Custom: CR500AF Supermoto

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Confused? It’s a Honda CRF450 frame, with a CR500 motor, a swingarm from an Aprilia RXV, and pipes that belong on an R1.

Taffymoto on supermotojunkie has been working on this project since December of last year. He has taken a powerful CR500 motor, put it in a modern and stiff CRF450 frame, added state of the art supermoto suspension, and finished it off with high end components everywhere else. Modern 450Fs are plenty fast, but there’s nothing quite like a well tuned 500cc two stroke in a lightweight modern chassis. Even though they haven’t been built for years, the CR500 is still easily the most powerful motocross bike ever produced. The original steel CR500 frame is heavy, overly flexible, has outdated geometry. That’s where the CRF450 comes in. It’s a huge improvement in all the areas the CR500 is weak. The only problem is that the CR500 motor doesn’t physically fit.

Taffymoto cut up and rebuilt the lower part of the CRF frame where the motor sits. The modified frame and stock RXV swingarm are powdercoated black, and the motor is painted with VHT. The suspension consists of a set of Marzocchi 50mm forks, Ohlins TTX rear shock and a $700 Ohlins steering damper. The bike rolls on a set of used BST wheels that needed a little TLC in the form of some black paint and clear coat. Fancy Pro-Carbon bodywork is super pricey; each tank shroud is $160 before you factor in shipping. The carbon tank is $592.70. It appears that the owner decided to use the side panels and rear fender from the twin-piped 2009 CRF250R to clear the Akrapovic CRF250 slip-ons.

I have to say, the idea of a supermoto dripping with cash and lacking a license plate seems strange. Typically, supermoto bikes provide the closest thing out there to cost-free crashing. With a $592.70 tank, expensive Aprilia swingarm, and no sliders anywhere, riding this particular bike around the track is a stressful proposition. Crashing this supermoto would probably cost more than most 2007 CRF450s are worth. Still, there’s no arguing that the end result is nothing short of impressive.

via Supermotojunkie

  • JaySD

    Have to agree a CR500 based supermoto is impressive but only with a license plate :P

    • Case

      Exactly my thought. This thing is awesome but it’s not plated and you can’t afford to crash it. If you can’t dump it and then wheelie after you pick it up then it’s not a good supermoto bike. ; )

      • vigor

        If you’re building a bike like this you’re going for the wow factor. “Look at me! look at all this cool stuff! Ride it? Are you crazy!?”

        I’m sure he has plenty of SMs to thrash if he can dump that kind of money into something he’ll never get back out.

  • RT Moto

    I’d ride the pretty out of that bike. Oh… Yeah…

  • nick2ny

    I thought Kawasaki’s KX500 was as–or maybe more–powerful than the CR500. I know they probably produced different power in different years, but still, I thought it was right in the running.

    • Sean Smith

      It’s damn fast, but you’re right, the power is a lot different. The KX500 has a powervalve that allows it a much larger and smoother power-band.

      • nick2ny

        I’ve never been lucky enough to ride anything fast off-road–a xr200 around my friend’s backyard is about it. And I’m 28. You’d think with 20 years of wanting to ride dirtbikes under my belt I’d have gotten there by now. I’ve just never lived remotely near somewhere I can ride. That’s a huge part of the reason I want to live in the mountains somewhere, rather than bouncing between SF and NYC. Nice work reporting on some of the crazy ish that comes out of SMJ.

        • Sean Smith

          My last job as a mechanic had me test riding crazy off-road bikes every day. The nuttiest thing I’ve ever ridden was a 660cc KTM 525 making something like 80hp. Depending on where you sat, you had your choice of wheel spin or wheelies in every gear.

  • Miles Prower

    Wow. Beautiful. Even the polished kickstarter and black kickstand look awesome.

    But yeah, I’d be scared to drop ride that thing.

    I put sliders on my KTM 625 SMC thinking it’d inevitably kiss asphalt. It never did (although my heel down prevented plenty of lowsides). But in my mind, I had already factored in the cost.

  • Cajun58

    This bike is a beauty with the black out treatment. I particularly like supermoto’s with mag wheels. Interestingly though the folks at Service Honda use the CRF250X frame for there CR500 based machines.

  • mugget

    Hell yeah! Nah, I’m not confused – I’m just in awe!

    I remember reading that build thread, awesome to see if finished.

