1986 CR500R--Woods Bike Material?

Discussion in '2 smokers' started by brucifer, Apr 29, 2016.

  1. brucifer

    brucifer Long timer

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    Okay guys, plain and simple--can this bike be tamed into a woods machine? Can it be made to start easily and reliably without putting a hole in your boot with its abysmally designed kick starter? Are flywheel weights available for this old of a CR500?

    My friend/neighbor has one that's pretty much complete minus the front number plate that I can get for under a grand. It's a runner and everything works.

    As always, thanks for any input.
    #1
  2. Bhart89

    Bhart89 Long timer Supporter

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    Taming a CR500? :jack
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  3. brucifer

    brucifer Long timer

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    Well.....relatively speaking. :shog
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  4. AlpinaE24

    AlpinaE24 Long timer

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    Sure why not
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  5. brucifer

    brucifer Long timer

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    That's certainly a "can do" attitude. :D I like that.
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  6. GP MX Fan

    GP MX Fan Been here awhile

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    It will be a fun playbike if you have a place to run it, but an unlikely woods bike. A few years ago I had an '80 400 Maico; same story. I sure miss that bike.
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  7. anotherguy

    anotherguy Long timer

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    The '86 CR500 is a beast. It was the beginning of Honda trying to make them rideable. A lot of your answer depends on your skills and the terrain that you call woods.

    Flywheel weight appears to be for '87 later only. Careful jetting will make it easier to start. The CR500 responds well to a FMF gnarly pipe to reduce the big mid range hit they have. Shift early it's got the grunt to cover anything you're capable of climbing. Like I said most of it is up to you.
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  8. Rot Box

    Rot Box Been here awhile

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    I think 500's are a hoot on the trail when they're set up properly. One of my favorite trail bikes is my friends Yamaha WR500... good times!

    On that particular bike I'd recommend the flywheel weight over nearly every other modification. Steahly offers a couple different weights for it. I prefer the heaviest but ymmv. http://www.steahlyoffroad.com/honda-flywheels/honda-cr-500-87-01-flywheel-weight-2.html That said I'd upgrade to a later CR250 ignition. Much better performance and you'd still have flywheel weight options.

    A 38-39.5mm PWK Keihin does wonders for starting and low rpm throttle response. They can be picked up pretty cheap if you keep your eyes open.

    The biggest setback on that bike imo is the torque arm for the rear brake. The brakes work decent but..... I've mangled that arm more times than I can count on my 84. They hang down pretty low and they're aluminum. It's no fun when you don't realize it's bent until you need the brakes and they don't work!

    The fork tubes hang down pretty far too.. Those rutted/rocky sections can be interesting. Mine have a few battle scars.

    Like most mid 80's bikes check for excessive corrosion in the water pump housing/radiators. The magnesium case likes to corrode to the point coolant leaks into the transmission. It's fixable but it takes a bit of work/sourcing parts.

    Just my $.02. Hope this helps.
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  9. brucifer

    brucifer Long timer

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    Thanks RB! :)
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  10. NDMX743

    NDMX743 Been here awhile

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    I wouldn't go near an 80s Honda just because of the waterpump issue. And besides the engine, the overall layout is really bulky. If your looking for a bike to ride buy a 250 that is 10 or more years newer for the same money.
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  11. brucifer

    brucifer Long timer

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    I actually like '80s Hondas layout. I find this 500 to be quite comfortable. Coming from a lifetime of riding XR and TT500 and 600s, this bike feels decidedly not bulky to me. :D
    As far as the water pump/case issue--it's a non issue. That has been rectified by fitting the later model two piece aluminum cover and changing one of the hoses to a common auto parts house number. :thumb
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  12. AlpinaE24

    AlpinaE24 Long timer

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    80s Hondas are the best, still miss my 85 XL600 what a blast those twin carb RFVC motors are
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  13. getonyourbikeandride

    getonyourbikeandride Been here awhile

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    Do a search on the CRE500 Honda. Kevin Hines used to import 'kits' and sell completed bikes. Consider these a template for what you'll need to do.
    And have fun!
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  14. Dao1

    Dao1 Long timer

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    I owned a '91 that I used for woods. I'm 5'5", weighed 145lbs back then.
    My CR5, with stock suspension height, was extremely difficult for me to kick start it. If it didn't kick start by the 3rd try, I had to take a break or else risk injury due to the immense kick-back force. IT took everything I had to force the kicker all the way down. If the kicker didn't slam down against the back of the footpeg, the motor couldn't do a full cycle to fire. When I'm going around trees, I nervously rode at 30-40% of my potential, very conscious to keep the motor under the pipe. If mine got on the pipe, even for a split second, the front end pops up....not an inch or two....but a foot or two instantly. So, like what other 500 owners do, we ride this bike just barely off idle, and have it in 2nd or 3rd...to ensure we don't lose control. after owning it and riding it for over a year, i sold it and got me a 2004 KTM 200SX. Much better for woods, but OMG!, that 200SX was even MORE violent than the 500 when it got on the pipe!
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  15. NDMX743

    NDMX743 Been here awhile

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    It's easy to forget people have different taste in bikes. If you like it, go for it. Also I forgot it would be easy to cure the waterpump issue with new parts. Good luck and have fun!
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  16. brucifer

    brucifer Long timer

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    I'm 6'2" and mostly leg so physically I don't have a problem kicking it over but as far as the bike coming to life--that's another story. I'm definitely going to do whatever it takes to make it as easy to start as humanly possible.
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  17. brucifer

    brucifer Long timer

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    Well, here it is. :)

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    It needs a good cleaning, the bars and the right bar mount are bent, the front caliper needs to be taken apart and freed up and of course the fore mentioned front number plate is missing but all in all this is a nice, solid bike.
    I will essentially be the second owner as my friend never put it in his name and only rode it one time. :thumb
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  18. Dao1

    Dao1 Long timer

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    ...LOL...I think I know the answer, but I'll just ask anyways....why did he only rode it ONE TIME?
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  19. brucifer

    brucifer Long timer

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    Haha, It's not why you're thinking. The brake caliper was sticking when he got it and I told him it really wouldn't be wise to ride it like that as it could lock the brake up. He never got around to fixing the caliper so, the bike just sat. He has other bikes to ride so he wasn't really concerned with making the big, bad fiver ridable.
    #19
  20. anotherguy

    anotherguy Long timer

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    Hey Brucifer. Just in case ya don't know here's the secret to starting a big bore smoker. Turn on petcock. Lean waaaayyyy over 'til fuel spills from the overflow. Stand back up. Choke on. KICK sharply but don't jump on it. Be sure to follow through all the way even if it doesn't light off. That's what usually causes the legendary big bore kickback-not following through. If ya push the kicker through to the bottom of the stroke the gear is prevented from engaging and kicking ya.

    So have fun and never.....ever.........show everyone how it wheelies in fifth on pavement in a t-shirt. In August. Trust me.
    #20
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