Service Honda CR500AF thoughts?

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3/26/2020 7:26 AM

I found a fairly slick AF for a decent price. Has anyone here ever had one?

I’ve owned a CR500 before, so I know what I’m getting into powerwise, just thoughts on how it is as a package.


Thanks.

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3/26/2020 8:52 AM

A few years ago, I built 4 AF 500's in different Honda frames. 05 CRF250, 03 CR125, 04 CR250, and 03CR250. I also built an 06 KX250F steel frame with a KX500. Of the Hondas the 125 chassis was the best for me. Hardest to build but well worth the effort. The steel chassis on the KX had the least vibration and with the modern ergos and good handling chassis was the best of the bunch. All good bikes because of the more modern ergos. JMO

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3/26/2020 8:55 AM

AJ Wagoner can answer this question best. We have 2 of them a 2004 and 2006 they work very well for us. Make sure it's a "true" Service Honda".

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3/26/2020 9:11 AM
Edited Date/Time: 3/26/2020 9:12 AM

When the project is done properly, everything fits as though it is stock. The most important part is engine alignment, no tension on engine mounts and having a welder that knows his stuff. Service Honda cuts the frame just like everyone else.

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3/26/2020 10:28 AM

wardy wrote:

AJ Wagoner can answer this question best. We have 2 of them a 2004 and 2006 they work very well for us. Make sure it's a "true" Service Honda".

It is a true Service Honda. I just need to decide if it’s worth a divorce then.

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3/26/2020 10:35 AM

A good build is a good build. I have seen a couple companies send out welded frames that I wouldn't go near. SH builds a good product for sure. As a reference, a buddy of mine has a steel framed 500 and a SH. He rides both, races the SH and desert rides his steelie. He is an old school guy and doesn't mind the couch like feel of the steel bike. He says both work great for his needs.

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3/26/2020 10:48 AM
Edited Date/Time: 3/26/2020 10:50 AM

Stock frame is a better bike for most. Worked for RJ, Bayle, Stanton. Probably work for you.

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3/26/2020 2:13 PM


With some gussets and bracing, my stock KX500 frame has been fine and I ride 99% moto on it. Just my .02
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Do It In The Dirt!

3/26/2020 2:49 PM

Spent a lot of time and money trying to be competitive on a 2008 450 chassis with 2001 CR500 engine. Suspension done and motor had damn near every mod possible. Porter polished, balanced, Reeds, PWK41, CR250 ignition, shaved and worked head and squish.

It was a fun bike, absolutely a blast at Glamis with 15/46 gears. It would power wheelie in 5th. However it was not a competitive race bike.

The CR500 motor is a blast but has a very narrow powerband and lots of reciprocating mass from the flywheel. The motor is very difficult to ride “on the pipe” so most will try to ride in RPMs above or below the huge midrange hit, which means you won’t get the most out of the bike.

Trail, dunes or play bike yes. Motocross racing? Negative.

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3/26/2020 6:08 PM




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3/26/2020 7:44 PM



Not a Service Honda 500, but it gets the job done.
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3/26/2020 8:39 PM

plano67 wrote:

Not a Service Honda 500, but it gets the job done.

Nice set up
Pretty close to mine

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3/26/2020 9:30 PM

To this day I have no idea why guys put motors with a lot of vibration into a rigid aluminum frame.

Buy a stock 500 and put good brakes and suspension on it and you still have the chassis that motor was designed for.

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3/26/2020 11:28 PM

Nice bike Plano, how is it doing? That was one of the builds I did and Plano keeps it awesome.

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3/26/2020 11:52 PM

plano67 wrote:

Not a Service Honda 500, but it gets the job done.

She is a beaut, Clark, but how does someone with Plano as their screen name not have 2001 Plano graphics on that thing? 😁

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3/27/2020 12:47 AM

kdizzle_rider wrote:

Spent a lot of time and money trying to be competitive on a 2008 450 chassis with 2001 CR500 engine. Suspension done and motor had damn near every mod possible. Porter polished, balanced, Reeds, PWK41, CR250 ignition, shaved and worked head and squish.

It was a fun bike, absolutely a blast at Glamis with 15/46 gears. It would power wheelie in 5th. However it was not a competitive race bike.

