Classic Steel

Classic Steel #74: 1984 Honda CR500R

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Comments (8)
  1. I have had my 1984 honda CR 500 since 1987 and have read many articles about the ping king and over heating and blubbering and hard starting and all the other negative comments about the bike and i am tired of reading about all the BS. I rode my 500 in palm springs mostly
    and NEVER did it ping or run hot and in the summer a cool day was 110 degrees so i would think if it was going to run hot it would there but it never did. And explosive unusable power??? maybe you people need to stick with your 175 four strokes or something , back in 1987 i was 130 soaking wet and my 500 with me on it was a rocket , i use to keep my weight up on the tank and yes the front tire was not on the ground much
    but with that kind of horse power what do you expect . The only thing that i would 100% agree with what was said in this article is it was very hard to start. My friends had yz 465,s 490,s and a few others and none could keep up with my honda i have had my 500 for 31 years and still love the power and the excitement it gives me . But starting it is still a pain in my %%$$ sometimes , i am 59 and it still puts a smile on my face.
    Maybe if you people knew how to ride a powerful dirt bike you wouldnt knock the power of the 1984 honda 500. Maybe you guys are afraid of wheelies and never learned to use your rear brake, bunch of sissies.

    1. I am the 3rd owner of my 84 trench digger! It is original down to the front tyre. (Has replacement rear tyre.) Sold an 82 CR480 to buy the CR500.I could start my 480 with my left leg & I can start my 500 in about 3 kicks. They are not hard to start- you just need to have the technique of how to start. Simple, crank it to a whisker past tdc & belt it. Awesome bike is all I can say.

      1. Hello
        I do agree with your statement. I own this 1984 CR 500. For some time now. And it’s a 3 kick start, but after it warms up I can start it in one kick. I heard this many time Iguess if your racing on the track with 30 other riders I’m sure there one thing you don’t want to happen is not to let it die on you. Other then that you can’t beat the CR bikes back then, no doubt they are fast. Again I enjoy riding my CR 500. I’m 61 now I just need to accept im getting old my bones won’t heal fast any more. Lol 😂

  2. I agree with Curt I had the 82, 83 and the 84, 85, 86, 88, 91, also 2 service hondas and all I have now is a 84. It is basically stock heavier fork springs and a decompressor to help start it now that I am 57
    I completely disagree with the negatives as they are blown out of proportion, My 86 and my 91 Detonated more and needed head Machining. My 83 needed a rut to turn on hard pack and was really bad compared to the RM of the time and was less powerful than the 84!
    The 84 is fast and scares people who are not used to that kind of hit, for them stick to 4 strokes! Forks are too soft but you can easily fix that. Carby seems OK to me. The 85 was the hardest to start of all of them including the 83 left kick. I also fitted a 49 tooth rear sprocket which transforms the bike a lot. Now it has bar risers and alloy bars but the rest is 84. Its slimmer than most bikes and has ecxcellent ergos. Much better than any of the newer watercooled models that came after it. (Except the Service Hondas 09 and 11 were both insane bikes)
    The only thing I miss from the 91 and newer is the low pipe but thats it.
    The 82 and 81 were not very nice at all so if you want to go VMX get an 84! (and a 94 now that there is pre 95) or the 83

  3. I owned my 84 CR500R since 1986. I do use two head gaskets and made a few up grades. Installed a FMF RAM reed valve, re-jetted the carb. and a FMF silencer. Other than that it is a stock bike. Have to say it pulls like a freight train. A couple of things I do agree on after reading tons of reviews, the forks are soft, just added a little extra air and it is harder to start., about 4 kicks cold. But it is all about the technique, TDC and crank it. The rear suspension is fine for me, have it dialed in for lots of whoops. Really depends on body weight. Always will enjoy the awesome power of open class bikes, WFO…….

  4. Eric Gorr’s cylinder head mod and a different-shaped needle was all that was required to make my ’84 run superbly.

    1. What was the needle shape change !
      Any opinion on what top speed could you get on a completely modified 500cc Honda ( 84 ) What year bike would be best for
      achieving 120+ mph I’m making a straight line bike similar to a drag bike ?

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