How Cagiva WMX 500 was like

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10/29/2009 12:59 PM

I saw Cagiva has made a 500 mx bike and wondering if someone had tried this and how it was like and that must be a rare bike and hard to find I think?

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10/29/2009 7:29 PM

I remember back in the 80's when Cagiva tried to get into the American MX market. I remember their 125 and the weird 200 that Marty Smith actually raced in SX (I thought of that failed experiment when I first heard of the new 350 KTM). I don't remember a 500 though.

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10/30/2009 4:47 AM
Edited Date/Time: 4/17/2016 6:41 PM

A shop in Baltimore offered me a ride on the 500....went and rode the 125 & the 200 and they were not bad....I waited and waited on the 500 and went and bought a 500 Husky a week before the Gainsville national. I think MXA did a test on the 500

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10/30/2009 7:51 PM

I rode a WMX 500 in '86 while awaiting delivery of my Mstar from Pro Cycle in Snellville Ga. He was a Cagiva/Mstar dealer and had one on demo so I got to ride it for most of that spring and summer.
It was suprisingly "Maicoish" in its ergo's and how it handled. An Ohlins shock did a decent job in the rear but the front forks were wimpy Marozochi units that benefited from the adddition of a Terry Kit but even that didnt fix their flexiness.
The motor was a tourquey monster that pulled strongly off the bottom with a good midrange but then signed off pretty early on top. Short shifting and using the gobs of bottom end was the order of the day.
I enjoyed riding it and they sold a lot of the 125's that year ( I think they won the 125 GP class for a couple years) and the 250's had potential as well. There were some fast guys on em locally for a while and I think it was Brian McElroy and maybe another rider was on a team doin sx and outdoor nats out of Fla .
I think they coulda been a decent bike with more development but I believe the Cagiva/Husky /Ducati partnership ran into finacial trouble which closed that chapter in mx history.
Never saw any other 500's around here other than that one so Id say there werent that many brought over. For sure it would stand out at your local vintage race in the evo class.

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a faster bike just means you'll be shutting off sooner

10/31/2009 11:09 AM

motogeeze wrote:

I rode a WMX 500 in '86 while awaiting delivery of my Mstar from Pro Cycle in Snellville Ga. He was a Cagiva/Mstar dealer and had one on demo so I got to ride it for most of that spring and summer.
It was suprisingly "Maicoish" in its ergo's and how it handled. An Ohlins shock did a decent job in the rear but the front forks were wimpy Marozochi units that benefited from the adddition of a Terry Kit but even that didnt fix their flexiness.
The motor was a tourquey monster that pulled strongly off the bottom with a good midrange but then signed off pretty early on top. Short shifting and using the gobs of bottom end was the order of the day.
I enjoyed riding it and they sold a lot of the 125's that year ( I think they won the 125 GP class for a couple years) and the 250's had potential as well. There were some fast guys on em locally for a while and I think it was Brian McElroy and maybe another rider was on a team doin sx and outdoor nats out of Fla .
I think they coulda been a decent bike with more development but I believe the Cagiva/Husky /Ducati partnership ran into finacial trouble which closed that chapter in mx history.
Never saw any other 500's around here other than that one so Id say there werent that many brought over. For sure it would stand out at your local vintage race in the evo class.

Thank's for your input GEEZE and yes 125 Cagiva won the GP and broke the 11 year in strait of winning the 125 GP's for Suzuki.

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10/31/2009 12:41 PM

It's funny you bring up the cagiva team out of florida. I remember in the late eighties( not sure of the year) McElroy and maybe Kevin Foley raced the 250's in the national at gatorback. Then later that year they came as a team (all on cagivas) to loretta lynns in a school bus. They all slept in the bus if I remember right. That was the last I saw of an organized program from cagiva. I rode the 500 cagiva moto geeze is talking about. It had good power for a 500 but was a little bulky compaired to the honda or kawasaki.