The CR500 motor is a blast but has a very narrow powerband and lots of reciprocating mass from the flywheel. The motor is very difficult to ride “on the pipe” so most will try to ride in RPMs above or below the huge midrange hit, which means you won’t get the most out of the bike.

Trail, dunes or play bike yes. Motocross racing? Negative.

Talk truth to power.

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If the glass is half full it's twice as big as it needs to be.

3/27/2020 12:54 AM

There is no better bike on this planet than an '07 Service Honda 500 at Glamis. Best time I've ever had there on a bike. Best run a big desert tank though. 😂

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3/27/2020 1:08 AM
Edited Date/Time: 3/27/2020 7:39 AM

UpTiTe wrote:

To this day I have no idea why guys put motors with a lot of vibration into a rigid aluminum frame.

Buy a stock 500 and put good brakes and suspension on it and you still have the chassis that motor was designed for.

Yep. Not a SH build, but I purchased one in the summer of 2014. It was a Paul Stoffer AF500 conversion that was fabricated & done nicely. The thing would vibrate worse than a 97 CR2 owned. It was an 02 CR2 AF, 08 CRF450r Showas with a 90 CR5 engine. It vibrated so bad it cracked a head / engine mount in 2 pieces so I sold it afterwards. Fun bike though..




As mentioned it’s not ideal for the track, but felt it was more in its elements in the dunes & open desert. A couple things that really stood out (besides the vibrating) to me were that it didn’t want to turn well due to the rotating mass of the engine giving it a gyro effect. Similar to the 450’s when they 1st came out.
The other was the engine having a crazy mid range hit that made it hard to moto once it wore me out. I’m sure I could have had engine mods done that would have helped, but didn’t want to invest in the bike.
If I was to do it over again I’d find a clean 01 CR5 steelie..

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Speak softly and carry a big stick.

3/27/2020 1:18 AM

i rode a kx250-500 and was by far the biggest hunk of unrideable shit ive ever ridden. i dont think it would be fun on anything other than sand dunes or a massive smooth grass track. theres a reason 500`s vanished . id take a 125 for a play bike any day

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3/27/2020 1:34 AM

I would get an TM MX300 instead if it where me. I does everything as well as the CR500, while still feeling like at bigbore.

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3/27/2020 4:24 AM

They are cool for a moto once in awhile but not enjoyable as an everyday bike.

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3/27/2020 5:51 AM

Thanks for all the replies. Most were great, a couple made me think I misspelled everything I wrote in the original post, and it read as an entirely different question!

It’s all good though. It’s at least a distraction from this mess that’s going on.

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3/27/2020 5:54 AM

Several years ago I did a shootout of my own at my local track; a 2012 Service Honda CR500AF vs. a 1995 Honda CR500.



Here were my lap times:

1995 Honda CR500 versus 2012 Service Honda CR500AF

Practice 1 - SH500AF
Lap 1 - 2:33.91
Lap 2/3 - 4:55.95 (2:27.98 average)
Lap 4 - 2:26.48
Lap 5: 2:27.13
Lap 6: 2:28.02

Avg 2:27.52


Practice 2 - 95 CR500
Lap 1 - 2:25.45
Lap 2 - 2:25.66
Lap 3 - 2:24.87
Lap 4 - 2:28.12
Lap 5 - 2:24.84
Lap 6 - 2:27.13

Avg 2:26.01


Practice 3 - SH500AF
Lap 1 - 2:28.07
Lap 2/3 - 4:47.94 (2:23.97 average)
Lap 4 - 2:27.7
Lap 5 - 2:21.34

Avg 2:25.01

Practice 4 - 95 CR500
Lap 1 - 2:29.5
Lap 2 - 2:26.05
Lap 3 - 2:26.84
Lap 4 - 2:23.95

Avg 2:26.59

I bought the 2012 Service Honda for $8500 used, and it was absolutely mint. I bought the '95 CR500 for $800, and it needed a few things, but shaped up nicely.

Get a steelie. They hold their value better, and are cooler.




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3/27/2020 6:14 AM

cmotodad wrote:

Nice bike Plano, how is it doing? That was one of the builds I did and Plano keeps it awesome.

Looks like you do great work!

