1984 CR500 for trail riding ???


24 replies to this topic
  • Sam Simons

Posted January 29, 2010 - 04:34 PM

#1

Hi All,
I have a very clean CR w/ fresh engine available to me,and need some background info about 'em from any present/previous riders of this specific year CR500. Just your experiences,good or not,please. I've read as much as I
can find,so firsthand accounts are really what I need....My trail network is 3-4 miles of wide (7'-9') raked surfaces, several creek crossings,50'-80' hills.
No 'cow paths',in other words.
If the '84 is a poor choice,I'd like to know how,and if it's correctable.....

Thanks!

Sam in Indiana

  • ctslacker

Posted January 30, 2010 - 05:40 AM

#2

I had a 89 cr 500 and it was an ABSOLUTE MONSTER!!!! It was big and it didn't have the best suspension but was a very fun bike. it's like a mustang horse (happiest when free to stretch its legs). perfect for dirt roads wastn too good for the singltrack although i did it all the time the best is PASSING all the 400 ex's and then raptors then banshees and waving while still in 4th gear. this is a 90 mph dirt bike

  • Franx

Posted January 30, 2010 - 06:22 AM

#3

I don't think it would be a bad trail bike if it was set up for it. I know of a couple guys that ride older CR480/500s from that era and love them.

  • MrBlah

Posted January 30, 2010 - 07:24 AM

#4

those older 500's are no joke, it would be a really really fun on wide trails like you described

  • 4T_thumbs_down

Posted January 30, 2010 - 07:59 AM

#5

Honda CR500's are worth owning than any KTM's

Posted Image

Posted Image


Owning one of them 500's brings you rich history of Honda's championship and such a privilege feeling for an owner that he takes part of 2-stroke development and advancement, the backbone of dirtbiking from yesteryears to the present and beyond.... :ride:

....unlike that of the latter brand that brings only a high-price tag :lol:

  • MrBlah

Posted January 30, 2010 - 08:02 AM

#6

umm, nobody said a word about ktm in this thread, why did you bring up ktm?

  • MaddogYZ

Posted January 30, 2010 - 08:04 AM

#7

Honda CR500's are worth owning than any KTM's

Owning one of them 500's brings you rich history of Honda's championship and such a privilege feeling for an owner that he takes part of 2-stroke development and advancement, the backbone of dirtbiking from yesteryears to the present and beyond.... :ride:

....unlike that of the latter brand that brings only a high-price tag :bonk:


You're right, riding one will make you appreciate how far dirtbike advancement has come since then. :lol: Still a hoot to ride though.

  • ctslacker

Posted January 30, 2010 - 11:10 AM

#8

i'd go for it if youve had experience with other bikes.... i'd still have mine if i had room for it in the garage.......

  • shrubitup

Posted January 30, 2010 - 08:45 PM

#9

Have read the 84 liked to detonate and did not want to start for anybody. All 500s are difficult to start but the 84 was notorious. Many recommend the 83 480 instead.

  • YZEtc

Posted January 31, 2010 - 12:58 AM

#10

^Exactly.
He's asking about the first model year CR-500R (1984 model), the only one that was air cooled.

I have no first-hand experience with the bike, but remember reading reviews that, at first, were the usual automatic thumbs-up.
Then, later in the year, those same magazines were running articles about how to have the cylinder head modified to get rid of the pinging.

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  • tom a payne

Posted January 31, 2010 - 03:21 AM

#11

I had a 86 cr 500 and it was the shit ! Awsome bike. Wish I still had it...

  • Redlined

Posted January 31, 2010 - 07:56 AM

#12

Yup, the '84 was known as the "ping king", there may be a fix. My brother had an '83 CR480, I used to ride an '86 CR500, between the 3 of us we had an '85 CR500, an '88 KX500 and a '91 KX500 before we all went to 250's. My favorite was the '91 KX, it put the old CR480 to shame, better brakes, suspension and more power with a smoother delivery. Unless your in love with the old CR, a CR500 or KX500 from the late 80's up will perform far better IMO.
I would see if someone like Eric Gorr or RB Designs have a solution for the detonation issues on the '84 CR500.

http://www.rb-designs.com/

  • Sam Simons

Posted January 31, 2010 - 09:25 AM

#13

Fellas-

Many thanks for your experiences/info shared.......There are apparently some significant negatives with this particular year CR500,unfortunately.
I prefer the appearance of the a/c bikes,obviously greatly limiting my choices to
the vintage era.Bikes that old,are generally either roaches or restored,with little in between.Other possibilities would include IT465/490,Maico 501,Yam SC500,etc., and those bikes are from a previous era with even less to offer
(other than lower seat height,less suspension travel,more weight).
I'm going to pass on this CR500....