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10/31/2009 2:32 PM

Kevin polite was Team Manager for Team Cagiva in Florida in the 80s. He would know about this.

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11/1/2009 6:55 AM

I remember those Cagiva 200s. Nothing a 175cc kit on the Yamaha wouldn't fix.

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1998 Honda Z50
1994 Honda CR125
1996 Honda CR250
2000 Honda CR500

11/2/2009 5:41 AM
Edited Date/Time: 4/17/2016 6:44 PM

WOW a Cagiva Post
Kevin Politte here
Yes Myself and my Partners at Action Sport Cycles out of Fort Lauderdale ran the SE race team for Cagiva North America.
The team consisted of
Brian McElroy, Kevin Foley, Alan Andrew, Tom Rice, Vince Devane, Earl May, Doug Solelether, and a few others.The team ran the Fla Winter series and limited nationals and Supercross events. Brian McElroy had the most success by winning motos and took 2nd place at the Daytona SX in 1988. He missed qualifying in the 250 class at Daytona the same year by 1 position. He would of been the first to qualify in both classes. Years later it was I believe Tod Dehoop who was the first to qualify in both classes at a single SX. Alan Andrew holeshot a moto at Gainseville beating Hannah at the start. The 125's and the 250's were as good as any once we got them dialed in thanks to Woddy Kyle racing and efforts with Cagiva North America and Action Sport Cycles's.
I did ride a customers's 500 back in 1987
It had monster motor and was not as developed as the 125/250's
They came stock with White power upside down front forks and Ohliens rear shock
I rode the bikes from 1986 to 1989 and won some FTR events and place in the top 3 overall a couple years.
Here is a picture of McElroy, Hannah and the mini Goat at Dade City 1988 Winter Series Podium.
[LINK TO IMAGE]

Kevin Politte

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11/3/2009 1:58 PM

Is that fred andrews, greg quadar and steve carter also ? Who is the kawasaki support guy and the other riders?

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11/4/2009 9:20 AM
Edited Date/Time: 4/17/2016 6:46 PM

Yes that is Fred Andrews

I dont recall the others.
Mike Larocco was in Brians 125 class and Brian beat him in the series

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11/7/2009 1:11 PM

Hello mosslander. I owned a cagiva 500, from 1988 to 1990. I dont remember the exact model year but think mine was 1985, It was an evil machine, 4-gears and amazing power.

If you ever find one - buy it.

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2/24/2011 4:03 AM

Hi Guys,

I just brought one of these old girls, Time to start chasing parts for rebuilding. Looking forward to riding it.

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2/24/2011 7:54 PM

How about some pics??

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2/25/2011 2:48 PM

Ron Turner raced one in the 86 Golden State series with decent results

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The older I get, the faster I was

4/15/2011 10:28 PM

Hi! I just got my first WMX500. Quite not sure what year it is as I've heard that they're pretty much same through out their run here. Mine needs a lot of work, but it is a runner. Previous owner run chain too tight and counter sprocket seal's leaking. The whole motor needs some love as compression feels a bit soft too. Frame is not hammered, suspension works and is dry, wheels are ok, need LH side cover and rear fender at least and seat cover, probably foam too. Front brake works as well, but needs some cleaning and new line. I have many Japanese bikes, but it's always find a euro bike for balance. I have 2 Spiders and a '86 KTM 495 already in that group.

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4/17/2011 8:20 PM

@Kevin Politte

Hi!
Thanks for your input here. Want to confirm a couple of points:
- what was the model run, first year last year? What do you reckon was the number of imported 500s?
- did 500 come with up side WP in 87, or did you mean the smaller bikes did so? What size tubes?
- did you only ride a 500 in 87, or 88/89 as well?
- do you know anybody who still rides one?

Great pic!

