Honda CR500 by Boyko Racing

Honda CR500

One of Southern California’s “go-to” guys when it comes to dirtbike motors is Ted Boyko. A promising kid racer on a factory Indian minibike who almost lost his leg in a bad crack-up, he then became a tuner, landing at DG Performance where he ported and polished two-strokes for the likes of Bob Hannah, Danny LaPorte and Broc Glover. The man is a magician with a Dremel Tool.

Which is how the Husqvonda came to be. Now running his own shop, Boyko Racing in Costa Mesa, Ted was the natural choice when a customer wanted a heart transplant for his 2008 Husqvarna SMR450 supermoto bike. Tired of motor problems with lightweight four-stroke—later traced to a faulty radiator—he had purchased a used 1986 Honda CR500 two-stroke engine online and wanted Boyko to make it fit.

Honda CR500
Eyeball estimation told Boyko the CR motor would fit, but first the tired old ring-ding needed a total rebuild. A couple of passes with the boring bar had the cylinder walls cleaned up and while longtime collaborator L.A. Sleeve put together a CARE package for the CR (everything from piston to clutch pack to gaskets) Boyko did his thing on the transfer ports. He and pal Randy Blevins then hand-built the expansion chamber; just snipping and shaping the metal pieces took over eight hours before the welder was even fired up! Buttoned back together and now at about 520cc, the CR puts 80-85 horsepower to the rear wheel.

Honda CR500
Getting the motor happily situated in the Husky frame was a little more involved than Boyko originally thought. “Truth is, it was an engineering nightmare,” he says. Big problem was the CR500 exhaust port, which inconveniently lined up directly with the frame’s front downtube. Out came the Sawzall and with the help of ace metalcrafter Tom Rightmyer a new forked twin-tube piece was fashioned that cleared the port. Of course, then the radiators didn’t fit so the stock rads had to be cut and reworked, including altering the spigots to suit the CR’s layout.

About this time, another customer saw the incomplete Husqvonda at the shop and had to have it. A deal was done, but now the project got a little more complicated. The new owner wanted the bike to be fully street-legal. No difficulties with paperwork, the Husky already had a title and registration. What it didn’t have was an engine with an electrical system that could power lights, turn signals and a horn. More SoCal specialists to the rescue: ProCom fabbed a custom lighting coil for the CR that pumps out the required 30-40 watts, while another shop genned up a small 12-volt nicad battery pack that tucks behind the front numberplate. A Baja Designs kit provided blinkers and a taillight, and Boyko capped the street-legalities with a Lynx multi-function electronic speedometer that tells everything but the rider’s heart rate. Nothing here for even the most fastidious DMV inspector to find fault with.

Honda CR500
It was an inspection of another kind that put the finished bike to the ultimate test. Boyko arranged for a test session at Grange Motor Circuit, a 14-turn, .8-mile kart track in the Mojave Desert. Doing the riding would be two-time AMA motocross champ Micky Dymond. Now 46, Dymond these days is a stunt coordinator and pyrotechnics expert for motorized halftime shows, but he’s still indecently fast on two wheels. As recently as 2005 he was national champion in the AMA’s Unlimited Supermoto class and that same year won the Pikes Peak hillclimb in record time.

Boyko Honda CR500 custom
Despite thermometer readings in the low 40s, Dymond soon had the street-legal Husqvonda at near-race speeds, artfully skidding through corners. Before he left, Dymond and Boyko were seen discussing firmer suspension, softer tires—and warmer temperatures—for the next test day.

Honda CR500