1992 CR500R restoration

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10/8/2018 7:26 PM

Cleaned up the engine and took a peek inside:
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Cylinder had these interesting markings above the exhaust ports. Not really sure what caused it??
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Overall seemed like acceptable wear on the cylinder. No other major issues
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I was too cheap to buy a right side engine cover so I made one with some gasket stock. Notice the water pump as been removed. I rebuilt it with a Hotrods kit.
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I think the guy did frequent top ends, but someone obviously didn't bother to do much (any?) prep work on the mating surfaces. The cylinder base was so gunked up and the dowel pins were so nasty that I don't think it was sealing. If fact, there was trace dirt inside the crank area. The rod felt good though, and having ridden the bike, it didn't act like it had an engine problem. So I sprayed both ends of the rod with premix and worked it around and never felt it miss a beat. But I felt better making sure the gasket surfaces were prepped and everything went together smoothly.

Finally, engine back in bike. Man, this 500cc is stuffed in here. I fought with it for a couple hours before realizing I had to pull the swingarm loose, just to get that extra 1mm room that I needed to get inside the front engine mount. Thanks Honda! smile
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10/8/2018 8:33 PM
Edited Date/Time: 10/16/2018 7:25 PM

Those "markings" are Decompression 'ports'. Been that way for decades.

I've just done the first re-bore on mine, after 15 years of riding it , over 27,000 ks(it's registered / plated, but it's 98% dirt) and somewhere over 1400 hrs. Off course, I've run through it , I think, 5 std pistons - as I had stds left over from previous 500s, and friends donated their left overs. I could have put in an .25mm OEM piston, but one wasn't currently available. So, I had to "waste" a bore and go to a .5mm over bore.

Out of guilt, prior to the top end pull down, I also purchased a Wossner rod kit (std cranks here are something like $1300 A.U.D - Honda really doesn't intend to sell them, I think) , OEM main bearings ($26.00 each A.U.D! Why would you ever go non genuine?) and seals. It doesn't need it, and I'll probably hold off on doing it until I get some wide ratio gears.

A simple ( indeed, utterly primitive) engine, that lasts damned near forever. And, with the right set up, it can do everything.

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10/9/2018 5:36 PM

Thanks for the info. So I'm guessing there is no performance loss or gain (no combustion taking place that close to the exhaust port)? I suspected that it was a design for either performance, or some odd seizure damage. Either way, I have seen worse cylinders that ran for a long while so the decision was made to not mess with it now.

I'm getting eager to fire this thing up!

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10/12/2018 9:59 PM

I got the exhaust installed along with a few other bits. Took a vid of the bike as its nearly completed.

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10/14/2018 6:19 PM

Its 99% done now. I need a chain roller and a few other minor things before I can ride it, but she started up and it held all its fluids.

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10/15/2018 12:55 PM

Absolutely stunning representation of that year.
Great job.

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10/15/2018 2:52 PM

Thank you!

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10/16/2018 8:07 AM

Any 500R guru's feel free to comment on how this bike revs in the video. It sounds like the rpms hang a bit to me.

I didn't have a lot of fuel in the tank, and also this bike has a sizeable flywheel weight, so I'm not sure how it should sound, but it does sound a bit odd to me.

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10/16/2018 11:14 AM
Edited Date/Time: 10/16/2018 11:46 AM

Not a 'guru' by any means, but, if you are going to keep the bike, and you've got the original carb, I'd Highly recommend buying a Brand New Airstriker carb.

That PJ, will be worn. It's a 92, so even if it sat for years, there's been a lot of up and down action of the slide in the carb. Wear, as in slide to body. Leaking / bleeding of air through that wear. Plus the PJs combination choke knob / idle adjustment is 'iffy'.

An Airstriker, be it a 38mm, or I think they are to be had in up to 40.5 / 41mm. A good, honest carb. Me, I just use a 38 but oval bored it , though, that's a bit of a wank, as in my riding, I'm rarely out of the midrange. Get a new one. Don't eff around with a second hand carb that will likely be worn, too. I wasted money on a bloody SMARTCARB that I could never get the bike even started with reliably. Must chase them up on that....

Did you 'treat' the bike to a new throttle ( and Clutch) cable? New cables can rid you of some weirdness that you could be forever chasing. Also, a healthy throttle unit can alleviate problems. Cable catching in the body, cable routing wheel worn and wobbly, throttle tube worn etc.

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10/16/2018 2:36 PM

Thanks for that. I did notice some slide wear. Not insane, but noticable. And I did buy new cables.

One thing I forgot about is the reeds were long in the tooth with a tiny chip on one of the corners. I suppose that is not helping.

My plan is to keep the bike, but maybe I'll just ride it for now and if its something I really want to keep, move forward with the new reeds and carb.

