Honda CR500 Specs and Review (MX-Style Dirt Bike)

For non-open-class riders, the Honda CR500 might appear to be a bore. In any case, this unchanging 500-cc behemoth already inherently possesses all the facility and reliability coveted by different filth bike classes. However for the savvy fanatic, there’s extra to this chunky two-wheeler than brute energy and rip-your-face-off pace. This text will cowl some fascinating tidbits about this legendary filth bike.

The CR500 was a 491-cc MX-style filth bike Honda produced from 1984 to 2001. It was arguably probably the most highly effective open-class bike of its time, that includes an air-/liquid-cooled CR500 engine, twin disc brakes, and cartridge-type suspension. It additionally had a high pace of 93 mph and 67.6 hp at its peak.

Moreover, it supplied a most torque of 72.2 Nm (53.3 lb-ft) @ 6,000 RPM. These figures is probably not that spectacular by right this moment’s requirements. However they made for the sort of explosive energy that probably the most gifted riders can solely tame. In case you assume you might be as much as the problem, proceed studying this information and be taught extra about this burly machine each feared and cherished.

Person Riding Red Dirt Bike

Honda CR500 – Not for the Faint-hearted

In case you would ask the employees of, the Honda CR 500 tops the record of the most effective 2-stroke filth bikes of all time – alongside different respected filth monsters just like the Husqvarna CR125, Yamaha YZ125, Kawasaki KX500, and Honda’s very personal CRF450R. This 491-cc brute was not solely the massive brother of the CR250R but additionally the “Ping King” (due to its air-cooled introductory mannequin). The CR500 was extremely adored for its energy and value – at $2,598 and with a claimed CR500 horsepower of 59 hp (43.4 kW), shoppers had been assured a candy deal and bought greater than their cash’s price.

The Jekyll-Hyde Persona: A Badge of Braveness

The CR500 would have unanimously ranked first in each bike publication if not for one main flaw – it’s a machine biased in direction of the extra expert, superior rider. That mentioned, the bike’s prowess was by no means totally appreciated, to the extent that even its top-speed score was undermined. Many riders deem the Honda CRF450R sooner than the CR500 when, in actuality, the CR500 high pace is 93 mph (150 km/h) versus the previous’s 87 mph (140 km/h). Bringing out the bike’s full potential was merely a matter of the rider’s abilities matching the two-wheeler.

As a result of the CR500 is quicker and heavier than your common filth bike, the results of using it is sort of a double-edged sword. And that is the place the bike’s take a look at of braveness begins. Placing one leg over this imply machine entails bravery, energy, and talent always. Miss out one of many three requisites, and this 500-cc 2-stroke can simply flip into an unforgiving beast that can chunk you. Conversely, maintain your deal with the highway, and the Honda CR500 is assured to exceed your expectations.

Honda CR500 Specs & Options


Energy comes from a 2-stroke, liquid-cooled (air-cooled through the bike’s incoming 12 months), single-cylinder engine with a bore-stroke ratio of 89 x 79 mm (3.5 x 3.1 inches). It has a membrane-and-power-valve meeting, with the piston displacement at 491.4 cm3 (29.9 cu-in). A 38-mm flat-slide Keihin carburetor (with #55 sluggish and #170 foremost) with a 6.8:1 compression ratio handles the air-fuel combination. Air filtration makes use of an oiled polyurethane foam component mated to an enlargement chamber. 

Gasoline & Lubrication

Gasoline tank capability is 9.0 L (2.4 US gallons) of unleaded gasoline with a minimal PON 90 score. This amount gives a gas mileage of 10 L/100 km or 23.5 mpg. Lubrication is pre-mix with a fuel-oil ratio of 32:1, and the producer recommends Professional-Honda HP2 2-stroke Oil or its equal for each engine and transmission. Must you want a information, seek advice from the service guide for permitted viscosity grades following ambient temperature.


