Dirt bikes are just the best – it’s hard to believe you can have so much fun without breaking the law. Riders are constantly pushing themselves – and their bikes – to get more speed, more handling and more time in the air.
The Honda CR500 has been around for a while and modding them has become the hobby of countless dedicated riders and weekend enthusiasts. Whether you’re looking for mods to help you win races or just feel that stock components don’t make the cut, there’s a lot of options. Here are the top 3 mods for Honda CR500 off-road motorcycles.
1) Ditch That Stock Exhaust
The OEM CR500 exhaust system is fine for casual riders who mess around in the backyard from time to time, but for serious off-roading, your engine needs to be modded. Upgrading the exhaust provides a major boost to horsepower, sound and your bike’s aesthetics.
Dirt bike exhaust mods can be slip-on types or a full exhaust conversion using aftermarket parts for Honda CR500 bikes. To get the most from this upgrade, look for power gains targeted for where the CR500 needs them most, especially increases in torque and power band. If you’re ready to get your braaap on, start with the exhaust.
2) Hybrid Sprockets Are Revolutionizing Performance
The age-old dilemma with motorcycle sprockets is what metal they should be manufactured from. Aluminum is vastly preferred for high performance; since it weighs less, it takes less horsepower for your engine to spin it, and less weight for the suspension means quicker reaction times. But aluminum teeth wear much more quickly than steel. Also consider size: changing the gear ratio will either increase bottom end or top speed.
The perfect answer is a hybrid sprocket with an aluminum inner and a steel or nickel-steel alloy outer. Not only does it look rad, it substantially reduces weight without aluminum’s rapid degradation to the gear teeth.
If you don’t use a hybrid, you’ll have to choose between performance and cost. Preferentially, install an aluminum sprocket if your off-roading is in motocross or on well-groomed trails, since the advantages are so noticeable. If you go into the back country, the steel sprocket is often a better choice.
3) Modding the Suspension Is Critical for Dirt Bikes
Getting good air time is ultimately the greatest joy of real motocross sports. With a stock suspension, it’s easy to case a jump, while souped-up springs and forks are essential for a sweet whip. A rider’s weight is critical to a dirt bike’s handling, so the suspension must match the rider. Compression, sag and rebound must all be tuned to the bike, the course and the individual rider for comfort, safety and performance.
Other mods that enhance these three include dropping the heavy lead-acid battery for new lithium ones, hinged mirrors that can be swung in while off-road (preventing replacing them every time you lay it down), and even installing the CDI ignition from the Honda CR250 on the CR500.
There are cheap motorcycle aftermarket parts and Honda motorcycle parts online for all your modding needs, as well as installation guides and performance-tweaking tips. Once you see the difference with your first mod on a dirt-bike, it’s like a gateway drug: you won’t ever want to stop. But you’ll never have more fun without getting addicted or arrested.