    I can only imagine what it’s like with those BST wheels…

    • Sean Smith

      I’d imagine it’s expensive and verve wracking to jump.

      • T Diver

        Exactly. They should just put a basket on the front handle bars with a Yorkie in it cause you know those tires are never leaving the ground.

        • Josh Hunter

          see above

      • Josh Hunter

        he said he bought them second hand off a racer who had indeed, jumped with those wheels and dogged them hard, and they were still very structurally sound

  • gregorbean

    hubba hubba

  • adeysworld

    love it

    • Sean Smith

      Figures. Are you gonna give your SMR the black-out treatment?

  • Kit

    Damn it, now every time I look at my CR500 in the garage sitting on it’s rear CBR600f3 wheel and front (old school) VFR400 wheel I will be supremely disappointed.

  • dux

    Nice super-model. I’d love to ride it and crash it, but not own it.

  • Sasha Pave

    Bravo! That’s one of the most ridiculous and marvelous creations I’ve ever seen! A true labor of love when he could have based it on a Service Honda AF and saved a ton of labor. The RXV swingarm is a lovely touch and really gives it distinction. The polished head and TT sidestand are nice touches.

    I especially enjoy the number plate backgrounds stuck on top of CF bodywork.

    If this beast had a plate, drivers licenses would disappear.

    • dux

      True! And agreed, that swing-arm is great.

  • Mauricio


  • Bronson

    Wow! Absolutely beautiful bike.

    As the owner of two KTM motards it’s great to see these articles on HFL every now and then. Would I build it? No, but i can admire the hell out of it! I run my bikes in the dirt, the rain, and they go horizontal on the ground from time to time… but damn, that thing could sit in my living room and I’d just stare at it for hours!

    There were two motards at the NYC motorcycle show this year (a stretched CR500 and custom painted Ape 550) in the custom bike show. Both were nice, but this bike would have flat out smoked either one.

    Congrats to the owner. Job well done!

  • tomwito

    That thing is really cool, I want a 2 stroke street bike bad. I would love to transplant a CR500 motor into an old CB frame. Just so I could get a tag for it.

  • Paul

    “and pipes that belong on an R1″
    followed by
    “It appears that the owner decided to use the side panels and rear fender from the twin-piped 2009 CRF250R to clear the Akrapovic CRF250 slip-ons.”

    Are they R1 pipes or CRF250R, cause I checked my R1 and it does not have an expansion chamber on it, so I know you are not referring to that section of the exhaust. ;)

    • Sean Smith

      They’re intended for a CRF250, and I’m pretty sure there’s a custom mid-pipe in there connecting them to the head-pipe. But really, the twin Akrapovics look like they belong on an R1.

      CRF250′s don’t have an expansion chamber either ;) That F means four-stroke.

      • Paul

        oh, I am well aware that the CRF250 is a four stroke (long time fan of supercross) and that they came with dual pipes for better bike balance or something. I was just making a snide remark in that the expansion pipe was obviously not R1 (looks to be a Pro Circuit, probably for a CR500) and the slip on’s as stated in the article are aftermarket CRF250 models and that pretty much completes the exhaust system. Maybe there is an EXUP from an R1 in there that I can’t see. ;)

        Regardless, it’s a great look.

        • Josh Hunter

          the pipe does indeed have a “Pro Circuit” badge on it

  • ontheroad

    I love it. CR500′s are nuts, can’t imagine how much fun it would be in a proper chassis. I’d just have to take the carbon off and put some sliders on her… can’t have anything, especially not a sumo, that nice.

  • zipp4

    Love this. I like that the builder doesn’t try to cover up the fact that this is strictly a supermoto. Most other attempts add lights and reflectors to bikes with engines that simply can’t handle the mileage and abuse of street applications.

  • John

    Haha, all you guys about not crashing it… It would handle a crash that any SM would rather easily, except for that expansion chamber, which would defo receive some proper gnar. I mean if you replace anything with a scratch it might add up quick but most things would survive pretty easily assuming its not an insano flipping highside. But what bike takes that well?… Garage queens arnt bikes, and it doesnt look pretty to me unless i can ride it fast an hard. Better yet, just dont crash alot. Ive won several SM events and only crashed once in any of um :)

    • Josh Hunter

      what you apparently don’t realize is that the front fender, tank, and body panels are all carbon fiber at over $100 a piece, custom modified frame, carbon frame protector, etc etc etc