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Thread: 1985 CR500 a good idea?

  1. #1
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    Default 1985 CR500 a good idea?

    I have a chance to pickup a 1985 CR500 for a decent price, I cant seem to find a whole lot on the 85's but from 86-2001 has a bunch of information. Would this be a bad idea to buy and turn into a supermoto, the guy says it runs well he just cant start it (he's 112lbs and has his buddy start it for him ) The plastic is faded and nasty will other CR plastic swap.

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    I'd check out www.bannedcr500riders.com All you'll ever need to know about CR5's can be found there.

    I went through a phase where I wanted a tagged 500, but some research convinced me that it wasn't at all practical. The gearing is too short and they apparently vibrate waaaaayyyyyy too much at speed. I do believe the '85's and '86's are the most powerful years, though.
    2004 KTM 65 Endurance Racer "Project 65/85"
    2004 KTM 105 Supermoto

    www.tdc2strokeperformance.com
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    85 was the 1st year of the water cooled motor so it should be the same for many years. From 84 ob Honda detuned the beast every year to make it more ridable.
    www.MotoHose.com
    Don't bring a gun to a snowball fight!

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    Thanks for the quick replies. This wont be anything but a toy for me to ride around the canyons when I feel my Uly isnt up to it, so im not overly concerend with vibration...my mirror fell off at a stop light on my buell...so im used to some vibration.

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    before pulling the trigger look at the title........without one you will have a very hard time getting it titled for street riding.
    www.MotoHose.com
    Don't bring a gun to a snowball fight!

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    One of the perks of living in SD is all you need to get a replacement title is a bill of sale from the owner and $10.00. But a title does make it much easier.

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    Well im gonna go for it, the guy is going to trade me for my 1998 yz125 straight across, he wanted $900 out of his 500 so i figured it was a decent deal this way. let the rebuild begin....in June.

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    I put a street tire on my RM500 (air cooled, but ported agressively) and it was nearly unrideable! when the powerband hits, youre doing a wheelie if you want to or not, and if you dont shift fast enough, youre going to flip. Its possible to ride below the powerband, but your chances of fouling a plug are higher and its much harder on the crankshaft to lug it. It is the ULTIMATE hooligan bike. Good luck!
    1968 Honda CB160 Racer, 1970 Honda CT70, 1971 Yamaha DT1, 1974 Honda CB125S, 1974 Yamaha RD350, 1984 Suzuki RM500, 2003 Suzuki DRZ400S

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    HA..that sounds awesome, I will post pictures as soon as my wife goes and gets it for me...im stuck in PA till June..ehh.

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    85 is basically the same as an 86 as far as the motor. One main problem with the early models is the water pump housing. They rot out. Pop the cover off and take a peek at it if you can before purchasing it. A new rs cover is kinda pricey, I think over 200 bucks.

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    they rot out?? are they made of plastic or magnesium??..hmm. Since my wife is going to pick it up for me how hard is it to remove this cover, I guess since she's driving 5 hours to pick it up i just might have to gamble on this one...$200, damn.
    Last edited by TankerBEAN; 04-14-2010 at 03:39 PM.

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    All you have todo is pop off the water pump cover and you should be able to see

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    Cool i'll have her bring some sockets with, looks simple enough for her to tackle. Thanks

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    Here is an extreme case of pump rot. This was taken off of my 85 motor that resides in an atc250r chassis. At first it just weeped, I took it off and after cleaning out all the crud this is what was left! It even ate holes through the water neck outlets.


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    holy cow, looks like there is barnacles growing on it to!! hey would you mind pointing out this housing to me on this schematic, im having an issue seeing it, unless its the entire crankcase cover? http://www.bikebandit.com/houseofmot...cr500r/o/m9671

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    nevermind its the damn rock its on...whoops

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    CR500 on the street is a great idea (as long as you aren't running knobbies)!

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    Any progress on the purchase?

    I wouldn't worry about the pump rot. There's so many of those engines out there (in pieces), finding a good used one wouldn't be a problem.

    Yeah, the early engines had the good/better port timing, and a good benefit is the wide ratio tranny that the old ones have.
    I built my bike from a pile of used parts.......built the engine w/an early jug and tranny and a 2 piece side cover....the best of all worlds.

    Having the crank balanced is pretty manditory for street duties.
    Tall gearing is a must-have also.

