Classic Steel

Worst. Bikes. Ever.

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Just Short 2012 Indy
Comments (9)
  1. Great and enjoyable article, sans the misinformed suggestion that detonation (‘knocking’) and pre-ignition are the same thing. Not even close.

    Detonation is self-ignition due to temp and/or pressure being above the resistance level of the fuel octane in use… and it occurs AFTER SPARK HAS OCCURRED. Detonation, in mild levels, can be endured on many engines for extended periods of time (think 4 cylinder automotive engines, for example).

    Pre-ignition is ignition at or near the BDC position (due to a super heated combustion chamber component, usually the spark plug), after the intake stroke and before or during the early ascent of the piston on the compression stroke. There is no warning sounds or ‘knock’ with pre-ignition and the pressure rise/heat is so drastic it roasts a hole through the piston crown in just a few cyclic rotations of the engine. Pre-ignition results in engine death almost immediately and without exception. There is no “catching it in time”. Detonation for prolonged periods of time can and often does induce overheating of the spark plug to the point of causing pre-ignition, too.

  2. I dont know where the Cannondale info cam from but I saw a cannondale moto quad beat uo on a modded trx450, 2016 yfz450, 700 raptor and two REALLY nice banshees. All back to back on pavement. The only time the cannondale lost was when the rider was fighting the front end back to the ground.

    1. let me add, as far as the cannondale motor being short on power, that is the one thing cannondale did correct, it made some power but. obviously theyre problematic to say the least.

  3. I am no engine expert, but I am confused here. How does self ignition occur after the spark plug fires? Wouldn’t the spark plug ignite the mixture, and if so how can the mixture self ignite when the mixture is already ignited?

  4. After reading about the Cannondale weighing 260lbs , I was remembering my 1990 125SX KTM tipping the scales @ 189 lbs ! Seventy pounds is a huge difference !

  5. Here’s a review of it from “The Top 10 Worst MX Bikes Ever Made” list. It’s most redeeming quality is that it was not at the very top of the list. That special honor went to the 1971 Suzuki TM Cyclone. 4. The 1983 Kawasaki KX500 “This brings us to the subject at hand. Kawasaki’s all-new and fully two years in the making, 1983 KX500. You would perhaps be right in thinking that if a company takes a year off to regroup and comes out with an all new model, it should be better than the one that had caused them to quit in the first place. Well, in this case you would be wrong. In almost every way the ‘83 KX500 was actually worse than the much-maligned 420 had been. Kawasaki had taken a sow’s ear and instead of turning it into a silk purse, came back with a whole pig. This bike was bad, so bad in fact none of the magazines could even test it in stock form. The 83 KX500 had a motor so poorly designed that it would blow itself to pieces in the matter of a few laps. The big 500 Kawasaki was saddled with a terminal case of the knocks and if left unchecked, it would literally beat itself to death in short order. Once the motor got a little hot it would start rattling like it had a box of marbles loose inside it. If you ignored the death rattle, the next sound you would hear was a very expensive bang, as big pieces of aluminum became little pieces of aluminum. This baby was a grenade with the pin pulled.” “This thing knocked worse than a diesel Chevette with water in the tank.” “If you revved out the big KX all you were greeted with was more death rattle and worse vibration than a Harley with loose motor mounts.” “As is fitting with any truly terrible bike the chassis was only mildly better than the motor.” “The ‘83 KX was a very tall bike. With a seat height of 39 inches it would be a sky scraper even today. This meant anyone fewer than six feet tall would find it virtually impossible to start the unruly beast without the help of a hill or milk crate.” “So you ask, was there anything actually good about the 1983 KX500? Oh yes, all was not lost. Here is a list of the excellent features of the 1983 Kawasaki KX500. – Disk Brake” .

  6. I have raced mx for 35 years, and my first race bike was an 83 kx500 got my first holeshot on it, won my first trophy on it went 1-1 first time ever on it nowadays I still race and I like to find and restore bikes that have a special place in my heart I will NEVER look for an 83 kx500

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