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10/16/2018 7:18 PM

Reed Chip(s) definitely will create problems like you described. And, they stand to become bigger problems as they further deteriorate.

A cantankerous 500 is a pain in the arse.

A set of Boyesen Reeds (just the reeds will do) probably cost bugger all in the states. Their eons old #636 dual stage reeds work perfectly, for all around performance, for probably between $40 / $50 USD. They do std type ('Super Stock') single petal reeds for the mid $30s, std style single Carbon reeds low $50, and also the Pro Series Carbon reeds for around the $70 mark . I preferred and used #636s for years.

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10/17/2018 7:23 AM

Looks awesome

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10/18/2018 9:12 AM

Amazing!!

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10/19/2018 7:50 PM

Something to be proud of man! I wish I had the confidence and know-how to build a bike like that cool

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10/21/2018 7:49 AM

Great looking bike currently rebuilding the same model year 500 as yours. Now that Evo Mx can't sell replica graphics and seat covers, where did you get your seat cover at? I see the oem replacements on eBay, and I have seen the Italian company who has them, is there somewhere else to look? I want the stock look on this bike like yours.

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10/21/2018 8:14 PM

Thanks. As far as I know Evo is still selling this stuff. The seat cover came from Ceet though.

I finally took it for a ride tonight. Its a little finicky to start, and it gives a hellish snort out of the exhaust once every few kicks. Overall it rode pretty well though.

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10/23/2018 8:02 PM

My buddy came by yesterday and interrupted my lawn mowing, so I took the opportunity to let him ride the 500, and I also got out my "classic" 2002 YZ250F that I recently restored. We boogied around a bit, trading back and forth between bikes. I am convinced that I need to replace the chipped reeds on my V-Force (3?) block before wasting much more time on the jetting.

The two big things I notice though, don't ride it like a 250. Short shift and enjoy the meat of the low/mid range. Also, it is straight up trashing my yard. This thing digs trenches just casually booting on it.

The other thing, going back and forth from the YZ250F is dangerous. The YZ is so mild and tame, and easy on the yard (unless you dump the clutch). When you hop back on the 500 you get a reality check right away.

I ended the session actually trying to ride the CR fast. The chassis, ego's, suspension feel pretty good, but its a real struggle to keep it pointed in the right direction. It doesn't surprise you and try to loop you out suddenly, but you just can't get into it without getting crazy. Its like trying to drive John Force's drag car to work when you are running late.

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10/24/2018 9:26 AM

David Bailey said, you have to be smooth and precise with the 500, no squaring off corners per say.
But Lechien and Magoo never heard what DB said wink

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10/25/2018 1:44 AM

Fun to read through your build! I’m 1/2 inch shorter than you and so cool to see another tall guy riding. I’m mid way through my ‘85 CR500 build. I’ll post up in my own thread later. Thanks again for sharing your build!

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10/26/2018 12:32 AM
Edited Date/Time: 10/26/2018 12:33 AM

Nice job! The bike looks awesome!
Now you made me wanna go get a CR500... ;-)

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11/6/2018 9:16 AM

Amazing work on this build dude, the “home fixes” on the bike were impressive! Well done smile

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11/6/2018 2:55 PM

Why does it tickover?

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11/11/2018 3:17 PM
Edited Date/Time: 11/11/2018 3:25 PM

What does tickover mean?

In other news, I ordered some replacement V-Force reeds for my awesome V-Force reed block. Apparently I got the wrong V-Force reeds as the ones I ordered are two petal, but I have a three petal reed loaded up in my block.

However, I noticed my reed block is all eaten up at the tips. There are some weird combustion/carbon grooves at the corners. Just laying the new reeds on top, I could still see light through the corners...so obviously the block is worn out and now I'll be ordering a new V-Force reed block with the two petal design since I have replacement reeds for it already.

Gotta say, the bike ran pretty decent, though it was finicky to start and idle. I can't wait to see what a fresh reed valve does for it.

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11/16/2018 2:33 PM

Got the new VForce3 reed cage. Its different than what I had, but this is a two petal system which I already have replacement petals for. Its all installed and ready for action. Once the weather gets warmer I'll do another start and idle vid to compare the difference, but I suspect this will make a dramatic change for the better.

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11/16/2018 10:42 PM

I built an RM500AF, CR500 powered. The PWK 39mm carb from a KX500, or even better, the AirStriker, will make your low end crisp without detonation. I added a medium weight flywheel, PC exhaust. The PC helps smooth out the hit a bit so you don't light up the rear tire. The dimples in the cylinder are to ease the starting. It reduces the compression during the run past the port. Those go away when you overbore, giving you a bit more low end grunt. For off roading, the Gnarly FMF pipe is stronger, with a power band lowered a bit for tight riding and in the rocks. The PC works and the FMF works both are power pipes. Just some info.