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4/18/2011 9:45 AM

I was involved with Action Sport Cycles from 1986 to 1990. We ran the SE MX team for the 1988 Winter Series in Fla and some SE SX and Nationals. . We only had 2 WMX 500 come through our shop they were 1987 Models. Our Mechanic bought 1 and we sold 1 other. Most people wanted the WMX 125 and the WMX 250 in 1988, the came with white Power inverted Front and Olhins rear. They were very competitive in 1988 & 89. McElroy won the Winter Series and took 2nd at Daytona SX on the 125. I started riding the Cagivias from 1986 to 1989 and had many top 3 finishes in the Florida Hare scramble series. Back to the 500 model I believe they were made as early as 1984 but may not have been brought to the US until 86/87. Not sure of the number imported. I would say that each dealer may have gotten at least 1 500. Quessing that maybe a couple hundred in the US. 40/42 MM front end come to mind. Its been awhile LOL
Kevin

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4/19/2011 10:40 AM

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2016 KTM 500 EXC-F
Current project: 2007 Kawasaki KX250-R7 retro build
I NEED A PIPE FOR 1987 KX250 - thread
Future project: 1987 Kawasaki KX250-E1

4/19/2011 10:40 AM

Photo
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2016 KTM 500 EXC-F
Current project: 2007 Kawasaki KX250-R7 retro build
I NEED A PIPE FOR 1987 KX250 - thread
Future project: 1987 Kawasaki KX250-E1

4/19/2011 10:41 AM

Photo
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2016 KTM 500 EXC-F
Current project: 2007 Kawasaki KX250-R7 retro build
I NEED A PIPE FOR 1987 KX250 - thread
Future project: 1987 Kawasaki KX250-E1

6/24/2011 12:29 PM

Newbie here so bear with me.
I too spent LOTS of time on Cagivas as well.
In fact was also involved at Action Sport Cycle in Ft. Lauderdale between late '83-early '86.
I worked there part time.....ok I was kinda the shop rat!!! I did a little wrenching, selling,sweeping....... I bought my '84 WMX250 (200) and raced many FTR hare scrambles as well as mx at the old Ft. Lauderdale stadium track as well as others.
I loved the 200 but the 500 made a lasting impression, up to that point my biggest race bike was the 200. The 500 was a gentle giant loads of low end torque, big vibes and really soft suspension (they didn't call it "soft damp" for nuthin) I do seem to remember that I used Yamaha yz490 pistons, Suzuki rm500 clutch plates, rear sprockets and Honda cr air filters when the parts started drying up. Alas she's long gone, sold her back in 1990 (the 200 was sold when I moved to Ohio in '86)

I do know that my 500 was one of 3 1985 500's that we had, One was used by one of the owners (Howard Swinnerton) that was the one I ended up with, one went to a friend of mine Joe Mason from Boca Raton and I can't remember who got the other one but I seem to remember it broke a rod and destroyed the cases not long after the guy got it. and I think Cagiva actually warrantied that motor!!
Other than the kickstarter breaking and the chain adjusters bending like they where made of butter my bike was pretty reliable. Great bikes, great memories.............

Jeff

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6/27/2011 2:33 AM

Hey! Cagiva 500! I raced one here in the UK in 85-

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It was tough to kick over maybe thats why they broke kickstarts. As mentioned before the forks let it down, soft flexy wimpy things but the motor was a monster. With a lightly built teenager on board the thing would flip straight over backwards in any gear if you gave it too much throttle. I read a few articles saying it put out the most power of any production 500 and I can believe it. Big size and weight made it hard work to get round a track fast on. Check out the factory Cagiva Arai helmet!!!

I rode lots of other Cagivas from 81 - 87 125's and 250's. Still have a nice red 82 wmx125 in the shed, never ride though as its pretty much impossible to fix if it breaks.

