kx500 good trail bike?

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Jun 2, 2000
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#1
Does the big KX make a good trail bike or are they too much except in the dunes? Been riding a YZ250 but want something with more grunt and prices on used ones seem resonable (maybe too much bike for some?). Are they hard to start? Also it would seem it would have good bottom end for messing around but be able to tackle hills easily. How is the power band? Is it fairly linear or hard hitting? Thanks for your replys.
 
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Apr 28, 2003
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#2
I believe the KX500 to be easier to trail ride than the CR500. I currently ride a 2001 CR500 and LOVE it's performance in every scenario. I used to ride a CR250 and also wanted more grunt. The bike has doubled my confidence overnight. I'm 26yo, 6'1" tall, 165lbs and this bike *****cat to ride. Far easier on trails than a CR250. Top speed is pretty intimidating but acceleration isn't as fast as you would think. The CR500 doesn't have the wild overrev you'll feel on a 250cc MXer. The Kaw 500 does have more than the Honda due to the powervalve. I wanted simplicity and a more MX feel so I chose the Honda.

My CR500 has been ported & balanced, has a FMF Gnarly, Q silencer, Wiesco piston & hotrod, etc. It's no dog.

CR/KX500s are feared and misunderstood bikes. I've only had mine for 1 month and I'm going on 40 mile rides solo. Never would I trust my CR250 on a ride like that w/o a brand new top end. My manual says my CR500 weighs 222lbs dry (compared to a CRF450 @ 231lbs dry). The CR500 definately puts out more power than a CRF450, and I guarantee it's more reliable than a CRF450. Plus parts are cheap and plentiful.

Guys who ride 500's HARD routinely get 5 years out of a top end. Honda has only been making the CRF for 3 years now.

Ditch the half-pint and move up to a full pint. You'll love the KX500.
 

gwcrim

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Oct 3, 2002
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#3
90% of my riding is slow woods with my soon to be 7 yr old son. Once jetted correctly, my KX5 starts easily (but you gotta know the drill) and idles nicely.

But on that 10% of the time that I'm out with the guys the KX5 ROCKS! Ya ride it in a gear higher than normal and let all that torque work for you. The optimum rev (for me anyway) is just before the powerband comes on. I suppose that's in the middle of the torque band. That way, when you need a shot of nitrous, just twist your wrist and light the afterburner.

The only BIG caveat is that you MUST know how to control your throttle well.

The big bore 2 strokes are going the way of the dinosaur. Get one know so you can tell your grandkids about it! :thumb:
 
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Mar 30, 2002
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#4
Awesome trail bike from what I've heard and I wouldn't miss out on something that won't be here long. Just have to control the power. If you feel its still to big(even w/ flywheel weighting and porting/pipe) theres the KTM 380EXC. Bigger than your 250 and w/ more bottom power. The KX5 is a great bike stock(and cheap for all the cc's).
 

woodsy

Mi. Trail Riders
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Jan 16, 2002
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#5
Hi RC:
The "Kips" valve on the big 5 helps make this WAY overlooked bike ROCK in the tight stuff. Put a 14 oz flywheel weight on it and get the float valve and jetting setup properly and the machine becomes AWESOME and UNSTOPPABLE even at walking speeds in 3rd gear! Electric like torque is the name of the game - GRUNT takes on a whole new meaning! Starting issues are the very reason why I stopped riding CR500's so I completely understand your questioning this! I have a buddie that I have been riding with for 6 years and his 94 K5 has been FLAWLESS in its attitude - that is the main reason that I switch to the Kaw. My 2000 has a TON of miles on it now and it still starts like it did when new (way easier then ANY of my CR500's)! The power band starts 1 rpm above idle and stops at top r's (wherever that is)! My bike will pull the front wheel ANYTIME ANYWHERE - I can idle down to just above idle in 5th and throttle up the front wheel and ride out to 85 mph (the front tire will actually squeal a little when it hits the pavement :) :) You mentioned hills - sand, mud, roots, blackdirt, trials crawling, stumps, pavement, gravel, stairways - it doesnt matter the 5 LOVES hills as long it has the correct GOOD back tire (I say that cause keeping a sharp tire is a problem)... YOU WILL NEVER FIND A MORE LINEAR POWER SUPPLY THEN A WEIGHTED K5 MOTOR!!
Now for a couple down side notes: I have found that the moving mass of the big bore engine (ANY of them) creates a force when tight corning at high speed. For a LONG time I could not fiqure out what I was feeling (it is almost undescribable) but have cornered it!! IMHO, it has a lot to do with the same feeling you get while playing with a gyro scope.. Takes a little getting used to.. The K5 has to be run ABOVE the opening of the KIPS while street riding or it will "katata katatat" you to death - at 50 in 5th mine is NO fun at 65/70 RIDE ALL DAY!
THE BIKE IS AN AWESOME WOODS SLAYER, Hope all this helps...
Woodsy
 
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#8
Sometimes 1 kick sometimes 3 kicks. It's more work than my 1994 CR250, but the 2001 CR500 is easier than some 4 strokers I've seen (YZ400).

Yeah it's hard, but I seem to get the job done.

Old 1990 and earlier CR500s were harder. The "newer" ones have a design change that lowers the compression on startup.

When I was 14 I was riding a 1984 IT490. Now that was hard to start.
 

woodsy

Mi. Trail Riders
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Jan 16, 2002
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#10
Yea, DITTO on the IT!! Now that was an odd bike... Noisy, strange power delivery, HARD starting and not the best chassy "feel" but WHAT A BLAST to ride!!! If you have never owned a BIG BORE 2 stroke and even remotely think you would enjoy it there is no better time then the present - once these Greenies have their way they will go the way of the Avengers, X6 Hustlers, RD's, Titans and the mighty H1/H2's!!
Woodsy