A guide, 5-speed fixed mesh transmission (with a left-foot-operated return system, 1-N-2-3-4-5 gearshift sequence) and a moist, multi-plate clutch meeting ship energy to the bottom. A DID520DS5 or RK520KZ3 O-ring chain (view on Amazon) with 114 hyperlinks + joint handles wheel spin. The CR500’s wide-ratio transmission lends to its spectacular dealing with and strong cornering. Entrance and rear sprockets had been initially 14/51T however later modified to 14/49T (3.500) from 1992 onward.

For reference, the inventory gear ratios for ’92-’94+ fashions are beneath:

Major Discount Ratio 2.520
Transmission Gear Ratio – I 1.750
Transmission Gear Ratio – II 1.388
Transmission Gear Ratio – III 1.150
Transmission Gear Ratio – IV 1.000
Transmission Gear Ratio – V 0.870
Ultimate Discount Ratio 3.500 (14/49T)


This 500-cc filth monster has an digital CDI (Capacitor Discharge Ignition) and a major kick-starter bringing it to life. Ignition timing (on the “F” mark) is 22° BTDC @ 4,000 RPM. A flywheel magneto serves as its general charging system and energy supply for digital equipment. Moreover, the machine requires any of those really useful spark plugs – a Champion QN-86, NGK BR8EG, or an ND W24SR-V. All plugs have a niche of 0.5 – 0.6 mm (0.021 – 0.024 inch).

It’s unspecified within the guide if the bike does include a battery. However after you could have performed a flywheel and stator rewind, you might use a 12V (6 Ah)/10 HR YTZ7S battery format with assembled dimensions of 113 x 70 x 105 mm (4.44 x 2.74 x 4.12inches – L x W x H). Doing this allows you to equip your filth bike with electrical beginning.

Tires & Brakes

Inventory tires encompass Dunlop K490G 80/100-21 51M entrance tires and Dunlop K695 110/100-18 64M rear tires mounted on tubeless metal/aluminum rims. Really helpful cold-tire strain for each tires is 100 kPa (1.0 kgf/cm2, 15 psi). As for brakes, a single 240-mm hydraulic entrance disc with twin-piston calipers and a 220-mm hydraulic entrance disc present stopping energy and full the filth bike’s tire-and-wheel meeting.


The entrance suspension consists of typical 45-mm leading-axle Showa® USD forks. In the meantime, the rear makes use of with Showa® Professional-Hyperlink suspension. Every unit has compression and rebound damping adjustability and gives a minimum of 12 inches (305 mm entrance, 320 mm rear) of wheel journey. The rear notably mates to DeCarbon-type dampers with a nitrogen-filled reservoir. The wheelbase is a minimum of 58.5 inches (1,485 mm), rising by a mere inch for later-year fashions.

Honda CR500 Dirt Bikes on the Beach


The ‘92 CR500’s general dimensions are 85.9 x 32.5 x 48.8 inches (2,183 x 825 x 1,240 mm) – with close-to-negligible variances from different mannequin years. Seat peak ranges from 36.9 – 38 inches (937 – 964 mm), whereas the footpeg peak is between 16.6 inches (422 mm) and 17.3 inches (439 mm). Dry weight is 101 Kg (222.7 lbs.). Because of the bike’s tall seating, the minimal floor clearance is 13.5 inches (343 mm), making the CR500 the proper journey for rock-strewn paths and wooded trails.  


Enclosed in a semi-double-cradle metal body (27°43′ – 28°10 caster angle, 114 – 121 mm path) is a Gen-II/III aluminum crankcase, inner engine parts, and plastic physique panels in a predominantly crimson colour scheme. The incoming mannequin had a blue seat, crimson physique panels, yellow quantity plate panels on the entrance and near the rear, and reasonably raised footpegs that make for hassle-free kick-starts. Different inclusions had been commonplace handgrips, spoke wheels, and a buzzard-beak entrance fender.

