Is the CR500 the greatest Dirt Bike of all time?

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2/24/2021 8:40 AM

I know this might start some furious debating, but what do you guys think - is the CR500 the greatest Dirt Bike of all time?!
I made this video discussing the topic (which also features 3x world champion Dave Thorpe), and after looking at the history, success and legacy of the bike, i personally think it's difficult to find a machine that matches the CR.... I'm interested to hear what you guys think

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2/24/2021 8:45 AM

KX 500 has entered the chat

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2/24/2021 8:46 AM

Never rode a CR500, owned a KX500 once and that thing was a nostalgic blast from the past and it scared me to death, wore me out, vibrated like crazy and sounded amazing...loved every minute of it!

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It aint nothing but a little bit of this and a little bit of Braaaap!!!

2/24/2021 8:48 AM
Edited Date/Time: 2/24/2021 3:36 PM

Bro KX500… .Powervalved 500 two stroke…… any 500cc 2 stroke is the greatest dirtbike ever made but it's in a niche area of manhood where only the REAL need apply.

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2/24/2021 8:48 AM

TXDirt wrote:

KX 500 has entered the chat

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The KX500 just took it's shirt off!

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2/24/2021 9:04 AM

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Change my mind. It's won in every discipline from Desert Racing to Supercross and everything in between.
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2/24/2021 9:05 AM

Always thought the 81 Mega 2 was the King of the Hill-- although I've never swung a leg over the Maico or the CR500, so what do I know..... Photo

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2/24/2021 9:10 AM

I vote yes. I had a 90 that I could use for anything and it did it all well. I moto'd it, ice raced it. trail rode it and I'm sure it would have been awesome in the desert or a converted street legal warrior. It was reliable as a stone axe as well. I loved that bike. The fact that it didn't have the power valve made it simple and imho it had a better chassis and ergos than a KX500. As for the YZ250 yes it is a great bike but a 500 CR ridden by a person that knew how to ride it would eat up any 250.

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2/24/2021 9:11 AM

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2/24/2021 9:16 AM

motomike137 wrote:

I vote yes. I had a 90 that I could use for anything and it did it all well. I moto'd it, ice raced it. trail rode it and I'm ...more

I would say your last sentence just strengthens my argument. Almost anyone can ride a YZ250 comfortably and at their own personal 'peak level'.

It takes a special kind of person to ride a 500 well.

Don't get me wrong, I love me a CR500, I've spent a ton of time on them. The sheer fact of how scary they can be makes it hard for me to accept its the best dirt bike ever.

Also, my current steed is a KTM 500 so I'm certainly not a big bore hater! cool

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2/24/2021 9:17 AM

Of all the bikes I've ridden, from vintage to modern, 2 stroke to 4 stroke, my KX500 is hands down my all time favorite bike to ride and race!!

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Do It In The Dirt!

2/24/2021 9:24 AM

I never liked the CR500's, chassis was too busy for my taste. I was a KX500 guy from 1991 thru 2006. That was all I rode. I owned four of them through out that time period. In 06 I bought a KTM 300 and never looked back. I have fond memories of my 500s, but no desire to own one anymore, unless I could get my hands on Larocco's 94 MXDN bike, that would look good in my garage.

Another bike I have great memories of is my 88 KX-250, that was a very good bike.

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2/24/2021 9:27 AM

Zeke27G wrote:

Of all the bikes I've ridden, from vintage to modern, 2 stroke to 4 stroke, my KX500 is hands down my all time favorite bike ...more

Your roost to my chest was proof of its power

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"A link is only as long as your longest strong chain"

2/24/2021 9:30 AM
Edited Date/Time: 2/25/2021 10:16 AM

I don’t know, but this might be close eh? tongue
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2/24/2021 9:39 AM

OldPro277 wrote:

Always thought the 81 Mega 2 was the King of the Hill-- although I've never swung a leg over the Maico or the CR500, so what ...more

I'm hoping to shoot with one of these this year for the 40 year anniversary!

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2/24/2021 9:48 AM

I guess there are more out there would say the PW50 is the greatest dirt bike ever.

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2/24/2021 9:49 AM

The 1981 Suzuki RM125. Game Changer. Water cooled, Full Floater suspension. (Followed up with back to back 125cc World Championships (Everts, Geobers, Watanabe), and king of Tiddlers Mark Bomber Barnett with 3x125cc American National Championship along with Canadian Champion Ross Pederson domination of Canadian Scene. That bike was awesome.

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2/24/2021 9:49 AM

Cr5 is nice. However you will never get around the heavy crank and narrow powerband. I do agree it is a versatile platform.

As an experiment, my friend fab’d a KTM 380 into an Aluminum YZ 250 chassis and that is now my favorite 2 stroke of all time. Talk about a fast bike, and the thing turns on a dime.

Late model KTM 380 motor may be the perfect 2 stroke motor..

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2/24/2021 9:57 AM

Cool video, love looking back over the years. Bench racing for an all time greatest bike or even bikes is good reading.

One nitpick in the video for historical accuracy, the 76 RC500 was indeed Honda's first year. However you picture a 79 or 80 RC500 with the prolink rear suspension that arrived in production 1981.

