Review of the mag writeup

Aug 13, 2000
I read the mag over the last few days. I must say, I came away a little disapointed. Whlie it was well written and had a fair bit of technical information on the bike, it fell short of the information I had hoped for.

Maybe I am too technical, but I would have liked to have seen a dyno chart including comparisons to modern bikes HP and torque curves.

I also would have liked to hear a bit more data about the engine. After all, that is what makes this bike what it is. How fast is it? Does it actually out accel a modern bike? What I read is that it felt like it had a slipping clutch! To me that means it felt down on midrange power. I guess the mag writeup was not clear to me. I can understand a drag race, a roll on drag race, a dyno or other comparison. I just cannot interpret subjective ratings. The very same words can be said about a Honda 150.

I know I am asking alot from the mags, but how does it compare to a KTM525? CRF450X? WR? ect. How about the other internet bikes?

Does anyone else here agree?



DRN is my fault.
Dec 31, 1969
Dallas, Texas
Couple of comments.

1) I was surprised they called any one bike out like that. They worked hard on that bike and where proud of it, as they should be.
2) Dyno's are for spec monkeys :p. Very seldom does a dyno graph relate to how a bike is on the track or trail. Peak HP? Who cares. How fast someone can go on any given circuit is what matters. Example.. I pull better lap times on a 250F than I do on a 450F. Am I a pro that gets every hp out of a bike, no. That being said, I'm sure we wouldn't mind putting the CR500AFX on the dyno against any bike in the review, for whatever that's worth.
3) The "clutch slipping", "chain stetching" comments. If you've spent any time on a CR500, you'll know the mid hit is arm ripping, monsterous. These guys apparently expected that, we didn't want it. We wanted controllable power... thus the comments about the bike hooking up everywhere and not "killing the rear tire". Massive power looks good on a dyno, but.... unless it hooks-up, it's just a useless number. At a legal sound level (or any level) there is NO WAY the DRZ made more power.. sorry guys. Is the dyno on dirt? Or, pure traction? Until they make a dirt dyno, I couldn't care less about a controlled run on a machine. Of course for those that just ride the dyno, it matters.

Last comment...

I've read many of the forums involved, it's gone from damning the magazine to saying "we won" the un-winnable, un-shootout.... neither of which is right. Ego's are playing a huge roll here but in reality, it was just supposed to be about the mag not believing those "Internet People" could actually produce bikes. Don't believe DR Mag was out to promote how squared away the boards are. They would win either way... we make bikes they get to do "nice" reviews...we don't provide a bike... they are justified in believing we just complain about their articles and can't pull together. IMHO, they just found out differently. Suddenly, they are getting "feedback" on a large scale and it's not always what they want to hear... easy reaction? Discount it as "those people". Communication in the moto world has always been one-way. They print it, we believe and buy it. Now, they find out the hard way that, a lot of time, we think it's crap. They just aren't used to feedback.

Congrats to ALL the boards for stepping up. As it is, I've got to go put some virtual conditioner in my virtual pool at my virtual house that holds my virtual CRF so my virtual wife will swim virually while I go ride virtually this weekend. Or is that virtually ride?
Feb 15, 2006
i think they did a good job with the article.they should of had a parts list for all the bikes.i know they will have one on there site but they should put it in the mag.they have also done this with some of there other project bikes over the past few months and i don`t like it.other thanb that i am proud to be subscriber to this fine and classy web of people.
Aug 13, 2000
OK, I am not damming the mag. I liked the writeup. Just wanted more, that is all.

Also, everyone involved is to be congratulated!

I know that bike is fantastic, and would love to own such a bike. Maybe my disappointment was that I wanted the bike's writeup to be say it was better than anything they have ever ridden!

Okie, Dyno charts meaningless? Hogwash. They do, in fact, depict aspects of engine performance quite well. Anyone who compares a CR250 to a CRF450 on the dyno can see why the 450 often outperforms the 250. Dyno;s are what engine tuners such as myself use to tune an engine! However I have not run a dirt bike on a dyno in years. So maybe I am missing something?

Okie, I do no circuit riding at all. Small bikes do not interest me. I am sure a small, light weight bike will kick my butt on a track. Let's see that bike hit over 100MPH where I ride! Now you understand my lifelong ownership of big bore 2 strokes. Light and fast. And, yes, I have plenty of seat time on the arm ripping CR5. And, I think stock ones are down on power.



DRN is my fault.
Dec 31, 1969
Dallas, Texas
Anyone who compares a CR250 to a CRF450 on the dyno can see why the 450 often outperforms the 250.
Out performs it on the dyno. Yay! I don't ride a dyno. If you ride all desert or anywhere where all that matters is top end, yeah, raw HP wins. That wasn't my point. For that, I'll take a KTM 950 thanks. Besides, just lose 15 lbs; you can't buy enough performace to equal it :p

To me and mr average, it makes little or no difference. We'll never use more than a stock bike no matter how much we think we need that dyno tuned extra hp. Give me a stock MX'er, jetted correctly and I'm good to go. Port it with more on the bottom for the average rider ... all that matters is if I can feel it on the track. I have no idea what my CRF makes peak and couldn't care less.
Aug 13, 2000
Point taken.