I also turned my Yamaha 250F into a Cagiva a few years ago- lol it was amazing how many people thought Cagiva were making new bikes again-

Photo

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11/2/2011 5:36 PM

piston that puts you wmx 500? I have one in Uruguay and I can not spare. served in the yz 490? that year? Thanks for your comments

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11/7/2011 8:37 AM

Fraser wrote:

Hey! Cagiva 500! I raced one here in the UK in 85-

Photo

It was tough to kick over maybe thats why they broke kickstarts. As mentioned before the forks let it down, soft flexy wimpy things but the motor was a monster. With a lightly built teenager on board the thing would flip straight over backwards in any gear if you gave it too much throttle. I read a few articles saying it put out the most power of any production 500 and I can believe it. Big size and weight made it hard work to get round a track fast on. Check out the factory Cagiva Arai helmet!!!

I rode lots of other Cagivas from 81 - 87 125's and 250's. Still have a nice red 82 wmx125 in the shed, never ride though as its pretty much impossible to fix if it breaks.

I also turned my Yamaha 250F into a Cagiva a few years ago- lol it was amazing how many people thought Cagiva were making new bikes again-

Photo

When I first read the post I immediately goggled image Cagiva WMX and your pic came up, my first thought was WOW, they are making bikes, then i read the rest of the post and was glad i was not the only one that thought that! Great job on the bike!

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1985 XR80
1999 CR125
2002 CR250
2003 CR125
2013 CRF450
1996 CR500
1998 VFR800

11/11/2011 4:26 PM

I have one of the 84, at this moment I am doing posuible reustarando or as in Uruguay is difficult to get a piston,
the rest and got XR600 disks for example.
I wonder if the piston of the talking that serves the YZ 490 of 82-83 or 84 -90 so read are different those years?
thanks a Latin American friend Uruguay

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11/12/2011 6:02 AM

Daniel, Not sure on the 1984 model (air cooled?) as we (in the states) only got the 1985-1986 model years(water cooled) but the piston that I used in my 1985 WMX500 was the 1984-1990 YZ490 piston kit and I worked perfectly.
Good luck
Post some pictures of your bike if you can, I would love to see it.

Jeff

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11/12/2011 7:00 AM

I had a Cagiva ride back in the day had both 250 and 500 the 250 was way better than the 500. On my 500 we put a Honda front end on it and ran YZ 490 pistons in it, these mods helped but both bikes still didnt compare to a Jap bike. I went back to a Honda 500 within 6 months.

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11/12/2011 7:41 AM

up shortly but just finished painting the frame, and these days I start to assemble the motor,
the dheight had very good understanding that only served on the 83.

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11/25/2011 1:37 AM

Just picked up a 1985 WMX 500 man these things are hard to find info on. So i figured i should join and keep in contact with you gents. Little bit of background on me, ill just incorporate my intro into this post.

Im a 20 year old living in Northern California working for the Marine Corps in the Anti-terrorism BTN as a infantryman. I go to college and i restore bikes on my free time, i mostly stick to streetbikes/cafe racers but i could not pass this one up.

The WMX 500 is a 85' and about the 490th one made. it has very low miles on it and i believe it was purchased, ridden a few times and stored out of fear and i understand why after taking this torque packed beast for a test ride. I am having the seat temporally re-upholstered so i can ride it till i order a original Cagavi seat with logo. keep this thread going gents WMX owners are a shrinking group. Daniel Bonjour can you post some pics bud? ill be sure to post a lot and quadruple the amount of pics online and put out all the info i can find on this monster as i learn

Some interesting things i have learned and would like to know is...
This bike runs best on 1/32 mix and premium gas, it has a coil so you can put lights on it but i still need to use the meter tomorrow to determine how many volts it puts out. I would also like to know if someone can find me the exact color for the fairings and the frame. Its power is mostly dedicated to low end but the high gear is very 'spread ( learned this from a Cagavi fanatic ) Does anyone know the size of the throttle cable? and do you mind posting you serial number ( located on the frame between the forks )?

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1986 WMX 500 desert model
1969 Bridgestone 100TMX
1999 FZR600R custom