KX500 owners...

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#1
I have fallen to my knees and bowed my head to the big bore gods.
I just couldn't pass up a 2001 KX500 off the showroom floor for $4599......
The first ride was intense ! It wheelied, ripped my arms out, and gave me the ultimate adrenaline rush. And that was only the first 15 min. break-in ride. I barely even hit the meat of the powerband.
I was wondering if anyone elses experiences could tell me of the bike's "personalities" glitches and downfalls, notorious loosening bolts, fast wearing parts, ect.....
My riding terrain will consist of - Woods riding, hill climbing, and the occasional wide open fire road and sand pit.
 

HiG4s

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#2
I have never ridden a KX500, but from people I have known and the posts here I would say the most notorious loose nut on any 500 2-stroke would be between the seat and handle bars.
 
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#3
I have ridden a KX 500 once, and I think all you guys that ride them are nuts! Man those trees come up fast on one of those things! I try to keep my 250 in the powerband when I'm riding, but I was trying to keep that 500 out of the powerband.:eek:
 

teamgrn84

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#4
kx 500 for the real man!!

only real men ride the 500's, look for the top pipe bracket on the frame they crack and haft to be re welded, watch out for the stock chain it will stretch buy a good o ring chain, the stock chain will rub right through the subframe other than that put a good set of carbon fiber reeds take out the brass rev plates and hang on they are soooo much fun!!!!! i am in the process of buying a new kx 500 tried kx 250's they are great bikes but i ride the dunes woods motorcross i need the power i love it good choice to stay team green, the only choice for a real big bore 65 horse is the only way to go, i had a 94 that was putting out 72 horse at the rear wheel, i loved it !!!!!!!!
 
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#5
I had to reweld and gussett the area around where the subframe conects to the frame. It's a pretty weak area since the attatch points stick out so far from the frame. I've heard the tranny drain plug can be easily stripped. If the vibrations are too much, try the GPR anti-vibration bar ends. I just got some this weekend and they work great! They don't dampen all the vibration, just the area around the grips where it counts most. Also make sure your rubber mounted bar clamps are torqued to the right spec. You don't want it too loose and not too tight. I think its about 14ft lbs. If you find your loosing too many bolts, try using some nylon insert lock nuts where you can. Good luck and stick with it!
 
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#6
I’ve owned a few KX500’s, mostly early ‘90’s, but they really haven’t changed much in years so this should be relevant. As a matter of fact, I just came in from wrenching on a friend’s 90 model (with a ’89 front end) in the garage.
Unless you ride desert-type, wide-open conditions, I don’t think I’d go for the carbon reeds and rev-plate combo. I’ve had good luck and service with the original Boyesen reeds once the stockers go.
The jetting on all of them I have owned was rich off the bottom making the engine blubbery and raspy at low-throttle settings. If yours is like this, try dropping one size on the pilot and then evaluate the performance. Fine tune with the needle clip. Once you get the jetting crisper on them you’ll be surprised how much better they run.
Buy removable strength Loctite… by the gallon. They have some heavy vibes and will scatter themselves over the countryside if given the chance.
I’ve seen the inserts in the aluminum subframe strip, the ones where the seat, sidepanels, etc., bolt on.
The engines are anvils, but like anything, proper maintenance is a must. Clean and oil the air filter religiously. I personally like Maxima FFT.
Like any Open bike, good sprockets and an O-ring chain are wise investments.
Due to the vibes, any crud that gets into any moving part (kickstarter knuckle, brake pivot, etc.), will help wear it out fast if not cleaned.
Keep an eye on the spokes during break-in.
Footpeg mounts and the aluminum rear muffler bracket are also prone to failure.

They’re really great bikes, just pay attention to it and keep a log of what seems to be regular attention areas and you’ll enjoy it for years.

Hope it helps!
:)
 
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#7
Now those are some quality answers, gotta love this website. I've been checkin bolts between every ride, still tight everywhere, but it's still new so I'll be religious about that. No need for anymore power out here in New England so I'll run it stock with a size drop in the pilot jet, it is a little rich down low where I"m mostly at in the woods. the needle seems a tad rich also but I'm expecting it to clear up when the temps drop, Fall season is just around the corner. This bike just flat out hauls butt !!! Nothing like smokin' a guy on a hyped up, bored out, race gassed CR250 with an ego to match !!!! And I can't believe the low end grunt this thing has when you get into trouble.
Yes it is a manly bike and I'm glad I made the switch.
The only concearn I have so far is an internal clicking noise when comming off the throttle, I'm guessing it's a noisy power valve ??? Performance seems fine and the dealership is useless for answers on that. Anyone familiar with that ?
 
