Honda XR 500

Honda XR 500

Year of production 1979 - ...


Category: Motorbikes - Enduro & Funbike

Introduced in 1979, the twin-shock Honda XR 500 was the first "XR" model. The engine was a 4-stroke, 4-valve OHC, 497 cc (30.3 cu in) Pentroof engine. The bike had a conventional 18" rear wheel but an unusual 23" front wheel which was supposed to be better for riding over potholes and ruts. The 23" size proved unpopular and did not catch on as the wheel/tyre assembly was heavy, and there was little choice of replacement 23" tyres.

In 1981 Honda introduced 'Pro-Link’ models, with rising-rate single-shock rear suspension, a 17" rear wheel and a 21" front wheel. Unusual for a 4-stroke with it's typical intake and exhaust valves,the 1981 and 1982 XR-500 utilized a 6-pedal reed valve set-up. The 1982 XR 500RC was very similar to the 1981 RB apart from decal and trim changes.

For 1983, Honda introduced a new oil-in-frame dry sump engine with an "RFVC" (Radial Four Valve Combustion) cylinder-head which had two 28 mm slide-valve carburetors. The front brake was a twin-piston hydraulic disc brake. The suspension (front and rear) had an extra inch of travel, giving a total of 11". The headlight was amended with the headlight was on the bottom and the number plate on top, and the seat was redesigned for comfort and safety.

The 1984 Honda XR 500RE sported plastic ‘bark-buster’ hand protectors. The 1984 RE model was to be the last of the Honda XR 500 series as 1985 saw the move to the bigger, more powerful Honda XR 600RF.

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2013-10-21  Nel

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