Thanks,

Sam in Indiana

  • shrubitup

Posted January 31, 2010 - 09:40 AM

#14

Yup, the '84 was known as the "ping king", there may be a fix. My brother had an '83 CR480, I used to ride an '86 CR500, between the 3 of us we had an '85 CR500, an '88 KX500 and a '91 KX500 before we all went to 250's. My favorite was the '91 KX, it put the old CR480 to shame, better brakes, suspension and more power with a smoother delivery. Unless your in love with the old CR, a CR500 or KX500 from the late 80's up will perform far better IMO.
I would see if someone like Eric Gorr or RB Designs have a solution for the detonation issues on the '84 CR500.

http://www.rb-designs.com/

I bet either one could take away those things that go ping. :ride:

  • YZEtc

Posted January 31, 2010 - 10:06 AM

#15

If you're considering a YZ-490 or an IT-465, I do have first-hand experience with each of those. :ride:

I owned and rode a 1987 YZ-490T back in the day.
Bought it used little from a guy who probably sold it (actually had his parents sell it to me for him) before he killed himself, or so was the impression I got while there looking at the bike. :lol:

I only had to replace the usual parts that get damaged from falling off or looping it out (grips; handlebars; rear fender, which was bent up like a backrest :bonk: ), and then rode it and had a ball.

In my opinion, it made a great bike for trail riding and just having general off-road fun.
It always started very easily for me (and I'm only 5'5" and 150 lbs.) and never gave me any regrets.
Seeing the nice roost off the rear tire arcing through the air whenever you merely touched the throttle was something I had no problem enjoying, though. :D

My 1982 IT-465J was in much rougher shape and required the usual front-to-back teardown to be put back into proper working and cosmetic order.
Well worth it, as this bike was like an off-road tractor.
Lots and lots of power and torque that started down low at idle speed and just relentlesly got stronger as the RPM increased.
Extremely controlable power delivery that seemed impossible to bog down no matter how low you lugged it.
Started very easily, too.

The bike is fun on trails with it's stability in a straight line.
The bike changes direction OK, but naturally will feel a bit more ponderous than a modern off-road bike that is designed for quicker handling with a better ergonimic layout.
The power characteristics are brilliant, being able to chug up the nastiest stuff without stalling, yet when you open that throttle, hang on and don't look back. :lol:

Tip:
Run a 50/50 mix of non-oxygenated race gas and premium pump gas (I used Sunoco 105 or 110 mixed with 93 octance pump gas).
The old IT runs much smoother, starts easier, and is generally much more happy than with straight gas you get out of a pump these days, which is shit, basically.
I ran Yamalube 2R oil and never had a problem.

(In fact, I now use a 50/50 mix of race gas and pump gas in my 2009 WR-250F as well.
Bike seems to enjoy it and runs very smooth.)

Also, the chassis on this bike ain't in the same league as a mid-to-late 1980s motocross bike, having more weight, a more primitive suspension, and a more old-fashioned rider ergonomic layout.
I don't particularly view these as negatives, but I feel it's worth mentioning.
Basically, just don't try to jump the bike extremely far or pull-off modern flighttime aerobatics and you'll have a ball roosting your buddies on a classic, reliable dirt bike.

Edited by YZEtc, January 31, 2010 - 05:59 PM.
Bad spellin' and grandmar :)


  • WHYSOSERIOUS

Posted January 31, 2010 - 11:05 AM

#16

Well the original poster got lots of opinions based on hear say info, ya know I read in a mag that little green people are living on the dark side of the moon. Go figure?