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12/9/2018 5:30 AM

Great job restoring your bike, what colour red and make are the plastics and where did you get them.

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12/10/2018 9:30 AM

Thanks. Its is UFO "Flo Red."

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12/11/2018 5:14 AM

Micahdogg wrote:

What does tickover mean?

In other news, I ordered some replacement V-Force reeds for my awesome V-Force reed block. ...more

Just sit running on its own.. 2 strokes shouldn't idle. It should rev, drop , run for maybe one or two seconds and stop.

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11/10/2020 12:38 PM

Its been almost 2 years since I last posted in this thread. In that time, the bike has basically just sat in the garage. I would fire it up once in awhile to boot around the yard, but nothing major. This past weekend I had a chance to go to an offroad park and decided to bring the CR500R.

I treated it like any other bike and ended up attempting a pretty gnarly hill climb about 10 times before giving up. It was pretty sketchy with about a 15 foot quarter pipe looking entrance, then once you got perched on top you were able to "begin" the hill climb on a root infested washed out mess of a hill. At one point the bike looped out and got caught up in a tree. What a mess.

Either way, it was good to put the CR500R through the paces. It can be easy to start and then super stubborn. I don't get it, but I ended up ordering a PWK 38 air striker (tip from Bearuno) and a new kick starter so we'll see if the carb helps out.

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11/11/2020 3:19 AM
Edited Date/Time: 11/12/2020 9:24 PM

It's always the way - you take a pretty bike out, and you 'Ugly it Up'.sad

That's why I keep plastics on my 500 (that's it in my avatar) that range from 28 years to 17 years old, while having 4 (well, 8 including the '07 250/125 sets I have for my alloy tank and different subframe I run sometimes ) sets of new plastics sitting happily in an Otto bin....

A 500 - with a good , well jetted carb - shouldn't be that hard to start, a few slow priming kicks to give a 'charge' in the cases, and then a quick, full kick. Warm, generally, just a quick, full kick.

It's a 92, so there could be a fair few kicks that lever went through. And, many of them, with blokes flailing off the lever. You are lucky in your bad luck that you only broke the lever - tearing the KS area out of the cases is a pretty common thing, given the bikes age, and the accumulation of people , as I said, flailing at the lever. And that flailing, with a hard stop on the foot peg, provides a hell of a fulcrum, that the lever acts on. So, broken Levers and Cases.

Quite a variety of CR / CRF levers will fit the 500, if you can't find a new 500 item at a decent price. They are also lighter, but, with later , better metallurgy, just as strong, or perhaps stronger, than the std one. You've just got to determine clearance, mainly regarding the pipe you have. I used a CRF450 / CRF450X one for a while, as the foot section sits lower than standard - my legs don't bend (even close to) to 90 degrees, so lower / short levers help me immensely. I run an old Gas Gas 300 lever - that has, I think, only a 12/13mm pivot post as against, I think, the 19/20mm of the std lever knuckle - that I welded to the top of a Honda knuckle I had, with a long foot piece I machined up for it - I have an auto decomp I made for it, that enables use of a short kick lever, with such a small diameter pivot post, and want to Emphasize that the much smaller pivot post on the Gas Gas lever, would probably last only a few kicks, Without a Decompressor. As it is, the Gas Gas lever has been in use for , I think, 15 years now : Photo It all makes starting easier for me. Another advantage of my short lever, is that it gives you more speed to your kick. The standard CR ignition doesn't produce a particularly strong 'spark' in a kick through, so more speed to the lever, helps. A decomp set up is a very wise thing to have, it makes it easier on the starting components, and you. The atrocious Quebecois E start I wasted a few K on, well, it's crap that is an engine destroyer.

Have you checked the timing and pick up clearance on it? They can be (part of) a recipe for cantankerous starting, and broken levers and cases on the CR500.

To ad - there are people, that say a 2 stroke shouldn't idle. Well, they don't seem to know how to tune a good quality, healthy carb, that has a proper choke and idle circuit. I can leave my 500, idling away (because of my utterly f**ked legs), while I clear trail falls, and it stays idling, often for a long, long time, and runs cleanly after it. And, I've Never, Ever fouled a plug on it, in the now 17 (or 18?) years I've had this particular 500. Perhaps it's because I've thermal fans on it, but even before I put fans on, I never fouled a single plug on it, or, since the fans were fitted . It would just boil in an instant, without the fans ........w00t I largely, ride in tight, what people now would call 'extreme' terrain ( hence the Michelin X1 in the picture) on the old Teddy Bear / Torque Monster of a bike, so if a bike is going fritz a plug, that should be happening, all the bloody time. But, it doesn't, yet it also works perfectly well when I do run it up into high(er) revs.


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