2003 KX500

60 replies to this topic
  • Yak

Posted July 16, 2002 - 08:17 AM


Is it just me or did Kawasaki stop putting any R&D into the 500 after 1984. Why on earth would anyone buy this thing? I urge you to go to kawasaki.com and check out the profile view of the "2003" Kx500. Just thought of this... They might even have better luck marketing it as a Retro Vetran bike, "own a piece of history".

  • Yak

Posted July 16, 2002 - 08:23 AM


OK..maybe that was a little harsh. It does have inverted forks, and double discs, and I guess the motor has gone though upgrades. But look at the styling/ergos, old school rear panels, exhaust, fenders, seat, tank etc..

  • Shawn_Mc

Posted July 16, 2002 - 08:43 AM


Yak you werent all that wrong. Kawasaki hasnt done anything to that bike since 1989. Five years big woop.

  • John_Lorenz

Posted July 16, 2002 - 09:10 PM


and the last remian open class 2 smoke too boot


Posted July 16, 2002 - 09:25 PM


But, have you ever ridden one, don't knock old school till you try it. I had a 1990 CR500 that was cherry, I know that the 426 has power, but two stroke open class power is a whole other world. 63 hp for 230-240 pounds is arm ripping power, just my 2 cents, LOL Frank

  • Guest_mxrider426_*

Posted July 16, 2002 - 06:52 PM


I wish the open class was still around. Then when everone switched to 4-strokes, I could smoke everyone on a yz1000f!! :) :D

  • osheen

Posted July 16, 2002 - 08:01 PM


A lot of desert racers still use them. Sand riders like them too. I guess they still sell enough to warrant making the things. Kawie's tooling has been paid for for over a decade so it probably cost kaw about oh, $4 or $5 to build one!? :)

  • z4me

Posted July 17, 2002 - 02:12 AM


Destry still rips on his - I guess it can't be that bad :)

  • John_Lorenz

Posted July 17, 2002 - 04:58 AM


We may like our 4 thumping strokers

but FastFrank nailed it right on the head.

There is nothing I mean nothng like a open class bike, that was pure insanity mixed with ultamite pleasure

  • Bambislayer

Posted July 17, 2002 - 08:42 AM


After Suzuki pulled out of open class competition altogether and when Yamaha starting losing races trying to race a warmed over 500cc two stroke trail bike in open events, the 500 class started to go downhill. With only Kawasaki and Honda still making 500cc mx bikes in the early ninties and the AMA realizing that the 250 class was becoming the dominant class in mx much the same way the 500's were in the 70's and 80's, the 500 class was dropped. Because when it was dropped, I think 1993, the current models were a few years old, the manufacturers had nothing to lose to still produce them. The tooling was paid for then, and why not still market them as something else(trail, woods, even mx still at the local level) and make some money. They were smart in not redesigning them. They did not have to because each knew that the other wasn't. Much the same way manufacturers today are required to redesign their bikes every other year or so to remain competitive, the lack of competition stifled research and development. The phrase we so often read here and other places regarding how the cuurent level of competitiveness ultimately benefits us the most is true and this a perfect example. The CR500 had not been redesigned since the early 90's either until it was finally done away with in 2002. I have never even ridden a 500, but I would love to one day. I do feel though that the days in which we may be able to buy a new one are numbered. Blame it on the lack of racing, or environmentalists and the resultant 4 stroke revolution, blame it on whatever, but a great bike to own right now and keep forever would be a CR500AF. It costs a lot, but in 10 years time you would be mad max on that thing. All of the kids would not know what the hell happened.

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  • John_Lorenz

Posted July 17, 2002 - 09:03 PM


Slayer good observation and pretty much on the money

But to add the AMA killed once again the 500 class with the ban of works bike in ama racing. This stoped all R&D for 500 and 250 in the US. That placed the 250 in the top notch, this allowed for Chapperal, white bro's, and others to start competing on a even playing field.

And marketing as it is the masses went to the 250 the 500 was concidered a crazy mans bike...

Sorry have to add
The Euro GP were not effected becouse of the I love racing attitude in Europe, The Euro GP's are a differant breed altoghter

[ July 17, 2002: Message edited by: E.G.O.**** ]

  • oldasdirt

Posted July 17, 2002 - 10:17 AM


I'm a BRC member but not AMA why were we called outlaw flattrack. Could not stand a 2stroke kicking there big ass hogs all over the tracks is why. oldasdirt :) :D :D

  • moto_madman

Posted July 17, 2002 - 04:16 PM


you can knock the decade old technology all you want but nothing will beat a kx500 in a drag race. 56 hp stock and it will put out 62-64 with light porting and a pipe.

Bottom line it will blow away what ever you put next to it.

Yes, everthing elso may have better suspension, ergos, traction, blah blah blah but who cares. If you wanna yank your arms out of their sockets buy a kx500.

  • Fireballsocal

Posted July 17, 2002 - 06:35 PM


According to a salesman at Chapparel, the KX500 will be discontinued after this year. Slow sales and technologically superior four strokes were the reasons.

I myself would like to get a Service Honda CR500AF. I spoke with one of the mechanics and am getting a test ride in Glamis in November when he comes down. $8,000 ain't bad for the fastest MX bike that I know of.

  • MichaelRaasch260

Posted July 17, 2002 - 07:20 PM


You can rip on the KX500 all you want but if you line your YZ426 up to one at Day Hill in Glamis California (The Dunes) it will rip you apart and leave you half way down the hill. No bike can touch me on mine not even a CR500. The KX500 is the King Of The Hill! Period! And it hasn't even had any R&D put into the engine since 1990. The suspension is from 1994 KX250.

  • Dan_Lorenze

Posted July 18, 2002 - 04:31 AM


Originally posted by Fireballsocal:
According to a salesman at Chapparel, the KX500 will be discontinued after this year. Slow sales and technologically superior four strokes were the reasons.

Fireball, Im gonna agree with that statement!! I talked to ATK's productions manager a month ago at a race and he said that ATK is going to develop a new open class 2-stroke because the KX500 finally got discontinued for good. He swares by it. The question is what will Kawi do for racing in the desert?

Dan :)

  • moto_madman

Posted July 18, 2002 - 08:35 AM


what will kawi do for desert racing? I bet kawies answer to the YZF/CRF will be coming out :)

  • z4me

Posted July 18, 2002 - 08:48 AM


Originally posted by moto madman:
what will kawi do for desert racing? I bet kawies answer to the YZF/CRF will be coming out :)

It already exists - it's the DRZ.

  • BFLee

Posted July 18, 2002 - 11:32 AM


Did KTM discontinue the 380? It is not on the web page anymore.

  • teamtoxic

Posted July 18, 2002 - 04:58 PM


There is nothing like a big bore two stroke. I occasionaly take my Dad's 95 CR500 for a ride and get off wishing that they still were produced, but with some new technology. His is in need of a *bore* job yet it still pulls so hard with every shift. If I had enough spare money, I'd throw that motor into a 250 chassis in a heartbeat. They are the ultimate!

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