Enhancements Publish-1984

Scary headshakes, lingering vibrations, and a twitchy chassis are however just a few of the drawbacks the Honda CR500 has. To eradicate these issues, Honda made a number of enhancements on the filth bike throughout its 17-year run. Beneath are probably the most notable of those adjustments:

  • A liquid-cooled motor and flat-slide carburetor had been launched in 1985.
  • 1987 fashions and onwards had disc brakes – entrance and rear, and wheel rims modified from silver to gold anodized.
  • CR500s made between 1985 and 1991 had been probably the most highly effective of the lot, with a claimed horsepower of 64.6 – 67.6 hp (47.5 – 50.4 kW) @ 6,000 to eight,500 RPM.
  • The producer smoothed out the filth bike’s powerband and compression necessities in 1989 by redesigning its cylinder head. The bike acquired exhaust adjustments and entrance suspension upgrades throughout the identical 12 months.
  • Bodypaint was up to date from Benetton-reminiscent colours to a recent palette of blood crimson and the quantity plate panels from yellow to strong white, matching the new-style wing decal on the tank shroud.
  • The tank shroud decal/graphics had been redesigned for the 2nd time into fluorescent yellow hues outlined in purple and nested on a crimson background.
  • Skilled racing outfitters modified competitors CR500s into having a 4-speed gearbox, rising their tractability and permitting skilled MX racers to start out a race in third gear whereas lowering the necessity for up-shifting (to get forward of the pack) when in a match.
  • In response to end-user criticisms about Showa® forks and shocks, Honda switched all suspension parts to Kayaba models starting in 1995.
  • Honda modernized the CR500R in 1997 by squeezing its powerplant into the CR250R’s Gen-II aluminum chassis.
  • A number of on-line sources speak about a 2005 CR500AF mannequin being created and geared up with a 4-stroke chassis long-established after the CR250R Gen-III framework.

Honda CR500 MSRP

The Honda CR500 record value ranges from $2,598 to $5,899, rising about $194 yearly (or a complete of $3,300 for its outgoing manufacturing mannequin). Of all years, 1986-1987 fashions maintain their worth extraordinarily nicely, as evidenced by their high-retail worth of $6,150 (supply: Nada Guides) – sans performance-enhancing elements and equipment. These classic bikes are principally spread-out in used markets in Sweden, Australia, Poland, and western and southern elements of America.

12 months – Trim – Mannequin Quantity Checklist Worth Retail/Commerce-In Values
1984 CR500R $2,598 $405 – $2,865
1985 CR500R $405 – $4,160
1986 CR500R $2,998 $405 – $6,150
1987 CR500RH
1988 CR500R $3,198 $405 – $2,865
1989 CR500RK N/A
1990 CR500R
1991 CR500RM
1992 CR500RN
1993 CR500RP $695 – $3,545
1994 CR500R $4,899 $535 – $3,545
1995 CR500R $4,999 $415 – $3,100
1996 CR500RT $5,399 $405 – $3,345
1997 CR500RV $5,499 $405 – $3,380
1998 CR500RLW N/A $745 – $3,545
1999 CR500RX $5,549 $405 – $3,575
2000 CR500RY $5,599 $670 – $3,720
2001 CR500R1 $5,899 $950 – $3,820

In the meantime, listings on completely different dealer and public sale websites present a resale worth vary between $2,824 and $17,999, with most bikes being pre-1990 fashions. The most costly I’ve seen listed is a never-ridden 1997 CR500 with its unique MSO supplied by Motosport Hillsboro in Oregon. However my private favorites (the finest-looking bikes, in my view) are a 1985 CR500 with a Boyesen SC-03B Black Factory Racing Ignition Cover (view on Amazon) featured in Iconic Motorbikes Auctions bought for $8,721 and a 1998 CR500 supermoto featured in Outdoors the U.S., the priciest itemizing is a 1984 mannequin with racing-oriented twin shocks bought in Germany for $13,548.

