Summer of 1997 Service Honda had a CR250 frame
modified to accept a 500cc 2 stroke engine as a personal project. The result was an awesome
improvement in the open class 2 stroke. The resulting incredible bike
was also incredibly expensive with an actual cost in 1997 of over
$13,000! The brain trust at Service Honda set out to find a way to
make this bike affordable to purchase, serviceable and able to
supported long after the initial purchase, lofty targets for
a small motorcycle dealer with limited resources. It was clear, even
in the early days that combining two bikes was very expensive and
cumbersome. Using used parts resulted in wildly varying results due to
the uncertain quality of used components, both statagies were ruled out.
The 500AF was created as a model. No used parts were used resulting in
dramatic improvement in quality and consistency. Many other durability
and finish improvements were also made. Demand for for the bike
greatly outstripped Service Honda's supply resulting in full
development and production plans for 1999.
Service Hondas' conception of the 500AF was realized with the finest
open class 2-stroke bike ever produced. The 1999 500AF from Service
Honda carried open class 2-stroke technology a giant step forward with
a bike that was both awesome performing, readily available to the
public and able to be supported years after initial purchase. It
combined the technology of the twin spar aluminum chassis with Honda's
most potent 2-stroke engine. It was the bike that Honda should have
The 2000 500AF continued the tradition of pushing
open class 2-stroke technology forward with a second
generation twin spar aluminum frame and swingarm. The press accolades
really began to flow with the bike being called "The best open bike
EVER" by MX Racer (May 2000), and described as "almost like cheating
by Dirt Rider (Feb. 2000).
The 2001 500AF features a host refinements to enhance both engine
and chassis performance.The accolades continued in as well with
Transworld MX calling the 500AF “the best open class two-
stroke ever available to the public” and also stating “We
(got the) hole shot every moto we raced with the Service Honda
(500AF), besting even the all-conquering four stroke Yamaha's
The 2002 500AF featured an all-new 3rd generation aluminum chassis
for outstanding performance and the unparalleled power and lightweight
of a 500cc 2-stroke engine. In 2002 Dirt Rider (March 2002) said
the 500AF is “by far the best “production”
two-stroke Open bike we’ve ever ridden.” Dirt Rider
was impressed after just looking at their 500AF (February 2002)
describing the 500AF as having “museum like quality.”
In 2003 the 500AF received a 39mm Kehin carburetor for improved
mid range and top end power while retaining the legendary CR500
low end, improved air box to air boot seal., new graphics and an
available FMF spark arrestor.
The 2004 500AF was tested by Transworld Mx and found to be up
to 4 seconds per lap faster than a fully modified 2004 CRF450
on the motocross track, they called this revelation "The
Truth"! Added for 2004 were optional Enzo subtanks. Unique
for this year was the very limited production 500AF Limited
with gun metal rims and billet parts. Only 20 of these very special
500AF's were built.
For 2005 the 500 AF introduced a completely new chassis. The new chassis was an improvement in every way from the prior generation with better handling, and much better ergonomics. The new chassis for the 500AF was even an improvement over the legendary 500 AF Limited Edition in lap times. The 2005 was another milestone in the evolution of the 500cc two-stroke of road motorcycle.
A complete new model 500AF was introduced for 2006, the 500 AF-X. The AF-X marked the first AF dedicated to off road riding. The AF-X come standard with many off road features; Headlight, taillight, 96 DB spark arrestor silencer and side stand. The AF-X also introduced the remarkable Service Honda digital ignition. The new ignition revolutionized the running characteristics of the 500cc two-stroke engine making for a much more consistent, smooth ridable off road motorcycle. The new ignition also added a high powered lighting coil that fit completely under the stock ignition cover improving ergonomics considerably over previously offered lighting coil systems.
Another new AF model was introduced in late 2007 the 2008 KX500 AF. This motorcycle revived another legendary two-stoke motorcycle, the Kawasaki KX500. Service Honda brought 20 years of progress to this legendary motorcycle and the results were nothing less than stunning. This model was brought to life with the help of and at the request of Kawasaki.
The 500AF received the Progressive steering damper for 2008. This change was tailor made for the AF and improved both straight line stability and handling. This was a remarkable something for nothing improvement.
A new second generation KX500 AF was introduced with complete new chassis platform that improved ergonomics, handling and a host of other refinements. The new chassis marks another step forward for the KX500 AF. All AF models received custom molded silicone coolant hoses for improved durability and fit.
In 2001 Honda Motor Co. dropped the production of their CR500R
completely. Through a unique arrangement with American Honda we (Service
Honda) assemble the CR500 engines in our facility to exacting
In 2004 Kawasaki Heavy industries dropped the production of their KX500-E(16) completely. At the request of Kawasaki Motor Co. U.S.A. a special arrangement was made for Service Honda (Service Kawasaki) to assemble the KX500 engines and produce the KX500AF in our facility to exacting Kawasaki standards.