So now time for some facts on a 84 CR500 from some one who did actually owned one many years ago and now wishes he had never sold it.

The 84 is a one year only design, it is the only year of a CR500 that is air cooled, this is good as it does produce a little more power by not having to turn a water pump. The bad is that it will over heat if ridden slow or has any lean spots in the jetting curve. The suspension was also a one year design it is without a douht the worst ever put on a 80's CR500, even a 83 was better, of the 80's a 87 was the best and yes I owned those ones also.

The 84 was the first year of a front disc brake and for your use it would be fine. The rear drum wasn't bad unless it was out of spec or got wet.

What was the best (or worst) part of a 84 500? Well honda really went to town on this motor as Maico had been giving honda a real good spanking in the early 80's, so for 84 Honda really upped the port timing, The transfer were the most radical honda ever put on any year of 500.Hondas own at the crank HP ratings also show it as the highest HP ever sold to the public (sorry to burst the bubble 86 owners). The interesting thing is this HP number was done with a 36mm round slide carb. All latter 500's 85 and on used a flat slide 38mm carb. It also had the most rapid rise on its torque curve, AKA the very hard hit you get.

The 84 know as a pinger? Well yes and no. First off, solving the "reported" problem of pinging with very hi test fuel will not solve the problem as the issue was more of a factory blunder with head design and to a lesser extent the combo of the pipe being wrong and the poor low speed function of the carb.

Can you make the motor a none pinger? yep not hard at all you just have to know what to do, in stock as delivered the 84 was very raw and need alot of tuning to work right. As for the 84 being used as a trail bike, it would be the worst of all years, if it is running and jetted right, they have an insane hit like no other bike and if you are in a rock garden it will bite you hard and lets not forget the cooling issue.

If you do want a stupid fast put a grin on your face bike for open areas then it will do that but in the day most racers how bought a 84 500 ended up going back to the 83 480 as it was more managable on a track.

get a 91 or up and you will be happy.

  • shrubitup

Posted January 31, 2010 - 11:34 AM

#17

^ good comments and setup tips on this model. :ride:

I felt the same away about things being written about a bike. There can't be half of the statements that are true, right? Example: I test rode a '02 CR125 and it couldn't get out of its own way. The low end power did NOT exist. An XR80 has more low end power. Now don't just say that 125s have no low end power. Compared to a 250, correct - they don't but this bike was horribly anemic. Can it be tuned away? Yes. But all the write ups said it had no low end power or ability to spin into even the mid range and after I personally tested one I had to agree. So, some of which makes it into writing has some truth. :lol:

  • YZEtc

Posted January 31, 2010 - 05:42 PM

#18

Well the original poster got lots of opinions based on hear say info, ya know I read in a mag that little green people are living on the dark side of the moon. Go figure?

So now time for some facts on a 84 CR500 from some one who did actually owned one many years ago...


We were just keeping the thread up at the top until you were able to get here. :ride:

  • Sam Simons

Posted January 31, 2010 - 06:41 PM

#19

Thanks YZEtc & WHYSOSERIUS....OK,let me approach my 'needs' from another direction which should open up the floor for all of your recommendations(based upon personal experiences).

I'm wanting to purchase a large bore air cooled 2 stroker for trail riding. It must have a very flat power curve,with no 'hit'. I'd prefer one with a low seat height(twin
shocks),but,failing that,if it's a mono that can be lowered,OK. (Makes paddling
out of a creek easy.)

No (strong) brand preference....so long as parts availability exists.


I guess that pretty well sums it up.

RE the '84 CR500,the often mentioned 'hit' really puzzles me,as that strikes me as counter to what any manufacturer would allow or want this type/size
of bike to have.....

Edited by Sam Simons, January 31, 2010 - 07:07 PM.


  • shrubitup

Posted January 31, 2010 - 06:49 PM

#20

How about a KTM 380 or a Husqvarna 430? Prolly the KTM has more parts. Hell, what's wrong with an old KTM 300? It's true though, the '91 + CR500s make good trail bikes because they have the smoother tractable power. There's no question which bikes will be easier to get parts (and decent parts prices) on - both the Honda and Kawasaki fo sho.





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