CR 500, any good for technical trails?


19 replies to this topic
  • xrmarty

Posted August 05, 2006 - 10:33 PM

#1

Just wondering if any of you guys ride your 500's or 250's on serious technical trails. I mean nasty inclines with big fat boulders, tight turns with lousy tracktion.

I rode my buddy's older (not sure what year, mid 90's) cr 250 in Doves Springs, CA and it was a blast. I couldn't believe the acceleration :thumbsup: I rode it pretty much on flat trail with woops, nothing to techi. But I also noticed that it lacked the torque that I'm used on my XR4. Does the 500 have sufficient low end for the slower techinical stuff?

  • jbird710

Posted August 06, 2006 - 04:53 AM

#2

CR500s can be ridden most anywhere if you know what you're doing and use a little common sense. The later model bikes (CR500s were made up to 2001) have more controllable power. But you can use one of the older bikes and add a heavier flywheel to aid with riding tight, technical stuff. The trick is to ride 1 gear up from what you would normally ride. There's enough torque and power to pull most anyone along and it will keep you out of the top end power that can be explosive. Yes, it's most happy out on a wide open fire road, long MX track, or in the desert; but the CR500 can work well in the woods if ridden correctly. I alternate between mine and my XR400 just for the variety mostly. If I could only keep one, the CR500 would be my choice.

  • Chokey

Posted August 06, 2006 - 06:20 AM

#3

A CR500 is a decent bike for trail work, because it has very good low-end torque that you can use to run a gear or even two gears higher than you would on a small bike. And it will climb nearly any hill you point it at. Just learn to respect the throttle, much more so than on a smaller bike. If you try to ride a CR500 in the woods like you would a 125 or 250, you'll be on a first-name basis with your local emergency room attendants.

  • Desert Rat 450

Posted August 06, 2006 - 08:06 AM

#4

CR500s can be ridden most anywhere if you know what you're doing and use a little common sense. The later model bikes (CR500s were made up to 2001) have more controllable power. But you can use one of the older bikes and add a heavier flywheel to aid with riding tight, technical stuff. The trick is to ride 1 gear up from what you would normally ride. There's enough torque and power to pull most anyone along and it will keep you out of the top end power that can be explosive. Yes, it's most happy out on a wide open fire road, long MX track, or in the desert; but the CR500 can work well in the woods if ridden correctly. I alternate between mine and my XR400 just for the variety mostly. If I could only keep one, the CR500 would be my choice.

''You said it'' awesome bike :thumbsup:if you can learn to ride a CR :thumbsup: 500 you can go anywhere

  • BAJAHUSKYS

Posted August 06, 2006 - 08:25 AM

#5

A distant friend of mine rode his CR 500 two years in a row at the Tecate 250 Enduro in northern Baja California and finished both years. He was an Expert rated rider, but chose the CR 500 as his mount. The Tecate was known for its difficult courses and low finisher rates, but he said the 500 was suited to the mountainous and hilly terrain. His was an 98. Go for it. Steny

  • hometheaterman

Posted August 06, 2006 - 09:19 AM

#6

I don't know that it is as good as my DRZ for tight trails but I much prefer it over the 250 2-strokes. I think it might be because it handles more like my DRZ that I was used to though I'm not sure. It has plenty of power to pull you wherever you want to go. Just keep it in a gear higher than need be like he said and you will be fine. It can pull in about any gear.

  • crfxer

Posted August 09, 2006 - 04:07 AM

#7

I rode a 87 CR 500 for 14 years everywhere. It was a blast and I had no troubles or complaints even in the tight knarly stuff. Would still have it, but plain ol just wore it out!

  • BAJAHUSKYS

Posted August 09, 2006 - 07:15 PM

#8

CR 500 guys say the 85-87 bikes were the best of the CR 500's. But your right, as they get older, parts might be harder to come by. :thumbsup:

  • Pig_N_CR5hundy

Posted August 10, 2006 - 11:39 AM

#9

CR 500 guys say the 85-87 bikes were the best of the CR 500's. But your right, as they get older, parts might be harder to come by. :ride:


85-87 are not the best, they have the most hit, not quite as tame as the later CR500 engines. In my opinion a later model CR500 would be better for trail application. Also, as common sense might dictate, the later model cr500's and Af's handle much better than the mid eighties stallions :thumbsup:

  • BAJAHUSKYS

Posted August 10, 2006 - 12:10 PM

#10

I'm sorry, thats what I meant for best ones. As in outdoor motocross. What years would you start with when buying one for enduro work, mountains and slow riding? Steny

  • BigDeSto53

Posted August 10, 2006 - 12:31 PM

#11

97-01 :thumbsup:

  • Shawn_Mc

Posted August 10, 2006 - 07:21 PM

#12

85-87 are not the best, they have the most hit, not quite as tame as the later CR500 engines. In my opinion a later model CR500 would be better for trail application. Also, as common sense might dictate, the later model cr500's and Af's handle much better than the mid eighties stallions :thumbsup:



Youre going to have to explain why. IVe got an 03CRF and an 88 CR500. The geometry is exactly the same. The swing arm length and postition, the rake, the trail and the wieght of the bike. So other than rider postion, why would one handle better than the other...Other than individual suspension components and asthetics the damn things are exactly the same since 88 to at least 03 CR and CRF....