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#8
I know what you mean about the dealers for information. The big four dealers know absolutely nothing about the bikes they sell. Thats whats always been good about European bike dealers. They know what they sell.

The KX500 does have a noisy powervalve. My 500 makes the same sound. Good luck.
 
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#9
just out of curiosity, what are you guy's paying for a CR or KX500 out there in the west. Low demand out here in New England forces a nice price for one out here.
 
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#10
I was at Chaparrel last Friday and they had the 2001 KX500s for $3999. I can't exactly remember what the CR500s were going for, but they were between $5000 and $5500 I think.
 
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#11
My friend and I went to Chapparral last month where he picked up one of the 2001 KX500's for $3999. Turned out to be $5000 o.t.d. At that time the CR's were going for around $4600 before taxes. I made the mistake of riding it a few times and now I have to have one too. What an awesome bike. Maybe I could sell a kidney on EBAY? Hmmm................any takers?
 

nephron

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#12
I really enjoy mine. It's a perfect fit for me. Power everywhere. You can putt around, or blast off to the moon. VERY smooth power. Nothing's better than swinging through a steep burm and blasting out of it like a slingshot. Many will say they're difficult to lay down into a turn, but I haven't had that problem. As with everything on this bike, it just requires a little more muscle.

My only problem is getting out there alone. My 4 year old son will NOT let me ride alone. He HAS to come along. I sit him at the base of the tank and we ride trails and do small jumps (he ended up kissing the front fender yesterday, but don't tell the Mrs.!:scream: ) ie, the power is smooth enough that you can even tote around a passenger with no problem.

Enjoy. This is one of my favorite bikes. Very versatile. Very reliable. Good luck. :)
 
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#13
I spent 3 or so years on a '94 KX500, here's what I found:
- Raise the forks in the clamps as high as you can get away with, to help it turn.
- Replace pipe springs, gasket and o-rings every few rides as they get sloppy.
- Get a set of Pro Tapers or some such oversized crossbar-less handlebar setup, and fill the bars with silicon to help reduce vibration buzz.
- If/when the stock kickstarter breaks, get one made custom out of steel. I wasted the time/money of braking 3 replacement OEM kickstarters.
- Watch the upper pipe mount under the tank, it will eventually break.
- Get an o-ring chain and steel sprockets, and forget about them.
- Get an OEM optional thicker head gasket, or run race gas.. Otherwise it pings.
- Wish I remembered the jetting, but stock is way off.
- Keep the bearings and pivots well lubed.
- Stock suspension feels like it's made for a 150lb trail rider. Needs springs at least.
- Watch where the chain rubs the inside of the subframe. Put a spacer in the subframe mount and bolt the subframe to the outside of the mount, instead of inside where it currently sits.
- Bleed the front brake every ride. It needs it.. Or, get an oversized rotor, a CR-style brake hose, a CR master cylinder, and DP Pro-MX pads. A bike this fast needs to be able to stop. The stock brakes suck, may as well drag your feet.
- Cut stock silencer down 3", to make it less crash-damage prone.

More later if I can remember...
 
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#14
I rode a '91 KX500 for about 5 years. Everything that has been said is very relevant so I won't repeat it. However, one thing that I did and know that several other owners did was trim down the plastic radiator louvers (sp?) where they touch the aluminum radiator. Due to all the vibration those sharp edges of the plastic will eventually wear right through the aluminum and puncture a whole in it. I know because mine did it and I had to have it repaired.

To describe more specifically what I'm talking about, right at the top and bottom of the radiator on both sides, the vertical slats in the louvers rub against the edge of the radiator. I just carbed out a slight niche in the plastic with a razor blade to prevent it from rubbing.

I have a KTM300 now which I absolutely love. But I have to admit, there was nothing quite like the "point and shoot" nature of the big 500 when riding up big hills or riding in the sand. Enjoy.
 
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#15
To all Kx500 Owners......

Hey guys I have just got done with a complete re-build and up-date on the the old 500;) and I am wondering if anyone has any good graphic kits. All of the top companies that I have looked at so far (n-style 1indust. ceet pro-cicuit) all have great kits for the 250 but all the 500 kits are so-so:silly:. Ant recomendations? Oh yeah I will be putting a photo soon, and I would like to see eveyone elses 5oo's too. :D
p.s. What are some carb setting to use in california (0-5500ft elevation)
 
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