Christmas tree hunting and I was riding the 500 while my younger sister was following me in a pickup truck. I was practicing wheelies in front of her. I would pull it up in 3rd and then shift through the gears while riding the wheelie. When we got home I asked her how fast I was going and she said "I have no idea but I was holding a constant 65mph and you would pull those wheelies and run away from me easily" cr5's are wheelie monsters.

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I raced against allot of CR500s in harescrambles 25 years ago up here in canada & they definately were not slugs in the woods! if honda just built the engine alone they would sell every one of them....... just buy up all the blown up crfs & do a transplant:busted:

They never stopped making the CR500 motors! They still make them today, but then place them into the upgraded CRF250R chassis!

http://www.servicehonda.com/new-motors

http://www.servicehonda.com/honda-2010-models/500af

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I had an 89 also. With a Steahly 16oz fww and one size smaller pilot it was a great woods bike. Very controllable, never fouled a plug and had loads of bottom end torque which was perfect for woods riding. In our brutal Texas summers is would run a little warm in VERY tight woods but other than that it was a very fun bike.

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