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vegas to reno on vintage, post vintage ideas, or evo

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ok so i have been tossing around the idea of running vegas to reno this year on an older bike. thought it would be kind of fun. there is an article in the AMA magazine, and the full story on ADVrider site about a guy who ran the mexican 1000 on a SL350!! i like the idea. what would be an ideal bike to start with? 2 stroke aircooled would be awesome!! but im open to other suggestions. here is a few i thought of.

- any big bore husqvarna OR or WR models. 6 speeds, cool factor

- yamaha IT 490/465/400 good reputation and easy to get parts.

- honda XR500?? not real familiar with this bike, any good? the bikes that came after it were desert beasts, maybe this one is too??

anyways there are a few. any others i should look into? im in Socal and see ITs pop up for sale quite a bit, along with the XRs. i have also seen quite a few husky 390s and 430s pop up in the last year.

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you are on th right path in your choices. There is always the old desert sled XR600R, heavy - but reliable as a rock. Honda did well with them in the Baja.

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You want a machine that will catch and pass the moderns on a straight stretch? Husqvarna 500XC from 84 for air cooled or 85 for water cooled mono shock. I used mine to go stupid fast, and Dan Ashcroft won the Baja in 84 on a basically stock one!

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while it would be nice to destroy a modern bike in the straights, its not the only reason i want to run an older bike. I just recently parted ways with my KX500 due to repairs to my house, and despite what everyone has said about those bikes, i LOVED it! I was thinking about going threw my YZ250F, but the parts to rebuild, add some power, and give me the new bike feel added up to way more than i want to spend. its been a good track and trail bike, but flat open desert, im always trying to shift into a non existant 6th gear, and i dont want to be screaming the bike for long periods of time....back to the expensive part again.

I have always been a vintage fan, i love riding them and working on them. I can run a bike like an air cooled husky or IT in a reasonable budget. out here i can pick up a running IT for a couple hundred bucks, and still have money left over to do some serious work. and how cool would it be to see those old bikes back in the desert doing some serious racing!!

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how about a Maico 501 - read up on em at superhunky dot com - amazing, crazy! HP was squeezed from that motor. Also an old TM or TS400 can be very fast and had great motors. Early TM's had CDI's that made them like a light switch power on or off - but this was later corrected.

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How bout another KX500 or CR500? Other than crap gas mileage, if geared tall enough, they'll probly still be competitive? There was a team in 07 running a CR500, they ended up only 1 hour 4 minutes off the winning pace of Johnny Campbell and Co.

If you stick a Cr250 ignition, and flywheel on the CR500 it really tames the jolt, and it revs out more.

2 strokes are cheaper to mess with that 4 strokes, (generally)

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i had a KX500 for a little while. fun bike too. i want to be able to run lights...just in case. and lighting a kx500 is no cheap endeavor. there were 2 KX5s at the past V2R that i know of, but both had mechanical issues.

but im still on the hunt, and saving some cash, im kinda stuck on air cooled. the kx500 and cr500s that were aircooled are very hard to come by, and have a lot of parts that are 1 years specific. i dont think i would be able to have spares of anything.

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The CR500 I have has a CR250 ignition System and Flywheel on it. I saw where electrosport had a highout put kit for a CR250, and figure that's what I'd use to power a light.

I'm about to Run my 2000 model CR500, at the Parker 250 as a shake down for the 2012 Vegas to Reno. Motor Rebuilds are pretty reasonable, Eric Gorr charged me $700.00 for a complete rebuild and port job to broaden the power. Its been good. Sprocket Specialists makes a 39 tooth rear sprocket, and for $15.00 I rigged up an on the Bar choke for WOT over the high speed stuff.

Was it Ty Davis or Danny Hammel used to race the KX500s back in the day when Honda raced the XR600? They beat Ol Honda on those things as I recall.

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I know danny Hammel used to race the KX500s until his accident. I think the KX500 was running the show in baja for a long time until the XR650R came along. My KX was a great bike, i loved it and wish i never got rid of it, but i came on hard times and needed some cash fast.

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Economics be hard on a pimp these days. Took me 2 1/2 years to finish my 500AF. A year for my CR500 Steeler, and now I gotta a CR250 sitting there needing ---- More money than its probly werth.

I saw a bike that was a 2005 TM chasis with a 83 YZ490 motor and a custom works looking aluminum gas tank. Guy said he had the motor in storage since 84, and bought the TM, Which was a 250 and blown up for $700.00. Thing had Ohlin's suspension on it.

It was pingy sounding.

Whatever old bike you get, get one with as mush suspension travel as you can. Vegas to Reno wasn't smooth last time I did it.

You seen this one right:

and http://kx500riders.com/forums/

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that first video gives me arm pump just watching it. I never had the guts to take my 500 to the track. but that guy is good!

here is the same guy against some 450s. still not too bad.

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I've seen that. Been meaning to goto that track, but its a 4hr drive from Houston.

Try a product called Sportslegs.

It's usually sold in bicycle shops and it's to combat lactica acid build up in the legs --- But it also works very well for Arm pump on a 500. Highly recommended.

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I have done pretty good with the 84 CR500, reliable beast and great handling. Fast as ya wanna be. Does drain the fuel fast and the air filter clogging is an issue I havent worked out yet.

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I'd steer clear of the IT 400 if it's 6 speeds you're after. They only had 5 gears, but...sheesh, who needed a 6th on that old bitch.:bonk: The 465 and 490 both had the 6th gear, though.

I did the Desert 100 out here twice on an IT 250, and other than get beat to crap by the bad suspension and run out of gas, she was about perfect.:smirk: I think the IT 490 would have been a little better choice with it's linkage rear suspension and larger, stiffer forks.

835439591_XtejD-O-1.jpg

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I would go with my own bike, an '83 Maico 490 SandSpider. The SS has the wide 5-speed transmission, big tank, excellent suspension. Mine has been dead reliable for many years now. I also own an XR650R, so I have a yard stick to measure the Maico by.

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The old its, 465,490 were great enduro bikes, my 82 465 only has a 5 speed trans, and the old school mono shock, I did have an 82 it250 with the 6 speed, original test on the 465 showed a top speed of 94 mph with stock gearing !! Plenty fast for me !!! I owned a 1972 ts400, was like a Tractor !!! But No Suspension !!! Going to update mine with 87 yz490 43mm forks and front disc setup, a simple bolt in !!! Might just make a good desert hauler ???

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