Riding Impression: 04 CR250 vs. 93 CR500


23 replies to this topic
  • Jsabowabo

Posted February 14, 2011 - 03:57 PM

#1

I got to ride my "new" 04 CR250 on Saturday, so I thought I share my impressions of it compared to my 93 CR500 that I sold about two months ago. I've owned the CR500 since 01.

Power: Advantage to the CR500; it’s a beast. It also vibrates like crazy and tires you out fast. You can get yourself in big trouble on the CR500 if you are not careful, true of any bike, but especially the 500. The CR250 has less power everywhere, but is more tractable and still hits hard enough that I didn’t feel a need for more power (CR500 was stock, CR250 has a PC pipe and VF3 reeds, 50T rear sprocket). Like everyone else, I read the 02 and up CR250s have crappy bottom end. This is not true. They pull just fine of the bottom, in fact you can lug them around on the bottom up steep trails, no problem. I rate the 250 engine very highly. Also, the 250 is a cinch to start, the CR500 isn’t bad, but it is not easy either.

Suspension: No contest, the CR250 is superior in every way to the 500. The CR500 was harsh on small bumps and bottomed easily, and that is after being revalved by Too Tech. Stock the suspension was borderline dismal. The CR250 is in another league. It is smooth, controlled and takes big hits like nothing I’ve ever ridden. A few times I tought to myself “this is going to hurt”, but the bike took the hits that would have jarred the hell out of me on the 500.

Handling: No contest again. Not surprisingly the CR250 turns much easier and unlike the CR500 is stable at speed. The CR500 had nasty headshake, the 250 does not. This didn’t come as much of a surprise. The CR is also much easier to move around on and feels like a smaller, lighter bike.

Controls: CR250 had significantly more powerful binders and better feel. The clutch and transmission are much better as well, especially the buttery smooth light clutch on the 250. I attribute some of this to the age of the 500.

Overall: I love the new CR250. It’s better than the CR500 in every way except for the engine. The bike is so easy to ride it inspires confidence. No wonder guys are doing huge jumps on these things. I also really like how the bike looks. The AF frame is beautiful and it’s easier to keep looking nice compared to the steel frame of the CR500. I wondered if selling the 500 was the right choice, I’m glad I did and picked up the 250.
<br>
93 CR500 Just before I sold it
Posted Image

04 CR250 before last weekends ride
Posted Image

Edited by Jsabowabo, February 15, 2011 - 09:25 AM.
Add pics


  • yathump

Posted February 14, 2011 - 04:34 PM

#2

Nice write-up/comparison 1 came off a 06 YZ250 smoker that i bought brand new, i had it for a couple yrs then sold it and took some time off and came across my current 01 500, completely different bikes but i loved them both but now i cannot see going back to a motor less then a 500:thumbsup:
Pretty funny that i'm going backwords in yrs and having just as much fun on the older iron bikes still got some tweaking to do but it'll come together
:smirk:

  • Pat4wd

Posted February 14, 2011 - 05:22 PM

#3

Apples and Oranges comparison if you ask me.. Also sounds like you had set up problems on the 500.. My 96 cr500 Handles freaking awesome and the suspension is KILLER.. the power is much better in my opinion and I find I can ride it lazy and conserve energy on it compared to my 02 cr250.. In deed the 02 cr250 feels much more flickable(Just so much less rotating mass) and light as well as being able to start it by just thinking about it..

Glad you like your new ride though, that is what it is all about, If you are having more fun on the 250 thats all that matters, And Yes hands down it is a sweet looking bike over the steely!! Beautiful Bikes.. Post some pics

  • Dark

Posted February 14, 2011 - 05:27 PM

#4

I finally went riding for the first time with my 04 CR250 yesterday.

Compared to my 04/06 CRF250's , this bike felt like it handled a lot better. I was taking inside lines all day. The bike just effortlessly laid down in the tightest of turns.

  • HrcRacing

Posted February 14, 2011 - 05:31 PM

#5

I think this would have been better as a back to back test versus a bike I had three months ago versus the bike I have now comparison. It's human nature to want to feel we made the right decision so I would imagine a bit of bias in your conclusion. Regardless, to me, this is a bit of apples to oranges.

You're comparing bikes with a 11 year separation. Even if you tested an '01 CR500 versus the '04 CR250, it's common knowledge that a slower bike is going to turn/handle better than a faster one (especially when the 500 had had little to no development by either date).

I have no idea why you say that the 250 has a better transmission. Both shift like butter. Can you explain that more? Of course, the 250's clutch pull is easier.

You also don't state what type of riding you're doing.

