KXKen

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Jan 6, 2001
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I remember there being a 500 class when I was a kid. I quit riding right around 1978 and didn't pick it up again until approx. 3 years ago. When I came back there was no more 500 class (at least in the pros). I never really had anybody tell me what the reason for it's demise was.
 

ktmboy

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Apr 1, 2001
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The manufacturers lost interest, and let the AMA know they were no longer interested in competing in an open class. One manufacturer (Yamaha) quit building a competitive 500, and another (Suzuki) stopped building them all together.
I think the bottom line was $$$$$$$!
 

weimedog

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Damn Yankees
Nov 21, 2000
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Last post is accurate...but I bet the open class will return. This fourstroke revolution will shift things around again. :)
 

tentbound

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Apr 2, 2001
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As soon as the 250 mx bikes got to 35- 40 HP, the big bores became less desirable. You could go just as fast (or faster) on a motocross track with a 250, with a lot less wear and tear on the body.

For off road, I think the big bikes will always have a home.
 

mx547

Ortho doc's wet dream
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i think it's ironic that the manufacturer that was instrumental in ending the 500 class now builds an open bike and races it in the 250 class.
 

RVL

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Mar 3, 2000
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250s are not as fast as 500s on a motocross track. Rick Johnson told me years ago that you could always ride faster on a 500 than a 250. He said once I learned throttle control, I could ride a 500 faster at my level, too. Also in 1985 at the MX des Nations, Bailey was much faster on the RC500 that Johnson was on the RC250.

At the Washougal National, the 500s were 5 seconds a lap faster than the 250s. (The 250s were 5 seconds a lap faster than the 125s a couple of years ago.)

It is too bad that a lot of you never saw a 500 National. They were awesome.
 

nephron

Dr. Feel Good
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Jun 15, 2001
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RVL

Amen brother
It's a damn shame the 500 class is gone :(
I sure wish archived lap times on common tracks were available, then a true comparison could be done (eg, Hangtown, Glen Helen, etc.) I've never owned a 250, but they say the handling is so much better, a 250 would supposedly beat a 500 on a tight track. I think another interesting comparison would be whether all this new technology is really working---what are 250 and 125 times today as compared to old? I'll bet they're not much different, but rather the tech. has allowed people to run the same speed with less of a beating.

And I wouldn't consider a YZ426F an "open" bike. Runs in the 250 class, and the middle of the pack at that. A true open 4 stroke would have to be at least 700cc based on previously discussed volumetric efficiencies, etc. I doubt they'll ever be made.

Jack
 

tentbound

Member
Apr 2, 2001
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I think the article from MXA that VintageDirt highlighted hits the nail on the head. That's one of the few articles from MXA that I completely agree with.
 

KXKen

Member
Jan 6, 2001
535
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Re: Pssst, hey buddy...

Originally posted by VintageDirt
Ya wanna taste? The first one's free.:p

click here
:)

Thanks VintageDirt, this is what I was looking for. The story is more sad than I expected. Some of the posts I've read here have got me interested in riding a 500cc bike (never rode one before). Can't afford one this year but maybe next year.
 

nephron

Dr. Feel Good
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KXKen

Get a 500.

"...the 500 is....perhaps more than human tissue can handle.":silly:

After reading that article, which was a nice historic synopsis of what happened, it's still not clear why it happened.

Perhaps Zook and Yamaha paid off the AMA...:think
Perhaps America (and this MXA author) are just a bunch of big "wussies":confused:
I don't see bbbbom complaining about the power, vibration, human tissue disintigration....and I bet she can't benchpress more than LaRocco...???:)
 

ktmboy

~SPONSOR~
Apr 1, 2001
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Re: the popularity of SX----a lot! All the younger guys I knew that were coming up during this era all wanted to ride 250s' so they could be the next Jeff Ward / Johnny O'Mara etc.
 

KXKen

Member
Jan 6, 2001
535
0
Thanks to all of your replies. I have a better understanding of what happen now. Though it seems some questions still remain (in everybodys mind).
 
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