Road-Authorized Supermoto Conversion

The method for turning your filth monster right into a barely tamed road-legal commuter is similar for all MX/Enduro two-wheelers. Apart from buying and selling off a number of the bike’s inventory parts with security tools and different DOT-approved elements, it is going to be price your whereas to additionally look into enhancing the machine’s dealing with, aesthetics, and efficiency. Listed here are just a few ideas in your discretion based mostly on private preferences and the situation of your Honda CR500:

  • Suspension rebuild or full motor rebuild (will be professionally performed)
  • New radiator hoses
  • Similar-size or barely bigger carburetor
  • New chain or entrance/rear sprockets
  • Aftermarket efficiency exhaust like an FMF Gnarly 2-stroke Pipe (view on Amazon) or FMF Racing PowerCore 2 Shorty Silencer (view on Amazon)
  • Nickel-plated enlargement chamber
  • 90-mm bore cylinders
  • ProX piston and crankshaft
  • Full Hinson clutch or Magura hydraulic clutch
  • Moto Tassinari V-Force 3 Reed Valve System (view on Amazon)
  • Flywheel and stator rewind
  • 320-mm disc-and-caliper bracket
  • Excel ICS408 36-hole Takasago Rim (view on Amazon) and Talon hubs
  • Lowered Professional Circuit fork internals and spring
  • Boyesen clutch and flywheel casings
  • Powder-coated engine instances and body
  • Renthal sprockets, bars, and grips

The Passing of an MX Legend

Red Dirt Bike Riders Racing MX Motocross

For a highly-regarded filth bike, it was a giant upset for a lot of fanatics when Honda stopped manufacturing of the CR500R collection in 2001. Seventeen years appeared like a brief interval for the open-class wheeler to be available in the market. Not that this motocrosser was unsatisfactory in any method, however numerous shoppers felt there was extra available with its drivetrain and options. Nevertheless, for Honda and seasoned motorcycling savants, the Honda CR500’s demise was a very long time coming.

As early because the mid-Eighties, technological benefit had shifted from open-class behemoths all the way down to small-bore, 125-/250-cc bikes. So, by the point the producer launched the 1984 CR500 to the general public, the bike solely had just a few years left to hog the limelight unchallenged. This small margin was additionally why the bike’s earlier variations are better-performing than post-1990 ones. Moreover, energy output was mellowed down in 1993 to 56 hp (41.2 kW) – inflicting it to lose one in every of its key promoting factors.

As if these weren’t dangerous sufficient, Honda stopped all initiatives to additional develop the CR500 in 1993 because the AMA motocross races the place the bike competed ceased that 12 months. This sudden change was reasonably controversial, with many speculating the AMA terminated the Open-Class Nationwide Championships as a result of overkill competencies of Honda’s and Kawasaki’s 500-cc filth bikes. However the fact is political strain from Suzuki and Yamaha pushed AMA to let go of a match not serving the pursuits of all main bike producers.

About Honda

Honda Motor Firm Ltd. is the maker of the Honda CR500 collection and is well-known for its highly-engineered cars, off-road automobiles, and bikes. The agency is answerable for introducing a number of the most ground-breaking improvements and design ideas in numerous automotive industries and is a pressure to be reckoned with in motorcycling. Since its founding in 1946, Honda has labored its solution to the place it’s at current – an business powerhouse looking for new methods to make life higher by means of AI, robotics, and vitality options.

Conclusion – Honda CR500 Assessment

Flaws and strengths thought of, the Honda CR500 stands to be one of many biggest 2-stroke filth bikes ever made. Its agility and unmatched acceleration successfully overshadow its daunting high-speed mannerisms, over-muscled disposition, and unfriendliness in direction of the novice rider. It is without doubt one of the few machines that by no means fail to ship that adrenaline rush, take a look at the mettle of significant motocrossers, and see simply how nicely riders, on the whole, can cling to expensive life whereas on the tracks.

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