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7,567 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
This bike began life as most do, intended for a purpose. Over the years who knows who, or what, happened to this thing. It was fairly abused in a previous life and somebody took it in and loved it for some time, thus the decent condition I got it in. At present day I managed to acquire it by means of parting with the ownership of a rare F model Honda, long after it was repaired and nearly completed as a road legal trail bike. Yep, road legal dirtbike. 100% hooligan. :D

As it began, 2 hours after said trade.

The itch to change things erupted into a fit of bolts being unscrewed and panels being removed to "see what I really got". As fitting as it is, not everything was as described and some things were downright idiotic to say the least. Not alot of the hardware can be removed with the same wrench. One side of the fender is a 13mm, the other a 3/8". Who cares really, that's all fixed now. :D

I pondered on a few ideas, tossed around the idea of building a SM, but quickly threw that idea out the window along with the idea of this bike being a touring mount. I would expect a daily commuter out of it, but that at least won't sacrifice the ability to ride up tall flights of stairs, drop off loading docks, or jump a curb and destroy a golf course either.

Focus began to emerge from the chaos that is my thought process when I first get a new bike. I thought to myself, "Ya know what would be fucking awesome?! A CR450F MX'er on the street with 50/50 dual sport tires and trail bike lights!!". And so a plan was hatched to update the 500 with every part I possibly could get my hands on.

And so it begins...


Mad Sconnie
2,602 Posts
Can't wait to see what you do with it, I'm sure you'll make a badass SM out of it. :D I was really suprised how great of condition it is in when I first saw it. Usually dirtbikes of that age are beat to shit.

7,567 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
A little update on the XR500.

The forks have been returned to factory ride height, big difference, the bike feels like a dual sport again. The tank mounting is pretty much done, just gotta secure everything and it shouldn't move anywhere at all. Everything else is pretty much on hold at the moment pending the carb slide sticking issue getting sorted.

*Carb fixed, had a high spot in the casting dragging on the slide... wtf.*

7,567 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
What's going on with this beast???

:D I never did give an explanation did I...

Ok it started off waaaaay back when I started dirt riding, a friend of mine asks me how much I know about motorcycles. (Ha! I grew up in a household that, like clockwork, every winter season had a Triumph Bonneville or Tiger stripped to bare cases in the kitchen.) So I asked what he needed help with and he said he had a Yamaha DT250 Enduro. I had lusted after a '73 pretty much most of my childhood, so I undertook the task of getting the bike road worthy again for him. We had been friends for almost all our life's, so he dropped the bike off one rainy afternoon.

I got the bike running and tooled around the yard a little bit, not quiet old enough to have a drivers license or a class M endorsement I tried to stay off the road, but as soon as that bike sang to life and I had ripped a HUGE trench across the front yard, the driveway, and continued into the neighbors yard making said trench, I was convinced this thing needed to be opened up BIG TIME. Gotta clear her out so to speak! :D

I grabbed my old MX lid from my BMX days, tossed on a second pair of blue jeans as well as some leather riding gauntlets, topped off the tank and oil reserve and stole the plate off my old mans BMW R100RT. :D

After that day spent tearing through the gearbox, bean oil clouds rolling over open fields and dissipating against the bluffs I found myself at a cross roads, not only on the road but in my very soul. I was finally happy. I had finally found my passion. Riding motorcycles on the street, avoiding all the crazy things that are just around the corner to kill you. Flat out runs are the dreams of fools on the street, nobody is that good. I checked the fuel and decided to head back, I had spent the better part of 4 hours on my first street ride on a real motorcycle by myself. I was so stoked you could hear the giggling in my helmet if you were 3 miles away!

After I got home I began the hunt for a bike. One such machine was '76 CB360T (the first one) for a few hundred bucks. It sure wasn't what I wanted, but I knew it would do the job. What I really wanted was a BIG BAD dual sport with all the torque a rider could ask for. I wanted a tractor of a bike! I wanted to ride anywhere and break anything on the bike and still get home by dinner time. ;)

When my Bandit 1200 purchase occurred I was offered a rare opportunity at the time, a 2 year old (a 2004 model) Yamaha WR426F. I had a rock solid $4k to spend and the wild thoughts of a SuperMoto clouded my judgment and then the price dragged me in a little further, but, it needed a thermostat, nobody was aware it was only that, and I passed on the deal thinking it was a head gasket.

