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Old 12-17-2013, 08:44 PM   #1
J Banning OP
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Location: Newark, DE
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CRF450R / CR500 Supermoto Project

Iím building aluminum framed CR500 supermoto based on a 2004 CRF450R chassis.

Even though this isn't my first supermoto, I'm super excited. I've had a couple really fun KTMs, the last being a KTM 525SMR, but that bike was set up for smaller kart tracks, high maintenance and really expensive to fix. After the motor needed to be freshened up and the parts bill was 2/3 of what the bike was worth, it sat. Eventually I came to the realization that it was worth a lot more in parts than whole so I parted it out.


Meanwhile, during the last year or two I've been doing more and more track days on my GSX-R 600 Suzuki. I've been having a lot of fun with that... but I miss the supermoto. This summer I had a chance to ride my buddy's highly modified Husqvarna 510SMR at NY Safety Track and that made me decide that I *HAD* to have another one...



I wanted a new supermoto. This one though had to be fast, but it also had to be easier and less expensive to maintain than my old KTM. I wanted it for track days and possible racing on road courses, not the tight motard/kart tracks I used to ride. I want to ride it on road courses like Summit Point Shenandoah, NY Safety Track and Jennings GP. I want the bike to run 120 mph.

And so the project began...

Finding a chassis
I started with a street legal CRF450R in supermoto trim I found a few hours from my house. Itís a very clean, low hour unmolested bike. The seller was really bummed after the sale that I was gonna tear it apart, but I know the end result will be well worth it. As soon as I got the bike home I had it titled and tagged before I took it apart.



Before I tore into it though I had to take it for one short ride around my neighborhood. I was impressed. It had more power than I was expecting! Verified on GPS the bike would do 103 mph as I bought it. Not bad. (for what itís worth, the Trailtech speedo was within 2mph of the GPS top speed)



Parting it out
After that first ride I pulled it into the garage, put it on the lift, and pulled the engine, carb and exhaust.



I sold them all off, ending up with just a rolling chassis.



Time to find a CR500!
I then began my search for a CR500 engine. At first I was thinking I'd go just for a motor but after some research and seeing what complete motors were selling for I figured I could get a complete running bike for not much more. In addition that would also get me the carb, exhaust, ignition and throttle.

Before too long I found my bike, a 1999 Service Honda CR500AF. I got it from a guy who bought it four years ago and due to a bad knee was never able to ride it. It just sat in his warehouse collecting dust.



A nice bonus was that it came with a supermoto wheelset and a bunch of new Honda hardware.



Since the bike hadnít been run in four years I took it home and changed the oil, cleaned the carb, put a fresh plug in it.



After it all went back together all it took was three good kicks and the engine was runningÖ. and damn, it sure sounded good!



Sell off what I don't need to fund the rest of the project
Now that I knew it would start and I could run it through all the gears I then pulled everything I needed (engine, carb, exhaust, ignition, throttle) and then list the rolling chassis for sale.





Learn new skills
I should also mention that while all this was going on I also managed to find some time to have a good friend start teaching me how to TIG weld (I'm already pretty good with MIG). I'd like to weld the CRF frame up myself, but Iíve still got a LOT to learn so I think Iím just gonna have to let him do it. Iíll do all the cutting and fitting though.



What's next?
I'll be ordering motor mounts and aluminum stock for the frame this week. The swingarm bushings I need should be in by the weekend, so I hope to have the motor at least sitting in the CRF frame by next week.

With that being said, that's where I am now with this project. ;)

Stay tuned for more updates!
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Current rides: '04 CR500 AF supermoto, '10 KTM 300 XC-W, '02 XR100 minimoto, '09 GSX-R 600 track, '07 VFR800
Past rides: '77 Goldwing GL1000, '86 Z50R, '86 LT250R, '86 TRX250X, '90 XR600R, '92 KX250, '98 ZX-7R, '99 TM125, '99 CR500AF, '99 TM 125MX, '01 GS500E, '04 KTM 525 SMR, '05 KTM 625 SMC, '06 KTM 250 XC-W
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Old 12-17-2013, 08:46 PM   #2
J Banning OP
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Good news and bad news...

The good news:
When I bought that CR500AF it came with a second set of supermoto rims. The rear was a 17x5" and I hoped it would fit on the CRF to replace the 17x4.25" rim and 150 tire. This week I took a closer look and found that the axle diameters were the same and when I mounted it up the spacers look like they'll put the sprocket and rotor in the right spots! I have a new 160 rear and tube laying around so this weekend I'll see if I can get it mounted up to know for sure.




The bad news
Taking a closer look at the CR500 motor i found a HUGE crack on the intake side of the piston skirt. I guess I'll be doing a top end a lot sooner than I was planning >:(



But there is some more good news...
  • I got a complete '98 CR250 airbox off eBay for $30 shipped. The boot, metal base, cage and bolt will work on my 450 airbox.
  • I ordered a airbox adapter plate, motor mounts, coil mount and exhaust mounts from http://conversionparts500.com.
  • I ordered the correct swingarm spacers needed to properly space the engine in the chassis from http://rockymountainatvmc.com

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Current rides: '04 CR500 AF supermoto, '10 KTM 300 XC-W, '02 XR100 minimoto, '09 GSX-R 600 track, '07 VFR800
Past rides: '77 Goldwing GL1000, '86 Z50R, '86 LT250R, '86 TRX250X, '90 XR600R, '92 KX250, '98 ZX-7R, '99 TM125, '99 CR500AF, '99 TM 125MX, '01 GS500E, '04 KTM 525 SMR, '05 KTM 625 SMC, '06 KTM 250 XC-W
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Old 12-17-2013, 08:50 PM   #3
J Banning OP
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Made some good progress with the frame !

