If there’s one thing we know about Aaron Colton, it’s that he’s gonna keep restoring dirt bikes to take to Red Bull’s annual Day in the Dirt festivities. In December, 2020, the bike in question is none other than a 1994 Honda CR 500. It’s a bike with a reputation for being a challenging but ultimately rewarding ride, so what happens?
From start to finish, this video is a delight. There’s the moment when the bike shows up in the back of a pickup, and the sense of project potential is almost palpable. Apparently, the bike was delayed more than once in getting to Colton’s garage, but that was then. This is now, and now is always the best time to get into tearing down your new project to see what’s what.
Cleaning up a new project is important, but for those unfamiliar, tearing it down gives you an up-close, personal view of each and every bit of your bike. That way, you know what parts to replace, repair—or just toss in the bin because they’re completely unsalvageable. For example, Colton quickly identifies that the chain is a lost cause, so there’s no point in wasting any time on cleaning it.
Next, it’s on to cleaning up engine internals using a parts washer. With a Honda dirt bike from 1994, there’s definitely reason to think that you could maybe get some decent replacement plastics. Unfortunately, Colton quickly found out that he couldn’t do a straight swap to match that awesome paint and graphics scheme, so he opted to restore the existing plastics instead. Progressing from coarse to fine grits of wet sanding and polishing, and application of some fresh new decals made the whole thing almost look showroom-fresh.
That’s not all you get with this video, though. Colton brought this chunky chunk of a beastly two-stroke back to its glory, but how can you be absolutely sure without a test race weekend? That’s easy; you can’t! Colton took the CR 500 to the 2020 Day in the Dirt—and even had his buddy Tyler Bereman hop on to get holeshot and really put this thing through its paces in a vintage race. Verdict: awesome.