The owner, happened to be my buddy with the Enduro 250's older brother! Said he would sell it to me title in hand (yes, a street title!) for $1100. To this day I am sure I would have hurt myself on such a machine. Compared to my XR500, there is no comparison, they are two completely different bikes. But it planted another seed that would grow into this desire.

The whole point: (if you don't feel like reading the history)


18" aluminum hoop on a stocker front hub, swappable with the current 21". for the SuperBikers setup, much like a flat tracker, a little more asphalt abuse friendly.

Tires will be 110/18 or 90/21 front, rear will be a 4.50x18 regardless.

At the moment I'm working on a bolt on single shock aluminum swinger with long travel road forks and 16's for kart track antics and stupid city riding. The whole dynamic of the bike will change when running this setup but limited finances are forcing the R&D as I can't afford 2 dual sports and a street bike, so, one has to do two things.

Tire size will be 140 rear 110 front. ;)

I wanted a bike with no top end punch, but, GOBS of bottom end grunt. I am so hell bent on a big torque bike I traded off my CB1100F rarity for a bargain bin dual sport. Now I'm proceeding to turn the XR500 into a tracker/SM/dual sport of sorts for all kinds of riding styles. That fateful day in 2002 on that street smoker brought out a part of me I hadn't seen in years. This is really me.

I've been working on the XR alot lately and should have a nice healthy update coming up shortly. ;)


7,567 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Onto the lighting... or lack there of... :doh:

So I was told by the PO all that was needed was plugging a few things in and it was ready to rock. I was skeptical and at this point I am starting to feel like dude got the hot end of the deal. He is up $1200 and I have to wire up the brake light to a non existent harness to be able to ride this beast. I'm starting to feel like building this fucker into a stunt bike is more spot on than ever. 12 bar and all. Yes, I can use one too, just haven't had much practice lately, hopefully I can turn that around and get back to the unicycle antics soon!

I pulled the gas tank and seat for the hundredth time and found 2 wires, not 3, going to the rear fender... pulled the headlight, what do we have there? Brake light switch wires just hanging there. Ok, I see how this is going to go, it's going to be a pain in my ass to the very end. :(

I'm getting more and more inclined to buy a really nice bike and just keep the projects as just that, projects. Trying every year to scrounge up enough workable parts to build a bike for the season is getting idiotic to say the least. There comes a time in every ratbike enthusiasts life that they wish they could just thumb the starter and head out for a ride. I'm at that point right now.

It looks like once I get the tail light working, swap to a 6.5" round headlight, and sort the carb gasket that seems to not exist on any dealer shelf, I will FINALLY be able to see if this beast needs anything else to be a daily rider. The simplest tasks, never seem to be so simple when you get into them and start working them out. :(

Well, back to the garage,


7,567 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
can't wait to see this. love the back story. if you want to part with that headlight let me know. Looking for something like that for the ts i got

Once I get the headlight swapped for the 6.5" round I'll PM ya about the factory light. ;)

7,567 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
In the process of sorting wiring, got a diagram for the mess and it seems like it was just a ton of electrical tape on everything making it look worse than it is.

New issue, anyone have any idea where to find the steering stem bearing measurements for any of these Honda ATV/Motorcycles?

ATC200X 83-87,
ATC250ES 85-87,
ATC250R 81-82,
ATC250SX 85-87,
ATC350X 85-86,
CB200T 76,
CR250 74-76,
MR250 76,
MT250 74-76,
TL250 75-76,
TLR200 Reflex 86-87,
TR200 Fatcat 86-87,
XL175 73-78,
XL250 75-76,
XL250S 78-81,
XL500S 79-81,
XR250 79-80,
XR500 79-80

It seems the whole world is devoid of this one bearing measurement. If anyone has found it, they sure didn't feel like adding it to any of the hundreds of swap charts posted up on motorcycle forums. I'm unsure why they are not listed at all, even denniskirk has the sizing listed out for almost every bearing size conceivable but nothing for the XR500 from 79-81, its like the bike didn't exist until 1982!! What gives?