However, for those who missed my point, the "wide torque curve" of the CRF450 is the magic. The 250 2t and the 450 4t often produce similar peak numbers. The dyno chart will show these facts quite clearly. It is not a dyno race I am interested in, It is the torque curve.

Hey OKIE, I lost 50 pounds! Not sure there is much more to loose! That aspect of performance has been addressed.

So, with that in mind, is there a dyno chart of the project bike? I am sure it is awesome!

Now to make it street legal!



Feb 22, 2005
I enjoyed the article. I was a little disappointed to see that our Bike was the second loudest bike (loudest after the DRZ exhaust got the longer tip). I think that we have to remember that with any specialized bike like this there are going to be people that do not like it because it does not fit their ideas of "the perfect Bike" I think the fact that DRN pulled together and AJ, Eric Gorr, and everybody else that had a hand in putting this together in such a short amount of time should take pride in the article and bike.
As a member of DRN. I take pride in the comments about our form being technically savy, mature, and we stayed out of the forum bashing. that is the kind of reputation that I want to be known for. I think That Jessie Zieglar (I think that is who wrote the article) paid us good tribute in the write up. and I even like the opinions.

good work DRN!

AJ Waggoner

Crash Test Dummy
Nov 5, 1999
I've never dyno'ed the project bike, but with that port job , and the new stator/rotor /CDI assembly the AFX uses, certainly torque/hp is increased over stock. not by heaps and goobs, but a decent increase in the *right* places for trail use low to mid .(its an AFX and intended for that)

It diffinantly runs noticibly crisper and cleaner in the low end (digital CDI vs older analog OEM CDI )and if you read the article ,and sidebars,JL states how it seems like a diesel tractor,,and Jesse talks about it being "4 stroke like"

The whole design of that system and Erics porting was for a torque usable spread of power..
this wasnt to "detune" the 500, it was to spread out the power, and increase traction.
On a dyno it will have both an increase in hp, and an increase in the torque curve..but the IMPORTANT part would be where those increases where in the rpm curve!
Shear numbers mean very little as you noted in the CR250 vs CRF450 charts.
Its why you dont see mag tests do them all that often.It is just as "subjective" as saying anything else?
If they say "pulls like a diesel tractor" ,or "more like a 4 stroke" most people can relate better than trying to decipher a torque curve vs RPM placement on a dyno chart?

i'll give you my ride impression,and i have a decade or two on CR500's :)
This setup is very low end andmid range oriented, it pulls harder than stock, but over a broader range so seems much smoother..the reality is it is pulling just as hard (on the dyno) but that stock mid range arm ripping "hook" is broadened so it doesnt give the rider that sensation. It just starts pulling much earlier and pulls on thru a bit further.

It isnt meant to be a hp king, or scare you with its big hit.
So its not the setup i would build for every CR500 customer.

It was built to keep all that power hooked up to the ground and have very torquey controllable output.Like the old Maico 500 engines ;)

One thing i think effected the DR testers impressions were the WR gears.
They are the same as OEM at first and second, but are wider ratios third fouth and fifth.
As delivered the bike was geared(sprockets) to tall(stock) for the WR gearing(internal).
This would also make the bike appear more *mellow* third gear and up.(where you likely want it to then "open up" and HIT a bit!! )

I did not really care for it..and had zero experience in setting up a bike with those gears.. after some testing and speaking with other CR500 riders that have ridden with the WR gear setups ..I now know, what overall gearing(sprockets) would be best.

It wasnt that bad, but could have been set up better for that internal gear set.

Did i mention 30 days stinks to build and test a bike in?
Especially when I/we get those WR gears about 35 hours before the bike needs to ship? lol
That bike was built from the frame up ,in that time frame.
Not a diclaimer and not whining! LOL!
..just showing how little time there was for any shake outs of the details or setup. I
was completely stoked with the bikes final performance,especially in light of how little time we had to build it and dial it in.
( in a more normal situation i would have tested and dialed it in, for at least a couple of weeks before handing it off for a magazine review)
Apr 8, 2005
Okiewan said:
To me and mr average, it makes little or no difference. We'll never use more than a stock bike no matter how much we think we need that dyno tuned extra hp. Give me a stock MX'er, jetted correctly and I'm good to go.
I couldn't disagree more. While the useability of the power spread is very important (i.e. why everyone likes the 4 strokes - and I understand why they do), I was faster in the first 10 minutes on the 144 than I was on the stock bike. That statement is based on my ability to clear certain sections on the 144 that I couldn't on the 125 - after taking the whole winter off from riding, so it wasn't because I was particularly sharp on my riding skills. For example, a double double section shortly after a corner.

The increase in (useable) power of the 144 definintely helps on the speed of corner exits.

Ironically, my results are worse because the classes I race in has grown from 4-8 riders to 12-15 riders.

And yes, there are sections of the track where I use the max HP output of the bike, so an extra 6-8 HP makes more than a little difference there.

Would I be even quicker on a 4 stroke 250? Perhaps. I'm sure I would be quicker on the 250f the longer the race went - i.e. 5 laps vs. 15 laps. But the HP increase on the 144 did make me faster early season this year than I was on the 125 late last year.
Aug 13, 2000
Thanks AJ, Okie,

That bike sounds like near perfection to me! Geared too tall, MAN that is just right :) Do I see a 120MPH dirt bike in my future?


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