Is the CR500 the only bike that could be competitive 20 years later?

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12/8/2020 7:57 AM
Edited Date/Time: 12/8/2020 7:57 AM

So this season I've been following my friend Neville Bradshaw as he races a national MX1 championship here in the UK on his 22-year-old Honda CR500 and producing a documentary series telling his story.
I've just released the final episode so check it out if you want to see an old CR500 and a veteran racer take it to the young guns and their modern machines! ( link below )

Nev says in the video that he thinks the CR500 is probably the only bike that could still be competitive at this level for an entire season 20+ years after it was first produced. (He's racing a '98 CR here). What do you guys think, are there any other old bikes that could still be competitive today?

CR500 vs 450's - Finale

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12/8/2020 8:22 AM

www.toofastfilms.com wrote:

So this season I've been following my friend Neville Bradshaw as he races a national MX1 championship here in the UK on his 22-year-old Honda CR500 and producing a documentary series telling his story.
I've just released the final episode so check it out if you want to see an old CR500 and a veteran racer take it to the young guns and their modern machines! ( link below )

Nev says in the video that he thinks the CR500 is probably the only bike that could still be competitive at this level for an entire season 20+ years after it was first produced. (He's racing a '98 CR here). What do you guys think, are there any other old bikes that could still be competitive today?

CR500 vs 450's - Finale

YZ250 is still 'competitive' in that it sells out each year and people place in local races and win local series all the time on them, esp. in the woods.

No 20 year old bike is competitive in a top-level series unless there is an absolute badass riding it though. All other things equal, your friend will be faster on the 450 and for that reason I would hesitate to call either the CR or YZ competitive in the sense you are using it.

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12/8/2020 8:24 AM
Edited Date/Time: 12/8/2020 8:26 AM

The kx 500 is so much better than the cr 500. The KIPS and the suspension.. buddy has a 01 Honda and 04/96 kawi and the kawis where better planted and easier to ride

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12/8/2020 8:24 AM

Adjust the suspension, and IMO anything from the early 90s can absolutely hang with the latest and greatest for raw speed.... But, the older bikes are harder to ride fast for a long period...

Heck... if any company were to re-release a bone stock bike from the 70s, 80s, or 90s - there would be smoke coming off the pen as I cut that check...

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www.bettercallsaul.com
Die Antwoord

12/8/2020 8:26 AM

I don't know if I've ever ridden a KX500, but I remember hearing those are faster but handle more poorly. Tough to say.

I think any of the last-gen 250 2-strokes is a far better machine than the CR500 from a handling and suspension standpoint, but you are giving up a lot of power vs. 450s. A big-bore or bored/stroked 250 would be competitive if it were allowed.

Assuming the displacement parity in the link above (450F vs. 500T,) I think a 250 2-stroke would be more than competitive in the 250F class.

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Braaapin' aint easy.

12/8/2020 8:57 AM

Neville's a darn good rider that has certainly caught his 2nd wind. This is more of a Regional series, right?. Including Regional talent.

Regardless, 90% rider and no displacement(4-stk.vs 2stk.) rules, a 20 year-old bike is more than competitive. 250 or 500.

Videos have been cool to watch.

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12/8/2020 9:06 AM

About 10 years ago Moto verte did a lap time comparison on quite a large pool of test riders, and the 250 yz was still upfront very often. In 10 years, I don't think the 450 gain 3 seconds a lap, so any good 250 can hang on, especially a modified one. The thing is after 3 laps I think it is a totally different story as 4 strokes are much easier to ride.

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12/8/2020 9:14 AM

mwssquad827 wrote:

The kx 500 is so much better than the cr 500. The KIPS and the suspension.. buddy has a 01 Honda and 04/96 kawi and the kawis where better planted and easier to ride

I dunno, I tend to think the CR is quite a bit better myself.

Better ergos, suspension and brakes in my opinion. Either motor can basically be ridden in 3rd gear 90% of the time so that's a toss up to me.

If I were buying one for pure desert riding/racing I'd probably get a KX due to the parts and knowledge out there, but if I was buying one for more "all around" riding I'd probably try to get a CR.

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12/8/2020 9:16 AM

I sold my old 2006 YZ250 2-stroke recently and I would consider buying a 2020 YZ250 new today even though it's pretty much the exact same bike as the 06. Not quite the machine of my KTM 450 but not too far off either.

I've spent quite a bit of time on the 1998-2000 CR500 and that bike is a blast but going off memory I don't think it feels as modern as the YZ.

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12/8/2020 9:22 AM
Edited Date/Time: 12/8/2020 9:27 AM

The CR 500 bridged the gap between the haves and have nots back in the day. With the technology and advancements of modern bikes, no it would not be competitive unless ridden by a seasoned pro.

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12/8/2020 9:27 AM
Edited Date/Time: 12/12/2020 2:30 PM

KX500>CR500
I’ve had both I want to add.

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Take it to the limit, one more time!

12/8/2020 9:27 AM

Every time I throw a leg over my brothers 81 Maico 490 I'd say it's still highly competitive.

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12/8/2020 9:44 AM
Edited Date/Time: 12/8/2020 9:46 AM

Jerry robin went out and qualified for Lorettas on a near 30 year old bike not that long ago ,

Todd dehoop talks about his vintage bikes being competitive at local level on the whiskey throttle show

Mx has. And always will be more about the rider than the bike

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12/8/2020 9:44 AM

Ted722 wrote:

Neville's a darn good rider that has certainly caught his 2nd wind. This is more of a Regional series, right?. Including Regional talent.