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3/27/2020 6:18 AM

plano67 wrote:

Not a Service Honda 500, but it gets the job done.

avidchimp wrote:

She is a beaut, Clark, but how does someone with Plano as their screen name not have 2001 Plano graphics on that thing? 😁



My 2001 Honda CR125 back in the day. Lol
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3/27/2020 6:46 AM

UpTiTe wrote:

To this day I have no idea why guys put motors with a lot of vibration into a rigid aluminum frame.

Buy a stock 500 and put good brakes and suspension on it and you still have the chassis that motor was designed for.

EXACTLY!!!!!

STEEL IS REAL BABY! Steel Framed CR500's are becoming more popular after people realize a high HP motor in an aluminum frame while it might look cool is not that ideal...

Come an get her--she purrs like a kitten... As an added bonus--you can ride her to the track!

You're on the right track--"Go West Young Man!" She's waiting for you but you need to make a pit stop at the ATM..












Extra Wheels and too many spares to list, one owner PM me if you're interested.

Here is the build thread:

https://m.vitalmx.com/forums/Moto-Related,20/CR-500-Dual-Sport-project,1369517
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3/27/2020 7:05 AM

UpTiTe wrote:

To this day I have no idea why guys put motors with a lot of vibration into a rigid aluminum frame.

Buy a stock 500 and put good brakes and suspension on it and you still have the chassis that motor was designed for.

Fasst flex bars and some rubber mounts in strategic places and 80% of vibration is gone!
06 cr 250 frame 6 years on mine and I love it

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3/27/2020 7:11 AM

kdizzle_rider wrote:

Spent a lot of time and money trying to be competitive on a 2008 450 chassis with 2001 CR500 engine. Suspension done and motor had damn near every mod possible. Porter polished, balanced, Reeds, PWK41, CR250 ignition, shaved and worked head and squish.

It was a fun bike, absolutely a blast at Glamis with 15/46 gears. It would power wheelie in 5th. However it was not a competitive race bike.

The CR500 motor is a blast but has a very narrow powerband and lots of reciprocating mass from the flywheel. The motor is very difficult to ride “on the pipe” so most will try to ride in RPMs above or below the huge midrange hit, which means you won’t get the most out of the bike.

Trail, dunes or play bike yes. Motocross racing? Negative.

I had my motor redone by Eric gorr for more bottom and mid(450ish) and its 100% Moto
And yes Eric gorr did a fantastic job
Fmf knarly pipe
Boyesen reeds and c12 are the only mods to engine.
I tried a flywheel weight and didn’t like it
Enzo suspensions 👏👏👏

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3/27/2020 7:12 AM

UpTiTe wrote:

To this day I have no idea why guys put motors with a lot of vibration into a rigid aluminum frame.

Buy a stock 500 and put good brakes and suspension on it and you still have the chassis that motor was designed for.

G-man wrote:

EXACTLY!!!!!

STEEL IS REAL BABY! Steel Framed CR500's are becoming more popular after people realize a high HP motor in an aluminum frame while it might look cool is not that ideal...

Come an get her--she purrs like a kitten... As an added bonus--you can ride her to the track!

You're on the right track--"Go West Young Man!" She's waiting for you but you need to make a pit stop at the ATM..












Extra Wheels and too many spares to list, one owner PM me if you're interested.

Here is the build thread:

https://m.vitalmx.com/forums/Moto-Related,20/CR-500-Dual-Sport-project,1369517

My garage would be complete with this
But da wife would NOT approve🤣🤣

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3/27/2020 7:37 AM

G-man wrote:

EXACTLY!!!!!

STEEL IS REAL BABY! Steel Framed CR500's are becoming more popular after people realize a high HP motor in an aluminum frame while it might look cool is not that ideal...

Come an get her--she purrs like a kitten... As an added bonus--you can ride her to the track!

You're on the right track--"Go West Young Man!" She's waiting for you but you need to make a pit stop at the ATM..












Extra Wheels and too many spares to list, one owner PM me if you're interested.

Here is the build thread:

https://m.vitalmx.com/forums/Moto-Related,20/CR-500-Dual-Sport-project,1369517

Very tempting ! 🤔

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Speak softly and carry a big stick.