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Old 10-01-2008, 09:24 AM   #1
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Uh Oh! Midlife Crisis made me get a dirt bike!

I've been wanting one of these for eighteen years, ever since my old Yamaha IT was stolen off Patrick AFB in Florida. The pressure's been on, ever since I helped a friend of mine restore his late father's Suzuki TS185. Dirtbiking is like smoking- You never get away from the craving. Heck, I *still* dream about desert racing in the outback of Australia, and it's been nearly twenty years since I last did that.

So, I finally did something about it: I went and bought me a 1992 Yamaha WR500 to restore and ride. It's pretty close to the ultimate IT, with a modern suspension, but with a bulletproof, rebuildable air cooled two-stroke engine that puts out somewhere between 45 and 57 horsepower to the wheels. Yeah now: that's gnarly, grab you by the throat kind of power in a 250 lb. bike.


Click the image to open in full size.

It needs some restoration before I take it out and beat on it (or is it the other way around??? ) but I'm taking it apart this winter and going through the whole thing. The engine, although fresh, has its issues. The suspension squeaks. The frame needs to be repainted and some of the plastic needs to be replaced or cleaned up, at the very least. I'm going to replace the retro graphics, install lighting, and put a license plate on it.

Click the image to open in full size.
(My youngest son Jason, posing for his second-grade picture)

I discovered yesterday that the timing on the engine was severely retarded, and now I've just advanced it to spec. However, even with the timing problem, the bike still would wheelie with simple roll-ons of the throttle in first, second, and third gear. Now that the timing is correct, it'll be really interesting to see what it does!

I figure that if any dirtbike can scratch my desert bike itch, this one can.
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Old 10-01-2008, 09:38 AM   #2
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Cool, enjoy it! I wasn't allowed to get one as a kid so I will pick up one one day.
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Old 10-01-2008, 09:39 AM   #3
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Sweet! Just 30 less HP than my Fiero.
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Old 10-01-2008, 10:13 AM   #4
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Oh jeez...

Have fun. I'm sworn off dirt bikes for good...
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Old 10-01-2008, 10:24 AM   #5
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Dirt bike wreck #2 (pics)



Congrats man!

I was in a similar boat. I road dirt bikes at a cousin's dear lease when I was 7 years old. After having a blast, I came home and asked my parents for a bike. They said hey-all no. So, 20 years later I picked up a '98 yz125. I love it. I'm currently on injured reserve, but it is so much fun. Be careful out there.

A 500cc 2 stroke? Be really, really careful!

I didn't know you could advance the timing on a two stroke. Does it invlove rotating/setting the stator plate in a certain position?

Ryan
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Old 10-01-2008, 10:29 AM   #6
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That thing has to be a handful when it comes up on the pipe... spinning the crap out of that lone back tire
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Old 10-01-2008, 10:39 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by kick Z tail out View Post
That thing has to be a handful when it comes up on the pipe... spinning the crap out of that lone back tire
I'd be willing to bet that that thing doesn't get on the pipe. It just wheelies off idle .

I've ridden 3 different 250 2 strokes and none of them rode like a 125 where the powerband goes bog, bog, bog, boom. The 250s seems to be much smoother in a sense that they make power off idle--though nothing smooth like a 4t.

I always wanted to ride a KX500 or a CR500 .
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Old 10-01-2008, 10:44 AM   #8
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I'd be willing to bet that that thing doesn't get on the pipe. It just wheelies off idle .

I've ridden 3 different 250 2 strokes and none of them rode like a 125 where the powerband goes bog, bog, bog, boom. The 250s seems to be much smoother in a sense that they make power off idle--though nothing smooth like a 4t.

I always wanted to ride a KX500 or a CR500 .
Well I'm sure they make sufficient power off idle but even the 250 2 stroke (250R -- quad) I rode definitely came into it's own as you got into the powerband. It was like BrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAP R RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAP


if you get the idea by reading that Sounds right when I read it to myself.
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Old 10-01-2008, 11:08 AM   #9
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Damon Bradshaw rode his WR500 to a third-place championship in 1993, and he could regularly get the holeshot on the supercross track agains the other open classers. I'm sending my top-end off for porting by Eric Gorr, the same guy that did those porting jobs for the open-classers back then. Only I'm going to have it modified to handle 93 octane fuel and give it a more linear powerband. Think torque.... I am not after explosive, I want smooth & linear progression, like the feeling you get on the runway with a jet aircraft.
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Old 10-01-2008, 11:32 AM   #10
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I'm sending my top-end off for porting by Eric Gorr
Can't go wrong with Gorr, he ported my KX-125, couldn't be happier!
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Old 10-01-2008, 11:34 AM   #11
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You look awfully young to be having a mid-life crisis.
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Old 10-01-2008, 11:41 AM   #12
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Damon Bradshaw rode his WR500 to a third-place championship in 1993, and he could regularly get the holeshot on the supercross track agains the other open classers. I'm sending my top-end off for porting by Eric Gorr, the same guy that did those porting jobs for the open-classers back then. Only I'm going to have it modified to handle 93 octane fuel and give it a more linear powerband. Think torque.... I am not after explosive, I want smooth & linear progression, like the feeling you get on the runway with a jet aircraft.
Small world . Eric Gorr did my 144 big bore set up for my yz. Its been dead nuts reliable. You will be very happy.

Eric Gorr 500cc 2t motor, tech 7 boots. Make sure you have a helmet nad you are ready to fly, my friend .
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Old 10-01-2008, 07:49 PM   #13
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I'd start working on your grip, I recommend chinups with a towel. That thing has to be a monster.
I tried that already Rob, but the towel fell off just as my wife was walking into the bathroom, and she was like, "Yikes!!! Geez...! ... Exactly what are you doing hanging from the shower curtain!???"

Nice idea, just poor execution...
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Old 10-01-2008, 08:23 PM   #14
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2-strokes kick ***! Have fun with the new toy
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Old 10-01-2008, 08:33 PM   #15
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i rode a 1993 KX500 for years. loved that damn bike! i actually enjoyed riding my kx250 a bit more through the woods up around baldwin, michigan but when it came to silver lake or some big tracks the KX kicked ***! test hill in 6th gear was a no brainer and outside of the dunes i could easily pull the front in 6th
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Old 10-01-2008, 08:33 PM
 
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