Regardless, 90% rider and no displacement(4-stk.vs 2stk.) rules, a 20 year-old bike is more than competitive. 250 or 500.

Videos have been cool to watch.

Thanks Ted, glad you have been enjoying the videos.

This series is a 'national' level series as in riders from all over the country come to race it and the tracks are all over the place, but yes it is a step below our official British championship. This AMCA series is supposed to be for 'amateurs' or non full time racers. But much of the talent in this MX1 class could be capable of racing our professional series here in England. I think the best comparison i could make is that this series would be the Candadian nats if our British champs were the AMA nats, if you see what i mean.

Thanks again for watching dude

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12/8/2020 9:54 AM

mwssquad827 wrote:

The kx 500 is so much better than the cr 500. The KIPS and the suspension.. buddy has a 01 Honda and 04/96 kawi and the kawis where better planted and easier to ride

I wondered that myself why every AF is usually a CR and not a KX. No expert on 500's but my understanding was that the Kawi was the motor king of 500's so why aren't there more Kawi conversations?

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12/8/2020 11:45 AM
Edited Date/Time: 12/8/2020 11:46 AM

mwssquad827 wrote:

The kx 500 is so much better than the cr 500. The KIPS and the suspension.. buddy has a 01 Honda and 04/96 kawi and the kawis where better planted and easier to ride

Yes and no, yes the motor is better (although better for off road than moto) and the suspension is better in stock form.

but the CR500 is a much better handling and braking motocross machine despite suspension not as good as the KX500.

however, these days no person (including Neville) races stock suspension on these old war horses. so is the KX "so much better" ...in my humble opinion...no

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Current rides: 2020 CRF450RWE and 2019 TC300
Occasional ride for VMX: 1985 CR500RF
Adventure/Road bike: CRF1000L

12/8/2020 3:20 PM

in 1998, most riders would have been quicker on a 250 than a 500, i presume today is the same,

although, starts would likely be better on the 500 if you could ride one well,

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12/8/2020 4:09 PM

I don’t know if the CR handles better. It’s personal preference. Do you want a bike that turns great but head shakes down the straights or a stable bike that’s hard to turn? I like both bikes for different reasons.

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12/8/2020 4:19 PM

scott_nz wrote:

in 1998, most riders would have been quicker on a 250 than a 500, i presume today is the same,

although, starts would likely be better on the 500 if you could ride one well,

Start that bad boy in 3rd. cool

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Braaapin' aint easy.

12/8/2020 4:40 PM

People have short memories. Back in the day the KX ruled the day.

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12/8/2020 4:45 PM

YZ 125.

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12/8/2020 4:48 PM

scott_nz wrote:

in 1998, most riders would have been quicker on a 250 than a 500, i presume today is the same,

although, starts would likely be better on the 500 if you could ride one well,

Falcon wrote:

Start that bad boy in 3rd. cool

Yup 3rd gear starts the norm smile

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Current rides: 2020 CRF450RWE and 2019 TC300
Occasional ride for VMX: 1985 CR500RF
Adventure/Road bike: CRF1000L

12/8/2020 4:56 PM

Mosier Valley TX, night track, 1986, I could ride the entire track in 3rd gear. Never shift.

I'm a KX guy myself. I could never come to terms with the Honda's handling. They scared me.

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12/8/2020 5:41 PM

scott_nz wrote:

in 1998, most riders would have been quicker on a 250 than a 500, i presume today is the same,

although, starts would likely be better on the 500 if you could ride one well,

Falcon wrote:

Start that bad boy in 3rd. cool

Agree , used to race kx500s. Flywheel weight and start in 3rd , if you had space nothing would stop you , , if you had 2 good guys either side of you they could squeeze on you

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12/8/2020 8:49 PM

Some 500 love. My personal favourite ones in order 86KX500, 89CR500 and 84 YZ490

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12/8/2020 9:03 PM

nickm wrote:

Some 500 love. My personal favourite ones in order 86KX500, 89CR500 and 84 YZ490

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Nice! Of course you had the RM465 and RM500. Super easy to ride. I had all kinds of fun on my RM465.

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12/8/2020 9:06 PM

www.toofastfilms.com wrote:

So this season I've been following my friend Neville Bradshaw as he races a national MX1 championship here in the UK on his 22-year-old Honda CR500 and producing a documentary series telling his story.
I've just released the final episode so check it out if you want to see an old CR500 and a veteran racer take it to the young guns and their modern machines! ( link below )

Nev says in the video that he thinks the CR500 is probably the only bike that could still be competitive at this level for an entire season 20+ years after it was first produced. (He's racing a '98 CR here). What do you guys think, are there any other old bikes that could still be competitive today?

CR500 vs 450's - Finale

I think Nev us a little biased. The KX has bulkier bodywork but has far better suspension. Both of these machines could be competitive in the amateur ranks.

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12/9/2020 1:38 AM

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12/9/2020 1:39 AM

Herring 1996 Photo

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12/9/2020 3:00 AM

Any of the Japanese 250 two strokes from 20 years ago are competitive for local racing with a small amount of work. Yz especially, they still use the same basic engine 20 years later !

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