BTW, the issue here is that I have 2 different COMPLETE disk brake 21" front ends sitting here, one from a '97 RT180, the other from a '89 XR250R. I'm sure things could be swapped around but if neither is going to be a bolt on affair I am more than ready to wait until I have the funds to be working that sort of thing out. Still need to put a few miles on the beast before I go trying to re-engineer the glory that is a well built dual sport anyway. ;)


Custom bikeporn addict.
1,241 Posts
Based off of bike bandit's part fiche:

Part #4 Upper race in the neck, is listed same as the following models:

1959 Honda CA95
1959 Honda CB92
1961 Honda CA72
1961 Honda CA77
1961 Honda CB72
1961 Honda CB77
1962 Honda CL72
1965 Honda CB160
1966 Honda CA160
1966 Honda CB450
1966 Honda CL160
1966 Honda CL77
1967 Honda CL450
1968 Honda CA175
1968 Honda CB350
1968 Honda CB450K1
1968 Honda CL125A
1968 Honda CL175
1968 Honda CL350
1968 Honda SS125A
1969 Honda CA175K3
1969 Honda CB175K3
1969 Honda CB450K2
1969 Honda CB750K0
1969 Honda CL175K3
1969 Honda CL450K2
1970 Honda CB175K4
1970 Honda CB350K2
1970 Honda CB450K3
1970 Honda CL175K4
1970 Honda CL350K2
1970 Honda CL450K3
1970 Honda SL175
1970 Honda SL350
1971 Honda CB175K5
1971 Honda CB350K3
1971 Honda CB450K4
1971 Honda CB500
1971 Honda CB750K1
1971 Honda CL175K5
1971 Honda CL350K3
1971 Honda CL450K4
1971 Honda SL175K1
1971 Honda SL350K1
1972 Honda CB175K6
1972 Honda CB350F
1972 Honda CB350K4
1972 Honda CB450K5
1972 Honda CB500K1
1972 Honda CB750K2
1972 Honda CL175K6
1972 Honda CL350K4
1972 Honda CL450K5
1972 Honda SL350K2
1972 Honda XL250
1973 Honda CB175K7
1973 Honda CB350G
1973 Honda CB450K6
1973 Honda CB500K2
1973 Honda CB750K3
1973 Honda CL175K7
1973 Honda CL350K5
1973 Honda CR250M
1973 Honda XL175
1974 Honda CB200
1974 Honda CB350F1
1974 Honda CB360
1974 Honda CB360G
1974 Honda CB450K7
1974 Honda CB550
1974 Honda CB750K4
1974 Honda CL200
1974 Honda CL360
1974 Honda CL450K6
1974 Honda MT250
1974 Honda XL175K1
1974 Honda XL250K1
1974 Honda XL350
1975 Honda CB200T
1975 Honda CB360T
1975 Honda CB400F
1975 Honda CB500T
1975 Honda CB550F
1975 Honda CB550K1
1975 Honda CB750F
1975 Honda CB750K5
1975 Honda CL360K1
1975 Honda CR250M1
1975 Honda GL1000
1975 Honda MT250K1
1975 Honda TL250
1975 Honda XL175K2
1975 Honda XL250K2
1975 Honda XL350K1
1976 Honda CB200T
1976 Honda CB360T
1976 Honda CB400F
1976 Honda CB500T
1976 Honda CB550F
1976 Honda CB550K
1976 Honda CB750A
1976 Honda CB750F
1976 Honda CB750K
1976 Honda CJ360T
1976 Honda CR250M
1976 Honda GL1000
1976 Honda GL1000LTD
1976 Honda MR250
1976 Honda MT250
1976 Honda TL250
1976 Honda XL175
1976 Honda XL250
1976 Honda XL350
1977 Honda CB400F
1977 Honda CB550F
1977 Honda CB550K
1977 Honda CB750A
1977 Honda CB750F
1977 Honda CB750K
1977 Honda CJ360T
1977 Honda XL175
1977 Honda XL350
1978 Honda CB400A
1978 Honda CB400TI
1978 Honda CB400TII
1978 Honda CB550K
1978 Honda CB750A
1978 Honda CB750F
1978 Honda CB750K
1978 Honda CX500
1978 Honda XL175
1978 Honda XL250S
1978 Honda XL350
1979 Honda CB400TI
1979 Honda CB400TII
1979 Honda CB650
1979 Honda CM400A
1979 Honda CM400T
1979 Honda CX500
1979 Honda CX500C
1979 Honda CX500D
1979 Honda XL250S
1979 Honda XL500S
1979 Honda XR250
1979 Honda XR500
1980 Honda CB400T HAWK
1980 Honda CB650
1980 Honda CB650C
1980 Honda CM400A
1980 Honda CM400E
1980 Honda CX500C
1980 Honda CX500D
1980 Honda XL250S
1980 Honda XL500S
1980 Honda XR500
1981 Honda ATC250R
1981 Honda CB400T HAWK
1981 Honda CB650
1981 Honda CB650C
1981 Honda CM400A
1981 Honda CM400C
1981 Honda CM400E
1981 Honda CX500C
1981 Honda CX500D
1981 Honda GL500 SILVER WING 500
1981 Honda XL250S
1981 Honda XL500S
1982 Honda ATC250R
1982 Honda CB450SC
1982 Honda CB450T HAWK
1982 Honda CB650
1982 Honda CB650SC NIGHTHAWK 650
1982 Honda CM450A
1982 Honda CM450C
1982 Honda CM450E
1982 Honda CX500C
1982 Honda FT500
1982 Honda GL500 SILVER WING 500
1983 Honda ATC200X
1983 Honda CB550SC
1983 Honda CB650SC
1983 Honda CM450A
1983 Honda CM450E
1983 Honda CX650C CUSTOM
1983 Honda FT500
1983 Honda GL650
1983 Honda VT500C SHADOW
1983 Honda VT500FT SHADOW
1983 Honda VT750C Shadow
1984 Honda ATC200X
1984 Honda CB650SC NIGHTHAWK 650
1984 Honda VT500C SHADOW
1984 Honda VT500FT SHADOW
1984 Honda VT700C SHADOW
1985 Honda ATC200X
1985 Honda ATC250ES
1985 Honda ATC250SX
1985 Honda ATC350X
1985 Honda CB650SC NIGHTHAWK 650
1985 Honda VT700C SHADOW
1986 Honda ATC200X
1986 Honda ATC250ES
1986 Honda ATC250SX
1986 Honda CN250 HELIX
1986 Honda TLR200