    A CR500 is not practical for straight highway cruising, but surely a helluva lot of fun around town.
    01 CR500af 83 XL600 hooligans 83 CR480
    97 VFR750 CB1100F 93 Honda Sportster
    74 Suzuki Titan
    75 H1-F 75 RD350
    74 MT250 75 XL350 93 Ducati fighter

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    ya I plan on only using it for canyon runs, I live out in the Black Hills in South Dakota, so thier is some nice tight roads to run. Also may run second duty as a trail bike if i can hang on to it. How to you go about switching to a two piece side cover? Oh and the purchase is going well, looks like the wife is planning on getting it on the 24th of this month if all goes as planned, Im super pumped!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by PingKing View Post
    A CR500 is not practical for straight highway cruising, but surely a helluva lot of fun around town.
    I have found the exact opposite over here.

    I don't really like running mine around town alot but love to take long journeys on the highway. I have a 4 gallon after market tank on mine so I rarely ever have to stop for gas and it gets great mileage on the highway. Mileage suffers somewhat in town.

    One thing I learned a long time ago is not to ride my cr500 in the rain... too damn dangerous. That is something I never do anymore (unless I get caught by surprise).

    The only other thing I hate about riding it in town is when it dies at an intersection and I have to kick start it in the middle of the damn street. The last time it died on me, it didn't want to start and there was a cop sitting in his car (right behind me) waiting for me to move out of his way. I thought he was going to pull me over but he just drove off with a disgusted look on his face.

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    What do you mean by great gas mileage???? My friends keep telling me its gonna get shit for mileage and that im going to have to do a topend every summer, how often do you need to do a topend/ rebore? oh and ya i've heard the same thing about the rain thing...a highside waiting to happen.

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    My 2001 gets great mileage (for a 500cc 2 stroke) and I have NEVER gone into the motor yet. You will not need to go into the top end every summer as long as you use good gas and a high quality 2 stroke oil mixed at the proper ratio.

    I think Honda calls for 32:1 in my bike but I run Motul 800 at 40:1 and never had a problem. I do carry a spare plug and do change the plug about once a year though.

    I ran my 2000 cr250r on the street for 8 years before I sold it and never did the top (or bottom) end. I had a piston and ring set ready to go in at anytime but gave it to the guy I sold it to (still in the box).

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    I never did the math but I would say I get about 30-35 mpg highway.

    My bike is geared now at 15/42 and it seems perfect for the type of riding/roads I do around here and 4 gallons of premix in the tank goes a looong way for me.

    I have several bikes now so I don't ride my 500 very often (just whenever I need a knee shaking adreneline rush).

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    The guy that did my port work claimed that it would hurt mileage.
    Well now.....I've never had a CR500, so I have no idea what mileage would be (I heard of people getting 20-ish), but I'm all in for the power-enhancing mod anyway.

    I'd be lucky to break 15mpg.
    I filled the tank and took the bike for a straight highway run. I averaged 55/60mph w/a 14/41 gearing.
    The bike was built from an 01 CR125, it has a 2 gal tank....and it doesn't get me very far.
    I stopped mid trip and dumped in a quart of premix from the backpack. I stopped at a gas station to refuel, and pumped in another 1.5 gal.....still wasn't enough to fill it back up. For the return trip I detured the long way home and headed straight up the highway.
    If I figure correctly, I'm getting 12mpg.

    But....I can't complain.
    The bike runs fantastic...... like you said, it's an adrenaline rush.
    The quickest, lightest, best braking, loudest/most obnoxious bike I have....and it'll easily wheelie from 4th gear.
    The children run from their yards to see what's coming from up the street......I just love it.

    Yeah, the engine is pretty much Sherman tank durable.
    It might need a set of rings in a few years, but I really don't see any issues. Main thing is that oil ratio and jetting #s are correct.

    My old H1 has over 15K miles on the clock, it runs strong and still has excellent compression.
    Like KTM said, quality oil plays a huge role in longevity.
    I prefer MC1... run it 45:1....and add a little av' gas in the mix for some lead content.


    I believe my 2-piece side cover is from an '87.
    Last edited by PingKing; 04-14-2010 at 08:53 PM.
    01 CR500af 83 XL600 hooligans 83 CR480
    97 VFR750 CB1100F 93 Honda Sportster
    74 Suzuki Titan
    75 H1-F 75 RD350
    74 MT250 75 XL350 93 Ducati fighter

  25. #25
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    Wow for highway mileage that is about what my RC51 used to get!!! Also its great to here if you get the jetting right that I wont be replacing a topend once a year. Oh and as for the side cover the 87 crankcase cover will fit on the 1985?, if so that would be great. Thanks for all the replies

  26. #26
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    After I ported my RM500 it got better mileage than stock, but its still not awesome. Probably 20 mpg. Good thing its a dunes only bike!