Personally, I'd love to see a current CR500AF versus a current CRF450R. MXA tested CR500/CRF450R but did a '01 CR500 steelie versus the current CRF450R. Again, apple to oranges but the 500 was pretty dang close.

  • Jsabowabo

Posted February 14, 2011 - 07:03 PM

#6

My post was in no way meant to bash the 500 it's a terrific bike. Some of the differences such as the transmission smoothness have to do with the fact my 93 was a high hour bike. My 04 on the other hand is nearly new. Other things like the suspension could be setup related.
I was riding trails and a small MX track

  • Pat4wd

Posted February 14, 2011 - 07:05 PM

#7

Like I said it seems like a setup issue to me on the 500 anyways.. And the transmission is basically the same transmission anyways..

  • 01cr80

Posted February 14, 2011 - 07:11 PM

#8

I got to ride my "new" 04 CR250 on Saturday, so I thought I share my impressions of it compared to my 93 CR500 that I sold about two months ago. I've owned the CR500 since 01.

Power: Advantage to the CR500; it’s a beast. It also vibrates like crazy and tires you out fast. You can get yourself in big trouble on the CR500 if you are not careful, true of any bike, but especially the 500. The CR250 has less power everywhere, but is more tractable and still hits hard enough that I didn’t feel a need for more power (CR500 was stock, CR250 has a PC pipe and VF3 reeds, 50T rear sprocket). Like everyone else, I read the 02 and up CR250s have crappy bottom end. This is not true. They pull just fine of the bottom, in fact you can lug them around on the bottom up steep trails, no problem. I rate the 250 engine very highly. Also, the 250 is a cinch to start, the CR500 isn’t bad, but it is not easy either.

Suspension: No contest, the CR250 is superior in every way to the 500. The CR500 was harsh on small bumps and bottomed easily, and that is after being revalved by Too Tech. Stock the suspension was borderline dismal. The CR250 is in another league. It is smooth, controlled and takes big hits like nothing I’ve ever ridden. A few times I tought to myself “this is going to hurt”, but the bike took the hits that would have jarred the hell out of me on the 500.

Handling: No contest again. Not surprisingly the CR250 turns much easier and unlike the CR500 is stable at speed. The CR500 had nasty headshake, the 250 does not. This didn’t come as much of a surprise. The CR is also much easier to move around on and feels like a smaller, lighter bike.

Controls: CR250 had significantly more powerful binders and better feel. The clutch and transmission are much better as well, especially the buttery smooth light clutch on the 250. I attribute some of this to the age of the 500.

Overall: I love the new CR250. It’s better than the CR500 in every way except for the engine. The bike is so easy to ride it inspires confidence. No wonder guys are doing huge jumps on these things. I also really like how the bike looks. The AF frame is beautiful and it’s easier to keep looking nice compared to the steel frame of the CR500. I wondered if selling the 500 was the right choice, I’m glad I did and picked up the 250.

it sounds like a 500af would be the perfect bike for you

  • Pat4wd

Posted February 14, 2011 - 08:42 PM

#9

After building a 500 af myself I can tell you it is really nice.. But you must remember the 500 motor makes the 250 frame different handling wise.. It does make a awesome combo for sure.. Kinda in between a cr250 and the 500.. Plus it looks so nice!!

Posted Image

  • bluethumper98

Posted February 14, 2011 - 10:25 PM

#10

I rode a cr250 back to back with my cr500 yesterday and I thought my cr500 excelled almost everywhere. I felt it was very stable and confidence inspiring. My cr500 is balanced well so it hardly even vibrates more than the cr250. Every time I rode one of the other bikes all I wanted to do was get back on the cr500. I love my cr500.

  • yathump

Posted February 15, 2011 - 02:16 AM

#11

I think this would have been better as a back to back test versus a bike I had three months ago versus the bike I have now comparison. It's human nature to want to feel we made the right decision so I would imagine a bit of bias in your conclusion. Regardless, to me, this is a bit of apples to oranges.

You're comparing bikes with a 11 year separation. Even if you tested an '01 CR500 versus the '04 CR250, it's common knowledge that a slower bike is going to turn/handle better than a faster one (especially when the 500 had had little to no development by either date).

I have no idea why you say that the 250 has a better transmission. Both shift like butter. Can you explain that more? Of course, the 250's clutch pull is easier.

You also don't state what type of riding you're doing.

Personally, I'd love to see a current CR500AF versus a current CRF450R. MXA tested CR500/CRF450R but did a '01 CR500 steelie versus the current CRF450R. Again, apple to oranges but the 500 was pretty dang close.


