Classic Steel

“Maxxis Tires” – Classic Steel 148 Honda CR500R

Comments (7)
  1. Tony, thanks again so much for these awesome articles. I enjoy all your articles, but these 1980’s bike articles really touch home . In the 1980’s, I was a teen, still going to school / college and my racing was at its zenith, even though I only made it to the status of a middle of the pack intermediate in the 125 / 250 class So. Cal scene. But back to your article on the 1985 Honda Cr 500.

    In 1985, A few friends and I went out to Gormon Off Road Park, which is located north of Los Angeles, for a weekend of riding and camping. A friend brought along a work buddy who had just bought a spanking new 1985 Honda Cr500. This guy spent most of the weekend putting around and breaking in his new 500 hour bike. Well, we pulled up to a group of riders who were trying to get up one of those Gormon monster hill climbs and 250’s weren’t cutting it. I couldn’t even come close to that summit on my 1985 Cr250. The owner of the CR 500 said he wasn’t a good hill climber and asked me if I wanted to try it and summit the hill. I did not jump at the chance because the last time I rode a 1984 YZ 490 on a MX track, the power freaked me out and I kept almost looping it out. But since my friends put a great deal of “friendly peer pressure”on me, I gave in and went after that hill climb on that shiny new 1985 Honda Cr 500.

    I started off in 3rd gear and went at that monster hill with a great deal of trepidation, as I didn’t want to embarrass myself or damage a brand new bike. Anyway, this bike was such a beast. When the hill got steeper and steeper, I just kept wicking the throttle. That beast didn’t bog at all. Near the summit, where damn it was steep and deeply rutted with even deeper sand, I just shifted down to 2nd gear, wicked the throttle and crested that monster summit and felt elated. Damn that bike was so powerful. This beast made my 250 feel like a mini bike. For hill climbs they were cool, but on a MX track, these old school Open bikes were gnarly beasts.

    Please keep the killer articles coming. They are so appreciated by us old working stiffs.

  2. My friend bought a 85 CR500 and I was a 4 stroke guy he let me ride it at a local motocross track and I couldn’t believe the power that animal had another guy had a KX500 and that CR just ate him in drag race and a 1 lap moto we knick named it the nuclear missile

  3. At 57 years old I just bought a 450yzf. Now it might be faded memory but I’ve owned 3 cr500s and a few 490yzs in my life and I almost think this 450 is faster and has just as much power as the 500. Keeping in mind this is the only 4 stroke I’ve ridden. What are your thoughts is it just a bad memorie?

    1. I actually think you are right. I have owned both a 500 2st and 450F 4st at the same time and ridden several back-to-back and I think a modern fuel-injected 450 is faster. The 500 hits harder and is far more abrupt but not as fast as a new 450F.

  4. Thanks so much Tony for your classic steel articles. I love reading them as they take me back to my teenage years riding big mx bikes. I still own two mid 80’s 500 two strokes and laugh when I read your descriptions of how brutal the 1980’s big boppers were /are. Scary bikes then. Still scary. Probably not as quick as a modern 450 but oh so much more character.

  5. Awesome! This is what comes to mind when I think, “dirt bike”. I always thought the water-cooled CR500Rs were beautiful machines. I had an ‘86, and if you could get it to hook up, look out!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


PulpMX exists as an informed, fan-driven Pro Motocross and Supercross site where objective editorial and entertaining racing-centric discourse flourish.