  • Pig_N_CR5hundy

Posted August 11, 2006 - 07:34 AM

#13

Youre going to have to explain why. IVe got an 03CRF and an 88 CR500. The geometry is exactly the same. The swing arm length and postition, the rake, the trail and the wieght of the bike. So other than rider postion, why would one handle better than the other...Other than individual suspension components and asthetics the damn things are exactly the same since 88 to at least 03 CR and CRF....


As you said, suspension is not the same, huge difference in suspension performance of a 86 CR500 and a 97-2001 cr500.

Bike weight:
1986 235lbs dry
1997 222.7 dry

Brakes:
1986 disc/drum
1997 disc/disc

Wheelbase:
1986 59.1
1997 58.5

I definately would not say they are the same. I would say, weight, wheelbase, breaking and suspension go along way when considering how a bike handles, not to mention rider position. The AF's only get better (lighter, better suspension). My AF handles much better than my 97 steel frame did.


Chris

  • jbird710

Posted August 11, 2006 - 08:03 AM

#14

Pig is right about this. The motor on my '87 definitely has more bark than the 2001. I've used it for trail riding but mostly on open, non-technical trails. It can be used for tight, technical stuff; but it will wear you out quicker than the 2001. A lot of folks added a Moose heavy flywheel to the older bikes to tame the hit and make them more controllable. There's a big difference in what can be done and what can be done comfortably.

  • jim1234

Posted August 12, 2006 - 12:46 PM

#15

I like the trans better on the 87 -88 bikes Wider ratio. Change the ratio back to the wider ratio in 93

  • huntmaster

Posted August 14, 2006 - 10:27 AM

#16

Just wondering if any of you guys ride your 500's or 250's on serious technical trails. I mean nasty inclines with big fat boulders, tight turns with lousy tracktion.

Nasty? No. Or rather, it can be done... but there are much better tools for the job. For all around trail riding it can work though, and to the horror of my riding buddies I set up my own 91 CR500 with a big tank, tall gearing, steel clutch (for some flywheel) and it worked pretty good. But when things got really technical or wet n' greasy...even with a large rider it wasn't a lot of fun. :thumbsup:

  • BAJAHUSKYS

Posted August 17, 2006 - 07:59 PM

#17

Didn't Honda make a wide ratio gearbox for the CR 500s? The 90-01 models at least? I've been looking at 250s for so long I never considered a 500 Honda. Thanks guys, I think I will broaden my search for a 97-01 Honda CR 500 now. :thumbsup: Steny :ride:

  • Chokey

Posted August 18, 2006 - 03:37 AM

#18

Didn't Honda make a wide ratio gearbox for the CR 500s? The 90-01 models at least?

I believe that Service Honda bought all the remaining stock of the WR trannies, and they are now all gone.

  • jbird710

Posted August 18, 2006 - 06:16 AM

#19

Didn't Honda make a wide ratio gearbox for the CR 500s? The 90-01 models at least? I've been looking at 250s for so long I never considered a 500 Honda. Thanks guys, I think I will broaden my search for a 97-01 Honda CR 500 now. :thumbsup: Steny :ride:

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I seem to remember they offered them as far back as '87. I could swear I saw an article about this in one of the mags back then. While I'm sure it would have some advantages, I don't think it would be a requirement. I've ridden both the '87 & the '01 on everything from tight, single track trails to wide open MX tracks with no problems. I do admit I don't have any desert or sand dune experience where maybe the WR trannie may make a difference. IMO, you can go wrong with a CR500 regardless of whether it has a WR trannie or not. But, I'm a little biased that way.

  • sonobob

Posted August 20, 2006 - 11:05 AM

#20

I will have to agree that the CR500 is a totally versatile machine....when ridden properly. All who throw a leg over the mighty 500 come to respect the power...either by intelligent choice, or by having this beast chew off their ass.
One guy that used to ride with us alot had an '87. It was every bit as good in the tight twisties as it was on the WFO sections. I rode it a couple times...power characteristics much like my '94 CR250...just a lot more of it everywhere.
To also throw in my two cents worth concerning the 250, my 94 will tractor along without a hitch, through anything and everything the north Georgia mountains has to offer. With the only real mods being a PC pipe/shorty silencer, Boyesen power reeds and 13/51 gearing. For whatever reasons, the low end on that 250 is incredible. And it will still haul ass in the WFO sections.





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