No argument, the CR500 is indeed a very special bike. Never owned one and have only ever ridden one once, in 1986 as a teen at the local deep sand track. Coming off my CR125, I couldn't ride it even in power robbing deep sand. It humbled me, possibly even scared me. Respect to those who could ride it, let alone competitively.

If we are picking greatest of all time bikes, how do we make the argument? Most professional titles in AMA and MXGP? Bike that had the biggest impact on the sport? Production longevity with few changes? Continued competitiveness at an amateur or professional level?

The big CR certainly did win a ton of championships. How much of them were on works bikes, not production based? Team Honda was certainly a juggernaut for a number of years with their works bikes, probably outspending all the other manufacturers combined for a good period of time. You were lucky win if you weren't on a Honda works bike

Not an argument against it being greatest of all time, just questions for discussion or even consideration.

Certainly Husqvarna and CZ had a massive impact on the direction of Motocross, or offroad racing. The Husqvarna 360/390 motors are considered some of the best open class motors for vintage racers even to this day.

The KX500 owned the CR500 in Baja, but that isnt MX.

The Yamaha DT1 could be argued to be the most impactful production bike, and what came from it in American motocross. It turned the tide east from Europe and ignited mx in America.

Or the original Elsinores, the 250 first, but the 125 even bigger when it came to production motocross bikes in America.

Looking forward to following the thread. cool

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2/24/2021 10:17 AM
Edited Date/Time: 2/24/2021 10:18 AM

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This is the greatest MX bike of all time; hands down. The mighty 1974 CR125M

Sold more units and spawned the SoCal aftermarket industry and helped create the massive MX wave of the early 70's.

Yes I have a CR500 as well.
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2/24/2021 10:24 AM

inthebadboycorner wrote:

I guess there are more out there would say the PW50 is the greatest dirt bike ever.



This gentleman wins with the correct answer.

Introduced more young humans to riding and racing, than anything or anybody,'

Virtually unchanged for forty years.


* If we are only talking big bikes, my vote goes to the 87 CR 250.
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2/24/2021 10:31 AM

M1000 wrote:

The 1981 Suzuki RM125. Game Changer. Water cooled, Full Floater suspension. (Followed up with back to back 125cc World ...more

Is the RM 125 the winningest bike as far as championships go ? World and AMA national titles?

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2/24/2021 10:33 AM

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2/24/2021 10:38 AM
Edited Date/Time: 2/24/2021 9:18 PM

I can see the case for the CR500 but I don't agree it's the greatest bike ever. There is a huge portion of riders who have never ridden a 500 or feel no need to try to wrangle that beast. I think 06+YZ250 is the bike. It was way ahead of it's time and still competitive today, at most levels. Plus it can appeal to a way more broad range of riders than any 500. I've ridden acouple 500s, including a Service Honda. While it's amazing and fun, just from a pure power aspect, I would never even have the want/need to own one, in my entire life.

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2/24/2021 10:51 AM

I would venture this is the GOAT of dirt bikes. How many of us rode these bad boysPhotoThere will never be another era that comes close to early-mid 70's in exploding bike sales

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Kevin Windham‏ @kdub_14

Not 1factory racer hasnt been told that if ucan help teammate out, then do it 4 championship. Few r in a position like MM25 #partofthesport

2/24/2021 11:13 AM

M1000 wrote:

The 1981 Suzuki RM125. Game Changer. Water cooled, Full Floater suspension. (Followed up with back to back 125cc World ...more

ATKpilot99 wrote:

Is the RM 125 the winningest bike as far as championships go ? World and AMA national titles?

I found that hard to believe when I first read your post. I would have thought the CR250 would have that easily. Then I went to the MXGP wiki page and saw that Zooks won the first 10 125 MXGP titles.

The other day I was bored and wondered which manufacturer had won the most US titles so I made up a spreadsheet but it's just by brand and not bike. Would be pretty easy to figure out the last 30 years or 35 years but I'd be lost going back into the early 80s and 70s probably. Especially in Europe.

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2/24/2021 11:20 AM

GrapeApe wrote: Photo
w00t w00t w00t

Surprised he hasn't chimed in with his 40 posts about the ESR 325 and Mike Alessi holeshot.
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"Sorry Goose, but it's time to buzz the tower."

2/24/2021 12:36 PM

No. its 2nd , just.

RM125X is the greatest dirt bike of all time,

Took bikes from the twin shock , aircooled bones, to state of the art watercooled , linkage suspension , factory looking kit in one hit.

Owned and raced both, but would have the CR now .

Here is our 500 Hybrid from 2019 Photo





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2/24/2021 12:37 PM

TXDirt wrote:

KX 500 has entered the chat

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I want one of these so bad, but I refuse to pay the ridiculous amounts of money people are asking for them in the UK. If anyone has one at sensible money let me know 😋

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2/24/2021 12:50 PM

Zeke27G wrote:

Of all the bikes I've ridden, from vintage to modern, 2 stroke to 4 stroke, my KX500 is hands down my all time favorite bike ...more

Stuntman949 wrote:

Your roost to my chest was proof of its power

Shit...I'm sorry 'bout that!

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Do It In The Dirt!