I checked a few other parts and it looks like there is other more recent compatibility.

Hopefully that helps


Premium Member
1,376 Posts
Thats a lot of bikes! You should have no problem finding forks that fit
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7,567 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Dunno why, but I haven't said much about just how much is going on. Tons of projects, most are not mine but the ones that are have some real significance to the further development of skill sets, both riding and building. ;)

The forks that are cross compatible are unfortunatly not what I was looking for. I have 3 sets that match up with the bearings, but, there is a full focus on this bike. Somewhat supermoto, tracker, stunt, hooligan, kind of a hybrid of sorts.

With the newest developments of MotoGP, WSBK, and SM racing came the change from 17 inch wheels to 16.5. Back in the 1980's, when bikes were brutal if they were fully faired, not these pussified plastic rocket ships that allow anybody and their grandmother to ride quickly that are built nowadays, bikes used to come equipped with 16" wheels. The control level required to ride a 16" shod bike was a crap shoot to say the least. Trust me on this, I have owned a good deal of 16" wheel shod bikes, it takes some courage to push one hard.

I have a set of full disk 16's and some long travel, but, very stiff full length forks that match right up to the sag length of the XR500 stuff. That is, the static sag of the XR with a 21 vs the static sag of the 16" front end is identical in geometry due to axle position and fork length. The rear is a different story all together, that will take some modification.

The verdict? Weld in new bearing races. Then, I can swap between the road going fork set and a modern USD offroad fork set with a big disk. The rear will be a matter of chain and swinger swapping. I'm dead sure the 16's will do the job, but the ability to cross swap with a great deal of the more modern Kawasaki offroad bikes is a big plus.

So, enough with the picture less updates. :D

I got this and pretty much everything but the engine and a few other bits and peices that I can fill in over time. Not sure what to do with it as it's waaaay to heavy to make a competent SM from it, it's a little too heavy to build as a MX'er, and there isn't much hope for a street title being it was never legal to begin with. Who knows what will come of it, but at least there is a modern XR250R roller around. :D


292 Posts
All you need to do is find yourself a XL frame and swap all the XR parts onto it......
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