Not sure if you've seen this comparison, done by the guys from easterndirt.com, they run track and trail its a nice little write-up
http://servicehonda....-verse-4-stroke

  • HrcRacing

Posted February 15, 2011 - 09:11 AM

#12

Not sure if you've seen this comparison, done by the guys from easterndirt.com, they run track and trail its a nice little write-up
http://servicehonda....-verse-4-stroke


I hadn't seen that. Thanks man. :smirk:

  • 4 STROKER

Posted February 15, 2011 - 10:42 AM

#13

That is why I never did the 500 conversion. A well set up 250 is faster on the track. The extra vibration and the extra rotating mass in turns just sucks. Now if I rode dunes or did big hill climbs you would see me with a 500 in my AF.:smirk:

  • seanmx57

Posted February 15, 2011 - 10:47 AM

#14

both vibes and rotating mass can be made significantly better................

  • 4 STROKER

Posted February 15, 2011 - 11:27 AM

#15

both vibes and rotating mass can be made significantly better................


Vibes can be helped a little, rotating mass will always be there. :smirk: The same things you do to help the vibes to the 500 can be done to the 250 with equal improvement.

  • Pat4wd

Posted February 15, 2011 - 07:10 PM

#16

Vibes can be helped a little, rotating mass will always be there. :smirk: The same things you do to help the vibes to the 500 can be done to the 250 with equal improvement.




Not so fast.. Alot of guys are putting the much lighter CR250 flywheel and ignition on the 500 and it is said to make a huge improvment.. The gyroscopic effect is much less.. With the lighter weight of the 250 flywheel and the much slower turning 500 motor it is supposed to be a awesome mod.. Have not done it myself but will be very shortly with review

And as far as vibes the 500 can be made MUCH better by having the crank balanced.. 250 it will never be that's for sure, But who would want it to be:ride:

  • 4 STROKER

Posted February 16, 2011 - 12:13 AM

#17

Not so fast.. Alot of guys are putting the much lighter CR250 flywheel and ignition on the 500 and it is said to make a huge improvment.. The gyroscopic effect is much less.. With the lighter weight of the 250 flywheel and the much slower turning 500 motor it is supposed to be a awesome mod.. Have not done it myself but will be very shortly with review

And as far as vibes the 500 can be made MUCH better by having the crank balanced.. 250 it will never be that's for sure, But who would want it to be:ride:


For starters most are putting on the 250 ignition for the 250's advance curve but yes the fly wheel is lighter. What are you going to do with the big crank,rod and piston? You can balance a 500 and the 250 to perfect balance the 500 will still vibrate much more than the 250. PS service honda uses an aftermarket ignition made here in cali. search around you will find it. It is said to be the latest and the greatest.

  • seanmx57

Posted February 16, 2011 - 06:12 AM

#18

For starters most are putting on the 250 ignition for the 250's advance curve but yes the fly wheel is lighter. What are you going to do with the big crank,rod and piston? You can balance a 500 and the 250 to perfect balance the 500 will still vibrate much more than the 250. PS service honda uses an aftermarket ignition made here in cali. search around you will find it. It is said to be the latest and the greatest.


Nicely put. Sounds like you have NOT done this or you would know better.

The smaller diameter of the 250 flywheel makes more difference than the weight.

My personal CR500 vibes less than my NEW CR250 except at very low rpms, then the 500 shakes like it ought to. Once the 500 comes into a bit of rpm it's VERY smooth.

The $600 I have into the STR crank helped a bit. These comparisons are from a gen 2 bike that is equally set up from CR250 to 500, I have both.

  • yota

Posted February 16, 2011 - 06:50 AM

#19

what is your point comparing the 500 and 250? you either want a 500 or you don't. Its not a which is better on an mx track thing, it never has been. the old open class wasn't about lap times, it was about who could ride an open class bike the fastest.

PBR bull riders could stay on cows longer than they can stay on bulls too. that would be a real thrill.

  • cr250mx

Posted February 16, 2011 - 04:29 PM

#20

It seems that the 500 wasn’t set up properly. Suspension wise my 500 is great with no headshake at all, Typically 500’s are a bear in the corners. Most riders miss the trick to riding a 500. The best way to ride them is to lug them and use the torque, keep the revs down and they can actually turn pretty good. If you rev them out they’ll wear you out, constantly searching for traction and are way more difficult to turn. On the other hand I like riding my 250 more than my 500 mainly due to is handling. I would agree that the 250 has better suspension, and turns better. Power wise I love the huge amount of torque of the 500, but to ride the 500 fast it’s a little less exciting having to lug it. The 250 you have to ride the power band to go fast.





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