    My friend put a WR500 motor in a 70's honda cb350 frame once. He called it the death bike because it would do roll on wheelies from 80 mph in 6th gear without breaking a sweat! He took it road racing once and it picked up the front end mid corner at 110 mph, then crashed into the tire wall. He was fine, the bike broke in half and he didnt want to put it back together!
    Sorry for being off topic, but its a crazy story!
    1968 Honda CB160 Racer, 1970 Honda CT70, 1971 Yamaha DT1, 1974 Honda CB125S, 1974 Yamaha RD350, 1984 Suzuki RM500, 2003 Suzuki DRZ400S

  27. #27
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    yea, the front end always comes up... like it has wings

    you get used to it though (and learn to absolutely love it!)

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    IM SO EXCITED!!!! I CANT WAIT!!!!...oh ya can you lace the stock hubs to 17"s i can only find one spoke kit even made for the 85, do the other years/models hubs fit?

  29. #29
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    I laced a set of 17" Suns onto powdercoated CR125 hubs. Not sure if the hub bearings/axle sizes are the same or not.
    I had thoughts of selling the set if you're interested.
    01 CR500af 83 XL600 hooligans 83 CR480
    97 VFR750 CB1100F 93 Honda Sportster
    74 Suzuki Titan
    75 H1-F 75 RD350
    74 MT250 75 XL350 93 Ducati fighter

  30. #30
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    FOR SURE!!...i'll have to check if they would fit but that would be awesome!!!!....oh neato AH-64 autorotated outside my window...anyway..ya PM me if ya want on those.

  31. #31
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    Don't listen to the people who tell you about how you have to change top ends on a two stroke constantly. I run Amsoil at 50:1 and have gone years of VERY frequent riding on my two strokes and only had to rebuild a top end ONCE, only because the bike was stolen, run without premix and seized.

    Two strokes are 20X as reliable and maintenance free than the newer 4 strokes comparable in power. Just a little less predictable, tractable, and efficient. Who's looking for that in a hooligan bike anyway?
    2003 KTM 525

  32. #32
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    +1

    Unless you are racing competitively on a sponsored team, there's no reason to do a frequent top end rebuild (unless you fail to folllow the simple gas/premix do's and don'ts).

    2 strokes are reliable as hell if you feed them properly and do your regular gear box oil changes.

  33. #33
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    I'll measure the axle diameters and shoot you a PM.
    The rear is a 5", I think the front is a 3.5 (I'll have to pull the invoice to make sure).

    .

    This has become an interesting chit-chat thread.

    You dudes have pics of your rides????
    01 CR500af 83 XL600 hooligans 83 CR480
    97 VFR750 CB1100F 93 Honda Sportster
    74 Suzuki Titan
    75 H1-F 75 RD350
    74 MT250 75 XL350 93 Ducati fighter

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    really interested, the only picture i have of mine is on facebook..and i dont know how to post it..besides its a Buell so its not that big of a deal on this thread haha..has bags and all.

  35. #35
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    All I have is my Tm 85 and CBR, I have a buyer coming tomorrow for the 929 (supposed to rain though .) So I won't be starting on the ktm 300/380 street project I have in mind, 'till it's gone.
    2003 KTM 525

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    http://s981.photobucket.com/albums/a...rent=cr500.jpg here is a picture of the bike im gonna get....i suck at posting pictures.

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    I always loved the "red" CRs of that era, they have a timeless coolness w/gold rims. I remember David Bailey's bikes having gold DIDs.

    Blue backgrounds?
    Need to put the proper yellow ones back on.

    Cool bike no doubt.
    01 CR500af 83 XL600 hooligans 83 CR480
    97 VFR750 CB1100F 93 Honda Sportster
    74 Suzuki Titan
    75 H1-F 75 RD350
    74 MT250 75 XL350 93 Ducati fighter

  38. #38
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    thanks for posting that, ya the backgrounds and seat cover are getting pitched...im ordering all new plastic for it when i get home. any word on those 17" you laced up?

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    good news is the waterpump area looks good, well to me it looks good. but the bad news is the engine has aniliated the pipe, cracks in two places and broken tabs throughout, so that brings me to the next question...what pipe. The only one i can find for an 1985 specifically is the FMF Gnarly, can you find anyothers. http://s981.photobucket.com/albums/a...=cr500035r.jpg AHH damn pictures...how the hell do you post pictures on here, i am computer retarded.
    Last edited by TankerBEAN; 04-17-2010 at 04:44 PM.