Removed the subframe, airbox, shock and swingarm.


Broke out the reciprocating saw and bi-metal blade and cut off the forward and lower motor mounts.





Put the new swingarm bushing in (moved stock one from right to left and then put a new 59mm one in the right side) and set the motor in the frame. The bushings appear to have done their job and the sprocket is aligned with the chain guide.





The whole "Y" section needed to be cut and moved up about 4 inches so that there will be room for the exhaust to bolt up to the engine. I marked lines where I wanted to cut.


A reciprocating saw with a NEW bi-metal blade made quick work of that aluminum tubing.


Next step was to use an electric die grinder to grind out the welds on the big end and pull out the remains of the downtube.


It took a while but I finally broke through all the welds. Doesn't look half bad.


That's all for now. Stay tuned for more updates this coming weekend.

8-)
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Current rides: '04 CR500 AF supermoto, '10 KTM 300 XC-W, '02 XR100 minimoto, '09 GSX-R 600 track, '07 VFR800
Past rides: '77 Goldwing GL1000, '86 Z50R, '86 LT250R, '86 TRX250X, '90 XR600R, '92 KX250, '98 ZX-7R, '99 TM125, '99 CR500AF, '99 TM 125MX, '01 GS500E, '04 KTM 525 SMR, '05 KTM 625 SMC, '06 KTM 250 XC-W
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Old 12-17-2013, 09:05 PM   #4
onetravdown
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Nice work! Subscribed!

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Old 12-17-2013, 11:38 PM   #5
225
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I'm glad to see a thread on this. You still have your DRZ I seen last summer at the Gap?

Good luck with the build. Maybe you can show Lee a thing or two LOL
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Old 12-18-2013, 04:23 AM   #6
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Why not just run the Service Honda as a SM?
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Old 12-18-2013, 05:44 AM   #7
J Banning OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 225 View Post
I'm glad to see a thread on this. You still have your DRZ I seen last summer at the Gap?

Good luck with the build. Maybe you can show Lee a thing or two LOL
The DR-Z400SM was a loaner bike from a friend. It was fun at The Dragon and I made the Killboy highlights on it.

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Current rides: '04 CR500 AF supermoto, '10 KTM 300 XC-W, '02 XR100 minimoto, '09 GSX-R 600 track, '07 VFR800
Past rides: '77 Goldwing GL1000, '86 Z50R, '86 LT250R, '86 TRX250X, '90 XR600R, '92 KX250, '98 ZX-7R, '99 TM125, '99 CR500AF, '99 TM 125MX, '01 GS500E, '04 KTM 525 SMR, '05 KTM 625 SMC, '06 KTM 250 XC-W
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Old 12-18-2013, 05:46 AM   #8
J Banning OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rpmwfo View Post
Why not just run the Service Honda as a SM?
I don't have a title for the Service Honda, but I do for the CRF450R... plus the CRF is already street legal and inspected in my state. CRF is a newer ('04 vs '99) and very low hour bike.
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Current rides: '04 CR500 AF supermoto, '10 KTM 300 XC-W, '02 XR100 minimoto, '09 GSX-R 600 track, '07 VFR800
Past rides: '77 Goldwing GL1000, '86 Z50R, '86 LT250R, '86 TRX250X, '90 XR600R, '92 KX250, '98 ZX-7R, '99 TM125, '99 CR500AF, '99 TM 125MX, '01 GS500E, '04 KTM 525 SMR, '05 KTM 625 SMC, '06 KTM 250 XC-W
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Old 12-18-2013, 07:59 AM   #9
onetravdown
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It's been about 12 hours since you started this thread. Is it built yet?
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Old 12-19-2013, 09:56 PM   #10
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. In
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Old 12-20-2013, 06:36 PM   #11
D.T.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trav72 View Post
It's been about 12 hours since you started this thread. Is it built yet?




Looks like a wheelie machine!
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Old 12-21-2013, 08:44 AM   #12
jar944
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J Banning View Post
Good news and bad news...
B]The bad news[/B]
Taking a closer look at the CR500 motor i found a HUGE crack on the intake side of the piston skirt. I guess I'll be doing a top end a lot sooner than I was planning >:(


Looks good.

You might want to do your motor work (if you still plan on it) while you have the cylinder off.
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Old 12-21-2013, 09:23 PM   #13
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Very cool!!!!! I feel you on the price of 525SM's I had a pretty nice one a few years ago with all the bells and whistles.......I couldn't give the thing away so I parted it.

Funny I should find this thread as I'm going to go have a look at Alloy framed 5hunny in the morning. Keep up the good work!!!!
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Old 12-22-2013, 10:22 PM   #14
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Nice work... I'll be watching too!
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Old 12-23-2013, 12:47 PM   #15
Fener6
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Sweet. Will you be taking that to NJMP?

Edit: Ahh Banning, just realized the name. I've heard the name somewhere b4, can't put my finger on it. You know jshep or pete? Pete stopped doing track, but jshep is going at it hard this past year.
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