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88 CR500

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Looking at one that needs rings, good condition and he wants $650

is this a preferred year?

is the cylinder plated in that year?

any problem areas specific to that year to look for?

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Looking at one that needs rings, good condition and he wants $650

is this a preferred year?

is the cylinder plated in that year?

any problem areas specific to that year to look for?

I consider anything 1992 and up to be a preferred year, i believe in 92 they went to a wider ratio gear box. In 1996 i believe they did a update to the suspension, 1984 to 2001 Honda never plated the cylinder! Most parts are interchangeable from i believe 1991 to 2001. Early Cr 500's could suffer from the coolant corroding with the magnesium this resulting in a big mess within the water pump but i believe that was from 85- 87 but not 100% sure if this excludes the 88. I have owned several 500's and they are bullet proof, one of if not the most reliable motor ever produced. No power valves and tons of torque equals one big smile. Check the rest of the bike over and if it checks out offer him $500 for it. Good luck and hope this helps?

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Just from my experience browsing here and my local CL, that price is a great deal. That engine alone should be worth the full price. I might be wrong about the desired vintage, but consider those who build the AF 500's.

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i wouldnt consider it a prefered year but thats matter of opinion i guess. newest model you can afford , with the least amount of ride time would be the one to buy. at $650 i would suspect it has hidden problems, unless the seller is a unemployed crackhead and just needs quick cash. should beable to get 1k anyday of the week if it was good shape and just needed rings. check it over with fine tooth comb is my advice. no years had plating. and theres a chance it has cracked piston. seen it on my own machines and many others

heres some things to check

1- tranny shifts smooth and doesnt pop out of any gear. does it clunk or creep in gear ? sure sign of basket notched out

2- be sure theres no sign of cracks in the case where the kickstarter area is. look for cracks everywhere actually

3- check for oil leaks. could be $5 seal or something more serious

4- take phillips screw driver and remove the flywheel cover and see how much slop is in the crank bearing

5- seen a few with blown cylinder gaskets. check that area for spooge

6- any sign of coolant leak.

7- cant remember if '88 had the magensium right cover but if so thats probly rotted out

8- bottom of the frame mangled from rocks or crashes ?

9- suspension components tight or sloppy

10- tires new or old weather rotted

11- sprocket teeth in good shape

12- if theres any jb welb thats not good

13- look at oil drain plug for signs of odd sized bolt cobbled in there or jb weld

this is really general stuff to check for any bike regardless what kind. a good deal can turn into a nightmare quick if your not careful. and dont be suprised if it has a few stripped out fasteners. dont let all this discourage you. cr500 is a good machine if they are taken care of

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Thanks for the advice, I just wouldn't want to put more money into it than its worth. I like the idea of interchangeable parts, so the 91+ sounds more practical. It would also have to be a bargain. My 250 is plenty but a 500 would be a blast for a second bike

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Save your money and go 89 or up thats when they updated the frame and the suspension making the bike easier to ride and handle. But if you want the wider geared tranny go with a 93 or up. If you go with a 89 to 92 you can swap in the widers gears just be ready to split the cases.

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Great info, now I got it narrowed down to 91+ for the updated frame/suspension and interchangeability. I don't believe the difference between WR and a close tranny would be a deciding factor if I don't have another to compare against, any agree or disagree? No track, just open woods and fields.

I may just make this into a restoration project while being easy on the wallet.

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Looking at one that needs rings, good condition and he wants $650

is this a preferred year?

is the cylinder plated in that year?

any problem areas specific to that year to look for?

I had an 88 CR500 back in the day I bought new. Not the greatest year IMO. Handling and engine performance worse than the 87, 86, 85 models and not nearly as good as the 89 and up years. Go for at least an 89 to get the updated frame, upside down forks, low boy pipe, etc. The 88 did not have the eyebrows cut in the cylinder to help with starting (if memory serves). My 89 started much easier and was a much improved bike over the 88 model.

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even though '88 wouldnt be considered a prefered year, its definatly still worth looking at for $650, if its fairly close to your house. worst case scenario is your out $20 in gas to go look. IMO theres no bad year of cr500, just some better than others. im betting the farm it needs more than rings but theres always one in a million chance it really does need just rings and $650 would be a darn good deal. if you determine it has a few more minor issues besides rings, $650 could still be a good deal, depending what issues it has. remember them old ones alot of times have a crap load of ride time hours and can be really clapped out and thats what you need to be cautious of.

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even though '88 wouldnt be considered a prefered year, its definatly still worth looking at for $650, if its fairly close to your house. worst case scenario is your out $20 in gas to go look. IMO theres no bad year of cr500, just some better than others. im betting the farm it needs more than rings but theres always one in a million chance it really does need just rings and $650 would be a darn good deal. if you determine it has a few more minor issues besides rings, $650 could still be a good deal, depending what issues it has. remember them old ones alot of times have a crap load of ride time hours and can be really clapped out and thats what you need to be cautious of.

Its about 4.5 Hrs away so I would have to add another $100+ to the cost of the bike

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how deep is your pockets and how valuable is your time ? 9hr round trip is alot for a unknown machine imo. alot of people sprinkle glitter on a turd just to get it out of the garage. not sure what else to say. have the seller take a bunch of detailed pics before you make the drive i guess or find a bike closer to your house you can more easily drive to. i drove about 8hrs once to get a bike but the guy sent a ton of very detailed pics so i pretty much knew i was getting a decent bike. been a few years now and still have the bike and only replaced clutch plates and 2 gaskets if i recall

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how deep is your pockets and how valuable is your time ? 9hr round trip is alot for a unknown machine imo. alot of people sprinkle glitter on a turd just to get it out of the garage. not sure what else to say. have the seller take a bunch of detailed pics before you make the drive i guess or find a bike closer to your house you can more easily drive to. i drove about 8hrs once to get a bike but the guy sent a ton of very detailed pics so i pretty much knew i was getting a decent bike. been a few years now and still have the bike and only replaced clutch plates and 2 gaskets if i recall

Thanks guys,

I decided I won't pursue this bike, Too far and would be too many unknowns when I can't run it. also, I have my 250 to get together and ride. I will keep my eye out for a deal. I am much more informed now and have a good idea what I would pursue.

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in my opinion the best use for that bike is to throw it away and stuff the motor into a modern frame. magnisium covers are usualy toast be prepared to replace it, kicker is probably ready to fall off. these motors are stupid fast

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