  40. #40
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    I still need to go into the shop and pull the paperwork to check pricing and front width.

    I noticed yours has a drum rear....the rear from the 125 has a disc.

    I have an '83 XL600 that was rear drum....I converted to disc when I swapped in a mag set from a CBR 600.

    Thread:
    http://www.supermotojunkie.com/showthread.php?t=94866

    If you run the Suns, you'll have to do a disc conversion.
    I have the caliper/bracket assembly for that rim set.....I also milled the caliper stay off of the 125 swinger (I used the swing arm on another bike).
    So...you'll have to weld the stay flange onto the inside of the 500's SA.

    Mounting the master cylinder wasn't a big deal.
    Welded small tabs to the frame for the mount and welded a pusher arm to the brake pedal.

    .


    I'm guessing that a brake pedal from a newer CR500 will fit your frame....just have to mount the MC some how (strange how modding stuff snowballs into a bigger ordeal).

    I have a rear drum/front disc 17" set from the 600 also.
    Either will be a challenge to swap to your 500, though the Sun set is way wider.

    .
    Last edited by PingKing; 04-17-2010 at 05:02 PM.
    01 CR500af 83 XL600 hooligans 83 CR480
    97 VFR750 CB1100F 93 Honda Sportster
    74 Suzuki Titan
    75 H1-F 75 RD350
    74 MT250 75 XL350 93 Ducati fighter

  41. #41
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    I really like the look of the drum setup, kinda would keep with the oldschoolness of the bike, can i run a 150 rear on that rim you have posted???

  42. #42
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    No, it's too narrow.

    I get my rim kits from Jeff at Pro Cycle.
    He can get spoke/rim kits for any bike.

    http://www.procycle.us/main/supermoto.htm

    I don't care for Excell's poor quality.
    Suns are made by the fine folks in California, and are trued on a lathe during production......Excells aren't.

    Oh as for the Gnarly, I have one on mine.
    I've always been a fan of FMF pipes.
    01 CR500af 83 XL600 hooligans 83 CR480
    97 VFR750 CB1100F 93 Honda Sportster
    74 Suzuki Titan
    75 H1-F 75 RD350
    74 MT250 75 XL350 93 Ducati fighter

  43. #43
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    whats the green sticker on the forks all about? is that some kind of road registration?

  44. #44
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    I think its a park sticker, in order to ride on park/public land?...oh I have a question for those CR500 guys.


    I have searched this topic and I have not come up with an answer i can find, I just got a 1985 CR500 and would like to put new plastics on it, The only place I can find these is Maier USA but they do not have the radiator scoops. You can get all the plastics for the 1986 but i dont know if these would fit. So the question is can I do a plastic swap from a newer year, or subframe swap from a late 90's CR and run there plastics, or has anyone tried a CRF plastic swap on a steelie???..would that look retarded? Sorry for all the questions, I just can not seem to find an answer. Thanks Aaron.

  45. #45
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    I'm not sure about the shrouds but you could always just buy a new fuel tank with the shrouds built into it.

    Part #11398: Radiator shrouds are built in to tank.

    Part #/Years/Capacity:
    11398 year 85-88 (3.5gal)

    http://www.justgastanks.com/store/in...roducts_id=396

  46. #46
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    Here's a pic of the 85 with the tank. Seems that they have all colors available too!!


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    Awesome find thanks alot, I dont know why i couldnt find that before.

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    Hi Guys being the 2 stroke fan that I am I just had to chime in with my project bike. I picked up a 93 CR250, that is plated in CA. I stripped the bike down to the frame, powder coated the frame and replaced all the bearing every where. The bike is almost done just need to add some warp 9 rims then time to tear up the streets.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  49. #49
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    Wow, that looks really nice, what lighting coil are you running, and does anyone no for sure what is needed in order to put newer plastic on a CR500???.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffofvtown View Post
    Hi Guys being the 2 stroke fan that I am I just had to chime in with my project bike. I picked up a 93 CR250, that is plated in CA. I stripped the bike down to the frame, powder coated the frame and replaced all the bearing every where. The bike is almost done just need to add some warp 9 rims then time to tear up the streets.
    Very Nice!!!

    Kinda looks like this CR500 Street Hooligan from Vancouver Supermoto!

    check it out here:

    http://www.vancouversupermoto.com/page.php?id=24

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